Can you remember a time when you were really little? Maybe you were 3 or 4 years old. You had simple needs. You just wanted to play and have others play with you. You wanted some comfort and to feel loved and cared for. I liked climbing trees and playing dress ups. I also liked eating strawberry ice-cream and I really didn’t like being tickled. I didn’t really notice if I was naked or had clothes on,
Have you ever noticed a pattern in your relationships? Or maybe the fact that you’re not in a relationship but you want to be? Do you self-sabotage and stuff things up before they can get real and intimate? Or do you stop the relationship before it’s even started and find reasons not to date? Is your list of personal attributes for a partner super high, super detailed and possibly impossible for anyone to achieve? Even after you “find the one” do you still find things to criticise or ways to ensure they are continuously proving their love for you?
Do you feel lonely? Do you want to feel more connected? Many people feel lonely, or are searching for that sense of belonging to a group that resonates with them. Sometimes it’s that there have been some major life changes happening and they’ve let go of their past relationships, friendships or groups where they used to feel comfortable, and now they might not be sure where they belong anymore. Sometimes it’s that they’ve grown beyond their current groups and are looking for something different than where they’ve been before,
Do you agonise over making decisions? Have you been finding it difficult to prioritise at work, or in your day to day life? Does everything seem like it’s an important decision that you’re afraid to mess up or make the wrong choice?
I used to spend so much time thinking and overthinking about every tiny choice that I felt I needed to make in my life. Whether it was about what to eat,
Do you feel constantly on edge, stressed out and like no one “Gets you”? Do you ever think “I don’t need anyone” or “The only person you can trust is yourself” or “Everyone is out for themselves”? I used to feel like I couldn’t trust anyone, not deeply. Sure, I had friends and family members that I could talk to, but I didn’t feel like I could truly be vulnerable with them. I was afraid that I’d be let down,
Have you ever watched someone else start their own business, excel in a sport or a job role and noticed that you felt a little bit negative about it? Even if you really wanted to be happy and excited for them, something inside you felt like picking at their success. Maybe someone else got the promotion or the role that you wanted, or the kids, the house, the looks, the apparent happiness that you wanted.
Are you someone who loves change and embraces chaos, or do you tend to like to know what’s about to happen and have a plan way in advance? What do you do when things don’t go to plan or don’t match up with the changes that you expected? Life can sometimes throw out some big life changes that we don’t anticipate, until we’re right in the middle of them. What do you do then? Whether it’s a relationship that’s ended,
Even as a little child, I can remember feeling guilty. Guilty about not doing the “right” thing when I had already been told, or guilty for forgetting something. Sometimes I felt guilty when I noticed that I had more cool toys or fun holidays than some of the other kids, or I would start to blame myself if I forgot someone’s birthday or didn’t get the best marks in class. As I got older, this guilt followed me when I saw people who were not as accomplished as I was,
Do you ever wish you could just be yourself? Do you feel like you portray yourself differently to the outside world compared to who you are on the inside? Do you feel like you are “false” or “a fraud”?
If you do, you are not alone. I used to believe that certain personality traits were “good” and others were “bad” or just not valuable. As a small child I was emotional, living in my feelings and very vulnerable.
Do you struggle with self-worth or low self esteem? Do you have those moments when it feels like nothing you do seems to matter? Have you ever been caught up in those thoughts that tell you that you’re no good or you’re not good enough? I used to think this way, and those sorts of thoughts just kept going round and round in my head, until I actually start to believe them.
Maybe you notice it most at work,
Mornings for me used to be hitting the snooze button and trying to stay in bed as long as possible, fantasising about how life could’ve been. That was way easier than facing the day. I just wanted to escape the monotony of getting up, going to work, going home, watching TV and going to bed.
I remember there being certain moments in my life that I could’ve made a change and I didn’t.
I used to doubt myself all the time. I had a running commentary in my head telling me all the things that I couldn’t do, that I wasn’t good at or that I’d never be good at. Have you ever stopped yourself from trying something because you listened to those doubtful thoughts? I used to let them stop me all the time, until one day someone asked me a question that changed my entire perspective.
Have you ever felt as if other people take you for granted or that whatever you do it’s never good enough? For me, it used to be feeling that I wasn’t worthy or valuable, as if I had nothing of value to contribute to the world. It wasn’t something I noticed immediately, it was a feeling that grew over time. I thought that by always saying yes to people I was helping them out. At work,
I used to hate being alone. It was when I was alone that I would find myself thinking of the things that were not working in my life. I’d feel scared that no-one loved me, that no-one would EVER love me and that no-one cared.
I used to do anything not to be alone. Anything to distract myself from less than great thoughts and emotions, from feeling uncomfortable or from tough conversations. I found so many ways to distract myself from life but all the while I was still focusing on that feeling of aloneness.
I was lucky I guess. I had an amazing family growing up. I had everything. Well, not everything I ever wanted, we weren’t super rich, but we weren’t poor either. I grew up in the country. I had a yard to play in, I had enough clothes to wear, I could go to the movies and out bowling. We had dinner on the table every night. I had parents who loved me, and I had an older brother to teach me.
My favorite question to ask people, when I first meet them is “What do you like to do for fun?”.
More often than I expect, I get the response “Hmmm, I don’t know”, or I hear that they used to have fun, but life got in the way, no time, no money, and the excuses start piling up.
Do you find that you get distracted, with your job, kids, family, friends, doing things for others?
Self doubt holds us back, keeps us safe, keeps us where we are. It gives us a reason to turn down the invitation for a date, a reason not to go to the gym, keeps us in the same job we do easily for years and years, not reaching for the promotion or change to something more fulfilling
Many of us doubt ourselves… a lot.
• Wanting to go on dates and no-one is accepting?
Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough, not good looking enough, not smart enough? Maybe you have not been satisfied in relationships, or not good enough to get that raise at work…and sometimes it can really get you down. The effects can last a long time and be quite devastating and depressing. The fact that you have to ‘pretend’ to be doing great makes everything worse, too.
I felt this way for most of my life.
At what point do we decide what our value is? When do we accept this idea or concept of what it means to be worthy? Someone’s affection, a nice car, a good job, loving parents? When do we expect those around us to form their own idea of their true self-worth? And when do we see our own? How many heartaches, heartbreaks and negative circumstances will bring us to understand this?
If I had really understood this concept I may have been so much more…it may not have stopped me from doing whatever I wanted to do.