Expectation let down.

At the beginning of the year, I went to a business event and every year at this conference we usually review the previous year, celebrate the wins and reflect on our results. This year, I had an interaction with a person, who was a well respected leader in the group, that didn’t exactly meet up to my expectation of acknowledging and congratulating me on my results and so they triggered me in unexpected way.
I walked away from this conversation and experience feeling disappointed, angry and undervalued.
In the past,  from an interaction like this, I would have gone into a spiral of negativity, anger and have a total pity party.
“What about me? It isn’t fair” I can hear the song playing in my head now.

So from that one interaction, I somehow made it mean that:
– I didn’t matter
– I was insignificant
– My results were pointless
– I wasn’t being heard
– I was replaceable

All from one conversation.

Before I became aware of these thoughts, I went into quite an emotional funk and it took me almost a whole day to pull myself out. During the day though, I allowed my feelings to overcome me and I embodied the thoughts I was having.
– I cowered when being called upon in our group
– I kept quiet even when I had something to say
– I became introverted and shied away from further interactions
– I only spoke with my immediate group when normally I would speak to anyone

Since embarking on my journey of self development and self-coaching I thought I had come so far and yet I allowed myself to indulge in these feelings.
Over the years, I have developed my awareness and understand now how my thoughts create my feelings, and my feelings create my actions. So I took this opportunity to look deeper and learn more about myself, rather than blame someone else for my emotions.

 

I replayed the conversation in my head and then remembered how that made me feel. I identified the emotions I was feeling and then identified the thoughts that were causing those emotions.

What I realised, was that I was looking for some form of validation from this person and in the conversation I didn’t get it, I got the exact opposite.
My expectation was that I would get recognition for my good work and when I didn’t get it, my expectation wasn’t met and I made it mean all these negative things about who I was as a person.
When I really thought it through, I was putting all my ‘value’ on one person’s opinion.
I was searching for that external validation.
Now, I’m a firm believer that ‘No one else’s opinion of me, is any of my business’ and when this is a passing comment from an acquaintance, or some passing judgement from someone that doesn’t matter it can be easy to dismiss. But when it is someone you look up to and are looking to, to offer that validation, it’s not so easy to let it go.

I can count on one hand, the people’s opinions that really matter to me. People that really know me.

People that have seen me at my best, and seen me at my worst and still love me no matter what.
Not someone who looks at a bunch of numbers and passes judgement.
So if I turned it around to me, my feelings are a choice that I make and when I reviewed my own results from 2016, I was really proud of where I finished up and everything that I had achieved and that’s all that should matter.
I didn’t need someone else’s opinion, approval, or recognition to validate me.
I value myself and I am proud of who I am as a person. That’s what I choose to believe. I choose to believe in myself, in my power and my worth.
Sometimes we allow others opinions to affect us and sometimes we even take these opinions on, as our own beliefs. And sometimes these are people that don’t even matter to us, or people that don’t even have all the information, with no expert knowledge or experience. Yet we take on their words as gospel.
When I catch myself listening to someone’s opinion of me, I ask myself – “Does this person really know me? Have they walked a mile in my shoes? Will their opinion matter to me in 5 years time?”
And if the answer is no? It’s time to choose what I believe.
Sometimes, we shouldn’t believe everything we think either. Sometimes, we have to become the observer of our own mind, and decide if we believe the thoughts we are having.

So if someone pushes your buttons and puts you in a funk, take a moment to ask yourself why? What are you feeling as a result and what thoughts have created those feelings? If those thoughts are not serving you then discard them and choose the thoughts that empower you, lift you up and inspire you to be your best self.

I give up. Do you?

I give up.

I read over my first blog post and I just want you to know that it’s not all roses and rainbows. I didn’t wake up one day and life was brilliant.

It’s still a work in progress actually.

Yes there have been some amazing times in my life where I have experienced really high highs but I’ve also had some times where I’ve experienced some really low lows. Times where I quit.  Times where I gave up.

Gave up on myself, gave up on hope, gave up on wanting more, gave up on believing – in myself, or in anything.

Yes I have failed. Oh! Have I failed!?! And I’m sure I’m going to fail again and again. And I hope I do. It’s how I’ve learned to pick myself back up, to stick up for myself, to stand my ground, to apologize, to accept, to forgive and dust myself off and start again.

In my  career in sales, I’ve experienced rejection. I’ve been rejected.  Alot.

I’ve learnt how to get rejected really well. I’ve learnt how to not let rejection affect me anymore.

I’ve gone all in and I’ve still fallen flat on my face.

What changed you may ask?   I’ve learnt to be curious.

 

Curiosity makes things more fun, makes the rejection mean less. Makes the rejection mean less about me, and more about the other person or the larger situation at hand. Curiosity creates this sense of exploration that makes you ask why.  I now get curious about each thought or emotion I have and any decision or commitment I make.

So I got curious on giving up.

I gave up. I gave up on me, on love, on success. I even gave up on failure (that’s giving up before even trying just so I didn’t have to experience failure.)

And what I’ve learnt about giving up is that you stay where you are.

You get nowhere.

So trying something is still getting somewhere.

Doing nothing and expecting something different to happen is insanity.

So I started trying.

What is trying?  It’s the same as giving up. You can’t try to pick up a chair, you either do or you don’t.

So trying is almost expecting credit for not actually achieving anything.

So I did that for a while & then I realised that, that was also giving up.

Not committing, not deciding. Not going all in.

One day I was listening to a podcast* with a Life Coach and she was talking about honouring your commitments.

She talked about honouring MY commitments – not for other people, not for my  benefit or the benefit of others but to honour them for yourself. For your own self worth, for your own self belief.  To have your own back.

She talked about setting yourself up for success not failure. Setting up small milestones, small goals to achieve to build your self confidence and to prove to yourself that you could do it. Whatever the goal may be.

That sentence played on my mind for days to come and I realised I wasn’t honouring myself. I didn’t have my own back.

So I started off small. Really small. I honoured my decision to start getting out of bed in the morning earlier. So I set  my alarm 10 minutes earlier than normal and decided to get out of bed straight away. No snoozing. And I did that for a week, then I started with 20 minutes and found just how much nicer it was to start my day with more time to wake up and  set myself up for success and not be in a rush to get out the door.

I honoured myself by deciding to focus on the good things that happened throughout my day rather than the negative  ones . So I set a goal to finish the day with a grateful practice. Writing down or saying out loud three things that I was grateful for that day. And I found myself, throughout the day looking for the positive things in my life.

I honoured myself by committing to some form of exercise – just to move my body for 10 minutes three times a week. I mean I wouldn’t have called it fitness, but my previous goal of a gym workout, four times a week for an hour wasn’t happening. So I started smaller and worked my way up.

I noticed a difference in my sleep, in my patience levels throughout the day and just being out in nature really improved my outlook on some situations.  And once I took the pressure off myself to do a “workout” I found myself enjoying it and ending up doing 20-30 minutes of walking, running or yoga each time I started with 10 minutes.

I committed to honouring my body and avoiding all gluten and dairy foods.

Not for the weight loss or health benefits but because I was actually allergic and had ignored it for many years. I ate and drank it anyway and would get very lethargic and have stomach aches for hours and honouring this commitment to myself meant I no longer complained about being sick so regularly and found my energy levels improving.

Next, I honoured my “ME” time. Taking the time to do something I enjoyed once a week,  as long as it didn’t affect my other goals ( like eating a bag of donuts J (gluten))

And slowly but surely things became a little easier. I found that my mental resolve to stick to my guns and that actually fully committing meant that there was no longer a choice. There was no longer that inner argument of will I or wont I. It was just  “I don’t eat that anymore, I am an early riser, I enjoy my exercise because it is something I choose to do.”

My belief in myself improved and because I had proven to my mind and myself  that it was possible, it opened up so many more possibilities.

I started setting bigger goals and honouring those and achieving so much more. I became happier within myself and people even started to notice.

Again, it wasn’t all roses and rainbows but when I found myself falling back into old habits, I would ask myself two questions:

  1. Am I honouring my commitments and honouring myself?
  2. If I am 100% committed – is this something that will move me forward toward my goals?

 

Each day is a new chance to honour myself, and to have my own back.

Every day is also a new chance to fail, to fall flat on my face, a chance to learn a new lesson. But I’d rather fail then not have tried at all. Otherwise, what is life for?

If we’re one soul, here on earth, having a human experience, then I want to experience it all.

 

Everyone has a story.

Everyone has a story.

Everyone can talk about the journey of their life, about the experiences they have been

through, the adventures they’ve had, and the things that they’ve seen and done. This post is

going to be about where mine began, because it’s only fair that I share a little bit of myself with

you, if you’re trusting me with your stories too.

I grew up in a small country town, in a big Catholic family. I loved my childhood. I loved my

parents. I loved my brothers and sisters (I was number 5 of 6 children). Yet despite all that love

for what I had, I knew that as soon as I could I was getting out of that small town. I just knew

that I wanted more.

So I finished high school, I got a trade as a hairdresser, and then I got a job working on

American Cruise Liners. I was travelling the world!

From the moment I set foot on that first cruise ship, I was in my element. I had wanted a life of

adventure, and boy did I get exactly that! I loved everything about it – the hard work, the long

hours, the crazy parties, the adventures through foreign countries. Yet through all that, the best

part about it and the thing that I loved more than any of it, was the people.

I formed some amazing friendships – some that I still have to this very day. Friendships with

people from all over the world, from backgrounds both similar and so very different to my own.

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed though – my favourite memories from all those travels are the

social aspects of getting to know people. Of getting to hear their stories and learn about them,

about who they are and how they came to be that way. Those are the memories I cherish most

of all.

Of course amongst all of those wonderful experiences were some not-so- wonderful

experiences but I choose to focus on the good moments. I choose to relive the memories that

empower me, those memories that formed those beginnings of how I found myself and of how

I learned who I am as a human being.

Because after all, that’s where my story begins and I’m looking forward to sharing more of it

with you.