It’s one thing that we try so hard to have and yet the more we want it, the more it feels like it slips through our fingers.
Without it, life feels a little chaotic.
So we try to grip harder and as we do the shoulders tense up and move up towards the ears, our feet are no longer flat on the ground and instead we are resting on our toes ready to be able to move at a second’s notice.
That’s the thing with control, it’s a loop.
We think that to have more ease and calm in our days we need to control more of the details. However the more we try to control ourselves, others and our day the more our stress levels rise and we go through the day being constantly on alert.
Never quite able to take a deep breath, have a moment to ourselves or enjoy the cup of coffee while it’s still hot.
The brain is always ticking over with the next thing you need to do or someone else needs to do and, when it doesn’t happen the way you had planned, that feeling of failure raises to surface.
You might feel it in your heart as the tears start to well up, or in your stomach as those butterflies fly around, or perhaps you feel it in your bones because it’s a feeling you have known for so long that it seems like it is built into who you are.
And so often in this loop we search for more things to control. “What if only I did it this way? Or what about this?” Always problem solving to seek the solution.
What if the answer you were looking for was actually boundaries?
Trying to control a lot in your life can be a sign that you aren’t clear in your boundaries. It can be showing that your saying yes to things that aren’t even your responsibility, that you’re putting everyone else ahead of yourself, and that you are running yourself down.
A great place to start with boundaries is in the small moments throughout your day, because everything you say yes or no to makes a collective difference. And when you have spent years (maybe even decades) saying yes to everyone but yourself, it may take some time as you start bringing in boundaries. The place to start is by looking at where you are saying yes and no throughout your day, and if you would like to explore boundaries deeper I have some great tips in my Begin Nurturing You! A workbook, you can download it for free here.
Parents say it to their children all the time in a way to calm their nerves about meeting new people: “be yourself and you will be fine”. When the nerves hit the night before a job interview there will be someone close to you that will tell you “just be yourself and will be fine”. It’s a popular phrase we hear thrown around all the time in this self-development world. “Just be yourself”.
How often have you heard the phrase “just be yourself’, but have you ever thought what that actually means?
It’s said like it’s something that comes naturally.
But what if it doesn’t?
What if you aren’t even sure who you are because you’ve hid yourself from everyone, including yourself?
Or what if you aren’t even sure if you like who you are?
The key to learning to being yourself is discovering who you are!
So where do you start?
- Make time for yourself
To discover who you are, you need to make time for yourself and it’s okay if that ironing waits for another day. What is that one thing you want to try, but you keep coming up with excuses as to why you haven’t yet? Do it.
This isn’t about cutting people out of your life, it’s about learning where you need to say no a little more. How often do you over commit yourself, crashing in exhaustion at the end of the day?
- Have fun
This self-development world talks so seriously about finding yourself, and discovering who you are, and it can be approached as though you are a problem needing to be fixed. This isn’t the case, and this whole journey to creating a joy-filled life needs to have some fun built in. Sing, dance, play board games, stay up late one night eating pizza and chatting. Do something that brings a smile your face every day.
Discovering who you are isn’t something you can think yourself into, it’s something you need to take action on and experience.
“I just need to get motivated, you know, get more positive about myself!”
How many times have you been harsh or critical on yourself because of that feeling you aren’t doing enough towards your goals? Have you ever stopped and really paid attention to the words that run through your mind, and noticed what you actually say to yourself?
All in the hope that the panicky energy sitting in your stomach and chest will disappear.
What’s one thing you are wanting for your life right now? Don’t overthink it, hold onto the one thought which jumped into your mind immediately.
Is this something you have been wanting for a while? Have there been thoughts swirling around your head telling you all the reasons you can’t do that, why you aren’t ready, how the time isn’t right?
Last year I kept holding myself back from doing videos. It was something that I really wanted to do, however I always had a long list of reasons why I couldn’t do it just yet.
And the more I talked about this with people, the more frustrated I got for holding myself back.
So early December 2018 I had someone in a Facebook group that I am a part of decide that he was going to do 30 days of live videos, and asked if anyone else was keen to join in on this challenge. I wanted to run, hide and ignore the post however before I could talk myself out of it I said “I’m in.”
I said yes before I could list the pages of reasons why I wasn’t ready.
So, that day I did my first live.
There is a time for overthinking and working out the details however there is also a time for taking action towards what we desire. The biggest lesson I learnt through doing these lives was how the way to build our self-belief in ourselves is through taking action.
If you missed any of then, below are the videos from the last seven days:
We all know that one friend who says “ I don’t bother to set New Year’s Resolutions, they don’t work anyway”
Or perhaps that is you?
You have had that happen, where a shiny New Year has rolled around, and you have decided that this is the year for you. No more being last in your life, it’s time to get your body and mind healthy.
So you write a list of everything you are no longer allowing in your life.
I sit here on the last day of 2018 with my cup of coffee and candle burning writing and contemplating on the year that was. To help us create a life that is joyful and full of intention I find that reflecting back on what has unfolded over the year is a really valuable process. It’s a chance to step out of the thoughts running through the mind, with all the details of what happened and all the moments of pure joy and complete frustration. Instead, it allows me to feel into the lessons from the year.