Tag Archives: self worth

So You Wanna Be A…

When I grow up I want to be a……..

How often do we hear children say things like ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a nurse like Mummy or a Fireman like my Daddy’,

Very few children have the concept of goals and dreams, the opportunities or possibilities which will present themselves as we grow and sadly in all too many cases it doesn’t register (until later if at all) that just because our parents/grandparents were shop keepers, plumbers, lawyers or brain surgeons even…it doesn’t mean that we have to go into the family business,

Make No Mistake About It

As tends to be the way our paths, circumstances and most certainly our lives in our formative and educational years are usually but sadly not always fairly mapped out for us. Often by well-meaning but misguided responsible adults and sometimes by the not so responsible, controlling, ego driven adults who either want to live vicariously through us or have us be a carbon copy of them.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

I am not a

Up to a point there is very little if anything we can do about it whilst we’re growing…if we’re lucky we will be reared in an environment where we are at an early age afforded the opportunity to learn about the power of choice and the responsibility that comes with it. If not hopefully we’ll learn sooner rather than later that the power of choice is not only inherent in us all it is part of our basic human rights from the time we are able to communicate effectively.

For instance whilst getting my granddaughter ready to go out recently she was adamant that she wasn’t wearing a coat to go outside in despite freezing temperatures.  I opted to explain the choices she had…1) wear the coat thus remaining warm 2) don’t wear the coat running the risk of being freezing cold. Now at 4 she is in my opinion old enough to know the difference between the two choices and understand the consequences of both. After thinking about it she chose not to wear the coat. Accepting her decision I told her that was fine but I would take it along anyway so she could wear it if she changed her mind. Ten minutes later we were outside coatless but within three minutes  she was warm, wrapped up in not only her coat but scarf & gloves having realised she’d made the wrong choice. All without trauma, confrontation or the what did I tell you syndrome.

The lesson here for both of us was that in being given a choice at the age of 4 (and to be honest that’s the way we try to work) our granddaughter has learned early on that when faced with a decision the choice is hers but so are the consequences and that’s her responsibility.

We can’t blame ourselves for not knowing

If we grow up without ever being given the opportunity of choice & understanding that each one comes with the prospect of changing our reality then we do in effect become programmed to accept that things are just the way they are. In my family for instance both my grandfathers were miners, as were theirs, my father was a miner and perhaps unsurprisingly my brother became a miner, It  became a self-perpetuating family tradition, one that was never questioned. It was just what the men in the family did!

Thankfully these days we are more open to and accepting of a persons right to choose who and what they wish to be. Sadly though we still bow to the universally accepted premise that ‘Mum & Dad know best’…now obviously in some instances that is very definitely true. Especially when it comes to keeping young people safe but I seriously question that ethos particularly when it comes to both educational & lifestyle choices…essentially the cornerstones of what will become our adult life,

Understand that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be

Be humble, grateful, passionateNo matter how long it takes us to accept this simple fact…and for me that was the larger part of my adult life…it nevertheless is true!

The hard part for many of us as we struggle to find our identity, establish the career we want, live with or marry the partner of our dreams is that we spend far too much time people pleasing, not wanting to upset those we love and putting ourselves second if not last on our own list of priorities.

Remember this…This life of ours is just that… ours! We have one shot at getting our time here on this mortal coil to be the best experience for us that it can. We have a right to be happy. We have an equally important right to love & be loved unconditionally and we most definitely have the right to live our life in our own way, on our own terms without ever having to explain, excuse or justify ourselves, Ever!

When others, especially your nearest & dearest take exception to the choices you make…regardless of what they are; lifestyle, religion, career, anything at all….which they will. Bear in mind that although they will largely be coming from a place of love & concern, they will also be afraid both for the impact your decision will have on you and often how it will impact on them..what will the neighbours think?

But never forget that staying true to yourself, your wishes and dreams is your responsibility how others react to that is theirs.

Do you want something badly enough?

The general rule of thumb is; if you want something (no matter what) you will find a way to make it work. If you don’t? You’ll find an excuse…usually a pretty lame one…to justify your choice (there’s that word again)…how many times have you convinced yourself let alone others that you have a justified reason for not fulfilling your dream?

I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time. It was a stupid idea anyway!

Wrong! Wrong oh and errr Wrong!!! – No matter who or what you are?

You are real

You are very definitely good enough to do/be whatever the hell you want to…period! Others no matter who they are don’t have the right to make that judgement. If they do then walk away, we none of us need anything other than the love and support of those who matter to us. As Dr Seuss very succinctly put it…’Those who matter, don’t mind. Those who mind don’t matter’!

Time is both a blessing and a curse but if you really believe that time is short, weigh up how long each day you spend on social media, watching TV, window shopping, day dreaming…then tell yourself you don’t have time. I actively chose not to watch TV for a month in January this year just to see how much more I could get done in a day, let alone a week. The result? I gained 4 hours per day or just over one whole day per week to spend doing other more productive things…with the exception of an odd film..I haven’t watched TV since…everything is relative guys!

Thoughts become ideas, ideas become dreams, dreams can become reality..if they don’t? It doesn’t mean it was a stupid idea in the first place just that there’s probably a different way of getting there..if Michael Faraday hadn’t persevered, our concept of electricity today may well be very different indeed!

Finally I would say just one more thing ;

The difference between who you are & who you want to be is…what you do. Your choice. Your Life. Live it your way!

Thanks for reading whatever you chose…be happy! Namaste… Sue

 

 

 

The Loneliest Place on Earth

The Loneliest Place On Earth BLOG HEADER Striving to be ”Normal”

Unless you’ve experienced … scarily extreme mood swings, crippling anxieties, paranoia & obsessive behaviours to name just a few, had to factor in the senses of fear, isolation, shame & guilt or add in a dolllop of good old fashioned stigma topped off with a nuclear strength cocktail  of prescribed drugs to make you ”feel better”… then you will rarely have come close to understanding what constantly trying to appear  ”normal” is like when you’re battling with Mental Ill Health.

WELCOME TO THE LONELIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!

If like me you’re a sufferer it probably took ages before you admitted there was an issue and if anyone asked ”what’s wrong?” the answer would be ”I’m fine, nothing that a week in the sun won’t fix”!

I suspect the majority of us struggle to keep up the…. ”I’m fine” facade in an attempt to avoid the….albeit well meant…scenario of repeatedly being told to ”pull yourself together”. At best it’s frustrating to hear, at worst reinforces our shame that we seem unable to do just that!

Mental ill health covers an immense variety of ”disorders”….ranging from Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, Paranoia, OCD and so on however many sufferers begin their Mental Ill Health journey on the back of a ”rough patch”…feeling low, miserable, unable to snap out of it type scenarios..commonly known as ”situational or reactive” depression.

Whatever your particular diagnosis you should know that each one though different is EXACTLY the same when it comes to feeling isolated, ashamed or stigmatised etc because unless others have firsthand experience of how it feels then in all honesty how can they be expected to understand us or we their reactions.

Eventually something gives and we realise ”this, whatever this is” is much more than just being ”fed up or a bit miserable” and the decision’s made to get help. Usually resulting in the first of (in my case) many visits to the doctor.

”Take one twice daily”

I was just 18 when I first asked for ”help”………. having been ”miserable” for as long as I could recall I plucked up courage and went to see my doctor…Confused, nervous and very scared I felt sure that I would be deemed ”insane”….in reality the doctor wasn’t the least bit interested in why I was so ”miserable” but was quick to write a prescription for ”something to pick you up” and before I knew it I was clutching my first bottle of Valium labelled ”take one twice daily”!

I honestly believe that visit alone was solely responsible for what became my historical mistrust of both medication and the medical profession in general when it came to my psychiatric issues.

Caught between a rock and a hard place

In 1978 Valium (known today as Diazepam) was at the height of it’s ”popularity”. That year in America alone 2 BILLION tablets were prescribed.Today the World Health Organization list it on the Essential Medicines List such is its popularity because of it’s versatility. At the time the fact that it had highly addictive properties wasn’t even considered!! BUT in 1978 as a desperate AND trusting 18 year old I fared poorly as a result of it, as it turned out I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t because ….it did exactly what ”it said on the tin” and indeed I ”picked up” surprisingly quickly…..my problems began in earnest when I was told I was ”better” and the pills were no longer needed!

WRONG!!!

The withdrawal symptoms were horrific to say the least and for a teenager who already thought she was going ”mad” the effect on my psyche was such that it set me back 10 years in my battle to be healthy and in any event sparked a rebellion against ”medication” which was to last to this day.

The previous 30+ years have seen me endure a rollercoaster of stop/start treatments….I would become ill, try to ”work through it”, ask for help, take the meds, feel better, stop taking them (against advice), stay ”well” for a while and…….REPEAT!!

Einstein said ”The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result”……..he was correct!

We aren’t the condition, the condition is part of us!

During my adult life it’s taken 4 complete breakdowns, descent into alcoholism and almost dying before I EVEN considered that both prescription meds and the decision to begin self-medicating were in actual fact no more than sticking plasters.

In reality Mental Ill health issues manifest themselves as a direct result of triggers….attachment issues, neglect, abuse, poor self image, in other words the circumstances which caused us to define ourselves by our assigned labels and thus became who thought we were. The trick having identified the root cause is to work out a ”whole person centred care plan” with the aim of allowing us to live happy, positive and balanced lives.

The bigger picture on the road to recovery

When we look at the bigger picture we start to understand that there are other options when it comes to enhancing  both our clinical treatment and the day to day management of our individual situation.

Doubtless medication is the key player but historically it has all too often been seen by both patient and medic as not only the RIGHT but the ONLY treatment option. We lost sight of the fact that Mental Ill Health isn’t a one size fits all scenario and something which works well for me may well be detrimental to you the next sufferer.

We need to be open to the fact that different doesn’t mean bad

I came to realise that much that can be done to aid recovery from the affliction of Mental Health conditions but for these to work we have to be willing to take the responsibilty to find out what they are. There are no rules when it comes to exploring complimentary, healthy, self help options to aid, indeed underpin our clinical interventions BUT when you do decide to try something new please make sure that you choose it because YOU want to and feel comfortable in doing so. Whatever it is? If it makes you feel better on any level….then it’s right for you!

Incidentally when we try anything which serves to decrease our senses of isolation, shame, guilt etc that are the constant bedfellows of Mental Health issues we come a long way towards increasing our senses of self-esteem, self-worth and as such our confidence levels start to soar.

It doesn’t matter what it is….Yoga or Meditation, reading self help articles or taking classes, taking up a hobby or joining a gym or absolutely anything else in between the IMPORTANT thing is in deciding to be proactive in our own care plan we better enable ourselves to take a brave but moreover very necessary step over the boundary between being being trapped in ”The Loneliest Place on Earth” and returning to or even becoming a fully functioning member of society!

The journey along the road that is Mental Ill Health can be long and difficult but NEVER FORGET you don’t have to walk it alone

ASKING FOR HELP IS BRAVE – DO SOMETHING AMAZING BE BRAVE TODAY

NAMASTE my friends – Sue.x

 

 

 

 

We Should Never Forget That Children Do Listen

Sue Curr Motivational Speaker & Empowerment Coach

Children Do Listen

 

Everything we ever do is a learned behaviour

And let’s face it the job of the teacher…initially at least…falls squarely on the shoulders of our parents and carers.

Without doubt parenting is the most important role with the most significant responsibilities around… not a statement I make lightly….and yet it’s practically the only job in the entire world which anyone can take on without any formal training.

The second we’re conceived we become part of the lottery of life. As children our future is mapped out and there is little we can do about it until we take responsibility for our own life as we grow up.

When we’re born our responsible adults start us on a learning curve that is never steeper than during our first 5 years of life. Every second of every day we are learning on every conceivable level largely without even being aware of it.

When I say every level I do mean every level as babies we’re naturally programmed to react to and learn from everything our senses are being continually bombarded by.

Sight, Sound. Taste. Smell & Touch

Our grown ups are aware of our responses to stimulation but unless we react suddenly to loud noises, they rarely if ever remember that children will and do listen.… all the time even when they appear to  be engrossed in other things.

It’s a common misconception that young children in particular are unaware of what is being said in their presence and whilst that may be true before we ”understand the words” it most certainly isn’t as we grow.

It’s an error of judgement that  can and does cause serious consequences for both the children that we are and the adults we become!

The vast majority of parents or carers quickly get to grips with the mechanics of teaching the day-to-day practicalities involved in the rearing and shaping of us into responsible adults in our own right. Including the…for some….not too obvious aspects that form part of the package our spiritual, emotional and mental well-being.

They simply ”forget” that children are like sponges soaking up everything including what’s said to, shouted at, spoken to others about, even muttered through clenched teeth….. at them!

Children listen constantly especially when it’s about them!  

By the age of 5 the majority of us will have heard and absorbed all manner of information much of it about us and if we’re lucky we will have come to learn that we are bright, intelligent, lovable, funny, pretty, in other words we are secure in the knowledge that we are loved and wanted which is exactly as it should be

However for every well-balanced, secure, confident child that’s raised there are children who grow up thinking that they are stupid, naughty, noisy, cheeky, bad and who grow up to be less well-adjusted, nervous, shy, insecure with little or no self-esteem and for an unfortunate proportion of these children this tends to be the beginning of their journey through the battlefield of Mental Ill Health a place I’ve come to acknowledge as being the loneliest place on earth.

There are far too many who are unwilling or unable to extend their duty of care to their offspring in a manner which sees them learn, grow and mature into whole, rounded, well-balanced adults in their own right and that’s where some of us come unstuck!

Why? Simply because adults severely underestimate the power of the spoken word!

As human beings and particularly as children we do over time tend to forget the words that have been spoken and the things that have been done in their finer detail but we never forget how we’ve been made to feel. If the parents and carers of this world could somehow see into the future and be held accountable beforehand then so many lives would be very different from that of…

A ‘’lifelong battle with Mental Ill Health’’ and the resulting suffering

When I was 5!

When I was 5 – I knew how to laugh but learned how to cry
When I was 5 – I knew how to shine but learned how to hide
When I was 5 – I knew how to be happy but learned how to be sad
When I was 5 – I knew how to play but  learned how to sit
When I was 5 – I knew how to be real but learned how to be fake
When I was 5 – I knew how to read so learned how to escape

As children we adapt very quickly to the circumstances of our day-to-day lives. If we have been molded to be timid or insecure, feel anxious or unloved we learn how to people please. We learn how to ”behave” because we’re afraid of doing something wrong or being lacking in some way and we grow up feeling stupid or worthless but most of all unlovable.

It can take years to overcome the behaviour patterns, insecurities and traumas we may  have experienced throughout childhood..some of us never do. Because we grow up believing that everything we have ever been told or have heard about ourselves from the mouths of ”our grown ups” must be true because they ”were big and we were small” and that’s just the way it is!

If as responsible adults we understood that it takes much less effort to raise a whole child than it does to mend a broken adult then life and this world would be a much brighter, happier place. Our children are but a gift, ours for a very small window of opportunity it’s our responsibility to raise them to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be.

When I turned 50

When I turned 50 – I knew how to cry but remembered to laugh

When I turned 50 – I knew how to hide but remembered to shine

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be sad but remembered to be happy

When I turned 50 – I knew how to sit but remembered to play

When I turned 50 – I knew how to be fake but remembered to be real

When  I turned 50 – I knew how to escape but remembered it was enough to just read

We owe it our children to raise them properly and that means looking after their spiritual, emotional and mental well-being in equal proportion to their physical needs. They shouldn’t have to spend their lives trying to become who they really are……….I was lucky I now know without doubt that I am worthy, I am enough, I am lovable and funny and smart and anything else I want to be because I matter!!!                                                                     

Pity it took me 50+ years but that’s ok because everything that has ever happened to me, made me who I am and AM PROUD TO BE today   

If you would like to begin living your life with both purpose & passion in your own way & on your own terms without feeling the need to apologize for, justify or explain yourself BUT lack the rock solid foundation of self-esteem & confidence then I invite you to reach & connect with me here by Claiming a FREE 30 Minute Strategic Discovery Call

 

It All Starts With You

It All POST

”Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives”

Louise Hay

 Unless we believe in, respect & love ourselves how can we expect anyone else to?

When we better understand this we become ever closer to finding our authentic self but for some the road to self discovery and the realisation that not only are we worthy of our place in this world but that we do matter can at times be a long and difficult one with a price which very often we aren’t prepared to pay.

The mere thought of the consequences of our actions along the way being enough to stop us dead in our tracks, such is the fear of upsetting or even losing those we love for fear of being deemed selfish!

So what on earth causes us to lose sight of the fact that we actually DO matter?

The majority of us I’m fairly certain will have been told countless times by those close to  us; parents, spouses, friends and so on things like…….. ”Stop being so selfish” or ”The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know”. In all honesty I’m also equally certain that these things and others like them will have been said largely in a genuine effort to make us realise that there were other people to consider at that time and let’s face it……..no matter what the situation there is always a bigger picture to consider.

However subconsciously (and moreover if we’re the sort who actually do care and give a damn) when we’re hearing this type of thing historically and consistently on whatever level and regardless of either intent or source then slowly but surely the seeds of wanting to ”people please” begin to take root. We start to think before we do or say things for fear of upsetting others or God forbid being deemed selfish. We start to second guess the reactions of others if we say something we ”think” might come across as unfair.We slowly but surely and almost certainly (initially anyway) subconsciously start to convince ourselves that ”it doesn’t matter” if our opinions aren’t taken on board, if we leave what we want/need to do till another day, which almost never comes.

……..IF? IF? IF? ………..

At this point although we are completely unaware of it we have placed ourselves very firmly at the back of the metaphorical queue in our minds when it comes to our own needs, feelings or emotions because we have come to believe that they and we don’t matter when it comes down to not only looking after but actually validating ourselves in any way.

Quite simply our need to not only people please but be validated by others  becomes the yardstick by which we measure our own self-worth.

We mistakenly start to think that by being all things to all men we will be loved and appreciated all the more for our efforts. In reality what tends to happen is the exact opposite because the more we give, the more we do then the more others will not only allow us to but will come to expect from us. When on occasion we can’t for whatever reason we find ourselves unwittingly deemed lacking in some way. In essence it’s a very short step to the polar opposite of nothing we do is ever enough!

The crushing fear of being labelled ” not good enough” or ”selfish beyond belief” robs us of our sense of well-being, of our self-esteem of our sense of self-worth and of our confidence to stand up for ourself. Something inside us becomes broken and before we know it we are completely lost.

Piecing together the jigsaw that is our broken self takes courage

However without doubt it should always start with loving ourselves because we are worth it!

The power to change be it the world, our circumstances, our future or ourselves starts with us. It all starts with us because we are the architects of our own lives. We must become mindful of the fact that we are the only ones who are responsible for us if we want to see any positive changes in ways which will not only alter how we see ourselves but how others do too.

In order for any of this to happen we more often than not have to unlearn everything which we have previously come to know. We have to accept that we are a work in progress and that it is not only ok it is more than good enough. Having to reclaim that which we have inadvertently lost……the absolute right to be who or what we want to be…….is a big ask of anyone, let alone those of us who over time have seen the very fabric of who we really are eroded away to the point that we’re actually unsure who we were in the first place!

Having discounted our needs, wants, feelings and emotions for so long it has become a foreign concept to us to not only validate ourselves but to need and expect those previously unwilling or unable, to do so as well. It is at this point we have to face perhaps for the first time the fear that others will and do choose not to come along our journey with us from hereon in and we need to accept the fact that in making this choice they are saying more about themselves than they ever did about us. As upsetting as we may find this, when we remain resolute (as we should) in our intentions to validate ourselves going forward, then our journey for a while at least becomes harder.

BUT!!!

In doing what we have to do in order to get to where we want to be, we slowly, but will nevertheless come to love ourselves for who we are, we will become comfortable in our own skin and be grateful to be so.

Up to this point we have lost sight of many things, but the courage we have gained in facing up to the challenges and adversity which we have along the way and the resultant rise in our self-esteem as we rediscover our authentic self has come to help us really understand that self-love and self-care are truly very different from being selfish.

The sudden revelation that our thoughts are the most powerful ability we possess and that we not only have the power to be who and what we want to be but it be liberating in the extreme serves to further increase the sense of well-being and peace which settles over us.

On the most basic of levels then, when we accept that we cannot (nor is it practical) to be everything to everyone all the time because in being human we are not perfect then we have started to turn our negative self-talk around.

Having done this we can finally afford ourselves the love and respect which we most definitely deserve but previously we hadn’t.

In being accepting of our shortcomings and imperfections. In caring for, respecting and loving ourselves then we become increasingly touched  how much and how quickly others follow suit. We become surprised that people really do love us just the way we are.

We would do well to remember that……How things start. How they finish. Is our responsibility

When we believe in, respect and love ourselves then others will too.

So if you validate just one thing today let it be yourself because after all

It All Starts With You!