Tag Archives: Your life

Don’t Follow The Crowd

Dont follow the crowd POST‘’I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions’’
Stephen Covey

I spent far too many years trying to ‘’fit in’’ be ‘’one of the crowd’’. Don’t get me wrong I was never involved with what my Dad would’ve called a ‘’bad lot’’

Quite the opposite I had, indeed still do an amazing bunch of close friends who have always been both a constant in my life and incredibly supportive of me no matter the circumstances. Although on occasion I made that incredibly difficult but I digress. The point being I never felt under any pressure from my peers to do anything I didn’t want. I quite literally became as Stephen Covey so succinctly puts it ‘’ a product of my own circumstances’’.

During my formative years I ‘’learned’’ very early on an innate need to please others….I became the self-deprecating class clown, the one who would always say yes when she wanted to say no. The one who was always first to volunteer to go that extra mile regardless if I had the time to do it. The one who agreed to go on holiday to Spain when she really, really wanted to go to India.

You get the picture?

In my case I began at a very early age to follow the paths that others had laid out for themselves with me in mind purely because I didn’t have the nerve or the ability at the time to even think about suggesting that I may want to do something different especially if it didn’t include them.

In short my problem was that I was petrified that others would think less of me, not like me or even worse not love me for who I really was. Which was invariably different to what they thought.

Everyone’s reasons for finding themselves in situations like this are both very personal and wildly different but the result as far as ourselves is concerned is that we lose sight of who we really are and what we really want.

If we’re fortunate we ‘’wake up and smell the coffee’’ before too much damage is done.

Me? It took me until I was turned 50…. To have ‘’a midlife crisis’’. For that read standing up for myself purely by becoming brave enough to decline the ‘’offers, plans and suggestions’’ of others IF I DIDN’T WANT to be involved.

These days I KNOW BETTER so…….your mission should you choose to accept it as you journey through this life of yours would be…..

Always be your own person

Our life is ours alone, our responsibility. Follow the path of your own choosing. Remember however that a sometimes unexpected turn can inspire us to achieve amazing things….we should all learn to ‘’expect the unexpected’’ and embrace it when it happens.

Whatever you do though don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all alone. Rather welcome others to join you along the way….ask them if want them to but whatever you do, do it on your own terms. Whilst having the support & company of those who are important to us can be a good thing they may on occasion try and dissuade you from your chosen goal…..usually with the best of intention but sometimes for their own ulterior motive.

Don’t be afraid (indeed be prepared) to make difficult decisions if that’s what it takes to get you where you need to be and/or to do the right thing but whilst it’s nice to take the credit where it’s due it can also be counterbalanced at times by having to take your fair share of the blame if things don’t go as planned. Which they invariably will but that’s ok because……None of us is perfect!

Use the power of choice to get you where you want to be. Whilst that may not always be what others want or even like – it’s important to always remember that it’s what you want out of life that counts.

As long as you are coming from a place of kindness, compassion and love and you’re not deliberately setting out to hurt or upset anyone then you can leave the responsibility for the reactions of others firmly where they need to be…….WITH THEM!

Stay strong and have the courage of your convictions. We all of us have more mental strength than we believe…even in the most trying of circumstances…or give ourselves credit for when things get tough. Then watch yourself blossom as you come ever closer to achieving what it is you want. Your confidence and self-esteem will start to soar as you truly become your authentic self.

Someone who is comfortable in their own skin and secure with the decisions they make….someone who is always true to themselves.

Remember as you go forward in life …..YOUR LIFE!

You’re responsible for YOU

You don’t exist to impress the world or anyone in it. You exist to live the life you want in ways that serve to MAKE YOU HAPPY!

Which is as it should

Be mindful about and wary of being pulled down a path that is of someone else’s making. If you’re not comfortable with it make your own detour.

Don’t ever feel the need to excuse, apologise or justify your choices because there is no shame….ONLY PRIDE in achieving what you want in life, in your own way and on your own terms. PERIOD! 

To sum it up….it took me far too long to realise that the only thing I am truly responsible for is ME.

These days I’m very much my own person, one secure enough to understand that the opinions of others are theirs to deal with and what they think of the choices I make in MY LIFE are none of my business.

I now KNOW that Dr Seuss was spot on when he famously said…..

‘’Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind’’

If I’d understood that as a youngster life would have certainly been very different. Do I regret anything? I honestly don’t believe I do because everything that’s gone before has made me the person that I am today which is stronger, wiser, and happier and for the first time ever I’m truly……

COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN!
RESULT!
Thanks for reading…whatever you do today…be true to yourself!

Let It Go and We’re Not Talking Disney Here

Let It Go POST
In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past but you will find yourself
Deepak Chopra

One of the most difficult skill sets we ever have cause to learn is the art of letting things go

Now, that can be letting go of; old habits, obsessive thought patterns, the need to understand something, toxic relationships, guilt, anger in fact pretty much anything which can hold us back or cause undue worry, stress or upset in life.

As we become older and hopefully wiser we gradually come to understand that EVERY situation and/or emotion we face throughout our lives is only EVER temporary. Yet the compelling need to hang onto that which no longer serves us in anyway, rather than diminishing with age often grows ever stronger as we face the uncertainty of what will happen to us or because of us if we dare to do the unthinkable and just LET THINGS GO!

The safety net of the familiar, albeit something which habitually causes us angst and upset perversely becomes somewhat of a comfort blanket as we rail against our own self doubt questioning whether or not IF it would be the right thing to do and this in addition to the negative input from those around us – even loved ones – who would have us stay ”stuck at a point” simply because it serves their own ends for us to do so. Other people will often attempt to manipulate us into ”leaving things be” sometimes not even fully aware themselves that this is what they’re doing and yet at other times they blatantly attempt to browbeat us into submission employing tactics such as name calling, veiled threats, emotional blackmail, put downs, outright insults and so the list goes on.

However when others do try and bring their influence to bear over our intent to ”let something go” and DESPITE their assurances that ”it’s for your own good” or ”for the best” etc they are almost without exception trying to do nothing more or less than to control that which is NOT theirs to control.

YOUR LIFE! YOUR FUTURE!

It’s important to realise through all this that our own self doubt is in itself enough to prevent us from moving forward if we choose to allow it to but at least that would be OUR CHOICE.

For me the biggest shift happened when it came to ultimately deciding to let go of something which had paralyzed me emotionally for years. It was a slow but sure awakening to the absolute FACT that in doing so not only would it be a freeing experience BUT it would in no way be a betrayal of someone or even a denial about a given situation. Rather the exact opposite because by acknowledging AND taking responsibility for it I came to understand the simple truth that what had been, had happened and on occasion was still happening just didn’t have a place in my life anymore. The toll on my health had been immeasurable and furthermore I suddenly knew without doubt that I was no longer willing to carry the burden of (in my case) the limitations of the learned behaviour patterns which had chained me so very firmly both in the past and within my own mind set.

By definition the act or indeed the art of ”letting things go” is synonymous with change and this I’m sure is the major obstacle for most of us as we struggle to detach ourselves from that which is holding us back in some way.

At times in many ways.

The thing is change can be good, it can be bad and it can most certainly be a painful experience as we transition from one phase to another. However when we weigh up the pros and cons we start to realise that any pain or anguish which transpires on the back of letting go pales drastically when compared to that felt by someone (as was I)  who is stuck in a scenario they are unwilling or unable to remove themselves from and as a result of which they are unable to learn, grow and move forward. In effect that someone becomes responsible for disabling their own future as our old friend procrastination happily throws up a myriad reasons why things are best left unsaid or undone so almost subconsciously things are left unchanged because after all….”better the devil you know eh”?

Once the decision has been made to ”Let It Go” and the gamut of manipulation and emotional blackmail has been run it becomes evermore obvious to us that where we had previously thought that by holding on we were being strong, in actual fact ”letting go” takes an act of even greater strength. So as we commence our journey along our chosen path to a healthier future then, we can begin to see that the act of cutting ourselves loose from our hurt, sorrows, negativity, toxic people or situations…….BY LETTING GO.……we can and will embrace the here, the now, this moment and very definitely our future with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and hope because  we can now say with certainty that there is a world of difference between the choices of ‘‘giving up” and ”letting go”.

I can only speak for myself when I say this but having taken a long, long time to understand that when someone or something no longer has a place in my life (regardless of the reason) then I can not only choose to  let it or them go BUT I can do so safe in the knowledge that I do not have to explain, apologise OR justify either myself or my decision to anyone else.

It takes an inordinate amount of courage to ”Let Go” of the old or familiar, especially when the resulting change  has the potential to cause  you even more distress in the short term at least than that which you have liberated your mind from but the benefits to us as individuals is immense. Again speaking personally, on the back of actively choosing to ”Let Go” (especially of situations over which I had absolutely no control) I saw in me a hitherto unknown personae evolve…..granted one which I very firmly consider to be still a work in progress……I became a stronger more assertive person, one who whilst still always attempting to be fair to others would nevertheless hold firmly onto my principles. I became someone who was (to quote the blessed song..) ”For The First Time In Forever” comfortable in her own skin, someone who came to understand that;

To let go of something means simply that we can move on.

Whereas to hold onto something means that we are always looking back. Accepting that the art of ”Letting Go” will produce change in our lives is a massive ask of anyone but when we couple this with the fact that ”Letting Go” does not mean forgetting rather it means that we have learned something, be it about ourselves or something else then the positives we can take from this are beneficial on levels we hadn’t previously considered because we ARE FINALLY SECURE in the knowledge that;

Regardless of what others may or may not think about our choices in life we are GOOD enough, we are ABLE enough, we are SMART enough, we are STRONG enough to make make those same choices for ourselves WITHOUT the need for validation from others. They will no doubt continue at times to attempt to derail the progress which we have chosen to make BUT if we keep steadfast in our decision and don’t acknowledge their behaviour then we can continue to keep moving forward with OUR LIVES because we suddenly know with absolute clarity that whatever another says or does in their efforts at sabotaging your future happiness it is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a reflection on THEM not us!

Going forward then ALWAYS REMEMBER that;

YOU are the only person who you are responsible for and to, whatever you do or say along your journey in this life YOUR LIFE somebody somewhere along the way is going to be upset and/or disappointed in you BUT THAT’S OK as long as you are secure in your decisions, your actions and more importantly YOURSELF that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

I’ve come to know with absolute certainty that LIFE IS TOO SHORT to be constantly at war with yourself OR others. Pick your battles. Be kind to yourself and others by making the practices of ACCEPTANCE & FORGIVENESS part of your daily routine LETTING GO of the trials and tribulations of yesterday is the first step towards a brighter more positive future.

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. A NEW BEGINNING. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. EMBRACE IT AND STEP FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE

YOUR FUTURE!