An Honest Heart

Today’s Thought: The cost of not following your heart is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.

To improve my level of honesty with myself and with others, I am setting myself the goal of following my heart each day: Live from your heart, within your boundaries. For the most part, this feels comfortable and true to myself, but there have been a few times where I have sucked up the anxiety of another person and then doubted myself. I have found, however, the following techniques useful in keeping myself grounded and acting from my heart:

Daily affirmations to challenge the negative thought patterns: I am kind, I am smart, I am loveable, I am good enough, I am enough, I make good decisions. I say them out loud to myself on my drive to work. It’s a strange thing to do and you feel a bit silly, but it really does work in changing your mindset! As soon as a negative thought pops up, I note it and then challenge it with a positive one.

Daily meditation and breathing exercises: I am just making time to meditate and breath. I am doing 7/11 breathing – you breath in for the count of 7 and out for the count of 11. Because of the counting, you are focused in the moment on your breathing and it really does help to relax you and provide you with time out from your anxiety. I am using a meditation that works on my heart chakra – it’s only 3 minutes, but it’s 3 minutes of sending my body love and care and it is changing my mindset and level of anxiety. I just do this lying in bed and it’s helping me to get to sleep so much more quickly.

Last week was the first really positive week I have had for some time – I felt stronger and more confident than I have for a long while and these practices are having a profound effect on me living my life the way I believe I should – within my boundaries; my boundaries of what support and compassion look like; my boundaries of honesty and my boundaries of balance between work and life. It is empowering, but I am under no illusion that it won’t have to be worked at. It will. It has taken me three weeks of persistent breathing practice and meditation to have my first good week; it’s not a quick fix, but it is a worthwhile practice that will support a healthy mindset towards the challenges of life that those of us who are more sensitive than others need. I am coming to realise that there is no shame in my sensitivity; that is is actually a great power within me – now what I need to do is harness my power of sensitivity and use it with confidence to make the changes I wish to make to my life.

Don’t be afraid to listen to your heart.

Fighting To Be True

Today’s Thought: Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you.

Right now I am stuck in a cycle where I am consumed with self-doubt and lack of confidence. I feel that some of this is being created by the difficult personality of a co-worker. A few weeks ago I felt as though I was losing my true self to this co-worker and bending to their every will in fear of their reaction should I disagree with them or not complete something I knew they wanted done. I even found myself behaving in a way that was the total opposite to my core values and beliefs.

If this sounds familiar to you, don’t give in to it!

I am not going to. I am going to ‘fight back’ and rebuild myself:

I am planning tasks that the other person is not involved in, so I can judge my impact without their involvement. I do this with the aim of rebuilding my self-belief. I am going to catch my negative thoughts and replace them with a positive one. I am even going to say the positive affirmations out loud! I am going to practice asserting myself with this person – if I feel they are overstepping the mark, I am going to tell them.

I know this won’t be easy – last week I had three days where I felt good and two where I felt crushed. That’s the nature of anxiety and depression; they’re sneaky and like to jump out and shout ‘boo!’ when you least expect it. I just know I want to find myself and be my true self instead of what this other person wants or expects. Being honestly me is my right. Being honestly you is your right. No one can be you as well as you can and don’t you forget it!

Creating Positivity

Today’s Thought: The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful you’re life will become.

This week I set myself the challenge of choosing to align my energy with love. I set out to blow any negative energy back to the person it belonged to and to ensure that any feelings I had were mine and not someone else’s.

For three days, I felt so in control and like I was winning the fight with the emotional vampires and suddenly on day four the fear crept in and gave a gleeful wave.

To be honest, I have to keep fighting to live in a way that is true to myself; that I see true to my heart and my values. This is challenging. Is will take more than just daily meditation and visualisation of my goals and protective shields. It will also take courage.

Now that the fear is tapping on the door of my dreams, I must work hard to keep the door closed. I must learn to trust my instincts and the messages my heart I set giving me – not easy when I feel vulnerable. However, if I want my life to change for the better, I must face my vulnerability, accept it and still walk the path my heart tells me to.

This week, I am undertaking an exercise – I am going to imagine where I am in 10 years time and write myself a letter, letting myself know what my life I should like there. I want to see what things will be like if I hold true to my honest values and live a courageous life.

If you are feeling lost and as though things might not change, why not look inside your heart and ask yourself where you want to be; what you want to be different and what it will be like if things we’re to change. Make that your goal, perhaps. If it sparks joy, take a step towards it.

Create The True You

Today’s Thought: Find yourself and be that.

At the end of last year I was feeling very lost. I felt as though I was not being my true self; that I was bending to the will of domineering characters around me and being who they wanted me to be just so I could control the way they made me feel. The silly thing is, it made me feel ill and miserable.

What I needed to do was relocate my core values in order to remind myself of who I wanted to be. I made some time and space to work on this. A book that has really helped me is: The Happy Empath’s Workbook by Stephanie Jameson. It’s a little bit ‘out there’ but has masses of practical and sensible advice that has helped me to understand why I feel so oppressed by those around me and how I should manage the overwhelming sensations I experience. I have started to meditate daily, visualising who I want to be and how I want to behave and it is helping me to feel less anxious and more motivated and strong. It is making me realise that I am not some kind of weird failure who should change everything I am. For the first time in a long while, I feel empowered to be me. I am even starting to like me!

Over the holiday period, a gif popped up on my Facebook feed – what would you do if you weren’t afraid? I had been feeling so afraid leading up to the holiday time – afraid I wasn’t good enough; afraid of how people make me feel; afraid of letting people down; afraid that I was turning into someone I didn’t want to be. So much fear, it was starting to cripple me. At around the same time as that gif appeared, I started to see promotions for Life Coaching courses and that was when I had my epiphany. The coaching and mentoring part of my job is the part I enjoy most. I love it when I have helped people achieve a goal or helped them to improve the way they feel about themselves. I realised that I was constantly trying to meet people’s expectations in areas that I don’t enjoy and wasn’t giving enough time to the aspects of my role that I do enjoy and that I am strongest at; the aspects of my job that I feel have true purpose.

I needed to take action if I wanted to change my life; if I wanted to get rid of the fear in the long term. I think I may have found my purpose – to help people change their lives. This is what I should be doing; this is what will give me joy and purpose. I have signed up to an online course and am loving it. I have adjusted how I am behaving at work so I can focus on my areas of strengths. I still have to do the other parts of my job, but I am less worried because I know my strengths now and I know that I am practising these more so I can ultimately change my life in the long term. To achieve my final goal and change my job will take time – I cannot afford to just resign and run. However, I know what it is I was born to do now and I can take steps towards this every day for as long as it takes because now I know what I am on this earth to do.

Am I still scared? Yes, but I am also excited. Do I still lie awake at night, anxious about the next day? Yes, but I can now use my meditation strategy to ease the racing heart and feed my over-active brain the positive messages about small steps towards my purpose. Overall, life feels less scary and uncertain – at the moment. I am not under any illusion that because I know my true purpose, my anxiety will suddenly vanish. I am certain that the fear will continue to be a spectre in the background of every day, but now I can counteract it with the much brighter spirit of hope and love. I can push those energies out into the universe and feel their power come back to me.

Ask yourself what you would do if you weren’t so afraid. Ask the universe what your true purpose is. Look for the signs around you that communicate joy and a sense of belonging to you – this is the universe communicating your purpose. Take small steps in the direction of hope, love and joy. Accept that you will be challenged along the way and plan for those moments. Just don’t lose sight of your true self; your honest self. It will start to set you free.

Honest Reflection

Today’s Thought: Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, act with integrity.

A year ago I started this blog in order to give myself the kick in the pants I needed to live a more honest life. I was sick of digging myself into various holes by telling different people different things to keep them all happy. I was tying myself in knots and enduring crippling anxiety as a result.

So what, if anything, has changed? Has being more honest been the game changer I thought it would be?

In many ways, yes. I am now habitually more honest – I am not chasing my tail trying to remember what I said to one person compared to another any longer. I know that the words that come out of my mouth on the whole are the truth. There are just a few areas of my life where my honesty requires more clarity – some people still scare me, so I veil the truths I tell them with prettier shrouds than I ought to. For most of the year, I felt more happy with myself, my behaviour and my actions – I kept track of them through my journals and set positive intentions for every day and evaluated my success towards them each evening. It has felt good. I have felt as though I have been good.

More recently, however, I have found old habits creeping back in. It has not felt good. I have not felt as though I have been good. This shows me that I have far more work to do – it’s not as simple as just endeavouring to tell the truth. Being honest requires me to search deep within myself, going into the fear to find out why I can be honest with one person and less so with another. Who do these people remind me of? What past traumas are lurking, waiting to be resolved so that truth can triumph? What do I truly want to do with my life, so I can be honest with myself about my strengths and weaknesses rather than trying to fit my square peg self into the round hole of my current job?

As I enter 2020, I know I must continue to learn about myself; learn about how to put shields of protection around myself so that I can respond without fear of the reaction of others; find my true calling so that I can live an honest life rather than a life that others think I should lead. I need to find the courage to tell those I fear the wrath of; the disapproval of and the disappointment of what it is I really think and feel. In 2020, I want honesty to fill my heart, my mind and my soul, so that I can bring love to every moment of my life and to every moment of the lives of those I care about.

This past year has been rich in self development and this blog has been part of it. I am grateful for every person who has read my ramblings and has found it in their hearts to let me know they appreciated it. I never expected anyone to read about my struggle but because you have, I feel a sense of duty to continue my self improvement work; to continue to aim for true honesty, so that I can show you all that change is truly possible and that happiness can really be found in yourself.

I wish you all a happy new year; whatever your truth is, I wish for you to find it and work with it or through it to locate your own peace.

Honestly Ashamed

Today’s Thought: People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear and ignorance.

When I set up this blog last year, my aim was to be more honest. Over the past few months, I have lost sight of that goal and have fallen into habits that I had previously broken. I am ashamed to say I have dropped back into the habit of bitching once more. I really should know better as it makes me miserable!

Bitching feeds negativity and I have certainly been feeling negative! Even worse, my negativity is fuelling the general negativity amongst my team – a team that up until recently had been largely positive. I could ruminate on the damage I have done – I really could dwell and languish in the muddy puddle of my shame. Or I could set about putting it right.

I must tell my fellow bitch that our behaviour must stop. It’s not kind, it’s not professional and it isn’t helping us achieve our goals. Worse than that, it’s creating a mist of poison throughout our organisation and it won’t be long before people realise that we are the ones releasing it into the atmosphere.

Dr Steve Maraboli says: Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.

It might not be the new year just yet, but it is certainly time to hit the reset button on my honesty bid and set the intention to be far more kind and positive with the words that come out of my mouth. I must remember that great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people!

Honestly Doubting Everything

Today’s Thought: Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

No matter what I do; no matter what anyone says at the moment, I just can’t get rid of the crippling self doubt that follows me around at the moment. It lurks just behind my ear, waiting to whisper corrosive words over my ideas or decisions. It’s a poison that paralyses my whole body and fills me with dread at the thought of having to face it all again next week.

The thing is, though, I have to face it. I know I am in the wrong role, but until I find the right one for me, I have to continue. I want to carry on; I want to find tiny aspects of myself to work on and improve so that when I find what I am looking for, the self doubt is gone.

Struggle teaches you a lesson. Lessons make you wiser. Wisdom gives you strength. Strength turns into self-belief. Self belief shows you anything is possible.

This week I am going to work on being honest with myself and others; I am going to look for the lesson and what I can learn, then use that knowledge to improve my responses. I know I am responsible for increasing my self-belief – if I don’t, I will continue to feel the frustration that I rely on others too much and that their abilities are greater than mine. I will continue to feel a fraud and impostor in my role and my anxiety will grow stronger.

If you feel this disabling self-doubt, join me in trying an affirmation to alter your mind-set. I am going to try: ‘I believe in my skills and abilities.’ Every time I start to crumble in on myself, I am going to aim to repeat that phrase. Let’s build self-belief, not self-doubt.

Honestly Found Wanting

Today’s Thought: Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.

For the past five years, I have been fighting to prove myself in a job I am starting to think isn’t right for me. I have been through denial: ‘I am absolutely right for this; I will show them all!’; I have been through delusion: ‘Things seem to be going well, maybe I am good at this after all.’ when actually, it’s been going well because other people have been doing their jobs well and right now, I think I am entering a period of acceptance: ‘I’m a good person, but maybe this role is just not the one for me.’

I don’t like this feeling; I am blue. However, I have also run out of fight – it is no longer within me to prove myself. I have no idea what I am going to do – I’m not even sure what I am capable of doing any more as my skill set feels quite narrow and my financial responsibilities are not going to disappear any time soon. I know that I must find some way to be happy, though. This job is not the way; being so hell bent on proving myself is not the way. Accepting who I am, embracing it and finding the role that fits me is the way.

In the words of Brene Brown, I need to: ‘Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are.’

Be honest with yourself – are you trying to be someone you aren’t rather than embracing who you are? For true happiness, let’s start looking for ways to celebrate the person we are. Carl Jung said, ‘we cannot change anything unless we accept it’. Maybe what we need to accept is that we are trying to be someone we aren’t – let’s change that and see what happens!

Honestly Searching For One’s Self.

Today’s Thought: How can you stand out if you are trying so hard to fit it?

I am reading Brene Brown’s ‘Dare To Lead’ right now. I am trying to improve my leadership skills as I find it difficult to locate the courage I need to challenge my team when things aren’t quite right. I visited Brene’s website, http://www.brenebrown.com and found this beautiful quote that I intend to use as my foundation for the next week. I thought I would share it for all of you who, like me, feel as though you are a square peg in a round hole!

Be here.

Be you.

Belong.

Let’s get on with standing out and sparkling, not fitting in and floundering!

Responsible For Honesty

Today’s Thought: You are only responsible for being honest, not for someone’s else’s reaction to your honesty.

I find this difficult – I hate upsetting people and feeling responsible for their anger or distress. I need to become more resilient, though, if I am to hold people to account.

This quotation will be my mantra over the next few weeks. I will still aim to be kind – I have no wish to strip people of their dignity or to make them feel like muppets, but I am going to aim to tell people the professional truths that will help them to improve and will ensure I am holding them, and myself, to account.

Aims for the next week:

Be honest and kind in my words.

Have integrity and best practice in my actions.

Stay true to the vision and pay attention to detail.

What are your positive intentions for each day? Are you living your values?