I love Stephanies work, authenticity and honesty and am inspired by her journey x
In my last post I talked about getting your needs met, but what if you are a step behind and you are not even sure if your needs are or aren’t being met.
The first place to start is to be able to identify the signs that your needs are not being met or that something is out of balance.
What does your life look like when you are unhappy? Take some time and sit down and write it out. I understand that there are events outside of your control that can make you unhappy, but what if there aren’t? And even if there are, you can handle them so much better when your needs are being met.
For example mine are
- My house will be untidy and I will have no motivation to clean or tidy up. I know it is cool and trendy to bash housework and make out it is something that we shouldn’t want to do but the reality is that when our houses are clean and tidy we do actually feel so much better, not in an obsessive way, but as with everything in life in a balanced way. I am an empath and feel the energies of people, buildings and areas that I am with and if my house is untidy and I have no motivation to do anything about it then it means that somewhere I am over giving, I am being overstretched, I am out of balance. When my home is clean and tidy, I feel so much better because the energy of my house is clean and sparkly and I am able to relax better in the comfort of my own home.
- I become oversensitive to comments people make, when this is happening it is not helpful to me or the people around me. Feeling upset by people’s comments can also be about boundaries and how you are letting people treat you, which is a whole nother article. I know that when this is happening I need to put myself in serious timeout, relax and get back to me and find out what the problem really is, because it is not usually what people are saying that is the issue. For me it is generally that I am not listening to myself about what I should and shouldn’t be doing, I have forgotten to listen to my inner compass.
- I want to eat comforting carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help release serotonin (the happy and calm hormone) so somewhere this plea is a cry for relaxation, a cry for a hug for something comforting. Even though food can be comforting it is all about whether you are eating to feel nutritionally wholesome or whether you are eating to hide your feelings. Find other things that are more nurturing to your soul and listen to why you are feeling so tired and in need of sustenance. What decisions can you make that can help you feel more relaxed, nurtured and supported.
So those are mine, what are yours?
I know when these things are happening I need to stop and look around me and listen, take time out to really really listen to what my needs are. Human beings make life very complex, but most of the time the answers are really simple. I know in my case that when I take the time to listen to myself I find that somewhere a part of me is wanting to communicate something profound and life changing to me, which is possibly why I resist stopping and listening to it in the first place.
If you would really like some help with listening to yourself and helping you to navigate your way back to happiness then contact me below. I run journaling courses and one to one coaching sessions to help you identify your needs and make your self care a priority.
So how does it all get messed up, you know feeling frustrated, unhappy?
One of the reasons is that your needs are not being met. Again it is that simple act of placing awareness on your needs and meeting them.
One of the problems is that we can feel selfish meeting our needs or somewhere we don’t look because we are concerned that when we discover our needs we won’t actually be able to meet them and then we’ll be even more disappointed.
I can tell you that when you get down to your needs, they are actually very simple and it is easy and straightforward to meet them.
The problem is that they have been neglected for so long that they are buried very deep under everyone else’s needs and a whole host of resentment.
One of the other problems is that we are so heavily drawn into other people meeting our needs, that’s a big strain on any relationship (let me qualify that when I use the word relationship I am not just talking in the sense of romantic, I am talking about every person you relate to, some are stronger relationships than others).
If we don’t know what our needs are, but yet we expect everyone around us to know what our needs are and get frustrated with people when they don’t fulfil our needs, it’s a clear recipe for unhappiness.
So start by just taking the time to ask yourself what your needs are. Make a decision that everyday for the next week that you are going to take 10 minutes to just write down what it is you need right now.
At first it will be a holiday in the Bahamas, win the lottery so that I don’t have to work however what you will find underneath it all (that is the magic of doing it for seven days, at day 4 you hit the “I don’t know anymore” keep going, the gold is there) that your needs can be as simple as needing a walk in the morning on your own and by meeting your need for that day you are a much happier person to be around and isn’t that worth investing time in?
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Belief is like a muscle and therefore like a muscle it can be put on a training programme.
I would start with a programme of affirmations of “I believe in myself” “I believe I can do this” just constantly repeating it throughout your day and even more so when thoughts come up contrary to that.
When those thoughts come up they are just coming from your ego and your ego is there strange though it may seem, to protect you.
I know I can see your furrowed brow, what my ego is trying to protect me!
Your ego is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your“self.” If you say someone has “a big ego,” then you are saying he is too full of himself.
Your ego is made up of your conscious thoughts and those thoughts will be reminding you “oh no don’t try that, the last time you tried that you failed and that was humiliating and that feeling of humiliation was painful and I don’t like painful feelings so lets not do anything that brings up painful feelings” so that is how it is trying to protect you.
So now when you try and change your thoughts to ones of belief and doubting thoughts come up you can be more gentle more loving with your mind and say “thank you for reminding me, but its going to be ok and I am going to learn how to handle it”. Dismissing your thoughts positive or negative is just dismissing a part of yourself and that is not very loving, its all about balance and having a healthy awareness of which thoughts are helpful and which ones are trying to protect you. In time you will build in new experiences and either won’t experience humiliating thoughts or you will handle the humiliating thoughts with love and gentleness and any doubting thoughts will start to change.
We all have different levels of fear and resistance to believing in ourselves and can all prescribe ourselves a gym programme of reps of positive affirmations and below are some ideas on how you can remember to do them …..
- Start with waking up in the morning and just looking yourself in the mirror (I know cheesy american stuff, but when you get over it and how much it will bring into your life through just one simple move then you’ll be adding pickle onto the cheesiness) and say I love you and I believe in you, do it, honestly try it, but do it for 30 days and see how different you feel.
- Write yourself post it notes and post them all over the house, on your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, but you know what works really well? Go put them all over the house in the places that you don’t can’t see. Go do it, on the inside of your wardrobe doors, on the inside of cupboard doors, on a towel in your airing cupboard, under your duvet, in your purse, in the food cupboard on a tin, anywhere you can think of. Go do it, I am smiling at the look on your face when you find all these and forgot that you had put them there.
- Put a reminder on your phone with a gorgeous photo of yourself attached to it. No this is not cheese or ego, you are not doing the oh my god I am gorgeous look at me routine, you are looking at yourself and feeling the love for yourself in the way that you would look at a child or a baby and say I love you. In fact if you find it difficult putting a photo of yourself on your phone, put a photo of yourself as a child on your phone and tell that child everyday that you love and believe in them. Oh my god can you imagine if the whole world did this, how awesome and wonderful we would all feel.
So 3 easy ways for you to start feeling love and belief in yourself.
If you want to go deeper with this work or need some encouragement to get you started then contact me.
So today its all about believing in yourself.
The most successful people got where they are today because they believed in themselves.
One of the major cornerstones of the work that I do is about helping you to believe in yourself. I encourage you to be your own best cheerleader, it doesn’t matter if nobody else believes in you as long as you do and do you know what is magical about that, the moment you start believing in yourself the whole world and his dog joins in and starts believing in you too.
Do you know what is not magical, expecting everyone to believe in you before you do. It’s so draining on relationships, yes people can support you and be there for you but have you got the balance right? If you are feeling frustrated because people around you are not encouraging you or believing in you then the first thing to do is to check in with your own level of self belief. How much do you believe that you can do it? If you don’t believe in yourself and are expecting someone else to do it for you that is a big strain on the relationship that you have with them.
Everything we need is within us (if what is within us is not what we need to support us we can change that). What could be within us that would stop us believing in ourselves? Past experiences, beliefs that we have taken on from society, school, work, family, friends, other voices that we have listened to other than our own.
So what if you have no belief in your self, what can you do? There are lots of things you can do and in my next post I will outline some really super simple and very effective things that you can do to raise your belief in yourself.
If you feel that what you have inside of you is not helping you to believe in yourself I run courses and individual coaching sessions to help you change that.
You can do this, you have got this, I believe in you.
If you want to get in touch with me fill in the form below.
Apologies to those awaiting “time part 2”, this has come up as a bigger priority and I will get back to you about time, in time!
So what is it? The most inaccurate statement?
“I don’t have enough time”
I am sorry but I am going to call you out on that one, you have the same 24 hours that everybody gets, what is a more accurate statement is
“I am not prioritising my time to suit my needs”.
You have the same 24 hours that every single living thing on this planet gets, you are the person in charge of what you do with that time. So if somebody asks you to do something and you respond with “I don’t have time” what you are actually saying is “I am not going to make what you want me to do a priority”
So how do you start shifting your behaviour around this and give yourself more time (which you now know you can’t do!) but what you can do is take more control over what you spend your time on. To do this I am going to recommend the very simple but powerful strategy that can be applied to any part of your life which is………..
STOP and take some time out
Look at what you are spending your time on
Decide how you want to repriortise your time.
So why don’t you do that now. You can look at just one day, a week, do it, stop and look and list where you are spending your time and then decide where you would like to be spending your time.
Here are a few suggestions
- Print several copies of the chart below and fill them in.
- If you prefer to be more technical then there are lots of apps that you can use to help you track your time. I have just tried aTimeLogger from Play Store.
In my next article I will share an example of how to help understand your reasons and motivations for where you spend your time.
The sun is shining in the United Kingdom at the moment and it is wonderful. As you look around everybody feels much more relaxed and happier, it’s amazing what the weather can do.
So what happens when it’s not sunny, what about when we feel like we are having a bad day? Do you give yourself a hard time about it? Which by the way isn’t helpful as you are sending yourself the message that you have done something wrong.
What if we looked at it differently, what if we celebrated it, changed our perspective on what is actually happening on a “bad day”?
It is easy to feel happy when the sun is out, everybody is in a good mood and it takes no effort whatsoever and it feels nice. What we forget is that it takes much more effort to make it through a more challenging day, it takes more mind and emotional power,
……..so actually you are working harder, fighting whatever it is that is going on,
……..so actually you are doing more work on a bad day, but yet we beat ourselves up for feeling bad.
I am working with people who have been “battling” with negative thoughts, emotions and feelings and I congratulate them and I encourage them to do the same. Nobody knows how much of a battle you are fighting, nobody knows how much energy and effort it is taking for you to smile and make it through the day without punching somebody.
When you are having a “battle” and the skies feel grey here are a few strategies that are tried and tested.
- See the darkness as a person, as a part of you, welcome it in, tell it that you are here for it, to look after it, it is a part of you and that you are not going to reject it. Most people are afraid of this strategy as they are concerned that they will feel worse. there is an expression that what we resist persists and this is true with our challenge.
- Go curl up on the couch with your tea, biscuits and duvet and cuddle something and imagine this something is your “battle”, be with it, hold it, nurture it.
- Imagine the darkness as a small frightened child, ask it what it wants, what it needs.
- You are not your feeling, this too will pass, you are not a bad person because you are having a bad day.
Most of the strategies that I use are about embracing your challenge and realising that it is a part of you. In most of the cases that I have worked with, somewhere you are growing, overcoming something. I have found that most of the time it is an old emotion wanting to surface from the past.
When we have painful experiences our psyche as a coping strategy will sometimes bury some of it. We do this to protect ourselves, it is a safety mechanism, somewhere we don’t feel strong enough to deal with it.
So on what feels like our darkest days can be that somewhere our psyche feels strong enough to deal with something from the past. What do we do, we beat ourselves up because we feel that we are not coping and because we are having a bad day when the exact opposite is true. We are strong enough to care for ourselves and our emotional needs and our rejection of it can make it feel more challenging.
Be kind, be gentle to yourself and remember that on your darkest days is probably when you are at your strongest and even though you don’t feel it you are probably shining your brightest, you just can’t see it because you are looking at your dark.
Go light up your world and everyone around you.
We influence the people around us without realising it. All the time we are taking in people’s behaviours and when we are self loving towards our self we model and give other people permission to do the same.
I met up with someone and messaged them to let them know nice it had been. I didn’t here from this person for a couple of months and in their message they apologised for not replying sooner and explained that they had been overwhelmed and needed to look after the Self first.
I found that so refreshing and permission giving on so many levels. After reading this I started to think about all the times that I would respond to some form of communication so as not to offend. I realised how stressful it is to be constantly replying and constantly worrying about not upsetting the other person.
I am grateful for that friend for modeling to me how it’s done and giving me permission to do the same. When I heard from her I was pleased and hoped that she was OK and I relax knowing that the people worth having in my life would feel the same with my lack of communication.
So if you are still not convinced that thinking about yourself and your needs first is worth doing, just remember that you are setting an example and giving other people around you permission to do the same.
Go change your world and everyone around you, little by little, step by step.
If you start talking about self love people can question “but isn’t it selfish to put myself first”. This would depend on what your definition of self love is, some people think it is about being greedy and uncaring, some think it is about spending all their money on themselves and not thinking about anybody else. We are inherently wired to look after each other and care for each others needs, its a tribal primordial programme hardwired in our brain. We all have hearts and when they are functioning properly you feel so much love for your fellow man that you cannot help but be happy. The problem is that so many people have closed hearts and have lost touch with a sense of who they are.
We are all here with a purpose and so many of us feel bogged down and have lost our way that we literally cannot see the wood for the trees. This is just a sign of a closed heart and a disconnection from who you really are as a person.
Why do people literally go gaga over babies? Is it because they are just pure love, they are so happy, so content in their bodies and just radiate a feeling that nothing else seems to touch. This is an example of a human being in touch with themselves and having a lovely open heart.
So when we are talking about self love, we are talking about getting back to that state of being like a baby. Can you imagine how the world would be if we all felt that love, peace and contentment that radiates out of newborns. How happy are people when they have visited a baby, just imagine being in touch with that level of love for yourself and how everybody around you would feel, which is why it isn’t selfish to cultivate self love.
When you have that level of self love other people feel it and it makes them feel better about themselves, which is a much more empowering way to light up the world.
“Lighthouses don’t go around saving people, they just shine their light.”
Fill yourself up and shine.
We live in challenging times, we are bombarded with what is going wrong in the world and if you are an empath it can be challenging to not take it all on board. It looks like we are going to hell in a handbasket and can feel overwhelming as to know how to sort out this mess.
People who love themselves remember to have compassion and kindness to themselves first and this makes it much easier to have compassion and kindness to others. Our world problems are only going to be solved by having compassion and kindness for one another.
What do you do if you don’t know how to be compassionate towards yourself?
1. You can try Journaling, write yourself a letter saying exactly how you feel about everything that is on your mind right now, hand it over to the good old fashioned pen and paper. Then read your letter (the next day if you want to) and write yourself a compassionate reply. Mail the letter to yourself and see how you may surprise yourself with what you have written.
2. Imagine if someone was telling you all their problems and they were exactly like yours, what would you advise them? How compassionate would you be towards them? Treat yourself with the same compassion you would a friend.
We are all doing our best at being human, some days it looks like we are making a terrible mess, but compassion will see us through.
Start with yourself.