Are you OK?
The tough love questions you can ask to find out.
Written by Guest Blogger Adele Leah
When was the last time you asked yourself if you’re ok?
Or, if what you’re doing is really what you want to do? Or if it’s making you happy?
There’s no relationship more important than the one we have with ourselves.
Yet too often, we spend our valuable time focused on other people, or what’s happening in the external world. These are usually things we can’t control.
Instead, we should be focusing on ourselves, where we can make a real difference.
But our lives get busy, so we just push through, putting our needs to one side and ‘getting on with it’.
But sometimes, the right thing to do is stop.
Check in with ourselves and ask some tough love questions.
I was in a cycle where life was just happening to me.
I wasn’t happy, but I just kept going. All while under the surface, I was wishing, wanting and waiting for things to change.
I didn’t know how to make change happen, and I wasn’t even clear on what I wanted.
To figure it out, I needed to stop, think and reflect. If you’re not used to doing this, it’s surprisingly uncomfortable.
I had big dreams and aspirations for who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. But I found the years were passing me by and I wasn’t living up to my potential.
Figuring it out is never easy.
For me, it took hitting a few major bumps in my life. Literally.
A tramline threw me off my bike one day, and I had a serious accident.
It was at that point I realized time was precious, and I needed to stop wasting it.
I couldn’t let another year go by without having a clear idea of where I wanted to go, or how I was going to get there.
So, I decided to find a way past feeling despondent and uncertain. I realised it was time to learn how to trust my own abilities.
I made the big decision to master how to control my greatest enemy – the dissenting voice in my head.
This is both an art and a science. It’s not easy, but that’s the nature of doing anything worthwhile.
We all have moments of self-doubt. When those niggling, negative voices start chattering.
Those voices were holding me back.
I’d always believed them to be outside of my control. But it wasn’t true.
I realised I could change the conversation. I had the power to use the voice in my head to help drive me forward, to live the life I wanted and carve out the career I deserved.
Every day, we have 80,000 to 100,000 thoughts. Most of them motivated by fear, lack, limitation, scarcity and negative thinking.
Learning this, I realised the gravity of my task!
Replacing negative thought loops with positive ones takes action, time and energy.
Like changing health or eating habits, it takes weeks to see and feel the difference.
Training the brain is like working a new muscle. It takes time, but with enough graft and dedication, the results can be long lasting.
So, don’t think you’ll always feel, think or act a certain way. Your past self does not dictate your future. With will and commitment, change is possible.
And let me tell you from experience. The difference you’ll feel is every bit worth the effort, and through your activity and efforts, it will get easier in time.
How can you develop a more positive outlook?
We’ve all accomplished things we’re proud of. But when we’re stuck in a negative loop, it’s easy to forget.
We forget to pat ourselves on the back and say well done. We forget about the things we’ve achieved. And we forget what we’re good at.
It’s important to take time to focus on the good stuff. To reflect on things we are proud of. And to practice gratitude.
Do this daily and you’ll start to see the world differently. If every day is a struggle, try weekly and build up from there.
Some practical tasks to help you cultivate positivity.
Write down 5 good things from your working life.
Maybe you secured a job you really wanted, or got promoted. You might have you worked in another country, and adapted to a new culture. Or you were involved with fundraising, or organising social activities. Maybe you were integral to the success of a project, or the well-being of a colleague.
Whatever your 5 things, you’ll benefit from this task because you’re taking the time to notice the good things. And, when you’re ready to take the next step in your career, you’ll be armed with authentic and up-to-date information on your achievements.
Next, write down the top 5 proudest moments in your life.
Anything from passing your driving test, getting married, having children, buying a house, studying, being part of a sports team or event, getting fit, losing weight, or travelling. If you did it and you’re proud of it, it’s good enough to make the list.
By doing this, you’re giving yourself due credit. If it makes you proud, it probably didn’t come easy. So give yourself a mental high five, you deserve it.
Write down the 5 things you like most about yourself.
This doesn’t come easy for most people, but trust me. Figure out what you have going for yourself, and celebrate those things. It could be your eyes, hair, or smile. Your cheeky sense of humour or intelligence (or both). Your ability to solve problems, read maps, or understand technology (not my forte!)
That way, you get to see the good in you, instead of focusing on what’s missing or wrong. And your self-esteem will thank you.
Choose to be happy. Then, work at it.
Mastering the chatter in my mind made way for more certainty, clarity and confidence in all areas of my life. It made me happier, and helped me become the best version of myself.
However, like keeping fit means regularly going to the gym, exercises like the ones above help me regularly work out the muscle in my mind.
Overcoming the negativity bias in our brains isn’t easy, but it can be trained. If you want to learn to control your monkey mind, I can help.
Message Adele for a free consultation.