I don’t believe anybody has a perfect life, yet there seems to be a lot of perfection being sold on social media these days, and this means that people who are viewing said social media posts, are susceptible to feel “less than” when viewing the posts, and are likely to wonder what they are doing wrong – leading them to ask, Why aren’t I perfect and why isn’t my life perfect?
Research shows that social media affects people’s self-esteem and people report feeling less happy and content when viewing social media. Why? Because people compare and contrast their lives when viewing social media. Essentially, social media can make people feel inadequate.
The thing to remember though, is that social media is just people showing the “highlight reel” of their lives, meaning they aren’t showing all aspects that make up life – the challenges, losses and frustrations that we may feel. And, quite often the “highlight reel” isn’t what it seems either. For example, someone I know posted on social media the other day that 2018 was a great year yet said to me she had a terrible year. Another person I know posted a picture of her and her husband having a romantic dinner and I commented that it was beautiful picture... her response “we had a big fight at dinner… he forgot my birthday”. These are just a few examples of how the highlight reel may be giving false impressions.
Since I don’t want to be a part of the problem, I have decided to demonstrate my authenticity to show you that I don’t have a perfect life.
Watch to see for yourself.
Until next week,
It’s important to realise that before we can change our lives, we must first review and examine what our life is like now in order to determine what is and isn’t working for us. This may sound obvious, but often we do not know what exactly is not working other than the fact that we feel unsatisfied.
And, when we do not know what is not working, we end up feeling stuck and, in a rut, spinning our wheels.
In order to determine what isn’t working for you ask yourself these key questions:
Really challenge and be honest with yourself when you answer these questions. Make sure you hold yourself accountable (don’t blame others) and own your answers and story – meaning, accept it, take responsibility and know that only you can make changes.
Change begins with awareness.
Establish your baseline to determine what is and isn’t working for you in life.
Once you have established your baseline you will be able to see clearly where changes are needed for improvement.
Until next week,
For most of my adult life I have been a socially aware individual; relatively well versed on society and world issues such as homelessness, the refugee crisis, war and global health endemics. One of my passions is politics and what makes society work or not work as a whole and as such I have spent much of my life reading and watching documentaries on various global matters.
Unfortunately, up until a few years ago this passion led me to invalidate my own story.
I used to compare and contrast society problems to my own life and when comparing said issue(s) I would think to myself that I had zero right to complain about my own problems and worries. Guilt from my Catholic school days constantly circulated in my mind… there are starving children in Africa… there are people far worse off than you… you have a roof over your head and food in your tummy… do you really think you are that special? Get over yourself!
Because I kept telling myself that I was fortunate, I invalidated and did not give credence to my own distresses. I discounted the voice in my head that was shouting at me to change my life and to find my purpose. I cannot do that… I cannot indulge such frivolities…don’t you know there are people who would love to have this job/make the money you do…you are lucky…
Eventually the anxiety and subsequent depression that I fell into forced me to start listening to my inner wisdom and necessitated that I validate my own story. I become aware that just because my situation did not compare to someone else’s did not mean that my story was invalid and unworthy. And, as I began to validate my own story, I came to own it, and by owning it I was able to set myself free and make the necessary changes to build a new chapter in my life.
Watch this week’s Youtube video to hear how I learned to own my story, validate and reframe it.
Remember that by validating and taking ownership of your story you have the opportunity to re-define your story.
Acknowledge obstacles that you have overcome. We all have a story.
Where you are at today does not define you – you have a choice to stagnate in your existing story or you can write new chapters and build an enhanced story.
Furthermore, validate and accept the story of others – even if you cannot relate to or understand the story.
Key questions to ask yourself:
I recently had a client text me and ask for an emergency coaching session about something which he said kept him up at night. Sensing the desperation in his text I arranged for us to have a call later that afternoon.
When we got on the call, I enquired what was up and he described that his wife had resigned from her job because the extensive hours and stress were making her physically sick and now, after much deliberation he had come to the conclusion that he was stuck in a rut, he hated his job and he too wanted to resign to do something more meaningful with this life. I queried what he wanted coaching on, assuming that he was seeking validation for his decision to quit his job, however, in actual fact that was not the case; he had pretty much already made up his mind on what he was going to do – what he wanted coaching on was fear.
He asked, “How do you make the fear go away so that you can do what you know you should do (i.e. quit said job)?”
My response... “The fear does not go away, you just have to get comfortable with it and sometimes you just need to take a punt”.
You see, in my experience, there is never the perfect time to make changes in your life. The stars won’t align perfectly for you to pursue your dreams – sometimes you need to rearrange the stars, take a punt and do what your gut tells you to do.
If you find yourself stuck in your career, here are some key questions you can ask yourself:
Is the ladder I am climbing leaning against the right house?
Make sure you want the career you are building. Don’t do it for the money.
Money is a Band-Aid and eventually the Band-Aid will fall off.
What actions can I take to build my dream career?
Remember, staying in a job and career you hate is akin to stagnation, which will lead to mediocrity. Even if you are not doing the career you love now, do something every day that works towards building a career you love. For instance, read about people who are doing what they love. Get inspired.
Do I have people in my life that will facilitate me with the tools and advice I need to change my current circumstances?
I recommend working with a coach (contact me if you would like a free 1-hour discovery coaching session) who can facilitate you with the tools required to make changes. Friends and family cannot help you with this – they are well meaning enablers; you need someone outside of your inner-community that will hold you accountable to discovering and implementing your dreams.
What mental monsters are preventing me from taking action?
Some examples are: fear of failure, fear of judgement, excuses, procrastination, limiting beliefs, disempowerment, perfectionism (to name but a few).
Sometimes getting out of a rut means just taking a punt…
To quote Napoleon Hill “If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it”.
I checked in on my client a few days later and he had done it – he had resigned and taken a punt.
Thank you for the permission received from client X for allowing me to repeat this story.
I recognise that not everyone has the option to make career changes. Life circumstances and current responsibilities may prevent some people from making changes (at least at present time anyway), if that’s the case for you, then just remember to not limit the vision you have for yourself based on your current circumstances. Rather than taking a punt, or a big bang approach – ask yourself what small steps you can take each day to empower yourself to make changes in the future.
Need help with this? Contact me.
Until next week,
Just over a week ago I ran the Athens Authentic Marathon. The marathon is very tough and is based on the tale that Pheidippides, a messenger in ancient Greece ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks victory over the Persians (put that it your memory bank for your next Trivial Pursuit Game ).
Anyway, as mentioned, the course is tough, with over half the marathon route being rolling hills. At about 10km into the marathon, the course starts to ascent relentlessly uphill and by the 17.5km mark there is a steep hill starting at the Attica region. I started to struggle at that point – it was hot (23c/73f) and my hamstring which I had injured 4 months prior, started to really scream at me in pain. I was starting to feel pretty low and was struggling to hold onto an empowering mindset, when I look around and caught a glimpse of my surroundings and the spectators. The earth was scorched, with the land having been devastated by wildfires. You see, the Attica Region and Ravina suffered from terrible wildfires last August with 100 people perishing in the fires. The community had been destroyed, yet people (who all wore black) had come out to cheer us marathoners on, despite the devastation they had faced a few months prior.
All marathoners had been asked in advance to wear a specially designed green scarf through the fire-stricken area to create a “Runners Forest” to convey a message of solidarity and hope, and to support the reforestation process. Given the heat I had taken the scarf off, however as soon as I reached the devastated area and saw the crowds of people, I waved the scarf proudly and blew kisses to each and every spectator I saw. And with every kiss I blew, the crowd blew kisses back and cheered “Bravo” as I ran past. I realised something as I ran the 5km though that community – that at the end of the day we are all one and we are all connected by kindness and our common humanity. With all the negativity we see on the news these days it’s easy to forget that.
Unfortunately I do not speak Greek, yet I was able to convey my love and compassion to that community through smiles, kisses and gratitude, and the community was equally able to convey the same message, because at the end of the day, KINDNESS & COMPASSION IS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.
The community in the Attica/Rafina region made me forget all about the injury in my hamstring and the heat – they restored my faith in our common humanity, and for that I thank them very much.