Yesterday I recorded a video where I talked a bit about why I do this work and where my life was at during the time leading up to becoming a coach.
I was reflecting on this stuff because it’s important to keep reminding yourself of your ‘why’ and your purpose.
For me my why was born out of a pretty stressful time in my life, which is quite a normal place for a why to come from.
The reason being is that when you experience something stressful or uncomfortable it’s like a slap around the face telling you to choose what to do next, it’s daring you to take control.
For me, I really didn’t want to live my life feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated and miserable. I wanted to make the most of this gift of life I’ve been given.
And if you don’t think that life is a gift then maybe you didn’t know that the probability of you being born is one in 10 to the power of 2,685,000!!!
As a comparison, the approximate number of atoms in the known universe is 10 to the power of 80.
This information comes from a fascinating article written by Dr. Ali Binazir, it’s definitely worth a read so go check it out.
He goes on to say…
“The probability of the right sperm meeting the right egg is one in 400 quadrillion, but if you take it all the way back to the first single-celled organism you are a representative of an unbroken lineage of life going back 4 billion years.
Even if we just looked at the human being lineage, the likelihood of any one human offspring to survive childhood and live to reproductive age and have at least one kid is 50:50 — one in two.
Then what would be the chance of your particular lineage to have remained unbroken for 150,000 generations?
That would be one in 2 to the power of 150,000, which is about one in 10 to the power of 45,000 — a number so staggeringly large that my head hurts just writing it down.
That number is not just larger than all of the particles in the universe — it’s larger than all the particles in the universe if each particle were itself a universe.”
So yeah - your life is a gift and the mere fact that you’re reading this now is a frickin miracle!
As I was saying, I didn’t want to waste this gift. I didn’t want to grow old with regrets of not living my best life and the thought of anyone else living that way just really bums me out.
Choosing to live with happiness, joy and fulfilment is such an internal decision to make and pretty much anyone can do it if they know how.
I’m not saying that there aren’t certain situations in which choosing to live in happiness, joy and fulfilment is an easy or even possible choice.
However, I and I’m sure you too, have heard of or read stories about people in horrific situations who have used the power of their mindset and spirit to come through their experiences with profound perspectives and appreciation for finding joy where you can.
Again, I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that if you’re lucky enough to have the tools to be reading this, then your situation is most likely not as horrific as the ones I just alluded to.
That means that with the right help you can make those internal decisions and you can live a happy, fulfilled and joyful life.
I know you can because that’s exactly what I did.
Everything starts inside, once you get your mindset in the right place everything else comes together.
It doesn’t work the other way around though, thinking, “I’ll work on me once I’ve got the promotion, or once I’ve got X amount in the bank, or once I’ve lost 30lbs etc” does not work people!
It all starts in your mind - a flower doesn't grow petals first, it comes from inside the seed, grows and flourishes. It also keeps nourishing itself from the roots in order to thrive and it’s the same for us.
This is the most effective and sustainable way to get out of a funk. If you’re in a place in your life that you’re not loving then change it.
If you’re miserable because you don’t like your job, or you want to do something more meaningful, or you want more money, or more freedom or all of the above, then ask yourself how can I do that? Who can help me get there? Who can support me and show me how? *hint - I can :)* What can I do today to make a start?
If the idea of having the freedom to work from anywhere in the world doing something you love, that’s meaningful and fulfilling appeals to you then I have something you may be interested in.
It’s a short (around 25 minutes) video training to give you the basic information you need to know in order to start an online business that you feel connected to and inspired by.
You can choose a time that suits you as it’s a pre-recorded video and you can do that by clicking here.
Whatever brings you happiness, fulfilment and joy - do more of that because life IS a gift and one that you need to enjoy!
Click here for more info on how I can help you.
Are you in a rut? Are you feeling emotional all the time, tired, annoyed, maybe a bit snappy?
Is feeling flat and fed up your natural state these days?
I’ve definitely been in that state and I know a lot of people who have been, or are still there too. It’s really sucky right? Everyday just feels a bit grey and heavy, it’s a real effort to do anything and you wonder when was the last time that you actually had fun or felt really excited about something.
This way of being could have gone on forever if I hadn’t taken the first incredibly hard but important step towards happiness.
I had to admit to myself that I was unhappy, I had to admit to myself that I needed some help to get back on track. For ages before I got to this point I distracted myself with other things like shopping, binge watching TV, social media black holes and eating too much chocolate.
Then I started to admit it to myself but didn’t take full ownership of it. I blamed my lack lustre attitude on external things. I identified that I wasn’t happy in my job so I looked for a different job. That didn’t fix the problem either. As important as your job is to your fulfilment and happiness, it isn’t the whole thing, you gotta fix the foundations first and that is on the inside.
Once I had gotten to that point I knew I needed some extra help. That’s when I fully admitted it. It wasn’t the nicest thing to admit to myself, I had always been so happy and on top of things, I felt like I was in control of my life and happiness and then all of a sudden I wasn’t. But it was my desire to get back to happiness and success that gave me the nudge to do what I needed to do.
It’s not always easy or comfortable to admit to yourself what you need to do to make happiness and success your natural state. Sometimes you gotta cross a shaky rope bridge over scary waters with Sharks with laser beams attached to their heads (Austin Powers reference in-case you read that and just thought I was a massive weirdo) to get to the other side where life is great and you can take on anything that comes your way.
It can be really off putting to cross that bridge so you make up excuses not to, or distract yourself from it by eating or drinking too much, binge watching tv and spending too much money on clothes you’ll only wear once etc.
I promise you that as soon as you admit it, you’ll find the courage to take those first steps and then before you know it that feeling of being in a rut, feeling flat and fed up, will be a distant memory.
Life is too short to stay miserable.
One of the major bummers about my quarter-life-crisis was how apathetic I had become. I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt truly excited or enthusiastic about anything and that led to a real lack of motivation to do anything.
I felt like all my energy was drained from me and it was really hard work just to get through the day. I had no spare energy left to push my boundaries or connect with people, all I wanted to do was sleep and rest but when I did I was bored and felt guilty that I was wasting my life.
As I have come to realise, my quarter-life-crisis was largely brought about by my lack of confidence and subconscious fear of stepping out of my comfort zone. Nothing grows in our comfort zones and we end up staying still which leads to a feeling of being stuck which brings up a lot of frustration and anxiety.
Since then I have gained a much better self-awareness and understanding of how our brains work and how in their effort to keep us safe they actually just end up sabotaging our happiness. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still come up against resistance when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone. The difference is that now when the self sabotage comes up I can recognise it, deal with it and move past it instead of allowing it to call the shots and keep me stuck.
One of the ways in which I have recently stepped out of my comfort zone was by joining Toastmasters, a meet-up group where I take on public speaking. This can be pretty scary, I never really thought it would be too hard to stand up in-front of people and talk, as long as I knew my message, but when I do it’s like this nervousness takes over. I don’t know what it is, it’s just such an unusual situation for me to be in that my body freaks out and I no longer know what to do with my hands or face!
As part of my work as a coach I can see how improving my public speaking skills will open me up to opportunities I would like to pursue in the future. I can see that by taking this step out of my comfort zone I am allowing myself to grow in a way that will lead me to the version of success I have for my life. I am doing this on behalf of my future success and happiness. So future Amy, you’re welcome!
Pushing our own boundaries is crucial to our personal development. It doesn’t mean that you have to skip straight to the really big, scary stuff, although you totally can if you want to. You can start off small, like me in this scenario. I’ve joined a group where I can practice public speaking. This is me pushing my boundaries. I would also be pushing my boundaries if I signed up to speak to a room full of strangers at a proper event, but that would be pushing my boundaries in a much bigger way. That will come but for now this is where I’m at and this consistent, persistent action that I am taking on behalf of my success is what is going to get me there.
What could you be doing today to push your boundaries on behalf of your version of success? What could the future version of you be thankful to the present version of you for doing?
When I think back to the beginning of the year when I was still struggling with my quarter-life-crisis, there were so many things I was doing that were totally sabotaging my happiness and success, I just didn’t realise I was doing them. The main two things came in the form of an unhealthy mindset and trying to do everything on my own.
The mindset had me believing I wasn’t capable and that there was no hope for me. And trying to get out of it on my own lead to a whole bunch of confusion, overwhelm and loneliness.
I recently helped out a friend with a photoshoot for her business, I spent a very chilly morning in November trying to do Yoga poses (never having done Yoga before, I’m a Pilates girl myself) in the park while wearing the workout gear she sells. As we were hanging out we got talking about her business and I instantly recognised the same two self-sabotaging traits in her. The coach in me dug a little deeper and discovered that the underlying cause was the same as mine had been…
Fear of failure and judgement!
These two fears are responsible for stopping countless amounts of people from going after their dreams. Often we’re not consciously aware that this is the case, we think that it’s just the way we are and that we’re just not good enough. My friends, this is not true!! One of the biggest and most valuable lessons I have learnt in my training as a coach is that the story you are telling yourself is just a story and it can be changed. Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true and you are never going to uncover the truth about your potential if your inner monologue is sabotaging you at every turn.
There is a metaphor that I made up about the importance of a healthy mindset, here it is…Imagine that all your dreams, goals and your ideal life were represented as a big beautiful house. Now imagine that your mindset is represented as the foundations of the house. If those foundations are weak the house will fall down. If the foundations are strong, the house will stand tall and beautiful and you can even build an extension!
I really felt for my friend because I know what she’s feeling. It’s a crappy, lonely struggle trying to figure out a way to the life you want when you’re sabotaging yourself. The bit that makes it even worse is that you don’t know you’re doing it. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to people, find a coach or a mentor, read books and educate yourself, work on your mindset and find a community of likeminded people who are also trying to take control of their lives and create something that they’re passionate about.
I know it sounds simple and kind of obvious when it’s laid out like that but I also know that when you’re unconsciously sabotaging yourself it’s the last thing you think of. That’s why I’m here telling you :)
A great place to start is online, search for groups on social media that relate to what you’re doing. Pick one or two (any more than that can get overwhelming!) and really use them. Make connections, offer your own knowledge and learn from the other people in the group. Try the Meet-up app. There are so many meet-ups that are fantastic to be a part of. You can learn, grow and make friends in a supportive and friendly environment. Ask people for great book recommendations, the most successful people in the world read everyday, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Book discovery calls with coaches or mentors that resonate with you and invest in your success. The writer and speaker Mike Dooley puts it perfectly when he says, “Do all you can with what you have, from where you are.”
On the other side of fear and frustration lies the most amazing things life has to offer, it’s also where you find out what you are really capable of. Go and find it!
Anxiety is a big issue at the moment, loads of people suffer with it or have suffered with it at some stage. It can come in many forms and be triggered by many different things. For me it was in part an internal conflict I was having between wanting desperately to find my purpose, my next step, my fulfilment, my happiness and also feeling scared, inadequate, confused and overwhelmed. I was trying to deal with a load of stressful life stuff that all seemed to be coming up at the same time as well. This conflict and worry kept me stuck and resulted in a whole bunch of anxiety!
I remember feeling really out of control of my life. I felt powerless to protect my loved ones or make them happy. I wanted to take their pain away and fix their problems but I couldn’t - besides, it wasn’t my place to even if I could. I also felt like I had peaked at my level of competence and intelligence which meant that I would be stuck doing the same thing forever even though I wasn’t enjoying it. Again I felt powerless, like life was just happening to me and I didn’t have the strength or the knowledge to change it.
I hated feeling this way and while there was a big part of me that felt powerless, there was also an opposing part that was screaming at me, “You’re miserable, do something about it!!” But I had no idea where to start.
My anxiety took the form of depression, stress, stomach problems, regular colds and flu, procrastination, near panic attacks, not sleeping or eating properly and loneliness because I was keeping myself away from my friends so I didn’t have to talk about my life.
It was a sucky way to live but I did manage to get out of it. Here’s how….
I’m gonna list out my top 5 ways to deal with anxiety. On paper these things seem pretty simple and to be honest it’s not rocket science but the challenge comes from being consistent and putting yourself out there even when you’re scared.
1- Commit. You need to decide that you’re gonna change this. You make a commitment to yourself that you’re gonna take control and responsibility for your life. It’s yours, you only get one and it’s short so live it how you want to.
2- Reach out. Find a support network, this could be as big or as small as you like. They could be people going on this journey with you, people who are just a few steps ahead of you, or people who are where you wanna be. Choose this group wisely, you want people who are not only going to offer you support and compassion when you need it, but who are also going to inspire and motivate you. Don’t join a pity party!
3- Spring clean. There are actually 2 definitions of the word anxious. The first describes a sense of fear or worry about something with an uncertain outcome. The other describes an eagerness or sense of urgency about something. If it’s conflicting on paper then it stands to reason that it feels so conflicting in your head. When you have this kind of chaos going on inside your mind it’s impossible to pick one thing to focus on, so you just sit in your brain tornado and stress out. The most effective way to deal with this is to get the chaos out. Brain dump onto a piece of paper, write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Even if you’re writing so fast that you cant even read your own writing. You are essentially spring cleaning your brain, make it a regular habit.
4- Read. The most successful people on the planet read everyday. Reading personal development books is so beneficial to understanding what is happening and why when you get anxiety. It teaches you awareness and a more productive way of dealing with it when it comes up.
5- Gratitude. Write down 3 things everyday that you’re grateful for. When anxiety takes over it can be really easy for life to feel heavy and grey. Giving yourself that little reminder that it’s not all bad has a massive positive effect on your mindset.
Lastly, know that you’re not alone. Reach out and get support when you need it, there is a huge amount of courage in vulnerability and it is so inspiring to others. Don’t let fear hold you back from making this change. Take a stand for yourself and commit to taking action on behalf of your life.
What is your purpose? It’s one of those annoying things where you know it when you know it but up until that point you have no idea. It could be one of many different things you’re good at or you enjoy doing, but how can you be sure which one it is? When is it safe to pursue one of them to see if it’s the right one? It feels like a scary commitment because there’s no turning back!!! By the way, you totally can change course, it’s not like you took a blood oath right? Or at least I’m assuming you didn’t.
I spent a good few years feeling unfulfilled and frustrated because I didn’t know where my purpose and potential were hiding. So if you’re reading this and you’re in the same position, I get it, the struggle is real. Lucky for you, I have since found mine and now I can share some wisdom with you to help make your journey a lot less sad and frustrating.
There are three things you need to have in place before you can truly uncover your purpose.
Take a second to imagine yourself at your happiest and most confident. You know you’re worthy of love and success and you feel completely at ease with yourself. Then someone comes along and tells you that you’re a piece of crap and nobody likes you. It would suck right? What if you had to spend every day with that person for the rest of your life? You would have to be some sort of super human to not start believing it. The reality is that most of us do this to ourselves all the time. It is so much more detrimental than you think, believe me. From now on, if you wouldn’t say it to someone you love, don’t say it to yourself.
If you have low self love you’re more than likely to have low self confidence. Again it’s that voice telling you that you’re not good enough or that you’re gonna fail and be laughed at. This voice will talk you out of even trying things which in turn keeps your life small. When you hear that voice remind yourself that it’s not useful and send it on it’s way.
You need to have self love and confidence in place before you can achieve true authenticity. The reason is that underneath all those layers of self criticism and negativity lies your true authentic self. You just forget who that is when you’re consistently bombarding yourself with all the trash talk. Once you have peeled away the layers of crap that you tell yourself, you can get reacquainted with who you really are without worrying about judgement. This is where you find out what is truly important to you, what your core values are, your strengths and your skills. When you have the answers to these questions you can see what you have to offer the world.
You see it’s only when you clean off the crap that you can see what’s shiny and beautiful underneath. It allows you the space to think big, dig deep and realise where your skills align with your values. That is your purpose and the more you practice redirecting those negative thoughts and replacing them with ones that serve you, the quicker you’ll be able to find it. The thoughts you have influence your feelings, your feelings influence your actions and your actions result in your physical reality. So if you’re not too jazzed about your reality right now, think about how you can change it starting with some self love.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given about leading a positive and inspiring life, is to take yourself away from negative people and situations. Our environment and the people we spend our time with have a huge impact on our happiness and success. For the most part we can control those factors even when it’s difficult. People quit jobs and end friendships all the time because they’re mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining. It doesn’t mean to say that these are easy choices, but the benefits are felt immediately.
The problem arises when the person spilling their negativity all over you is someone really close, like a family member. Every time you see or speak to them it’s like walking on eggshells, you have no idea what kind of mood they’re gonna be in or what abuse you're gonna receive just for existing! You ask yourself, “Wow, does this person actually like me?” because it sure doesn’t seem like it. You get little jabs here and snide remarks there, you get eye-rolls and huffs whenever you say anything. Sometimes you get full on yelled at and you have no idea where it came from. Then you decide to leave or not see them so often and guess what, they get mad about that too.
What do you do then? You don’t want to cut them out of your life because even though they’re a massive stress-head you still love them, and there are other people to consider when it’s family. You decide to just let it slide and keep the peace, but you find yourself getting more and more frustrated and resentful towards them. This is not the kind of relationship you want to have, it’s no fun at all. But still, the idea of confronting them scares the crap out of you because if they’re that intense when it’s just hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, what circle of hell is going to be unleashed when you ask them to please stop being a dick?!
Here’s the thing though, this people pleasing, let’s keep the peace role that you’re taking on is actually kinda selfish. Yes, they obviously have something going on inside of them that is the reason for their behaviour and they are the ones who need to work that out. Usually when someone lashes out at you it’s not actually about you, they’re projecting some stuff that they’re unhappy with in their own life onto you. But, in their unhappiness and stress they don’t realise that this behaviour is making you question your entire relationship with them. If they knew that they would most probably be devastated.
It is our responsibility to ourselves to be honest and authentic in all areas of our lives, even if that makes someone else angry or sad. We have to take full ownership of our side of the street and it doesn’t serve us or the other person if we quietly take on their crap for the sake of an easy life. How are they ever going to know how you feel if you never tell them. You’re both just gonna carry on in the same pattern indefinitely. Give them the opportunity to know how you feel and to be a better brother/sister/mother/father etc.
It is important not to place blame or be on the attack, say something like, “When you say/do this, I feel like this.” or, “When this happens I feel….” rather than, “You make me feel….” or, “You’re being…..” It’s a subtle but important change in language that helps lower the defences. It’s also beneficial to start by saying calmly, something like, “I just wanted to talk to you about our conversation the other day, would you mind just listening to my feelings about it?” This helps to stop the immediate verbal reaction from them when you are trying to express yourself.
It’s never going to be an easy decision to confront the situation, but when you stand in your power and approach situations authentically and with love you will feel better, stronger and more confident than ever. And don’t stress about their reaction because you can’t control that, all you can do is be true to you and in doing so inspire them to do the same. If they’re not ready to take it on board thats up to them, but at least now they know how you feel. Nothing will have the chance to change if you do nothing. Either way, this is your chance to take control because people will only treat us the way we allow them to. Take a stand for the positive and inspiring life you want to lead because no one else is going to do it for you.
Have you ever been in a situation you didn’t want to be in, where you knew what needed to be done to get out of it but for some reason you just did’t take those steps? You felt a load of resistance coming up against taking the actions you knew would work and instead you looked for other ways to deal with it…What’s that about?! On paper it seems counterintuitive right? But in reality it happens A LOT.
I was recently having a conversation with a friend where he was doing just that. It was interesting to me because I can definitely remember times where I’ve done it too. I’ve initially resisted the paths that I would end up taking, because they felt either too hard or too easy. Yes, you read that right, too easy and it would seem that I am not the only one who does this.
When something feels too hard, the resistance is obvious. When something feels too easy, we tend to think that it wont work. It’s too simple and it makes us suspicious so we don’t value it. We think if the solution really was that simple then no one would ever suffer with the problem in the first place. The thing is though, that while something may appear simple on paper, putting it into practice and forming it into a habit isn’t necessarily that easy. It takes consistent practice to make it stick and have the desired effect.
Consequently we end up in a state of limbo and looking for alternative solutions. This can add to the stress we’re feeling because while we’re looking for these solutions we’re not actually taking action on the problem. This is just a way of distracting ourselves from dealing with the real issue, we procrastinate. The reason we do this is largely subconscious and a way of keeping us in a weird version of our comfort zone. (Look, I don’t make the rules. No one ever said that all comfort zones were actually comfortable.) This is often the case when there’s a pattern of behaviour that’s been there for a long time. We’re so used to it that making a change is a really big deal.
I like to think of this resistance as growing pains. You wouldn’t get the resistance if you weren’t trying to change something, and changing a pattern of behaviour that doesn’t serve you anymore is a good thing. If you’re feeling fear or resistance it can mean that you’re onto something amazing, so keep going. *Disclaimer, use your judgement here. If you’re feeling fear or resistance about doing something actually dangerous like, giving a Bear a high-five, (not sure why that was the first example that came to me…) then maybe don’t do it.*
The best way to keep going and to set yourself up for success is to start off by being kind to yourself. Beating yourself up about the problem or the fact that you aren’t a supremely enlightened being yet is not gonna get you anywhere. Give your self a break and celebrate your self-awareness.
Next, focus on the baby steps. Loads of small actions taken consistently add up to a huge overall shift. If you keep looking at the end result you’re gonna feel totally overwhelmed. Look at the path from where you are now to where you wanna be and just keep putting one foot in-front of the other. Before you know it you’ll have done it.
Another great reason to focus on the small things you can do consistently is that you stay present in the moment and are far more open to learning what you need to learn in order for the change in behaviour to actually stick.
When we speed through a journey, we miss out on all the amazing scenery and consequently don’t always appreciate the end result. And when we resist even going on the journey in the first place, we deny ourselves the opportunities to learn, grow and find the happiness we deserve.
If your intuition is telling you to go a certain way but your brain is trying to look for a short cut, my advice would be to follow your intuition. And don't feel like you need to justify that choice to your brain or anyone else.
Do you ever feel too old? When was the point in our lives when we became too old for stuff? It seems like a blurry memory of some point in my mid 20’s when I felt like it for the first time. When you’ve transitioned into being a proper grown up, you’re supposed to have it together, earn respect and NOT FAIL OR LOOK STUPID! Wow thats a lot of pressure! Whoever told us that this was the order of things anyway?! It kinda sucks and I never signed up for that.
Here’s the thing though, it’s bulls**t. I’d like to see the rule book this is written in but no such rule book exists! It’s an idea we have constructed in our minds, inherited from our parents and learned from other peoples insecurities. We all wanna blend in to an extent, some attention is good but standing out too much is scary so we use excuses like, “I’m too old for that.” It makes it acceptable in our minds that something new isn’t meant for us because we are too old for it anyway.
Stepping outside of our comfort zone is terrifying and visibly doing it is even worse!! This fact makes not trying something new a far easier choice. It’s safe and familiar in our comfort zone and there’s ice cream there. Problem is, after a while it gets boring and you get diabetes.
I decided to step outside of my comfort zone recently. I took up skateboarding last year at the age of 28. I realise that 28 isn’t old but considering that most people who skate start when they’re kids, 28 seemed pretty damn old! My sole reason for taking it up was that it looked super fun, like having your own personal rollercoaster at your feet. When I plucked up the courage to go to the skatepark it was pretty scary as I couldn’t really do much, I was learning after all. My other insecurity was that not many girls were there and I felt out of place.
I would go early in the day when it was quiet, I felt so intimidated when I saw a bunch of guys shredding up the park. It was embarrassing to go in and attempt to just do a kick turn! I’m not gonna lie, sometimes if I got there and it was busy, I wouldn’t go in. I got scared by all the bigger boys skating, which is ridiculous to say seeing as I was older than most of them. A couple of months later I discovered a week long skate school was being put on at one of the bigger parks in London. I must have contacted them about 5 times. I kept asking if adults went or if it was just a kids thing. They told me that while adults were welcome, it was mainly kids that showed up.
I thought about it for a while and decided that my desire to learn to skate was greater than my fear of being the only adult amongst a herd of kids. So I went along still hoping that I wouldn’t be the only grown up, but sure enough I was the only person there over the age of 10! At first the kids didn’t seem to register that I was older until about the 2nd or 3rd day when a couple of them asked me how old I was. Overall, the week at the skatepark was pretty fun and I learnt a bunch of cool stuff, I even won a new set of wheels!
I kept at it and continued to improve my mad skills until a few months later, while shredding the mini ramp and being totally rad *this is possibly an exaggeration* I fractured my ankle. It was a bummer but this stuff happens when you skate. It was interesting, the reaction I got from people when I told them how I had done it. Mostly everyone older than me said that I was too old to skate anyway and probably shouldn’t go back to it. People my age just thought I was super cool, a little crazy but cool nonetheless.
It was kinda annoying to hear those people tell me I was too old to skate. I found myself feeling a bit defensive, not because they were telling me that I was old but because of the implication that it meant I wasn’t allowed to try new things and since I had a ‘failure’ I should give up. Thankfully I didn’t listen to those people and as soon as I was allowed to I got back on my board.
While it was annoying to hear those reactions from people, I could see that it was just their own insecurities of stepping out of their comfort zones that they were projecting onto me. It’s kinda sad really because if I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have started skating at all. All the fears and worries I had about going to the skatepark in the first place, or being the only adult at skate school with a bunch of kids were unfounded. Everyone I met was so nice and encouraging and the kids didn’t care at all that I was there. Skating for me is a fun hobby and a physical skill that I hope to keep getting better at, it’s not like I’m hoping to earn a living from it or that my life would suffer tremendously without it. Regardless, I am so glad that I mustered up the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and give it a go. I have met some really cool people and made some awesome new friends too. I also think people appreciate and respect you when you show up willing to learn, fall on your butt and look stupid, it humanises you.
The coolest people I know are the ones who get out there and do stuff, learn new things and continue to grow. They support and encourage others instead of judging their failures. Stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new things is super rad. So I encourage you all to go out and top up your rad-quota!!
I was recently asked the question, “What do you want your life to look like?” This was a question that I was excited to answer, I love to dream about all the cool stuff I want to do, places I want to see and adventures I want to have. I gave a long and detailed answer, listing out all these amazing things I hope will one day become my reality.
Then I was asked, ”OK so if anything was possible, what do you want?” Uh…What? I am sure I just answered that question. I was totally confused for all of about 30 seconds before I thought, Ok lets go with this. If anything was possible and I don’t have to think about how it would happen or even if it will happen, what would I want? Well, who knew that I thought it would be cool to write a book one day and do public speaking?! I honestly never even considered it before, I never ever thought that that level of success or recognition was meant for me. Then I wondered, why had I never thought I could achieve these things?
I realised that nearly all the choices I had made up to that point where career or business were concerned, had been made with the underlying feeling that on some level I’m not good enough. "Oh my god what if I fail and people judge me?!" Now this fear of failure and judgement isn’t something I carry around with me consciously 24/7. I am actually a pretty confident person. I’m aware of my strengths and my internal happiness gauge, which means that I’ll try new things if I think it’ll be fun (examples include learning to skateboard and play the drums for the first time at the age of 28….not simultaneously like some sort of ninja one woman band, that would be dangerous, impressive but dangerous!). I’m also not a stranger to changing career paths when something isn’t fulfilling me anymore and mostly, I’ll talk to just about anyone. The thing is that while I love learning and growing as a person there seems to be this fear monkey living deep inside my subconscious influencing my big life decisions.
At first I was like, “Goddamn you fear monkey, you’re totally sabotaging me!” I looked back at how this underlying fear had shown up without me realising it and guided me down certain paths, and now it was showing up and stopping me from even daydreaming in a big way! I decided that I could do without this fear monkey quietly calling the shots and began trying to push it away. The problem was that the more I tried to push it away, the louder it got and that just stressed me out. I came to understand that my fear monkey was, by it’s nature, scared. This prompted me to change the way I was dealing with it, I mean if someone came to you and they were scared about something you wouldn’t tell them to f**k off right? You would try and calm them down. This was the new approach I took with my fear monkey and it seemed to start working.
The thing is, our brains are wired for survival and get freaked out by unknown outcomes. This results in the emotion of fear stepping in to try and keep us safe. While most of the time we tend to view fear as a negative thing, it actually does it’s job pretty well. There have definitely been times in my life where fear has stopped me from putting myself in dangerous situations. Our ancestors used fear to stay alive when mortal danger was an every day occurrence. It’s just that these days, luckily for most of us, mortal danger isn’t an everyday occurrence but that part of our brain didn’t get the memo so it freaks out at a lot of stuff that it really doesn’t need to, resulting in us feeling frazzled, stuck and afraid to move in any direction.
The point is that we all have fear monkey’s, well I have a fear monkey, you might have a fear giraffe or a fear flamingo. Either way, we all have them. While our fear has the best of intentions it can be a major buzz kill and yelling at it just doesn’t help. Now when my fear monkey pops up I give it a pep talk. It goes a little like this;
“Hey buddy, you’re gonna need to calm down because you have zero chill right now. I promise you that we’re not gonna die. It’s cool, we’re just gonna try out this new thing and see how it goes. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t workout and maybe we feel a little silly for a bit but we’ll get over it. Can you do me a solid and just pipe down for a bit, K thanks, love ya!”
I encourage you to dream big, as if anything were possible and be kind to your fear monkey. Show it some love and it’ll have your back when you need it.