When I was around 26 I woke up one day and realised I had no idea who the fuck I was or how I had got to where I was. I had 2 failed marriages behind me, had become a single mum to 3 children and was (gratefully) receiving benefits after having to leave the full-time PA job I had loved, to care for my youngest at the time. I was also managing several chronic health conditions of my own too. I had a lot of questions. Why me? What did I do wrong? Why was my life so crap? Why did I keep picking bad men? what is wrong with me? why am I such a failure?
Do those questions sound familiar? We so often ask variations of them when life is hard and believe me, that time was some of the hardest moments of my life to date.
It took me a good few years to realise those were the wrong questions and that I had been asking the wrong questions for a long time. As you can imagine, during that time, I threw a lot of middle fingers to the heavens. (The heavens I didn't believe in! Humans are funny creatures)
So, if those were the wrong questions, how did I find the right ones?
I found the right questions by talking less and listening more. By spending time on my own. By starting to pay attention on purpose to what life was actually telling me because the questions I was asking the heavens about, needed ownership.
It's okay to be angry at life, but at some point, we have to take ownership of our part and our roles in it-
'Why me?' became 'What is this showing me?'
'What did I do so wrong?' became 'What am I missing?'
'Why is my life so crap?' became 'What are my choices?'
'Why do I pick bad men?' became 'What do I believe about myself that means I allow these people into my life?'
'Why am I such a failure?' became 'What am I learning?'
I have found that asking the right questions of yourself instead of projecting blame out into the world is the hardest but most vital step to healing your relationship with you and its one of the deeper reasons I trained in CBT, NLP, Hypnotherapy and coaching.
Ownership doesn't mean that you are to blame for all the shit in your life. It doesn't mean you asked for it. It doesn't mean you deserved any of the crap that happened to you. It doesn't mean those arseholes, weren't arseholes. It simply means accepting that you are a participant in your own life and recognising that there are choices in your life that you get to choose.
Ownership isn't about blame. It's about freeing yourself from it.
So, the right questions.
I have some questions for you to consider. They are all questions I've asked myself over my years of healing and self-development and I'd love to hear your thoughts on them! If one or two jar, let me know because that is the juicy stuff some simple coaching can help with!
What is the worst thing that could happen if you showed the world who you are, If you shared what brings you joy or were honest with your fears?
What might happen if people knew who you are at 3 am, with little sleep and overwhelming tiredness of the world?
What might happen if you just allowed people to see you?
Because what we forget when wrapped up in our own insecurities and anxieties, is that honestly, very few people are actually watching. Many are too busy wrapped up in their own stuff to really notice. They are busy trying to be what they think others want them to be, busy being the masks they have learnt to wear. They are human, just like you.
We live in a false understanding that everyone is watching our every move. That people are waiting to see us trip up. In truth most people are far too busy trying to not trip up themselves, to notice what you are doing. But you know what they do notice?
And they love you for showing it to them. They love you for shining that light on how they feel themselves. They relate to it. The realness. The rawness. They live it themselves every day but are scared of showing it for fear of being cast out of the tribe. A false tribe that exists in their head that feeds on a belief that everyone else is perfect and normal in a world where perfect and normal does not exist.
Newsflash- There is no normal. Each of us is as individual as a snowflake and the very fingerprints we have and thus all in exactly the same boat.
What is the worst that could happen
The worst thing is that you might give people permission to let their own light shine. You might allow others to see their own fears and worries and allow a realisation that those fears and worries are the same ones we each have. You might experience someone disagreeing with your thoughts and beliefs and let them lead you down a path of changing those thoughts or strengthening them. You might find a friend you never knew you had.
The entire time you are trying to live up to an impossible dream of perfect and normal, you are causing yourself unnecessary harm and pain. You are giving yourself problems that don't need to exist because when you show up as you are, in your truth, your weirdness, your raw imperfect beautiful self, you will be amazed how many people shout 'me too!'
There are over 7.5 billion people on this planet.
You are just one in 7 odd billion so If 6 of those people don't jive with who you really are? There are plenty who will and are simply waiting to see you for who you REALLY are. Plenty who want to know what you stand for, what your passions are, what your fears are, what your joys are.
What's the worst that could happen? It's already happening right now by hiding your light, your truth, your beauty.
It's time to stand up, stand out and be you.