I spent many years in an unhappy life not sure how to change my course. Over the past couple of years though I have transformed my life to finally put myself on the right track in line with who I am and what I want out of life. This involved leaving a long term relationship, my home and my corporate career.
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I went on a journey to discover who I was and how to create a life I loved and in the process rediscovered the art of happiness. I have been writing my first book, blogging about my journey, travelling the world and teaching yoga and meditation, two of the tools that transformed my own life.
It hasn’t all been a bed of roses and whilst I have never regretted my decision there are times when I miss the familiarity and ease of my former life. Living with a partner of 7 years to suddenly being alone, missing the security of a regular income, holiday pay, sick pay. The familiarity of knowing what each day would hold, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. I was gripped with fear about the unknown, what if I failed, what if I’d made the wrong choice and what were people thinking of me? Many of even my closest friends thought I was crazy for turning my back on what looked from the outside ‘successful’.
I was supposed to be living my dream and whilst I never expected it to be easy I wasn’t counting on it being this hard. The fear of failure was compounded by the small numbers I got to classes and no shows at events, negative comments and those who simply didn’t believe in me (including myself). This fuelled my self doubt and it also made me consider; what if they were right? All those people who said I was crazy and that I could never do it, what if that’s true?
I was paying money so I could work for free and the pressure of having no income at a time when my bank account was empty was telling. Not only that but there was no money to pay for things like marketing, web design etc so I was having to learn to do this myself too.
I was doing what I loved but I was also having to do all the things that came with that which I didn’t really love, it was also a huge learning curve and at times I was way out of my depth. Having to understand the word of social media and then spend time with it, learning about SEO and Platforms.
I ended up tired, frustrated and my motivation disappeared. I felt like I was on the brink of failure and ready to give it all up. Ironically this came just weeks before the launch of my first book, the dream I’d worked so hard for over the last couple of years. At a time when all the dreams I’d had were about to come to fruition I was ready to throw in the towel.
What stopped me? When I hit rock bottom I decided I needed a day off. I spent the day putting perspective around this and trying to work out how I could regain my motivation at what was such an important point in my journey. I began to think, If I gave up now all that hard work to date would be for nothing, after all this is still my dream and I’ve never been closer than I am now. What if success is just around the corner and I throw in the towel when I’m so close. I turned to those who’d been here before and managed to overcome it in a bid to be inspired by them and this is what I learned and what ultimately put me back on track.
Sometimes we need to take a break, even from the things we love. Taking a few days off not only helped me get over exhaustion but it rekindled my motivation. I found the passion in living my dream again after hitting the off switch for a short time to rejuvenate my mind and soul. My new energy also brought with it new, fresh ideas to help me progress.
Never forget to celebrate the successes and reflect on how far we’ve come. I still remember the excitement when the first like on my Facebook page came from someone I didn’t know! This was only just a year ago.
Focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have. Comparing my following to those who were ‘successful’ I was always falling short. How do they get thousands of followers and why do I only have a few hundred? Ironically a year ago I would have been happy with just one hundred. I started to focus on what was going well and the amazing things I’d achieved this year.
I spent time considering the barriers I faced within myself, my fears that had been holding me back. Fear of failure and of others not approving. I was frustrated that many of my closest family and friends either didn’t understand what I was doing or thought I was mad (or both in some cases). I felt alone and it made it harder not feeling like I was supported. I realised that I doubted my own ability and if I was worried I might fail of course they would be too. How can I expect anyone else to believe in me unless I believe in myself? I learned that if you believe in yourself you don’t need support or approval from others. This helped me stop worrying about what others thought, it’s not about them, this is my dream and it’s ok to struggle and to have tough times, everyone does.
Focus on the positive; those 20 thank you for inspiring me comments rather than the one negative ‘it’s ok for you, wake up and take a look at the real world’ comment.
I remembered why I’m doing this and recalled what I used to do and why I made this change. This gave me gratitude for having made the change and got to this point and made me realise that I wouldn’t want to go back. Recalling my ‘why’ helped me reaffirm the meaning and purpose behind what I was doing and made the struggles worth battling through.
One of the best bits of advice I had was to let go out outcomes. I had been obsessing over the numbers; views on my blog, class attendees, coaching clients, followers on social media and this was my marker of success. I let go of how life looked and started to focus on how it felt. It didn’t matter if I got 10 people or 2 people to my class as long as I was able to help those who were there and equally if 100 people read my blog or 1000 it didn’t change my reasons for doing it. Who knows one of those 100 may be an influential agent or publisher or I may just change some
one’s life. The why is far more important than the results yet so often we focus on the numbers as our marker of success. Success for me is inspiring people not earning lots of money so why was I looking at my bank balance to define my success?
I also learned to look at the struggles and learn from them. Now I’ve been through this and come out of the other side I can help others in similar situations and when I speak it’ll come from a place of real experience and that’s powerful. It also means that what wasn’t working before I can reattempt having the wisdom to try something different, it may fail again but each time I am closer to succeeding based on what I learn from my failures. And this leads me to the final point, perseverance, not giving up, even when it feels tough and we’re tired. By putting these tips into practice I found ways to overcome the struggles and move forward closer to my dreams with the same passion and motivation that started me on this journey in the first place.