Not that long ago my life was complex. I was stuck in a trap where everything had to appear to be perfect, and I was running myself ragged trying to maintain a façade of success and high achievement.
To the outside world, I had it all. Inside my head I was constantly failing and wondering when I would be found out.
Ultimately, I pushed myself so hard and for so long trying to maintain the picture of success that it led me to experience a complete breakdown – one that saw me face a two-year battle to recover enough to be able to live my life at a basic, every day level.
During my recovery, I learned a lot about the impact of us being constantly bombarded by messaging from others. I also learned about the impact that listening to these messages was having on my life.
Somehow, I had handed over control and responsibility for my life decisions to messaging that I was receiving from an advertising campaign. I was allowing someone I had never met to determine how I felt about myself, what the right (and wrong!) foods were, the way I should be exercising, how hard I should be working … and the list goes on.
My recovery taught me to re-connect with myself and reduce the noise and confusion that comes when other people tell me what is right and wrong for my life.
Instead, I started to create a life where I could ask myself some simple and practical questions that would help me to work out what was right for me.
There’s never a better example of this than at this time of the year. Suddenly we see a multitude of advertising campaigns telling us we have to recompense for our behaviour over the Christmas break … most of them shaming us into a ‘New Year – New You’ mindset.
Having undertaken the journey that my recovery entailed, I now see these campaigns with a very different viewpoint. The date changing over to the first of January signals nothing other than that it is the first of January.
Here’s what I now know to be true …. if you want to do something differently, then by all means create a pathway for yourself so that you can have a go at something new. But don’t be hoodwinked, shamed or pressured into doing so by a marketing campaign created by someone else …. someone who wants you to spend your hard earned dollars with them.
To help you see things in a different light, here’s three compelling reasons for you to ignore the marketing messages around you so that you can step into 2018 with a different spring in your step:
- You are perfect – exactly as you are. A change in date does not mean that it is no longer OK for you to be who you are. Sure, you might identify a few things you want to try and do differently for your life … but that doesn’t involve you creating a whole new version of yourself.
- No-one else knows what is right for you better than you do. It doesn’t matter how great the results have been for someone else, the likelihood of it working in exactly the same way for you is very low. You are the only person who knows what it is you need, so it might well be time to take back control and start making your own choices for your life.
- Living your life a little bit differently does not require you to create a whole new version of yourself. We’re taught from a very young age to be able to easily see the flaws within ourselves. The reality is that we probably need to make some changes because we’ve been living our lives in a way that someone else believes is right for us. We’re perfect exactly as we are, so if we want to live our lives a bit differently then the easiest way to do that is to focus on one small thing at a time. Thinking that we have to create a whole new version of ourselves creates a lot of stress and is almost guaranteed to send us straight to overwhelm, whereas one small step at a time can create significant change with only a small amount of energy expended.
Life is really simple when we cut the noise and concentrate on the things that are important to us. Bring your focus back to what’s important to you and take each step from there – that way you will always know that you’re connected to your life and that you’re taking your steps on your path.
Living life a bit differently is as easy as learning to ask yourself a few simple questions so you can find the answers that matter to YOU.
Want some help finding out which questions will help you to find the things that matter? There are free resources on my website (www.sheiqlife.com) that can help you to start the process and there’s loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from my website shop.
Want to chat? Email me on email@example.com or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert, Professional Speaker and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Keep up to date with what’s happening and the conversation around living and thinking differently by following her at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.