I have always thought that my life has been a bit easy.
Nothing serious has really happened to me that makes it ‘story -worthy’.
I am lucky: never broken a bone, never really been sick, happily married and not divorced, 2 happy, healthy children, still have both my parents, never had a good friend commit suicide or anything that I can claim as an event that caused me to be the way that I am.
Or so I thought.
However, I was talking to my Mum at Christmas about goodness knows what who casually said that I always took the things that happened to me in my stride amd that I always got over things quickly.
It struck a nerve.
It’s not that bad things didn’t happen to me, it’s just how I dealt with them that was different.
I realised that I didn’t want to keep negative thoughts of what had happened going over and over in my head making me feel bad when I could focus on the positive things that were going on instead and instantly feel happier.
I certainly didn’t want to be known as someone who wallows in their own miserableness for too long (not that I didn’t have my fair share of over-dramatisation for the sake of being dramatic – I was a teenage girl after all) yet when it came to the serious stuff, I just kind of dealt with things.
One of the earliest times this happened was when I was 8 years old. My first dog who was a big part of my life had to be put down. She was a beautiful golden retriever. I loved her very much. It was very sad. Yet I went into school the next day and I remember telling my friends, before breezily running off to play, that she had died, like it was just something that happens.
And it is something that happens.
It’s not that I wasn’t upset about it. I just didn’t feel the need to make myself feel worse by reliving it again with my friends.
I’d worked through it in my head. I felt the pain. I allowed myself to grieve and I moved on.
I have done this again and again throughout my life. It has kept me on the positive road.
I’ve had some pretty crap things happen to me over the years now that I look back with curiosity.
I’ve had a violent relationship, crappy people have done some pretty crappy things to me, an amazing aunty who died of cancer far too young, and plenty of other things that really aren’t worth sharing – not because I’m not willing to share but because I know that others have been through these things too, and worse – far worse.
I realised from the conversation with my Mum, that it’s a mindset trick I’ve always done.
It tells me that shit happens to everyone, so why make a big deal out of it and make yourself feel bad by going over it again and again?
Why not just let it go as much as you can and move on to something that makes you happier?
Why not focus on the good things that are there with you in the present rather than the negative things that have happened in the past.
Now some of you might call this a coping or defence mechanism. And if that were totally the case, I’d have a lot of unresolved issues going on around my head that could cause me pain.
I know a couple of them certainly brought up some things when I was going through the mindset work that I have done since working with my own coach.
I guess that was to be expected.
But mostly, I feel that I dealt with a lot of them at the time.
I deal with things. I learn from the mistakes, the events, the people, I reflect on them and I move on.
I realise that it’s JUST MY THINKING that’s causing the pain, not the event itself, and that’s the ONE THING that I have full control over.
Now why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with you?
Other than I realised that in my childhood I chose not to make myself feel worse by going over painful thoughts in my head.
I made that choice, unconsciously, for my own sanity and happiness.
It has allowed me to do a lot of jobs whilst still caring but being able to switch off an emotional side that makes it too unbearable for a lot of people.
For example when I was a photographer, I volunteered for a charity to take professional photos of stillborn babies so that parents have the memories.
I don’t think I’d have been able to do that without the ability look past my own emotions and see the good that can come from my services.
Anyway, I digress.
Now that I am aware that I made the choice to switch away from bad thinking when I was younger, I now have a new one.
I can choose to keep it or I can choose to change it.
You have that choice too.
You can consciously choose to let your thinking about the events of the past make you suffer in the who you are today
you can switch from the painful thoughts and redirect them to the positive things that you have going on for you and allow yourself to just let go.
I know it doesn’t sound easy but it can be if you learn how and really focus.
Grieving especially is a tough boat to ride but I promise that when you focus on what you have, what you’re grateful for, what is positive in your life, it will make everything better in time.
Let me know your thoughts x
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