This week we share a guest post from blogger and Transformational Coach, Suzie de Jonge. Enjoy :)
Sometimes when things go pair-shaped in our lives, making a change can feel overwhelming, scary and even insurmountable; but many times, it is how we react to situations rather than the actual situation itself that is the thing that causes us pain.
About 7 years ago I went through what I can only term as a “nervous breakdown” due to events that happened in my world, but also how I reacted to them. Now, as I look back it was not only my reactions but also because of my beliefs and how I was “showing up” in life.
So, what sort of beliefs was I carrying around in my personal toolkit that could have led to me falling into a heap? A lot of them were beliefs that I had held onto since childhood and the amazing thing was, that when I challenged them they were not things that I actually believed but were absorbed through my upbringing and environment. Things such as:
• An inability to say no – wanting to be liked and a people pleaser.
• Being quick to judge.
• Not being able to honestly share that I wasn’t really coping because that’s not the sort of thing you should share, ie. “vulnerable” stuff.
I’m sure there were more self-destructive beliefs that I was lugging around, but those 3 are the top ones that spring to mind. So, as a result the “I’ve got it all together” mask slipped and things spiraled down.
As strange as it may sound now, that truly was one of the most life-changing events that I could have experienced.
I think it was the universe’s way of giving me a spiritual slap around the head to show me that I needed to take stock of my life and really sort out the facts from the fiction.
At my final visit with my psychiatrist, she asked me on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being back to my old self, where I felt I rated now. I think I replied about a 7; but it was when I walked out of her office that it struck me like a bolt of lightning – why would I want to go back to my old way of being if that is what caused me to go through this pain in the first place?
This really got me thinking and so I felt it was time to take a good hard look in the mirror and give myself an honest appraisal. It’s not always a comfortable thing to do, but to me this was the chance to totally rebuild myself; to get rid of the things that weren’t serving me and embrace the qualities I admired in others. It was kind of like a jigsaw puzzle and I was looking for the pieces that fit into place. I learned that it is okay for me to say “no” in a respectful way if I feel that way, it didn’t make me a bad person.
I realized that if I am having a hard time that there is always a trusted person I can reach out to who will be there for me, just like I am there for them. I try now not to be so quick to judge and put myself into other people’s shoes. Of course, I’m not perfect and I slip up along the way, but the main difference is now that I am aware of it.
The thing is that you don’t have to get to rock bottom to go through this process, you can do it at any time. Yes, it can feel a bit uncomfortable taking your own inventory, but I promise you it is the most freeing and powerful thing you will ever experience. It’s as simple as grabbing a pen and paper and writing it out. What are the negative habits/beliefs that you are carrying around that aren’t serving you anymore? What are the things that you admire in others that you can adopt yourself?
We always have the power in our own hands to do this sort of inner work; we don’t need to go outside of ourselves for this. As the saying goes “it’s never too late to be brand new” – and the wonderful news is that you can start today!
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Suzie de Jonge is a Transformational Coach and the founder of Beautifully Selfish. She supports women who are ready to rebuild their lives, their careers and sense of self. To learn more, click here.