Head’s up: this is a one of those raw and real posts about dreams, so if you’re a little pressed for time – save it for after work when you can pour yourself a nice glass of wine, put your feet up and dig in. Yes, I just did that.
I didn’t open with some attention-grabbing, click-bait paragraph that implies your life will be so sad if you don’t read this post right here and right now. Because, this is my blog: my personal writing haven and I’ve decided to get back to the kind of heart-to-heart writing I used to love – BEFORE I got caught up in all the digital noise and what the rest of the world was doing.
Not everything needs to be rushed, not everything needs to have a checklist, not everything needs to be devoured in one-minute flat. (Can we all just take a breath, please?!)
I want to write for the JOY of it here, and I want you to ENJOY reading what I have to write about – and look forward to it! So grab that cuppa or vino (or water!) and let’s talk dreams and life changes.
(Because oh my goodness, have things changed quite a bit around here).#RealTalk : Choosing Dreams OVER Fears – What I Learned In a Year Click To Tweet
WHEN THINGS OR DREAMS DON’T WORK OUT
Speaking of big changes…
Friday was my last day at a company I’ve been working at for almost a year.
I honestly thought I’d be there for much longer, but sometimes these things happen. I don’t see it as a failure, it’s always a growth opportunity and there’s always a reasons for every season in life – both the good, and the not-so-good. I’m so grateful this job came into my life when it did; it needed to. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone, and it helped to chip away at some really unhealthy perfectionism and people pleasing parts of my personality; things I’ve literally been struggling with for years.
I won’t write too much about the job itself here, because it’s a chapter I’ve closed. But I will tell you that when you’re feeling completely out of alignment with where you are in your life, focusing on what you’re doing for 9 hours every day is a really good place to start. Especially if you’re an introvert or an empath like me. We see the world a little differently, we FEEL things a lot more. Our hearts crave creativity, movement, purpose or making a bigger impact in the lives of others whether we want to admit that or not.
That’s a BIG part of why I decided to leave.
Something inside me was in a constant battle with who I was and who I was trying to be.
I’m a dreamer whose soul comes alive when I’m able to create and connect and inspire. That’s who I am and it’s who I’ve always been. This job and this year of personal growth reminded me of that.
ASKING FOR HELP
I’m a big believer in signs and things happening for a reason.
For me, one of those little nudges was to actively seek out help. Asking for help has always been hard for me. I always try and figure everything out myself – a strength I guess in some regards (in terms of wanting to be an entrepreneur), but it’s really such a weakness when it comes to actually getting unstuck, making things happen and getting out of my own head/way. (Hello, overthinking).
So I did – I starting seeking out help for a lot of things.
I found the most incredible podcasts that helped me get more in tune with my INFJ, empath personality and acknowledge my anxiety, instead of just pushing it aside. I also chose to seek out a local therapist who specialises in anxiety. Good move, that one.
Even though I hated reaching out, I’m not going to lie – it doesn’t come naturally to me at ALL; it was my turning point. I got to a stage where constantly complaining just wasn’t cutting it. Honestly, this has got to be one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. We all have so much going on – and we’re all fighting battles no one knows anything about. There is absolutely no shame in seeking out help to work through things or find more balance or get some (professional) outside advice in order to move forward.
Let me repeat that, THERE IS NO SHAME.
Zero shame.Asking for help is not a weakness, it's a sign of strength. Click To Tweet
Asking for help at work…
Oh boy, this one was a LOT tougher to do. Because this job was so pressurised, I was forced to ask for help in order to get my work done. I couldn’t Google or YouTube the answers, I literally had to ASK people to teach me ways of doing things quicker, simpler, better – instead of just thinking I could do it all on my own. That was a HUGE growth opportunity for me. I can’t emphasize team work enough – even if you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, having that give and take support system is really everything when it comes to productivity and success.
And finally, and I think this one is key – I started leaning on family and friends a little more.
Not that I really wanted to… I like to think I can move mountains on my own, as most of us do. Truth talk: I think it’s SO easy for us as women to think (be brainwashed into thinking) that we need to have it all together, ALL the time, thanks to the media and what not. But you know what I’ve learned? The more that facade goes up, the more we pretend that everything is just perfect when sometimes it’s actually not… the more we push people away and get out of alignment with who we are (which equals stress and unhappiness) – the more we COMPLICATE life.
Don’t underestimate the power of asking for help.
Seriously. It’s a game changer.
I’ve just seen far too many beautiful hearts crumble under these “Everything-is-peachy-I-can-do-it-ALL” masks they feel the need to put on every day.
Enough, please. We’re all in this TOGETHER, let’s lean on each other a little more, yes?
YOUR DREAMS ONLY DIE IF YOU LET THEM
When I started this job, I turned our spare bedroom into a meditation and laundry room. I packed up my computer, because I decided I wasn’t going to waste my time blogging anymore: I was going to “grow up” and do this career thing and that was that. I hid away my colourful notebooks, I took down my positive affirmations. Little by little, I removed pieces of things that brought me joy in an attempt to be someone I clearly wasn’t.
In between everyday life, I started letting my dreams die.
I began to feel stuck and out of alignment. It affected my mood, I isolated myself a lot, and I just couldn’t pinpoint what was going on with me. So, I chopped it up to job stress, which there was – plenty of it.
As a way to get out of my head and just do something that didn’t involve thinking, I started running again.
With each kilometre – walked, jogged or run, I found myself getting energised again. My mood improved, my confidence came back little by little, and my mindset changed. During those runs, I started to remember what made me feel alive and happy and excited.
And unfortunately, that wasn’t my job.
It was creating and sharing and inspiring and trying different things – without having a set-in-stone plan, without feeling boxed in. So I saved for a few months, I mapped out a plan with a deadline date, and I somehow managed to get my logical, non-dreamer (and how grateful I am for that!) husband to get on board with this idea.
It wasn’t something I decided overnight, nor was it based on a wish and a prayer.
Following dreams and following your heart is one thing, but as I’ve learned in the past – there’s a responsible, smart way to do it and there’s a desperate, unplanned way to do it.
NEVER allow yourself to get to the point where you feel like your only option is to choose the latter.
PERFECTIONISM IS OVERRATED
This year has also taught me that perfectionism is not something to strive for. It’s actually something that if you let it, will eat away at you and everyone you come into contact with.
Because, there is no such thing as perfect.
You will never stop trying to perfect something, because you’ll always think there’s “one more thing” you can do. And yes, there ALWAYS is. Let. It. GO. A boss of mine years ago had a quote in his office that I still think of and see online quite often:
Progress over perfection
Perfection keeps you stuck, progress moves you forward.
Perfectionism is something I’ve had to un-learn – something I’m still “un-learning”. I’ve seen first-hand what it does to people, including myself.
So I’m leaving you with this thought today: forget perfectionism.
(Here’s a great article from Psychology Today about the difficulties of being a perfectionist).
Life is too short to be complicating things. Save your time, save your energy and let’s rather just keep things simple!