Many people nowadays say we have to work on ourselves. But what does this truly means? And where should we start improving our lives?
We are creating everything around us, good or bad. It’s not a secret anymore. But changes in our life don’t include just mind, heart or body. Growth involves all spheres as our thoughts cause emotions and emotions cause problems with our body. There are tons of researchers on psychosomatics or mindfulness. This is not what I want to discuss with you today. Today I want to talk about basics. Where to start if you found yourself on the bottom. When you lost everything you’ve ever known. I bet you were there. I was there too.
- Oh my God, what have I done with my life?!
Every woman or young woman was on the stage of her life when she with all the despair has asked herself this question.
Just in case here we are talking about most beautiful, sensitive, creative and powerful creatures on Earth. Women. So when we are hard on ourselves, we mean it. HARD.
What have I done with my life...? Does my life make any sense? Have I married a right guy? Am I a good mother? Am I a good friend?
Let's be honest. It doesn't matter how much we love our job or adore our man, we all ask ourselves these questions sometimes... When we wake up at 4 am in the morning. When we are exhausted.
Oh, dear women, we are so trapped in the idea of being good for others. Good mother, good business owner, good wife, good employee....
Sounds familiar, right? Maybe this is where our frustration comes from? Being good and HAVE TO be good are two completely different positions.
Have you ever thought you don’t have to? Have you ever questioned your skill “to be good”. Where did it come from and how does it improve your life?
How often do you ask yourself what do I want? Is this really what I want or I am just proving it to myself, trying to make somebody happy? Is it good for me...?
Let’s go through an example.
Natali was about to get a promotion at work. She was about to have a presentation with a big client the next day early in the morning and really relied on that deal to anticipate her rise. She stayed in the office a little later than usual to go through slides again and was hoping to dine with her boyfriend later that day. It usually helped to pour oil on troubled waters.
Her cell rang. She put it aside but noticed it was her friend Alicia. Natali tried to concentrate, but she lost it, thoughts started running through her mind. Alicia had really hard times recently… She talked about it a lot and it seemed there was no light going through clouds of worries about the little baby, a husband who worked too much, parents or troubles with reparation of a new house. Nothing too dramatic, but as a friend Natali felt for her and tried to be supportive. It rarely helped as Alicia always found what to dramatize next.
But it wasn’t what Natalie was thinking about. Unfortunately. She was thinking: “What if something happened… Yes, a voice in my head, I know I need to concentrate! But don’t you see! What if she is lying under the bus and I am the only one who can help?!” Well… She called back.
- Hey, darling! I know you have this very important project at work… - Alicia replied quickly.
- Really, you remember? Thanks..
- Sure! There is a thing. You won’t believe, but my mom broke her tooth, she’s in pain and I need to drive her to the dentist, but David is still working and you know I don’t have a baby carriage for my car yet.
- God, I told you to buy it millions of times…
- I know.. anyways, you are the only one to save me now! Can you please stay with a baby, it’s just a couple of hours.
- Alicia, you know how important this presentation is. It’s early in the morning, I wanted to work more, eat and go to bed as early as possible. My promotion depends on it.
- Come on! You were preparing for ages! You are ready.
- Why David can’t come from work if it’s so urgent?
- Oh… You know him, - Alicia’s voice was confused and Natali felt pity.
- Ok. Why anyone else can’t drive your mom…? - Natali slowly released
- It doesn’t matter! My brother can do it, but I don’t want to bother him. Come on, girl, please… I really need your help…
Moment of the doubt. Moment of the decision. But the only real decision we are making in times like this is between you and everything else. Understand me right, egoism is just another form of fear. Service to each other is essential for happy living. But it works only when we don’t bring harm to ourselves. And women are masters of it.
Authentic service begins from LOVE to yourself.
- I call you back, - Natali said and hung the phone.
She tried to concentrate, but couldn’t help thinking about poor Alice’s mom suffering from pain… Why couldn't the father come home and take care of his baby anyways? God.
She wasn’t able to be cheerful anymore. She was thinking about what a bad friend she was...
She called back but first called the taxi not to make Alice wait too long.
At 11:30 pm she started to worry if she would have enough sleep. She was trying to call Alice, but baby cried so badly she couldn’t hear anything.
- What…? Line how big? - She dropped the phone, struggling to calm the baby.
At 12 she started thinking: “Why in the world I agreed on that!”. David came home:
- Finally! David… I have this big presentation, why couldn’t you hurry! - She was exhausted.
- God… I didn’t even know you are here! Sorry… What happened? - he replied.
Natali put all her strength together and explained. Turned out Alice didn’t even tell her husband about the situation.
Next morning presentation went fine. After her boss called Natali and said she was good but seemed distracted ( and she was! She felt extremely tired). He needed to see someone more passionate for promotion position. So he decided to wait. “You are good, Natali, - he said, - but I really expect some more intensity on this role.. What’s up with you today, are you tired or…?” She didn’t hear the rest.
Have you ever been good and called good, but didn’t get what you really wanted because you sacrificed?
The most tricky point here is the games of our subconscious. We keep playing over and over again and round and round we go… We have ideas and assumptions about the necessity to be good. And most of the time these ideas appear to be betrayers in our team.
Life suggests us turns and forks. Often we choose the way and only in a while realize that we had other paths, different directions. We stop. We reflect… what would have happened if we had made other choice?
In the end, all that truly matters is learning. If our choices made us better and smarter it’s a win. Bigger than we can see at once. But the main question we have to answer and master: Did I choose best for me or for someone else? Have I brought myself down with this choice? Am I still doing it?
When you are on the edge, on the bottom start from asking yourself: "Where is ME in all this life I build? Did I prioritize myself? Or I cared about needs of someone else more? Am I so low now because I forgot about my needs… wishes, forgot about my own existence?”
You can’t bring good the world from a place where you lose yourself in others.
Answer these questions honestly. Because when you do, even if the answer is yes, it’s your first step to the top.