There’s been a tone ringing in my ears for a while now. The sound of the mundane was sucking the life out of me! I was starting to feel numb about beautiful creations that would boggle the mind, feeling crappy about my lack of motivation and an endless amount of excuses as to why I couldn’t live passionately. The feeling of opportunities finding me but procrastinating about the possibilities instead of jumping in. I was frozen by the fear of failure!
There was an instance where I was critiqued by someone who was trapped in their job and eternally unhappy with themselves, their job and situation. Yet this person had the nerve to rubbish my work when others had praised it. I was hurt and it weighed heavily on me. It was then that I started to ask myself: why am I putting up with it? I approached a superior about it but they were stricken with a cowardly brush and wanted to deal with the situation in a way that would throw me under the bus. Again I asked myself: why am I putting up with it? And further to that: why do I surround myself with people like this? All this self sacrificing and self sabotage needed to stop.
I became curious and conducted a self assessment of what’s really important to me. Of course the first thing was family and relationships, but what kind of role model am I to my kids when they see me looking so down-trodden? How does this communicate ‘you can succeed at anything you want as long as you work hard for it’. It appears that working hard only makes you succeed at working hard. Every parent wants to be the hero to their child but I can be that anyway, whether I earn good money or not. So why am I pushing myself to the point that I’m too tired or sore to engage with them?
Apart from the self assessment, I looked at who I surrounded myself with. Just in the same way as I don’t want my kids to hang out with the wrong group, I was doing that very same thing. Just like in school, there were bullies, mean girls, jocks and ditzes. Except those people are adults in plain sight that I let walk all over me. I had become a product of whom I surrounded myself with. This needed to change… NOW!
Taking the extreme approach to cutting people out of your life and turning things around doesn’t happen instantly. That is a pretty overwhelming and hurtful way to conduct yourself. It’s the little changes along the way that will snowball into triumphs. You don’t have to be eccentric or different from the rest of the herd. But you have to care enough about yourself enough to commit to living the most abundant life possible.
Here’s how to start:
Assess what you are passionate about. Don’t just list your interests. Treat your passion with the same respect you would when you imagine the person you want to spend your life with.
Read all about it. Everyday! Weather it be via a blog editorial, magazine, newspaper, even collect images and post them to Pinterest (be careful not to get lost in hours of pinning!)
Become a stalker. Maybe not an illegal one, but a digital one! Follow the people you love and what they are doing. Whether it be designers, master chefs, sports heroes, humanitarians even celebs via social media such as: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Check out the people that follow them. It’s likely you have similar interests. This is your tribe!
Don’t compare yourself. The moment you compare yourself to successful people is when you’ll start to fail! Put those blinkers on and look straight at the finish line. Don’t look sideways at the ones you’re competing with. Run your own race. Be inspired and apply it even in the smallest way to your daily life.
Don’t say ‘no’, say now! Good ol’ procrastination or the comfort of waiting to see what happens will put you back right back in with the herd of sheep. Get off your ass, put down your phone, your TV shows can wait, all you have to do is actually go…. NOW!
Be lucky and know people. Sounds like the most condescending piece of tripe, but great opportunities wont happen unless you peel yourself out of your cubicle or home and meet people. In this age no one recommends a great robot. People like people! And people talk. Its called ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. No one is going to engage a person unless they’ve had a chance to meet them or know their work or know someone who knows someone. Just show up at that thing you’ve been invited to, talk to someone new but don’t aim to become BFF’s with everyone. Serial networkers are the spam of social functions.
These are some of the golden nuggets that helped me to make changes in my life and change the world around me. I might not be a humanitarian or celeb. But I’m a hero to my kids and a self-respecting creative that is living an abundant life. At times still failing, continually trying and now studying – but loving it.
Words and images by Jodie Hilton