How you view yourself in life

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How you view yourself is vitally important to the way you live your life. Sometimes it is important to stop and examine the thoughts you have about yourself and see if they are helping or hindering you.

This is not something I had really considered doing. When I moved to Scotland, I had a large number of limiting beliefs that held me back from developing, growing and changing in my life. The foremost and only thought of my mind I can remember at that time was that no matter what I did, nothing would work.

As I have started moving towards the future vision of what we want to do with our lives, I am beginning to discover certain thought patterns that have dictated I stay back in the box I put myself into in the first place.

Some people want to stay exactly as they are and not have to change, develop and grow. But life is not static. You are constantly finding things that change your perceived path in life. Babies grow up, your years on the earth change you and sometimes your road in life is a rocky one and seemingly unstable.

Yesterday one of my friends told me that I was believing and propagating a belief that would hold me back if I didn’t stop it. When I thought about it, I realised that she was correct and I needed to change the way I was thinking.

I have written about self-sabotaging behaviour in the past and sometimes the beliefs we hold cause us to self-sabotage. This is not the way I want to live and maybe you don’t either. So many times people tell me I can do or be something and I hold back. Not because they are necessarily wrong but I don’t believe what they are saying. And yet here I am having actually taken courses to begin to be able to volunteer to help others – something I NEVER thought I could do.

If you find that you are stuck in a particular place or way, then it is time you look at yourself closely and examine whether what you are doing confirms something negative or positive in your life. If your thoughts are hindering you moving into what you truly are, why not start to change them?

I want things to be positive in my life and to stop believing bad things about myself, and I am sure you do too. Limiting beliefs can hold you back in so many ways. How you see yourself brings out a certain pattern of behaviour that you may not even realise you are doing.

Just because you have lived a certain way all your life doesn’t mean you have to stay there. You can make a change, even if it is just a small one every day. Baby steps all the way. Being grateful for what we have is a good place to start. To that end, I have tried to post a grateful comment every day on my personal page.

As life changes and brings us challenges we never anticipated, we can meet them with either a positive or negative attitude. I’m not saying that everything can be met with a positive attitude in life straight away – that is unrealistic, but you can attempt to see the good in things, even if they are bad. We have five children in heaven and yes, they are some of the hardest episodes of our lives but we are trying to make good come from bad and write a book to other parents going through babyloss themselves.

So let’s return to where we started. It’s how you view yourself in life and how that impacts you and the others around you. I’m not saying I get all this right because nobody can. What I want you to think about is how you view yourself and your life. Does it keep you stuck where you are or do you need to change the sound and voice of the limiting beliefs you hold?
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Self-care is important

Self-care is important

Many of us know and understand that self-care is extremely important. As caretakers some men or women find it almost impossible to find or make the time to do self-care. They put themselves last and often neglect the necessary self-care in order to be the caregivers they wish.

Self-care can mean different things to different people. For example, me going for a five mile walk or run as a disabled person (I certainly wouldn’t get very far) so it would not be a sensible thing to do whereas another person would find it the perfect way to self-care.

I had thought self-care would be the same for me all through my life. While I was so poorly during the past year, my form of indulgence was having tv programmes on and just letting them wash over me mindlessly.

However, when I think back, self-care took a different form over the years. Sometimes it was reading loads of books, at other times, it was cuddling dogs or having my cat on my lap for a cuddle. It varied as my wants and needs did.

Have you ever discovered something new about yourself? I thought I liked driving and found it relaxing but gave the motability car back earlier this year because it was just getting too much for me. It was more of a hindrance than a help and I wasn’t driving it enough for it to be financially viable. It drained all my energy to use it and that wasn’t right on my husband and son or myself. I realised for us to have a better family life, I needed to give up the car.

Looking after yourself should take priority but is often overlooked. Giving of yourself to others requires energy and resources. If your child is poorly, that also can take it out of you as you look after them.

Now that I am feeling better, I am realising that I need a different form of self-care. Watching the tv mindlessly doesn’t cut it anymore. I need something more stimulating than that. If my vision or eye prescription were fine, I would be doing some artwork or a craft but am now having to wait for new glasses.

We had a lovely bit of ground with tall trees in it opposite where we live and I found it relaxing looking at it and seeing people walk their dogs there. It was a good place for our dog Maisie to go out for a short walk as well. Now they are building houses there and the greenery is gone. We do have a small lawn the other side of the house but looking at it isn’t the same.

I have discovered that for self-care I need to see good scenery. Kevin and I are going to be hiring a car just to go for a drive every now and again so that I get my “fix” of beautiful scenery to look at and feed my creativity and inspiration once again.

When you look at what self-care activities you do what comes up? Is it something you have always done or has it changed over the years like it has with me? It would be so interesting to hear from you and see what your self-care looked like in the past and how it is now.

High Expectations and Acceptance

It is good to have high expectations for both yourself and others around you. This helps you by having something to aim for and encourages you to do well.

But is there a time when high expectations can prove to be more of a hindrance than a help? I think it depends on the character of the person. Some people find high expectations to be too overwhelming and so they give up before they have even tried. For years I believed others were more capable than me and I would never reach their level of expertise in any area so I gave up. This was detrimental to me reaching any goals.

Sometimes you have to realise that you won’t have the impetus to move forward. This could be for a number of reasons. Maybe you are not ready to make the changes to reach your full potential or it could simply be that you are satisfied with where you are right now or something else entirely. If you want to change, looking at why you are not could be a perfect thing to do.

For me, I have a long term goal that we are aiming for as a family. I had thought the goal would just happen somehow someway and everything would work out. However, life is simply not like that. If you have a goal, vision or dream you need to work towards it. Maybe you need training, maybe you need to do something you have never done before.

You don’t reach a point of competence or expertise by doing nothing to get where you want to go. You have to change and develop and grow. If you don’t have high expectations of yourself and take the time to find out the steps you need to take to get where you want to go, you’ll never reach it.

Let me give you an example – if your goal is to be fit enough to run a marathon, you don’t go out and get a pair of running shoes and the next day go run one. Running marathons wearing the correct outfit is part of completing it but you also have to take time and preparation to get there. Yes, have the high expectation of yourself that you can do it, but be realistic and accept you won’t be running a marathon tomorrow.

There will be times you want to give up on your end goal. Knowing WHY you want to do something at this point will really help you. Also, you will need to look at your life and see if you are truly practicing the self-care that will support you in your aims to reach the goal. I have realised that not every form of self-care is appropriate for the stage of life you are at. For example, when I was really poorly, just having the television on and allowing programmes to wash over me without doing anything was ideal, but now I am doing better, things like journalling and getting out of the house is more important and what I need.

If you find it hard to take the steps to make your goals happen, one thing that might help is someone you are accountable to. There are lots of ways to do this. Some people have the drive to do things themselves and if that’s you, set the goals and go for it! Whatever way you pick, you need to know that it will work for you.

High expectations and acceptance run side by side. You just need to be careful or aware of where you have high expectations and plan ahead to get there. Being realistic in your abilities while expecting you can improve and develop and grow them is the wisest thing. Circumstances can come up that are unplanned for so make sure whatever steps you take, this is accounted for, too and don’t be afraid to move deadlines if that becomes necessary.

Self-sabotaging behaviour

Today I would like to talk about self-sabotaging behaviour. I have found it happened quite a lot of times throughout my life and I am sure it has happened to you too.

This is not something that people like to discuss but is relevant to a lot of us. One of the things I did was sabotage my craft work. I wanted it to be fantastic but would make mistakes that I was unable to rectify and it made me think I was totally incapable. It took me some time to see that I self-sabotaged because I didn’t want to admit I did it or face the need to change.

You know what? Change is possible in your life. It’s not an easy path to follow but you are capable of doing so. Facing up to challenges that emerge for all of us is difficult. I’m not going to lie to you.

If you decide you want to see a difference in your situation, you have to take action yourself. Nobody can do it for you. Facing up to the reality of your self-sabotaging calls for a change in you.

For me, I like things to be perfect. Now, that is never always possible because we are all a work in progress. I heard or read somewhere that ceramics used to be mended using gold. This made the vase or plate or whatever it was useful again and more beautiful than ever.

We too can be broken in some ways and need fixing from the problems of the past. However, inside us, our natural response is self-sabotaging behaviour. For me, I lose confidence in my ability to do things and so sabotage myself without realising it.

Someone pointed out to me on Friday that I might have fallen into an old pattern of thinking and she was right. As things had got difficult and needed my attention, I forgot to do real self-care. I was just sitting watching shows mindlessly and forgetting that my soul needs refreshing and I needed some time to refresh and renew myself. I was just letting negative thoughts flash through my mind and not challenging them. I was starting to think I was incapable of functioning as a wife and mother because of my disabilities. This pattern of thinking was destructive and I was beginning to feel really depressed. Once she said it, I suddenly clicked what was happening and was able to snap out of it.

In the past I have sabotaged myself through fear of consequences if I didn’t. This is not the way to live at all. I began thinking there was no reason to try at things because I would always get it wrong while other people would always get it right. It set up a destructive pattern of belief within me that needed to be challenged before I could begin the process of change. You cannot change something you don’t recognise.

The core beliefs that you hold, that were created when you were a child can either be positive or negative. If they are not helpful to you, recognising and changing them will produce a massive difference in your life.

Did you know that this was even possible to do? You need to begin telling yourself a different story and setting up new patterns of behaviour in your life so that you stop self-sabotaging. When you face up to this process, one way to begin creating what you need is to write down all the reasons why you are not what your mind is telling you and look at the facts of HOW you are different now.

I left a situation that I wasn’t happy in and decided on the massive change to drive over 400 miles to create a new and different life. I’m not saying you have to copy me in this, but sometimes it is necessary. You can self-sabotage even in moving because you hanker after the old life and think you had it all in your past whereas in reality you did not. You have to be willing to change everything if you want to create a new existence for yourself.

Your life can be different, but you need to make the choice to change it. If you see self sabotaging behaviour in yourself, you can begin to change it. This is possible but you need to recognise the problem, believe it can be changed and take action.