5 Things I've Learnt About Life & Business In The Last Year.
A lot has changed in the last year. In my life and in my business. It's been one hell of a roller coaster and feels like i've crammed a lifetimes worth of lessons into one year.
Here are my 5 stand out lessons that I think we could all learn from.
1. YOU are the most important person in the world.
Yep, YOU. Not your kids, not your partner, not your friends or family, not your clients or customers. YOU.
You may think some one else needs to be higher up on the food chain but I assure you, from experience, it's not. You see, you are the most important person in your life. Without you performing well, the rest of the people previously mentioned will suffer. Your physical health will suffer, your mental health will suffer and your general mood and life will suffer. If YOU are happy, healthy and generally all good, that can and will rub off on to those around you.
Take an early night, finish work early, have the hour long bath, leave the cleaning until you feel more up to it.
2. YOU are enough.
I have suffered from self confidence issues for as long as I can remember. I know when they started to surface and I know why but it's taken me a LONG time to learn how to take control of them.
I have (or had) confidence issues in 2 areas.
- My Work.
- My Looks.
My Work - I'm now in a position where my confidence about my work is under control. I know I'm good at what I do and I get to work with amazing clients who tell me how great I am on a regular basis. But for years I really suffered from 'imposter syndrome'. I never felt good enough and some times I was made to feel that no matter how hard I tried, It wasn't good enough.
My looks / body- this has been, and still is, a work in progress for many years. I've worked on the mental and physical side of making myself look and feel better. In the last few months i've really started to feel comfortable in my own skin. It's weird because i'm the heaviest i've ever been, the unfittest i've ever been and at 35, ageing is starting to show but do you know what? That's ok. Because I'm happy with that, it doesn't matter what other people think and as long as i'm happy with me, that's all that matters.
Working on loving yourself is really important but just know that whatever state your mind and body are in presently, you are enough. You deserve to be happy. You are loved.
3. Stop to smell the flowers.
When I was having counselling my counsellor asked me if I remembered getting to my appointment. Of course I did! It was the journey i'd JUST taken to get there 10 minutes prior.
He asked again. "But do you REMEMBER the journey?". Thinking about the question, I didn't remember the journey at all. I was on auto pilot. I remember checking my emails, replying to clients, I vaguely remember the route I walked, across the park, through the alley way, over the train tracks. But I didn't recall anything that had gone on during the 30 minute walk from my house to his offices.
My homework for that week was to make sure I was living in the moment. Taking in what was going around me. Appreciating the good, accepting the bad. Using all my senses to understand where I was in my life and where I was in the moment. I had to use all my senses.
On my way home that day I realised how horrid the shortcut through over the train tracks and down the alleyway were. The smell of urine, the graffiti, broken glass, empty drinks cans, drug packets. I never took that route too or from my appointments. I took the longer and probably safer route.
I then walked through the park. Kids on the swings laughing, dogs running about, a BEAUTIFUL flower bush i'd never even noticed before. It looked and smelt wonderful. The petals were so soft.
Since that day, I have tried to live in the moment more and take advantage of what is going on around me. The sights, smells, sounds, tastes, feelings of things I would normally just ignore or not notice.
Do you remember much about the last journey you took? It's really worth pulling your head out of your phone screen and focusing on the world around you.
4. Work doesn't matter.
Look, I know we all need to work. 99.9% of people reading this probably haven't got millions in the bank and don't have the luxury of being retired at 30.
But work shouldn't be the be all and end all.
I have worked so hard over the last 10 years of being self employed to get to a stage where I earn enough and don't worry about paying the bills every month. But that journey wasn't easy and I made so many mistake along the way.
For many years, I put work/clients before my friends and family. I'd put work/clients before me!
This inevitably leads to the same locations. Bad health, bad relationships, bad moods.
Putting my work first lead me to stress, anxiety, epileptic seizures, general bad health. Putting work first cost me people I care about and some I don't (you know what I mean).
I the grand scheme of things the work doesn't really matter.
5. Your core should be tight and strong.
I'm not talking about your body core. Although having a tight and strong body core would be nice, I'm talking about your core friends. If you clench your fingers in a ball, you'll notice that you've created a fist. This fist is tight and strong and there isn't room inside for much else.
The older I get the more I realise that I don't want 100 friends. I want a tight core of people who can not only rely on me but that I can rely on when the time comes. I don't need 100 cheerleaders at the end of a big battle. I just need one friend who picks me up and helps me back to my feet. One that believes in me when times are rough. One to roll their eyes when I have a stupid idea but has my back anyway.
Family aside, I have very few people in my life that if push come to shove, I could count on 100%. That's ok. Because those are the few that matter. Those are the few that count. Those are the few that i'll be there for.
Take a look at your friends list. Are you wasting energy on people that wouldn't have your back?
Until next time.