After going through something such as a breakup, health crisis or any life shattering experience, it really makes you think about how you want to live life moving forwards. Like there has to be a better way, right?
This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Being ‘unstoppable’ was one of those things I saw in others but never felt like I could attain myself. Truth was, I never felt worthy of it. Until I had enough of watching from the side-lines and made the decision to take ownership of myself, my life and decided that following a ‘prescription’ or template wasn’t going to cut it.
I’ve spent some time recently thinking about the ways in which I’ve modified my own approach to life after experiencing many ups but also, many downs over the years, and here is what I’ve come up with. There are no ‘rules’ but living by these principles or at least, always being conscious of working towards them (hey, we’re all a work in progress!), has helped me immensely when it comes to ALL areas of my life.
So here goes :)
1) Know what you have to offer and own that 100%. I can’t count the amount of times where I have completely lost sight of my strengths, talents and skills in favour of believing what I had in comparison to others was sub-standard, not as good, exciting or lack lustre. Whilst this isn’t about being cocky, it is about knowing your value and not accepting anything less than that. You have to constantly remind yourself of the reasons why you deserve that incredible relationship, friendship, job or opportunity.
Keep mastering your crafts in the way only you know how and putting them out there. Be proud and don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. You’ll only end up diluting down the one-of-a-kindness you have within you.
It’s this that is your secret sauce, your secret weapon and makes you totally unique and therefore, unstoppable in your very own way.
2) Know that setbacks are inevitable. No one really loves a setback. They’re annoying, upsetting, frustrating as hell and can kick us down further than we ever thought we'd fall. I’ve experienced this in love, health and career at various points and in the moment, it’s damn hard to get yourself back up again. But you have to. You have to keep that faith because the best comebacks come as a result as using the setback as fuel. Every single day you have to take a tiny step towards your big, bold comeback by doing just one thing. And trust me, with this attitude you will get there.
3) Looking to others and comparing what you have/are/do to them is a recipe for insecurity, jealousy and chasing after shiny objects that might not actually be aligned to who you are or what you want. The internet is truly an amazing way to connect with people, get inspired and make real-life friends too, but it also comes with its pitfalls. Not only is social media ripe with people showcasing their happy relationships, expensive wardrobes, jet-setting careers and social life that isn’t always a true portrayal of what’s really going on, but it’s also rampant with bad news, complaining, negativity and smoke screens.
Whilst it’s not about ignoring that this is how the world has evolved and refusing to embrace that, you have to take responsibility for how much of it you buy into. Comparing at the (pricey!) cost of your self-worth can be the most toxic form of procrastination regardless of whether what you see is real or not quite so. You can totally lose sight of who you are.
There have been times where just scrolling on Instagram or Facebook has left me emotionally depleted, not knowing the cause, and with an overwhelming sense of feeling less than and berating myself for not being where I ‘should’ be in life. Or worse, getting eaten up inside by feelings of envy and jealousy. Gross, but I’m sure you can relate?
That time would have been much better spent creating something for my business, actually doing the things that would get me where I want to be or just doing what makes me happy. This is where there is a benefit to having tunnel vision. Get inspired of course (some of my best outfit ideas come from the ol’ IG!) but don’t get sucked in.
This can take hold much closer to home too. The same idea applies though. There is no fixed template that you should be following and the fact that someone else has what you want just means you can have it too - if it’s what YOU really want and not what you think you should want. So give yourself the space to figure that out.
4) Don’t drop your own standards for others. If the person you’re dating or in a relationship with is operating on a moral or emotional level that doesn’t align with yours or who’s behaviour/lifestyle is constantly clanging (or just tinkling!) alarm bells, know when to step away. This isn’t about being high maintenance or refusing to compromise, it’s about knowing your standards and staying true to them.
No matter how much you like or even love someone, a relationship based on mis-matched values in particular, is going to cause you stress, drama and probably, future heartbreak. You don't have time for that - walk away now and you’ll thank yourself later, trust me.
5) Don’t make decisions when you’re in a state of emotional hot-mess-ness, unrest or panic. Some of my worst decisions in love and professionally in particular (would you like me to share more on these?!), came as knee-jerk reactions that were down to poor health, needing a quick fix or just from a place of lack. They weren’t properly thought through from a calm and logical state of mind.
But this point goes for relationships too. It can be very easy to say or do things in the heat of the moment, respond to that text from your ex or send one to them when something else has just happened to trigger a reaction in you. There were countless times in past relationships where I sent text messages that could rival the length of War and Peace to a boyf/ex boyf in the midst of a reactive emotional crisis and then found myself reading them back the next morning regretting it and attempting to backtrack. OR (mostly!), wishing I’d have just stayed silent, keeping my head firmly held high.
My golden rule now is to give myself 24 hours before I do anything. You will usually see things differently and if not, at least you’ve given yourself time for your emotions to settle if it still feels like the right thing to do.
6) The quality of your health is the foundation for everything else in your life. Relationships and professional life included. When you feel off-kilter and don’t know where to start, begin with working at balancing the components of your physical, emotional and mental health and see how this ripples out to other areas.
7) Know it’s never too late. Whether you’re single in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even beyond, it’s never, ever too late to find love. You have 2 choices; mope around telling yourself you’re past it so what’s the point OR get out there and refuse to look at the people who are happy in relationships at your age as the only way the world works. It isn’t. Just because that’s what you’re choosing to focus on, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Focus instead on using the coupled-up people as inspiration of what’s out there for you. Choose to see the amount of people who are also looking for what you want because I assure you, there are plenty out there!
It’s never too late to reinvent yourself in any or all pieces of your life and there are countless examples of people who are likely older than you who have done just that. Some, multiple times.
It’s really very simple; stay stuck in your mouldy beliefs or get out there, be the example and make things happen.
8) If you commit to something, firstly make sure it’s 100% what you want. And then, always do your best but don’t deplete yourself. A bit like 5) not reacting in the moment, it can be very easy to say yes to things that in our gut don’t feel quite right. Only say yes to something that feels right on a cellular level.
Sure, we all have to do things, especially when it comes to work, that aren’t always ideal. But is taking that a temporary measure, providing a financial cushion/giving you skills/allowing you time to get you to where you want to be OR is it going to completely suck your soul dry and lead you further off your path because you’re mentally, physically and emotionally drained?
It’s the same with anything though - how you approach dating (intentional swiping rather than mindless!), your romantic and business relationships and friendships.
If you do commit, commit with integrity and with an inner promise to do your best and give your all to that commitment. But don’t stretch to the point where you’re over-giving. Giving ‘your all’ doesn’t mean putting yourself to the bottom of the pile to the benefit of someone else, an opportunity or a work role. (And by the way, it’s also ok to say no or step back at a later date if it isn’t right or compromising your health, heart or wellbeing.)
Giving your all means looking after yourself first to do your best, to stay true to your word, to deliver your best. It means showing what your standards for yourself are from the onset.
9) When you respect yourself and live with that as a purpose, others automatically respect you too. 'Nuff said :)
10) See things for how they really are. We overcomplicate things so much. If someone you’re dating isn’t showing you the same level of respect, isn’t acting on their word or is going hot and cold, don’t try and justify it by telling yourself and others that the situation is ‘complicated’ so you’re hanging in there just to see. When someone likes you, they show you. Take off the rose tinted-s. Dating and relationships come with complications totally, but where signs are being pointed out to you, don’t look too deeply into them, get caught up in the drama or choose to turn a blind eye. Simplify it down to what it really is and what it really means.
Walking away might feel hurtful, disappointing, like you’re admitting defeat or have failed, but in reality, the exact opposite is happening. You’re taking control, showing ultimate respect for yourself and choosing for yourself instead of playing puppet for someone else.
Move on as there is someone out there who won’t make you ask these questions.
11) Have fun and find your way to approach life in a way that works for you. We can take life so seriously and yes, it comes with things that need to be taken seriously, for sure. But I always like to approach the ‘self-help’ (urgh, I really hate that term!) aspect of what I do from the perspective that whilst inner work is crucial, happiness, a great relationship and an unstoppable life in general doesn’t have to mean following all of the very ‘prescriptive’ advice that we can be bombarded with.
If you hate meditating, don’t do it! If eating the way all the health bloggers with banging bodies eat makes you feel like crap, don’t eat that way. If the advice in that 7th self-help book makes you completely cringe, that isn’t the only advice. If totally removing alcohol from your life makes you miserable (if alcohol wasn’t having a detrimental effect on your life or health of course) don’t do it. Enjoy the wine! Find your own moderation.
You are unique and what works for you will be unique.
The key to the ‘inner work’ being more effective and less laborious, is to find a way that feels good. It’s not about someone else having all the answers. You can look for guidance, advice, help and support in others and try things out as that’s how you’ll learn, grow and discover. But you always have to take full ownership of you. Be your own leading role in your life. Piece together your own formula.
It’s not even the self-help aspect of life either. The more you’re having fun, taking opportunities that excite you, working towards something that really makes you come alive, dating in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore, engaging in relationships where you feel relaxed, happy and where it’s on mutual respectful terms, the better your life will be. You’ll be more resilient, enjoy higher quality relationships and be unstoppable without even trying.
So there you go. These have all helped me immensely and I really hope they can help and inspire you, in your own way too.
(If you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org)