Pic by Saskia of Hey Saturday
I remember when I was going through heartbreak and spending hours on google and delving into self-help books searching for answers, tips and advice. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! Of course, some of it was incredibly useful and served me well to put into practice, but there are a few other things that I’ve explored and which have really done wonders in cultivating more confidence, self-worth, skills, friendships and purpose.
So, I thought it would be fun to put together a post on some of the more unique things that really helped see me through, and then out of heartbreak in the best way possible.
1) Start a blog
When I went through my last major breakup, I found comfort in writing. Writing is always something I’ve loved and turned to whether that be creative writing, composing articles and blogs or song writing. So it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to start writing about my own experience of heartbreak via a blog - the early days of this blog in fact! Not only did I find it a cathartic and therapeutic experience writing out what I was feeling and learning, it also enabled me to connect with so many people around the world who were going through the same thing. The fact that others found my words meaningful and of value - something they could also use for themselves, it gave me a new purpose during a time when I felt depleted and somewhat useless on every level.
I’m not saying that you have to air the gory details of your heartbreak or breakup for everyone to read - starting a blog or just putting pen to paper doesn’t have to be related to your heartbreak at all! When I read other people’s blogs, I’m always so curious as to what it was that propelled the person into starting it. 9 times out of 10, it’s usually to fulfil a void of unhappiness or emptiness or to mark a turning point in their life.
The whole creative process of blogging is something that can cultivate joy, release and purpose from the get-go.
2) Start a business
My blog eventually turned into my business of helping people through heartbreak on a more personal level. Again, this isn’t specifically what I am suggesting you do (unless you want to, in which case, go at it!) but out of so many of the people I work with, an interesting realisation that often comes to light, is an inner desire to start a business, side business or project. Heartbreak tends to make you reassess everything in your life and that often includes looking at where you’re the most unfulfilled and with many people - their career unhappiness or dissatisfaction is the thing they’ve avoided confronting. So why not actually go for it? Use your heartbreak as fuel to start that business or side project (that might eventually turn into a business) that you’re deeply passionate about!
There are countless examples of people who have started successful companies, small businesses or undergone radical career changes rooted in their passion after the ordeal of heartbreak. Use it as a catalyst to go after what you want! The fact that so many other people have (including me!), just goes to prove that it’s totally possible for you too!
3) Take a solo trip
Venturing out alone can feel like the most daunting thing in the world. Especially when you’ve been used to having someone there by your side most of the time. I took a solo trip to the US back in 2016 and it was the best thing I could have ever done at that time. Yes, I was nervous but the thrill and exhilaration of traveling alone, not knowing what to expect, being open to all kinds of new experiences and meeting new people did wonders for my confidence and zest for life. I had no specific plans or agenda and I went with the total goal of going with the flow whilst seeing as much as possible. I came back into Heathrow feeling like a new woman armed with new ideas, aspirations, friends, experiences and an LA glow that granted, was out of a booth and yes, wildly overpriced but hey, it’s swings and roundabouts ;)
I really encourage anyone to travel alone however near or far that might be. It cultivates reassurance that you can take care of yourself and is the ultimate way to create new memories. Plus with sites like Air BnB, it’s really easy to do things on a budget. I usually get a room in someone’s place when I travel for more than a week as it’s cheaper but it’s also a good way to meet new people who can help you out with the local area.
If high end is more your thing though, I’ve recently discovered a new app called Hotel Tonight where you can book luxury hotels last minute for a substantial discount! Ultimate luxe travel hack right there!
4) Reach out to 5 people and ask them to go for coffee
This one might sound a bit weird but hear me out ;) Something that has helped me immensely recently after going through 2 tough years in 2016/17 health-wise (which kind of felt like a heartbreak, albeit not a romantic one) has been getting out and meeting new people. Not necessarily just in a dating capacity, but in general.
Heartbreak in all forms can feel like such a stifling, isolating experience but with the likes of social media, it’s easier than ever to form new connections that can then turn into IRL friendships. I’ve used Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram and meet-up.com to make amazing new friends who do all kinds of interesting, unique and inspiring things whether that’s in their careers, ventures, hobbies or just in their character. Nearly every friend I made in my visits to LA over the past 3 years originally came via social media!
Whenever I meet someone new or form a friendship this way, I always leave feeling uplifted and almost like some colour has been splashed back into my life. Interacting with people totally creates new and refreshed perspectives.
It’s probably the inner entrepreneur in me that is drawn to meeting people this way but it could also be just reaching out to people you haven’t seen in a while - old friends or ex colleagues you miss. It’s not about trying to accumulate as many friends as possible. I’m a firm believer in the idea that true friendships are about quality not quantity. This is more about just finding ways to broaden your social circles and the type of people you spend time around.
And if there’s someone you’d just really like to get coffee with because you love what they do or really think you’d get on - what’s the harm in reaching out?!
5) Write thank you letters
I can’t take credit for this one as it was inspired by an amazing lady who I worked with in the past. One thing she did after going through her breakup, was to write letters to all her friends and family who supported her through the experience. It enabled her to immerse herself in gratitude as opposed to dwelling on the heartbreak, and of course, it made everyone she sent one too feel loved and appreciated too.
How often do we receive thought out hand-written letters or cards that genuinely express our thanks and appreciation these days? Erm, not very often! I think it’s a fab thing to do (and plus, it gets you off your phone wondering if you should text your ex, right?! ;) )
I really hope these ideas have given you some food for thought or inspiration! The most effective way that I’ve found to alleviate heartbreak stress and counteract the feeling of loss, is to not try and find someone else to cure that, but to immerse yourself in something else. Start pursuing your passion in whatever form that is - a blog, business, fashion, writing a book, volunteering, music, writing, art - anything! I assure you, it will give you so much fulfilment, joy and hope for the future and could easily turn into something better than you ever imagined.
I’d love to hear any other unique coping tools that you’ve turned to following heartbreak?
Pic by Hey Saturday
Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a great night and enjoyable day however you spent it. So with 2018 now here, I thought I'd talk about some of the most powerful things I’ve learned from 2017 in the hope that you can take some value and apply in your own life.
As I mentioned before, I’m not really into resolutions and 2017 saw me play around much more with intentions. Good on anyone that makes resolutions and enjoys the process but for me, they feel too regimented, overwhelming and you can leave yourself ripe for self-sabotage as soon as you step off-track.
My intentions are much more about checking in with myself daily and asking myself how I want to FEEL. I definitely have goals, but I know I’m much more likely to achieve them if everyday I’m thinking about how I want to feel and leading with that as opposed to approaching resolutions with gritted teeth and stressing about whether I’m making enough progress and feeling bad if I don’t live up to them or see them through.
Some examples of my daily intentions have been -:
- To feel energised
- To feel alive (not literally, but truly alive)
- To feel what I'm feeling without worrying!
- To feel relaxed
- To feel creative
- To feel inspired
- To feel like I’m showing up looking a million dollars in my appearance
- To feel like I’m getting sh*t done!
- To feel like I’m offering value
- To feel flirtatious and playful (a fun one!)
So I’m definitely going to continue with this because hey, if it ain’t broke….
Next up, I learned that it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to compare yourself to other people, whether that’s online or off. There will be so many people talking and writing about their 2017 highlights and whilst I’m ALL for celebrating the wins and best bits, it can be helpful to remember that many people choose not to put out there the moments, days or months of struggle.
People often don’t want to reveal their ugly cry moments or things that have gone wrong - they choose to keep it private (which I’m all for) and so it can help to remind yourself of this just to keep some perspective.
There was a point in 2017 where I felt like I’d lost my way a little. I found myself comparing who I was and what I was doing in life, business and love/dating/relationships to other people and it was the most stifling and stalling experience that did NOTHING for my health, relationships or work life.
Later on in the year, I chose to abandon this and get INSPIRED instead of comparing. I’ve taken multiple breaks from social media, focused on myself and the people around me who really matter (because that has been a learning too!), thought about my work and business in a way that feels good to me (and took my time with that) and gained inner confidence back.
(On a side-note, a big tip I have is to switch off your phone in the evening. Read a book that isn't on an electronic device, do something creative or just relax. 2017 was also the year I read more books than any previous year and it's been such a rewarding experience that I'd forgotten. It opens up your imagination and can make you feel like you're having a conversation with a dream mentor depending on what you're reading!)
So, 2018 is all about staying on my own path and reminding myself the only permission I need is my own. It’s about listening to my inner alert system when something feels ‘off’, checking myself on the comparison monitor and it’s about not caring what other people think so damn much or holding off things in fear of what people might do, say or think.
It's exhausting to spend your life worrying about other people’s opinions and putting them on an invisible pedestal you’ve taken precious time and energy to carve out - that they’re not even aware they’re on!
A little more superficial, but this is one that has brought me a surprising amount of joy and that’s been rediscovering my love of style, beauty and wellness. I’ve always harboured a passion for these (I used to write a fashion blog and was a fashion and beauty writer professionally at one point) but I really dove back into this in the later part of 2017. It’s made me feel even more like ‘me’ again and I’m excited to incorporate more lifestyle content into my work. (Leave a comment and let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see!). After all, healing from heartbreak, bouncing back and reinvention can work on multiple levels - there’s inner work to be done sure, but the creativity and self-care aspect of style, beauty and wellness never goes amiss either!
Personally, I know coming back to this part of me has helped me reconnect to myself even more.
A good question you can ask yourself for this year is if there's a core part of you that you’ve lost a connection with? Was there something you used to do or love that you've side-lined? Don’t undervalue how much fun and happiness it can bring you by reintroducing even just a piece of that back again.
Something else I’ve been reminded of, is that when it comes to confidence and self-esteem, the more you believe you're worthy and what you have to offer as a person is of value, the more other people will respect and respond to that accordingly. If you’re doubtful about yourself, people have a radar for it. Your dating life becomes one filled with anxiety instead of fun, people you meet don’t gravitate towards you quite so much and whatever you’re putting out into the world is tarnished with your inner doubt and therefore isn’t received as well.
Simply put, the more faith and passion you have in yourself, the more others will. The more respect you’ll get and the better results you’ll have in all areas of your life. This isn’t about ‘faking it until you make it’ (urgh) it’s about practicing it until you believe it. And it’s a constant thing - I don’t believe there’s a level of perfect, absolute confidence.
So how do you even begin? Well, it's about doing things that make YOU feel good, not comparing yourself to others, being your own cheerleader, having faith in YOU, working at your crafts with laser focus, having boundaries, pushing your comfort zones to expand your inner knowing and being open to change - all of these are integral to cultivating confidence. It can feel scary but in my opinion, that’s a worthy trade-off!
Celebrating the good stuff in the everyday is what I want to end this post on. We’re so conditioned to focus on the bad, the struggles, the annoyances, the heartbreaks, the stresses. What I really learned in 2017 as I stripped many things away, was that when something good happens, celebrate it! I was fortunate to get some great press and opportunities before Christmas and there was a point when I might have taken this for granted.
This time though, I enjoyed it, I felt good about it, I savoured it. I’ve had some beautiful conversations with people that I truly appreciate. I’ve enjoyed experiences that at one time I might have overlooked in sight of the next best or big thing. I’m as ambitious as I ever was but I’ve truly learned the art of stepping back to appreciate and live in the moment more. This has been one of the best changes in myself that I’ve witnessed and it’s something I'll definitely be taking even more into 2018! I really do encourage you to think about how you can celebrate everyday moments more too. It’s a game-changer.
So there we have it :) I also just want to thank you all so much for all your emails, comments and support. Every time I receive one, it makes my day and I’m so looking forward to bringing much more to you in 2018. I want this year to be incredible for you – your best yet, and I’d love to know what type of posts you’d like to see more of to help with that. Do let me know in the comments!
I also have some other things in store for you but will reveal more in January ;)
Wishing you a fantastic New Year however you’re spending it. And if you are alone - know that you’re not really alone. The person you’ve spent every minute of every day of your life with is you - you are your own hero, cheerleader and soulmate so embrace that, appreciate yourself, show yourself the love that you crave and set some fun, bold and intentions that you're actually excited to live by in 2018 - because we’re all in this together and we’ve all got this!
With Christmas coming up, I know how this can bring up feelings of dread and despair if you’ve gone through heartbreak. Yes, it’s supposed to be a happy time, but it can also be hugely triggering.
On the flip side though, it’s also an amazing time to think about what you want for the next year. I know it’s not easy, but looking forward instead of remaining in stagnancy is so crucial to healing and setting some momentum.
I’m not really about New Year’s Resolutions, I’m more of an intentions kinda girl. These aren’t so ‘goal’ orientated and just feel more fun, less dogmatic and less overwhelming.
When it comes to intentions, the idea of reinvention has been on my mind a great deal recently so I thought it might be useful to talk about some ways that you can use your heartbreak as rocket fuel for your reinvention and why right now, before the New Year is the perfect time to kick start these into action!
1) Be grateful every single day
As one of my faves Tony Robbins says “I believe the ultimate path to enlightenment is the cultivation of gratitude. When you're grateful, fear disappears. When you're grateful lack disappears.”
I know there’s a ton out there about gratitude and it can seem somewhat fluffy and surface level, but I promise you, when you get into the mindset of having some sort of gratitude practice on the daily, your life will change in profound ways.
It isn’t just about being grateful for people and possessions, it’s being grateful for your setbacks and your heartbreaks, what they've taught you and how they've spurred you to use them as fuel instead of sitting in despair. It's about being grateful for embracing how much light your pain will bring (because it will if you’re committed for it to).
2) Call back in the person you were at your best
Reinvention can also be creating a reunion with your core, best self. Think back to a time in your life when you feel you were at your best. When you felt unstoppable! What were you doing? How did you spend your time? What boundaries did you have in place?
For me, my absolute best self was when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. Not from a maturity perspective (ha, hell no!) but the way I approached life and the things I was engaging in. I was prepared to ‘be a beginner’ and that brought me so much inner freedom. It was when I felt the most ‘me’.
So part of my own reinvention for the next year is bringing those elements back in, not being afraid to be a beginner and merging those parts of my best and most vibrant younger self with the woman I am today.
3) Don’t sit in your setbacks but USE them
There's a lot of people talking about their setbacks - I have on here plenty of times. And whilst I know talking about our struggles makes us feel less alone, more connected and helps create empathy, I also know that setbacks, failure or the feeling of failure, completely and utterly sucks. Plus, talking about it too much can keep us stuck in victim mode and it can gradually become part of our identity. So instead of bathing in your setbacks and failures, use them as a match to light the fire of your reinvention.
Learn from them and actually do something different to make sure you don’t get the same result again.
4) Know that forgiveness is your ticket to happiness
Forgive and let go. Others and yourself. If someone has done you wrong, it isn’t letting them off the hook, it’s letting yourself and your emotional freedom off the hook. Leaving more room to live the life you truly want and deserve.
5) Learn something new
It’s been proven that learning something new creates new neural pathways in the brain. (Honestly, it's fascinating!) This will help to form new memories, new habits and encourages your brain to operate in a completely different way - which is often what’s needed when you’re in a place of stagnancy.
If you don’t know where to start, write down 50 things you’d be curious to try and then pick something you feel excited about and just give it a go!
6) Stick to your own path
I advise people I coach to have an open mind about many things, but when it comes to your overall vision for yourself and your life, something I’ve learnt is that it pays dividends to stick to your own path. Enforce a productive kind of tunnel vision. Yes, you can get inspired by others but there’s a fine line between inspiration and then comparison, jealousy and the type of influence that knocks you off-course.
The idea isn’t to become a copy of someone else, it’s to become the best version of you in all your unique glory! The less you look to others around you or on social media to give you permission and external confidence and instead, having full faith in your own path, the more you start to truly live and flourish with freedom.
7) Don’t care what others think but care about what matters
Similar to 6, staying on your own path is also about being your own cheerleader and not caring what other people think. My god I wish I’d have learnt this one sooner. There is nothing more physically, emotionally and mentally stifling than waiting for someone else to tell you you’re good enough to start that project, end that relationship that’s toxic or just not right, or do that crazy thing that your heart is screaming for.
You don’t have anything to prove to anyone.
I have seriously paid the price for this on all levels and it’s taken a lot of work to reach a point where now I don’t seek or wait for permission from anyone.
However, I care where it matters. I request and take people’s perspectives and suggestions on-board and am always grateful for that. I just choose wisely who I go to and whose opinions I allow in.
This one isn’t about being reckless and disregarding everything and everyone. It’s about caring so much about what you want that you put 100% love and thought into it. It’s about caring for yourself throughout that and having ultimate respect, compassion and fire for yourself and the process regardless of the outcome. And it’s about caring for the people around you who really matter.
When it comes to love too, I know how easy it is to get caught up in thinking we need to change in order for someone to like us. My best piece of advice from experience is that changing to accommodate others is a fast track to anxiety overload because it isn’t sustainable.
Here’s what you do - you change for yourself.
This will probably involve looking at your own stuff and facing that head-on instead of hoping someone else will take it all away. It isn’t easy and will take time and work. But I assure you once you commit to having ultimate respect, love and faith in yourself and who you are (despite the blips that life throws at you along the way), you will attract the right people who honour that and who probably think the same about themselves too. E.g. the perfect recipe for a healthy relationship. Like attracts like after all.
8) Try a new look
Perhaps a lot fluffier than the other ones, but reinvention means evolvement and let’s be real, it’s amazing how better fitting clothes, a new shade of lippie or a fresh hair style can help you step into the ‘you’ you want to become!
9) Your health is your emotional, mental and financial wealth
Focus on this first and everything will follow.
10) Have faith that even after heartbreak, you can still find love again
I’ve experienced it and have helped countless clients who have proved this time and time again. It sounds corny but once you learn to fall in love with yourself and life again - using the art of reinvention to do so, love with someone else will come without painful effort and you don’t feel so dependent on a timeline.
Whilst you’re still hoping that finding love will fix everything, you're looking at something external as the source of your happiness and wholeness, and that makes you powerless. When you focus on yourself, you’re taking back you power in every way. You have control. The love will come, I assure you, and when it does it will be better than ever because YOU will feel better than ever!
So there you have it! I hope this helps you and as always, I'm sending you lots of love especially for the holiday week ahead.
If you’d like to reach out to work with me privately, you can do so on firstname.lastname@example.org
You probably feel like you’ve done absolutely everything you’re ‘supposed’ to, you’ve followed all the advice, all the 'do’s' and 'don’ts' and yet you’re still not over the heartbreak. For some this feeling can creep in after weeks, for others months, and even years for some people.
What I want you to know is that you’re not alone in this feeling. I really wanted to write a post on this topic because not only have I experienced it myself, but I know and have worked with countless others who have too.
The thing about heartbreak, is that it isn’t linear. There isn’t a set time limit by which you should be ‘over it’ and it also depends on the complexities of the relationship or what you’ve been through. That’s why you can never compare yourself to someone else’s experience.
I recently had an email from someone who asked me how to speed up the process. Like I always say, there isn’t a quick fix to getting over heartbreak and you can't exactly expedite it. But there are things we can do that will, let’s just say, help things along. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually involve a simple ‘5 step’ plan from a google article. I know I know, that’s not what any of us want to hear but like a sugar fix is only temporary and leaves you hungry for more and feeling all sorts of wired, it’s kind of the same thing when it comes to dealing with heartbreak.
Usually, the biggest reason why we fail to ‘get over it’ is because despite intellectually wanting that more than anything, on a deeper, more subconscious level, we haven’t let go because we don’t want to or are scared to. Not intentionally and this isn’t our fault - the subconscious sure is a tricky one to figure out!
On one hand, you’re wanting to be over it and frustrated as hell at that, yet creating an inner contradiction by ruminating over the past, wondering if breaking up was the right thing, questioning if you’ll ever find that relationship because months/years on even though you’ve dated, you still can’t seem to find anything or anyone that sticks. The initial effort of doing ‘all the things’ is there but a part of you still keeps looking back and isn’t really letting go at all.
Usually, because truly letting go propels us into the unknown. It means total acceptance and it means changing old habits. The thing about habits, is that even if they’re not working, they’re safe, they’re comfortable, we know the outcome of them, and they’re our identity.
So try asking yourself what would really happen if you did, 100% let go? What would that mean? What part of yourself and your past would you be shedding in favour of the new and unknown?
What kind of feelings come up from that? There might be some uncomfortable ones but that’s ok.
If you really want to get over the heartbreak, honestly, you have to be prepared to change this identity you’ve created for yourself. You have to put in the work to change the habits and gradually replace them with ones that are more aligned to moving on. That are more aligned to you, who you want to become and what you want for your future.
You have to 100% believe you can and will get over it and know you want to on every cellular level. You have to know that despite what you're feeling, there's a future out there for you that isn’t tarnished by that breakup, person or heartbreak.
Some relationships or situations will leave a mark, even a scar on our hearts, but that still doesn’t mean that we can’t find love, fulfilment and happiness in the future. We just have to want it enough.
Here are some things that it might mean -:
- Accepting that your ex is with someone else - dating, in a relationship with or married to. BUT also 100% deciding to believe that it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough and instead, knowing that by the very nature of them being with someone else, the relationship wasn’t right for you.
- Accepting that just because you’ve dated, met loads of people and it hasn’t led to anything, it doesn’t mean that breaking up with your ex was the wrong thing or that you won’t find anything/anyone better for you.
- Letting go of regrets. It's a cliché but for a reason!
- Owning up to the crap/habits/behaviours that aren’t working and taking the steps to change them. And taking those steps again and again. Creating new habits is like teaching a child something - they have to be told over and over, not just a couple of times.
- Treating yourself like the person you want to be (and how you want to be treated in a relationship). Having full respect for yourself and seeing this through in your thoughts, actions, habits, behaviours - everything!
- Embracing the unknown.
- Knowing that it’s ok to feel sad, hurt, lonely, frustrated and that it’s actually very healthy. But to also know that these feelings don’t have to define you. You don’t have to sink into them and you have the ability within you to choose better ones.
- Knowing that this all takes persistence and patience.
- Getting support, advice and help from others but ultimately knowing that the decision to let go has to come from you. When you make that decision, you have everything you need within you.
- Believing that letting go is the key to your emotional freedom.
- Knowing that forgiving (yourself and anyone else) is the biggest key to being over it and TOTALLY reclaiming your emotional freedom.
As always, you have my full support and believe me, you can do this. You can let go and move on if you really want to, I assure you :)
I have some fun style/fashion themed Christmas posts coming up next so excited to be preparing those for you!
And if you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on email@example.com
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)
A lot of people ask me how long it takes to get over an ex. I don’t care what statistics say, I don’t think it’s particularly measurable because it’s not like you wake up one day and are all of a sudden ‘over them’. Usually, it takes small steps and it gradually happens, often without you even realising.
So here is a quick and dirty list of a few signs that you’re definitely on the right path!
1) You’ve finally started to not need your phone constantly cemented to your hand incase they text or call
2) You’re no longer disappointed if your phone buzzes and it’s not your ex
3) You’re getting better sleep
4) You have even a tiny bit of curiosity about someone else you’ve met or know
5) You’re enjoying spending time with your friends and really appreciating them
6) You’ve taken up a new interest or hobby (or fell in love with an old one) which fills some of the time you spent with your ex
7) Even if you don’t love being alone, you’re ok with it
8) You don’t feel the need to talk about your ex, the breakup, how they hurt you or what they did wrong. That story isn’t the centre of conversation with your friends, family, co-workers or whoever will listen now
9) You still might think about your ex but you think more about the realistic reasons why the relationship ended instead of dwelling on all the good times and thinking you’re now missing out or will never get that back
10) You’re not obsessing over their Facebook, instagram or social media pages trying to decipher what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with
11) You think you might have just flirted a bit with that guy/girl!
12) You’ve stopped or not as tempted to google ’ways to get your ex back’
13) You’re toying with the idea that there could be a better relationship for you out there and there’s a tiny spark of excitement about that prospect
14) You can go out, have a few drinks and enjoy it instead of texting your ex, crying or bitching about them
15) You’re able to laugh and actually have fun (even if it’s just a little bit!) without it feeling forced or like you're putting on a brave face
16) You're not making excuses for or justifying what they did or didn't do that led to the breakup happening. You're starting to think more about what that says about them or the relationship
17) You're starting to focus more on your own health and self-care. It might feel strange but you're becoming more ok with putting yourself first or at least acknowledge that this is the best thing you can do right now
If you’re feeling any of these and you’re considering getting back with your ex because it’s familiar, would be easy or you just wonder what indulging in that craving for nostalgia would lead to, then remember that by feeling any of the above things, you’ve created a shift. You’ve created a shift between the past and present and whilst we would all love to be able to go back down memory lane, in the ‘today’ it probably won’t be as hearts, flowers, roses and unicorns. Because today is different to back then and you're starting to see things differently now.
By feeling any of these things on the list, you’ve pivoted. You've pivoted on a new and more fulfilling path for yourself. Keep on that path, keep doing exactly what you’re doing. Oh, and go flirt some more whilst you’re at it too! ;)