Greetings all! So this is the fourth and final week of my month long sabbatical from work.You may or may not have noticed that there was no week 3 post. Week 3 was kind of a blur for me, complete with ups, downs, tears, laughter and a dance with dear old depression….but what I learned in week 3 changed my life.
When I decided to take the break from work, my goal was to pursue writing a second book, and to get all (each and every one) of the things done that I never seem to have time to do (clean closets, clean house, change my name from my wedding TWO years ago, paper work for my husband’s company, etc, etc.)
I also took on a huge clothing order for the fire department that I volunteer for. (I had NO idea what a job that was going to turn out to be.)
Having said that, you can likely already see what may have led to my week 3 meltdown.
I set the bar so high for myself, I completely set myself up for failure. I couldn’t possibly achieve all of the things I intended to in the time I had off, which left me feeling like a failure. The bigger question though was what on earth motivated me to do that?
After much contemplation, I realized the following about myself:
I have always lived my life from a place of fear and insecurity. Even when things were going well for me, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe not consciously, but it was always there in the background, as all limiting beliefs about ourselves are.
Due to my insecurity, I became a people pleaser in an effort to fill up what I thought was a fault in my personality. I tried too hard and often gave too much in an effort to prove myself, my worth, my value.
I chased after certain jobs thinking that they were the key to my happiness. I thought a “career in a certain field” was the missing piece of the puzzle, that the right job would define me and what I’m capable of, and without it, I would always feel incomplete.
I always longed to feel comfortable in my own skin. That was never going to happen when I was always trying so hard to be who I thought other people wanted me to be.
I then realized the following about life:
Nothing external will EVER, ever, ever fill that void within you. You can only fill it from the inside.
If you are not completely happy with who you are right now, in this moment, you will never be happy or fulfilled with anything outside of you, be it the right job, the right house, the right spouse. It’s like trying to fill a sieve.
Your pain and suffering is an ego thing. Only the ego feels the need to justify itself. You think you need certain things to be happy, but if you interrupt the incessant voice in your head telling you that you’re not enough as you are, and tune into what’s in your heart, you’ll begin to hear the still, quiet voice telling you that you ARE ENOUGH, you ARE WORTHY, you are LOVED exactly as you are.
We are all unique and therefore all have something unique to bring to the world that no one else can. There’s no need to compare yourself to, or compete with, anyone. Comparing and competing is your ego talking again.
No two paths are alike. Honour your uniqueness, follow YOUR path.
The key to happiness is being present in the moment, no matter what you are doing in that moment. You will drive yourself crazy and miss all the important moments right in front of you if you’re always thinking about wanting to be somewhere else.
I now look to my dogs for guidance. When they sleep, they sleep like they mean it; they snore. When someone says “walk”, they’re at the door and ready to go, when they’re hungry, they eat. They live completely in the moment and they love their humans with all their heart.
I'm a Certified Body Language Trainer and Speaker, columnist for Canadian Firefighter magazine and self publish author. I've combined my love of personal development with my passion for the fire service and I teach fire service members across Canada about the power of body language.