“Every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.”
Today is the first day of a well-deserved ‘Staycation’ I have needed to take since the beginning of the year. It is also the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week – something I only found out about this morning from an Instagram post, so I guess you could say it’s a happy coincidence, as the whole reason I booked the week off was to reset my mind and recharge my batteries.
The sun is shining, I’m in a much happier place and I have spent the past few weeks figuring out my next move in life. This is a new beginning, a veritable shedding of my skin if you will. I say this figuratively of course, but after last weeks ill-advised session in the park sans sun cream, my shoulders are flakier than an introvert with weekend plans – so the analogy works on all levels.
Introducing Shelly Version 3.0. The me that is me now, not the end goal, not the person I will be in the future and most certainly not the me of the past – just the one I am happy to be today.
All too often, when people find themselves lost, anxious, struggling or going through a difficult time, they say “I just want to get back to normal”, or “I just want the old me back.” This, in my humble opinion, is a view that needs reframing, and I am somewhat adept in this area. I have gotten to this point in my life through continual growth and forward progression, the only interest I have in the past is what it has taught me about today.
Why on earth would you want to go backwards? The person you were last year, last week or even 5 minutes ago is the past version of you. If the way you have been living, behaving and thinking has taken you down a dark path, that’s ok – but you need to understand that in order to come out the other side and step into your light, things need to change, and so looking back or holding onto the past is not going to help you.
And this is where things get difficult, because change is H A R D and it requires a lot of strength, determination and habit changing – but hey, if the way you are operating at a base level right now isn’t working, then it has to be worth a shot, right?
The other thing about change is the point that comes right before it. That identity crisis, the questioning of life and your place in it, the pain, and the feeling of being lost, or on the flipside of that, knowing exactly who you are and what your purpose in life is, but feeling completely stuck in the life you’re living now. I was very much the latter. I know who I am, I know what I want and where I am heading, but I was struggling because I had ZERO clue how to get there, and of course, I took it all so seriously that I thought anything that wasn’t a major leap in advancement meant that I was failing.
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
~ Anthony Robbins
The first step for me, as I spoke about in my last post, was to stop taking everything so flipping seriously! Nothing is the end of the world and everything will always work out exactly as it is supposed to so long as you remember that there is a solution to every problem. Always. Obstacles will come up in life and you will need to find your way through them, but when you get to the point where you are LOOKING for new problems, then I’m afraid you need to have a word with yourself as you’re simply making your life harder for no reason. This is exactly what I was doing, and the more I pulled things apart in search of solutions that I didn’t need, the more problems and worries I faced. If you go looking for something you will find it, so quit looking for stuff that stresses you out and look for the stuff that makes you smile.
Now that I have stopped trying to find the answers for all of the questions under the sun (and then some), I am finding that the ways forward for me are simply appearing in front of me, because they are obvious, they are simple and they have come from a place of acceptance for who I am now. I am not suddenly going to morph into a completely different person, because I love all the great things about myself, and I accept the things that are not so great, I admit them and I am finding ways to improve upon them. What I am going to do, is lighten the hell up and enjoy who I am, and that’s what Shelly Version 3.0 is all about.
“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”
I have found that now when I am faced with triggers and stressors that would normally set me off, I am able to stop, take a look at my go-to response and do the complete opposite of what I would normally do because past approaches obviously aren’t having the desired effect!
Instead of quitting, running away or hiding from things that have upset me, I am facing them head on and I am having the difficult, face-to-face conversations that need to be had to find a way forward.
When I am faced with a decision that greets me with a crossroads, instead of taking the safe route, avoiding all risk and walking the path that will ultimately make me unhappy and resentful, I am sitting down at the fork in the road, taking my time, weighing up my options and eagerly looking towards the thing that scares the crap out of me – but is the right thing to do for my future. I know that period of just stopping to breathe will take me in the right direction.
Instead of mithering about being single or lighting up at the slightest bit of attention from a guy, I am simply getting on with the stuff that is important to me and enjoying any attention that is being thrown my way in the moment I receive it, rather than chasing or clinging onto it. I know my worth and I know my standards. Just last week I was asked out by a guy who asked what size my boobs were before asking what I do for a living. Boy Bye. It’s quite simple, ask me out, make plans and stick to them. Then I might entertain the idea of getting excited about you.
Simple changes that I’ve made already but, as said by Mel Robbins in ‘The 5 Second Rule’, just because things are simple, does not mean they are easy.
- I am learning to have more fun and I’ve removed the stick from up my butt.
- I trust that the answers I need will come to me and I am no longer looking for problems that don’t exist.
- I am being brave and facing things head on instead of running away from them or quitting because I’m afraid of the outcome.
- I am taking stock and taking my time to face my fears with excitement rather than terror – there are big things on the other side of our comfort zone, you just have to push through and grab them.
- I know my worth.
That is a LOT in the space of just a few weeks, but the results speak for themselves and I am back to being the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ I know I am at heart. I am not going to get sidelined by the fact that I haven’t achieved some of the things I want to yet, those things are for Shelly Version 6.0 and 11.0 to get under her belt. I don’t have to decide to be anything other than me right now – because I am constantly growing, evolving and learning, but I can honestly say that I have defeated the demon at the end of the last stage of my life, and I have levelled up into the next one – and that’s what life is all about, just figuring it all out as we go along.
(Butterfly Image Credit: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/butterfly-roni-kurniawan.html)