Being Good Enough …
Right from when I was a little girl, I remember wanting to be the best!
I strived to be successful at school!
I was a people pleaser!
I did what was expected of me!
I was desperate to meet those traditional expectations of what good girls did!
Good girls do well at school!
Good girls go to university!
Good girls get married and have 2.4 children!
When I look back on my life, I think all that time I was driven by an urge to prove myself good enough and that urge meant that I always pushed myself hard. And in the traditional sense, I was utterly successful! I got the degree, I qualified as a teacher and I became headteacher by the time I was 39. And all that whilst managing my busy life with two children and a husband with mental health issues.
But I was not happy!
I was pushing myself too hard!
I was becoming more and more stressed-out!
And then I reached a new level of busy when I ended my 17-year marriage. I went through stages of grief and relief, but my already busy life moved to a whole new level.
The Path to Burnout
I went out too much nightclubbing.
I turned to alcohol for relief.
I threw myself into online dating.
And I did all these things to a ridiculous level, whilst still holding down my job as a Headteacher. I had taken busy to a whole new level. And guess what?
I still wasn’t happy.
I carried on pushing myself too hard.
I was getting more and more stressed-out!
And when I pushed myself even further and moved to my second Headship within a year of the end of my marriage my ridiculous life reached a whole new level of crazy. But it only lasted a matter of months.
It was just on ordinary Tuesday when I arrived at school as I had done many times before. But that day, something inside me finally broke! As I looked at my computer, the years of frustration, stress and lack of self-care finally became too much. That was the day I didn’t even have the motivation to bend down and switch on my computer
The day I lost all my motivation!
The day I finally burnt out!
The day stress finally took me down!
That’s the day I walked out of work and never went back.
I can’t even remember how I got to the medical centre, but I do remember that at the end of the conversation with the practise nurse, I was given a diagnosis of depression. This was a shock to me and everyone who knew me but now I look back on my life in the run up to that day it’s not really a surprise that I reached the point of burn out.
From the outside I appeared to have everything; career, family, nice house etc. But on the inside, I was full of negative thoughts which fed self-doubt and continual questions about whether I was doing enough, being enough and achieving enough. On top of that, I had a very noisy inner critic and a lack of self-care and self-prioritisation. I had also spent far too many years in a relationship which was not right for me.
The Journey Back
And for far too long, I had kept going!
I had held everything together!
I had made sure everything was right!
I was off work for a whole year as I tried to heal my body and my mind.
I got help!
I went on a journey of self-discovery!
I uncovered that years of poor self-care habits, dodgy thinking and stress had led me to that point of burn out.
I realised that I had been stressed-out for a really long time and not realised. But I also understood that I could change!
After that year of being off sick from work, I resigned from my 20-year career and then through the receipt of a random email, trained as a hypnotherapist and after a couple of years, a coach and NLP Practitioner. I discovered that I loved helping people to become the best versions of themselves.
The Self-Development Trap
But after a while I began to notice a pattern. My clients were coming to me with a ‘shopping list’ of things they wanted to improve about themselves. And I could relate! Like my clients, I had one of those lists and I never quite felt like I got to the end of it.
Just as I felt better about one area of my life, something else would rear it’s ugly head and I would be off again; seeking therapeutic help, reading booking and trying different tools to feel okay again.
I was caught in ‘The Self-Development Trap‘ and so were most of my clients.
Understanding How We Create Our Experience
And then, by chance, I came across a set of psychological principles of how human beings create their experience. This set of principles is like gravity; they work all the time no matter who you are.
As I learnt about these principles, I noticed that I fell deeper and deeper into a place of confidence, clarity and inner peace. A place I had never previously thought possible.
I realised that thinking was creating my stress!
I learnt that thinking is creating every aspect of my reality!
I know that how I relate to my thinking affects every part of my life!
And I now believe that it was all that thinking that led me down a path to being totally stressed and eventually burnt out.
As I have connected deeply to this understanding about how the mind works, I have learnt more and more about how much impact my thoughts are having on my life. I have learnt about the nature of thought which has revolutionised how I feel every day and helped me to move closer and closer to inner peace.
I have permanently stepped off the self-development hamster wheel.
I have connected to a deep sense of my own wellbeing.
I have dropped the need to fix myself.
I feel settled and happy with who I am.
I have gained a deep connection to who I really am.
And finally gained the confidence, clarity and inner peace I had been searching for.