I was stuck, so stuck that I felt like I was sitting on the Merry go round getting dizzy, unable to get off, feeling sick and wondering if I was the only one. Thinking, there must be more to life than this!
I’d just found out that my current employer wasn’t going to accept my flexible working request, despite having accepted it when I had my first child. I was 37 and coming to the end of my maternity leave with my second child. I was looking to work 3 days in the office and 1 day from home, which was feasible, I’d done it in the past and it had gone well, at least I had thought so. But when my request was rejected, one of the reasons was that it hadn’t worked before – news to me!!
I didn’t go without a fight. I was the first to ever ask for flexible working after having children. It was a male dominated industry at the time and no-one else had any children.
So, I was left with two young children and no job to return to and I began to feel my self worth plummet. I started to feel like ‘just mum’. I’d been employed full time since I was 16. I had no idea what it was like to not work. It felt scary, but at the same time I was relieved that I hadn’t given in to being forced back in to full-time employment when I wanted to be there for my children too.
I wondered if it was true, what I’d been told, that you can’t have both! You can’t have a successful career and have children! I’d heard this time and time again and seen it happen over and over.
I remember having dinner with a friend, who I had worked with in PR and she mentioned to me about starting my own business and that I could run my own Virtual Assistant business with all the skills and knowledge I had. I was very hesitant. I’d tried some of the direct selling businesses and it hadn’t been for me, so I wondered if this would be either. I was used to being held accountable, to being guided and given work. I didn’t consider myself to be someone who could be motivated enough to get up every day and do it for myself. I imagined myself putting everything off all the time and watching daytime TV. After all whilst I was on maternity I did a lot of this, along with snoozing and living in my tracky b’s.
For a while I ignore the nagging thoughts in my mind that there must be more to life, that having kids surely didn’t mean this was the end of me as an individual person, that in fact it wasn’t true that after kids you stayed home, or got a 3 day a week local job that gave zero satisfaction apart from money at the end of the month!
I realised that I wanted more
I had worked for years, building up my experience, being really good at what I did. Every job I’d ever really wanted I had got. I wanted to feel valued again, my self-worth was plummeting fast and I was beginning to lose belief in myself. That I could even be anything more than a mum.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. They are without doubt the best thing that ever happened to me and I wanted to be with them. My mum guilt at this point was also high. I’d wanted children for so long and now I had them, I still wanted more! I began to question why? I started to believe that I was ungrateful and I was wrong for wanting more. I come from a childhood where you get what you’re given and asking for more was a definite no, so my limiting beliefs kicked in and as a result I put off doing anything.
Instead, I started applying for local part-time jobs in schools, estate agents and any other local company looking for part-time staff. I had zero success. I had always been really employable, but here I was 38 with two young children and all of a sudden no-one was coming back to me, no-one was interested! I couldn’t work out why and my self-belief hit a new low!
They were right. Everything I’d been told as I’d grown up was true. When I’d worked in recruitment for a short while, my boss had even said “employers look for women under 30, because they know shortly after that they’ll be looking to have kids and then they’ll be a liability” and those words ran through my mind. I was destined to struggle and settle for whatever was coming and I was to stay on the merry go around forever wondering what if!!!
Then one day, when I was feeling particularly BLAH about it all, I spoke to my dad about what my friend had said that day about doing it for myself. My dad had run his own IT business for 10 years, and he asked me ‘what have you got to lose?’ And he was right. I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
3 months later I was in business!! I could hardly believe it. I’d done it. I’d gone for it and I was doing it.
I was massively out of my comfort zone. I had no idea what networking was, I’d heard of a business plan but the thought of having one seemed way too grown up for me. I’d never considered myself the BOSS before and although I came from a media and PR background, marketing myself was scary as hell. I come from a ‘children should be seen a not heard’ background. The one where going to a restaurant meant being quiet and sitting perfectly still. How on earth was I going to put myself out there. Telling people to work with me because I am brilliant at what I do was a huge stumbling block – again my conditioning was ‘not to show off’ no-one wants to hear about that’ the list goes on.
I loved being in business though. I was already enjoying being my own boss, making my own decisions and the feeling of being a proper valued adult again!
I learnt so much in my first year. The biggest thing I learnt was that my purpose was not what I was doing. The real Faye was a problem solver. The girl everyone goes to when they have a problem. The friend who’s always there to rationalise and help people think differently. I was destined to take a different path,
so I embarked on my own journey. I had always been a bit of a negative Nelly, my whole life. Critical and quick to jump in with a reason not to do something. I was very cautious and risk taking was never for me. Cue that conditioning again.
I started by asking my friends to describe me in 3 words and they came back with, good listener, loyal, always there, voice of reason etc. And all of these matched what I already knew, so I took a leap of faith again. This was all so unlike me, and I enrolled in my Coaching training and not only did this take me on my own mindset journey, it also gave me the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help others do the same and I’ve never looked back!
My journey is on going and as a result I have even more qualifications, more than I ever achieved at school. School wasn’t for me!
I now regularly step out of my comfort zone. Remember I lived here for years, keeping myself stuck in fear. Living the what if life!! I am now more positive Patsy then negative Nelly. I still live in the what if, only now it’s what if it works, what if I can…..and as a result my business is going from strength to strength. I am now fully in alignment with myself and my business is fully aligned with the life I want to create for myself and my family.
If my story resonates with you. If you want to fully align yourself with who you’re meant to be or you’re in business, but just not getting where you want to be, let’s have a chat.
Recently, I have suffered with a strong bout of anxiety. Due to a couple of events happening that have been accumulating to create the anxiety I experienced. Most people who generally don’t suffer with anxiety or recognise their own anxiety think that anxiety looks like chaos. They think it tends to be when people are acting chaotic, all over the place and up in the air or loud, but this is so often, not the case at all.
There are those who suffer and it shows externally and those who suffer and become withdrawn as a result and hide it internally.
When there’s too much going on
For me, there has been a lot going on recently with family, running a business, working with vulnerable teenagers, being a mum, being a wife and juggling the whole thing. Over the last month, I’ve been up and down from the hospital to see my dad who had major surgery. The journey to the hospital was an hour and then another hour back. My visiting times, a couple of hours at a time two or three times a week. This has been both mentally and physically exhausting. Even though you don’t think about it at the time, you get on with it and do what you’ve got to do.
On top of that, I’ve been trying to keep things as normal as possible. I’ve been doing a huge amount of work on myself and I have been investing in myself and my business heavily since the beginning of this year.
Working with vulnerable teenagers
I’ve been working with vulnerable teenagers since last September and sometimes that can be very challenging, although extremely rewarding. In the last month things have started to really get on top of me. My self-care hasn’t been as good as it should be, because I’ve been working on so many other areas.
Well this week. My dad came out of hospital after a month and the relief, as you can imagine, brought its own anxieties and emotions. Along with that, I made a mistake at the college, which ordinarily in isolation wasn’t that bad, but where everything else has been going on my mind decided to take this mistake, blow it massively out of proportion, get myself in a place where I was in tears. I got really emotional about it and couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
I went into college the next day, and I totally withdrew. I’ve taken time to recognise the fact that I was in this place of anxiety and to recognise how my anxiety affects me and how I deal with it around others. This is the first time I have fully been aware of my behaviour when in a state of anxiety, but as a result I can deal with it better using the techniques and strategies I have in my Coaching and CBT toolbox.
Recognising my own anxiety behaviours
I realised that I totally withdraw. I become very quiet, loud noise is something that I just can’t deal with. I can’t tolerate people talking about other people or bragging about themselves. I get super sensitive and I totally shut down anything external whilst I’m dealing with what’s going on inside my head.
Now this used to last for weeks or months until I worked out my own strategies for dealing with it. I now use the ‘accept, allow and let go’ strategy.
Firstly, I accept that I’m in this emotion and I have this feeling and this is what’s going on. I don’t try and fight it anymore. I accept it. I then allow myself. 24, hours to have the feeling, be comfortable with the feeling and work out how to separate the facts of what’s happened from the emotions I’m feeling.
After I’ve done that, I then make sure I go and do something for myself, whether it’s going to the gym and going for a run. I find running is great for me It just gets rid of all that negative energy.
Sometimes it’s whilst I’m running and sometimes it’s after, and if there is something particularly going on I will cry for the next few days for what feels like no reason at all, but this is my body’s way of getting rid of all the negative energy that I’ve been storing up.
After that. I’m ready to go again. And by doing that, I am able to let go so much quicker than I used to.
Talking about the taboo
If I’m completely honest, If you’d asked me years ago if I suffered from anxiety I would have told you DEFINITELY NOT. I never would have admitted that I suffered from anything let alone something that people consider a taboo subject.
I truly believe that everybody suffers with anxiety, at some point, in some form, to some level. It’s just whether we recognise that that’s what it is, whether we’re ready to accept it, and whether we’re ready to put the strategies in place in order for us to manage these feelings and be able to deal with them and move forward.
So, with that in mind, please remember that somebody may be suffering right now. Somebody may have withdrawn. Somebody may be very quiet. Somebody may be the complete opposite. Because the opposite to that is that somebody may become louder than usual. They may become more erratic. You may feel like they’re just seeking attention. This is all part of how they’re feeling and how their anxiety may have taken hold. Some people feel a stronger need for control, as they don’t feel in control of their thoughts and emotions, so they project externally on to others.
They may not even recognise that’s what’s happening to them. So be kind. If somebody that you know, somebody you work with, live with, are friends with is showing either of these signs or emotions, just check in with them. Find out if they’re OK. Offer them someone to talk to.
I had somebody at the college this week, who I get along very well with, we understand each other really well and we know when something’s not quite right and she’s been amazing. This week, she’s checked in on me. She’s made sure I’m OK. She’s given me a bit of a talking to. The same talking to the I would give her if she was in the same situation.
We all need support
We all need support and sometimes that support comes from people that you don’t necessarily expect it to straight away.
We all need to look after each other, be more open with our own feelings and what we’re going through, because you will be surprised where that support may come from.
If you feel like you might need help with anxiety, if you need some strategies and techniques to help you manage it, I’m always happy to have a chat.
I offer a 30-minute clarity call where I can give you a strategy straight away to help you begin to manage those more difficult days.
Please don’t suffer in silence.
Book your call here
Believe it or not, it is within your power to create positive thoughts allowing you to accomplish anything you set out to do.
Can you really think yourself happy?
The answer is a qualified YES. Here are the ways in which positive thoughts can help you accomplish so many things in life.
Positive thoughts give positive results. We can either accept our situation, or we can change it. We can be negative about an event or we can be positive. President Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
If you really want to think yourself happy, then make up your mind to do so. It may be difficult to think happy in a world filled with hatred,violence, stresses and anxieties. But it’s definitely not impossible. One person, one idea, one positive thought can change everything.
How, then, can we make ourselves happy?
By being a constant reminder to others that there is goodness in the world!
Here are 12 examples of way we can create our own happiness;
* Seek out positive people to associate ourselves with.
* Expose yourself to all the wonderful books, music and movies available.
* Find the one important thing in your life that’s important, and pursue it.
* Show kindness and respect towards others.
* Live life as if every day is your last.
* Use positive reinforcement wherever and whenever you can.
* Use visualization methods to view the positive aspects of life.
* Speak in a positive tone.
* Gain control over your negative thinking patterns.
* Let your expectations reflect your positive attitude.
* Allow peace of mind to engulf you.
* Become your own best friend.
Your happiness is not the responsibility of your parents, friends, partners or children. Your happiness is your responsibility. You are the creator of your own life.
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!
If you need any help creating better, healthier thoughts, behaviours or emotions to move yourself towards success you book your FREE Discovery Call or take a look at the services we offer here. Using the FLOAT system we take our clients from Chaos to Calm in both life and business and help you to create the success you deserve.
Throughout the process of starting my business Miss Digital Media, I’ve had big mindset matters to deal with and overcome, my fear of failure and my fear of success, I was hugely lacking in confidence and self-belief. My general fear and lack mindset was stopping me from stepping out of my comfort zone and being visible to potential clients and customers. I felt paralysed. My mind was foggy, and I spent most days feeling stuck, like I was getting nowhere. Perhaps if I’d reached out for help from a coach such as Faye, I could have avoided such turmoil!
However, after doing a lot of work on my mindset, I pushed myself to identify my limiting thoughts and re-frame them. I have worked hard to clarify my mission and purpose in my business. I began looking in to the questions of why am I doing this business? Who am I helping? What problems am I solving? Where are my customers and how can I find them? This process has really helped me to make progress, all be it slower that I would like, and I’m still revisiting these questions as I continue on my business development journey.
I was meditating, and doing visualisations, and ideas about this and that kept coming to my mind, I was struggling to focus, and was bouncing between positive and negative emotions, depression and anxiety.
I felt so lost one day, just totally overwhelmed with it all, that I decided that I needed to focus on writing my first book ‘Boost your Brand with Books’. I wanted to do something practical and constructive, in the hope that stepping away from social media and all the ‘stuff and noise’ would give my mind a break from constantly comparing myself to others and the deep feelings of inadequacy.
Around the time I had also been taking part in various online training where I had gained lots of tips and advice about online marketing and ideal customers. These two things made the penny drop for me about my mission, my branding and who my ideal customers were – Coaches, Consultants and Creatives! I felt like things were starting to fall into place. It also made me realise that I know more than I give myself credit for! This was a bit of a turning point for me.
All these little steps have made up into big steps and I have taken positive action. I am continually working on my mindset, developing my branding and increasing my visibility. It’s all part of my journey in fulfilling my mission – which is to help others with the digital media skills and expertise that I have to share. More specifically to provide branding, design, online marketing support and training to self-employed businesses owners like myself, who don’t have the time skills or expertise to produce, publish and promote their content. I think that my mindset really held me back, and once I’d started doing the ground work on my mission and purpose things have started to become clearer, enabling me to have the confidence to be visible. Yay!
If you would like to connect with me on social media you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/missdigitalmedia/ or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/missdigitalmedia/
Alternatively you can visit me over on my website