Journaling As Blog Ideas

dariusz-sankowski-dvK_CT1Wg78-unsplash.jpgSo I chose this week’s topic because a thought was running through my mind – what do I write about?
Topic ideas don’t always flow from a heavenly vase carried by a cherub prancing in a fountain. Sometimes they have to be scraped up from the bottom of the barrel in your mind.
Every writer has their peace on topic generation but how do you generate ideas?
One good tip (which probably only applies to self-help bloggers like myself) is unearthing core, raw topics through journaling.
Journaling is a great way to explore and touch on hard-to-touch things within yourself and can produce interesting, powerful topics for you to explore further.
For example, it was only through journaling that I discovered, in detail, the extent of my social anxiety.
And details can be important.
It illuminates and highlights what can be a tumultuous maelstrom of emotions, sensations and thoughts and deciphering what is what and how it’s all connected and what the overall message is,l. It can be complicated, depending on how far the issue goes.
Depending on your comfort level and depth of courage, you can share your experiences flowed into and documented through journaling by writing up blog posts based on what you’ve found out and any learning you want to pass on.
This has been the basis for a few of my previous blog posts and it has brought out some of the most intricate and insightful articles I’ve ever written. It’s also felt the most authentic and if I’m honest, it’s helped me heal and overcome because not only an I willing to investigate the uncomfortable, but thrive through it by sharing it online. Sharing seems reduce the dark cloud’s power that forms in my mind and body over a few issues.
It’s not a method for every self-help, self-healing blogger but I know it’s certainly helped me in the past.
Has anyone else tried writing posts this way? Or is it too personal of a thing to share? I wouldn’t mind getting others input on this and knowing I’m not the only one who employs such a technique!
P.S. I’ve read INFJ’s love the method of writing and sharing their personal experiences and would be interested to know too of any fellow INFJ’s out there who do this too!

Find Your Inner Superhero

Becoming Hero

Facing stressful situations or people can bring on past issues, our unconscious can commincate untrue beliefs to us about ourselves that have no grounding in reality.
I found myself in this position recently, blaming myself for another person’s negative behaviour, completely convinced it was something I had done wrong with zilch evidence to prove it. I stayed stuck in a fearful loop of repetitive reactions, staying quiet and making myself small, not speaking up and not even looking in the other persons direction in my job.
This is a response I’ve done for years and it’s amazing how we humans succumb to a reactive loop again and again.
I got home later that evening and was so bothered and disappointed in myself (and a little pissed off) that I sat down and meditated on it.
My mind leapt from fear to self-negative talk to fear again:
  • ‘I’ve to go back in again tomorrow!’
  • ‘I’m weak, look at how I performed today.’
  • ‘I’m clearly not good enough to be in this place.’
  • ‘I don’t fit in.’
  • ‘This person doesn’t like me and I’m only a distraction to them when they’re trying to focus, that’s all I am there.’
I mean, these thoughts are untrue but that doesn’t matter. I still believed in them, thankfully I also believe in my own inner superhero.
During meditation, sorting through the melee of self deprecation was also something stubborn and mad. Defiant against my co-workers and the situation, a strength that was surprising in its presence, and the emotional pain was replaced with balance and equilibrium set in.

Suit Up

If there had been no meditation, no hero would have emerged from the maelstrom churning inside. When you’re suffering, there’ll always be a part of you that’s MAD, find the mad and channel yourself towards balance, even if it means you have to be angry for a while. It’s ok to be angry – especially if it means you’ve been stepped on, disrespected or something else. Use it, don’t simmer sitting on it. It’s got a voice with something to say, let it catapult you back to a healthier spot.
Your Inner Superhero knows your value and what’s best for you and it’ll keep you through tough situations. Managing other people but most importantly, yourself. It’s your core self that priorities you above all else so you can be your best everyday. It can save the day if you tap into it.
Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Sometimes I feel like I’m talking crazy since of course I write and edit these posts myself. I sometimes wonder if I’m writing in a bell jar and im just being delusional :p
Does anyone feel like they’vecome to their own rescue? If so, how did you do it?

Unexpected Traits of Confidence

I’m not exactly the first person to jump up, hand held high in the air, exclaiming to the whole world that I have problems with confidence, but even for people who are perceived as accomplished and achieved have days of setbacks and struggle.
The following are insights I’ve gained, realisation I’ve glimpsed into what makes someone truly confident, in an authentic and permanent way.

1. Knowing and Owning your own truth.

One thing that needs to be louder in your mind and body than other people’s thoughts and opinions are your own. Our heads can get full others perspectives on things and while it’s good to be aware, its key to stay connected to your own while this is happening, take a long breath and express it as best you can. This is related to self expression, and taking an improv class can help build your responsive strength, and responding to verbally expressions, ideas and opinions in the moment. Being a natural introvert, I’m better at writing than speaking but it’s possible to develop and get good at something you may not naturally excel at.
The critical point is to not lose touch with that inner feeling, that peripheral knowledge you have and be brave enough to put it forward, regardless of external reaction.
Pinnacle-of-the-moment

2. Accepting your humanity and where you are in life.

This is hard, especially if you’re a compulsive ‘self-comparer’ like myself and you’re looking at how well everyone else is doing. Here’s the mad part, I know there’s people in my life who think I’m in a great place and doing well for myself, there’s also people I know who I believe are better than me and their lives are generally better than mine. Self-comparison goes in a circle and so who you compare yourself to, unless they’re Ghandi, is probably comparing themselves to others as well. Accepting the imperfections or even just the normalacy of yourself and your life is not the ending of your aspirations, in fact, it could help increase your contentment, leading to more happiness which, guess what? Attracts more good of what you want in your life. Accept where you are now, respect yourself, and build your standard from there.
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3. Self compassion and connected to your heart.

This is a very powerful one for anyone who is self-critical (myself included). I struggle most with this one personally but it is one of the most effective ways of being resilient. No internal judge or jury means you won’t take judgement from others personally. ‘No enemies within, no enemies without’ as the Chinese proverb goes, and someone would have to work really hard to get on your bad side!

4. Stop thinking you’re a charlatan and own your achievements.

Do I hear the Imposter Syndrome bells ringing? You’ve gotten this far in life, and you don’t get this far without overcoming, without problem-solving. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough once there’s others better than you – there’ll always be someone smarter or better than you, but you can bring something to the table none else can, not as well as they do. Find out what that is and focus on it. It doesn’t need to be outstanding or blow everyone’s socks off, it just needs to be unique, it just needs to be you. If it feels genuine, and you can see first-hand the positive effects of what you’re naturally good at happening, you’ll grow more into that and bloom.

5. Reminding yourself of achievements…

Imagine stretched out behind you the timeline of your life achievements, even the ones you don’t think are much but might ‘wow’ someone else. Highlight them like milestones and even place a visual representation somewhere you can see everyday, it’s easy to forget the positives of the past when we’re so focused on dealing with the present and impending future.

Other Points

No longer listening to an inner saboteur that tells you to stop or change or nags at you for logical reason number 1, number 2, 3 etc. There’ll always be valid reasons for not doing something that feels innately right, confident people go for it anyway – and keep the faith ❤
They ultimately realise everything is a learning curve.

Turning Disaster Into Direction

Transformation Through Trials

Disaster

In the Tarot, it’s generally thought that the Death card is the card you don’t want to get. It’s poppycock. Death represents endings and therefore, new beginnings, which isn’t always a bad thing.

The card you DON’T want to get is the Tower. The Tower is the disaster card. It represents a particularly bad situation that could befall you, for example, a close loved-one suddenly dying, losing your house or ending of a relationship.

I draw this association of the Tower with events that transpired over the past few weeks in my professional occupation.

Image result for the tower tarot
Iconic tarot card associated ,  with chaos.

The pain it spurred led to a type of breakdown mixed with depression, and left me sombre and regarding my circumstances soberly.

Weeks passed and eventually I found at its core, my following underlying issues:

  • Imposter Syndrome. Fear of being found out and not good enough by others, therefore rejected.
  • Social Anxiety. Feeling and belief of being lower than others.
  • Low Self-Worth. Others judgement of me  particularly influenced this.
  • Loss of Identity. Allowing others opinions to flood me so I don’t even know what I think or feel about particular things/topics.
  • Low Self-Esteem. One false move and it ‘was all over’ mentality.
  • Self judgement. To the point it hampered my productiveness; the blade I hold at my back is no joke.

I’ve caved a few times already over these, and working in a professional capacity throws fuel on a kind of already deadly fire that only burns myself. And I’m not out of the woods yet.

However, I journaled furiously for two hours yesterday to make sense of the how, the what and the why. But my Tower incident highlighted in sharp contrasts what I wanted versus what I didn’t want, and more importantly, pre-existing beliefs about myself and the world that needed a serious reality check.

It took a shitty situation to reassert my self-worth (and maybe listening to a few Brene Brown’s audiobooks!), and to not just lull through my professional career but to figure out where next I wanted to steer my sails.

I’ve realised time and time again, how adulthood (possibly when reaching middle-age) is where the hustle begins to tame and relinquish baseline beliefs that hinder growth.

Groundhog Day

I know I’ve written a few blog posts already, similar to what’s outlined above, but if nothing else, I’ve found that if you haven’t learned from the past and adjusted accordingly, the same situation will play out again until you do – life’s patient teaching method :).

And the passing of time doesn’t simply mean it goes away. It goes away when you drop your smoking guns, recognise and acknowledge it’s there and don’t turn from it in shame.

I had a similar issue pop up when my step-dad died two years ago and I can’t help but draw comparison here.

New Direction

For a while, the situation felt hopeless, but I’ve found the kick I got pushed me to raise my standards and open myself to new opportunities and change (nothing like crap circumstances to crave change, believe me).

I left the structured world of immediate reality, and put one foot in the fluid world of possibility, a wilderness that excited me a little. Enough to keep going.

Enough to look at those courses.

Enough to figure out what I wanted to do.

Enough to not push away any option.

I’ve persisted enough at it that I’ve got ideas forming and more options coming to me (amazing how the universe loves to accommodate positive change).

If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that I’m not a settler. I’ve tried, tried so damn hard to be like the people who can stay in a job for more than 3 years (I haven’t). But there is a restless pioneer within me that is always scouting the horizons and when I’ve to pushed it down, I’ve only hurt myself and by god do I owe myself a huge apology for it.

Because it’s in my blood, my innate nature.

And I know now that to go against it is to rebel against your spirit, the invisible fundamental that makes you, you.

And there is no place for peace, until it’s Call is answered.

That’s what this disaster gave me.

What did yours give you?

Staying Strong and Knowing Your Value

14-10-2016-12-00-16I’ve noticed that last few months that my sense of self-worth and value has decreased, or at least, has disappeared so much so that I’ve lost touch with myself. With what I know my abilities are and what I’m ‘good at’, not having a job can do that to you.

A good way to boost yourself is to write all your achievements down. In an effort to try and recall and remember what it is that my strengths were, I decided to write some of them down from the past 1-2 years. Here’s a quick shortlist to share:

  • Completed a postgraduate qualification that really opened up my mind and helped me realise the various possibilities that I had.
  • I finished my book and managed to edit it nearly four times.
  • Set up my blog and inspired some readers with my stuff.
  • Learned a lot about myself through setting up my own business. What I’m good at, not so good at and what I like doing most.
  • Traveled to far distant countries alone and met some great, unforgettable people.

Besides writing down all your achievements, one other interesting thing to consider is how you measure your self-worth? The ‘Looking Glass Self’ was a theory proposed by a university instructor called Charles Cooley, who said that we only develop a self-concept when we know how others see us. This is supposedly where our self-image stems from. Remaining conscious of that, you could also question the various sources that contribute to your self-worth. Does it come from being a loving parent or family member? Is it climbing the corporate ladder or being the top student in your class? Does it come from putting work into your passion?

Identifying sources of your self-worth is a good starting point of taking control of how you value yourself, and perhaps cutting off sources that reduce it such as negative comments from others.

Here’s a radical question, what if breathing as you are right now in this space was enough? As I write this blog post, I’m telling myself I need to be doing something else, something more of value and importance. And I realise this is how I’m hard-wired to think. When was the last time you felt that being in the moment that you’re in right now, even as you read this post and breathing, concentrating, on these words I write, was enough? What if the only way out of a self-defeating process of negative self-worth, was to first dispel what others taught us was of value to them? When I’ve looked back at my own successes, the road to achievement was so much easier and enjoyable when I accepted myself completely, no matter what I was doing. There was no judgement, only an unconditional love for myself. My healthy self-worth was naturally matched with healthy successes.

When I made a decision to leave my job two years ago to go abroad, I never expected all that happened to transpire. I thought I would stay in Australia and get a great marketing job and find someone and settle down; coupled with a nice, secure future. I thought that when things didn’t quite work out that way I would home and go back to working full-time. But I didn’t because I wanted another adventure, and to improve myself more by upskilling and start a business. I wanted to know how far I could push my limits because travelling alone was one of the scariest things that I’d ever done, and I wanted to know what else I could do. I know now that if I’m not being challenged, I’m not growing and I’m bored. That’s something I may never have known if I didn’t take the chance and leave.

At the end of the day, it’s really how you define your own success, and determine your own self-worth. You devise your own measuring stick for weighing your achievements. Don’t use one that was given to you, distorted and patterned with someone else’s perceptions and ideals.

Patience for Others

Patience Blog

I’m on a course that focuses a lot on teamwork and I have to say I’ve learned quite a bit in the last few weeks on communicating and working with others effectively. It has highlighted a key issue that I’ve been struggling with: patience.

Why is there a real need for patience with other people? Because for a lot of us we don’t have it. It’s a lot easier to interrupt when others are speaking so that we can blow out the tension of thoughts that form in our mind like dark clouds to a storm. We seem to think that what we’re about to say is more valid than what they’re currently saying and therefore, we stop listening. Game over.

The reason it’s game over is because you’ve fallen into a trap that a lot of people fall for when communicating: impatience. Patience and listening requires self discipline and is attained only through practice, and the realisation that people are not what our judgement tells us they are, and may have a better point to make than what we may be pushing to say. What I’m saying is that they are complex creatures like ourselves, and when we realise this we can then begin to be empathetic. But I’m diverging.

Impatience can be applied to other situations but regarding people it normally boils down to frustration or disagreement with what they’re doing.

I’ve found that concentrating on inner calm regardless of the environment in which I’m operating (takes practice!) and giving space and real estate within myself for others to make their impressions and have their voices heard, has been an effective tool.

It’s also made me an attractive team member to work with and I’ve found myself in quite a lot of demand as a result!
Collaborating is tricky business, but an essential ingredient to the betterment of humankind. Think of when perhaps Martin Luther King had to be patient and flexible with others in his campaigning, or Ghandi’s non-violent protests which resulted in the liberation of a country. There is something to be said for allowing others to express themselves, whilst maintaining your own counsel and having enough sense of knowing when to exercise power. I believe that can only be achieved through our more intuitive side. It’s maturity manifested in full circle, and others do pick up on it.

Calendar – Organising and Committing to Tasks

Calendar
noun
1. The bane of the disorganised people’s existence and yet the solution to a lot of their implementation problems. ‘Oh my god, I need a calendar’.

Do you like my definition? Not exactly Oxford’s standard but makes a lot of sense to me (someone who wishes the calendar fairy would come along and wave her magic wand and banish my procrastinating tendencies away!) Picture the fairy dust just waving it all away…Ahem.
Here we go.

calendar-post
Here’s a pic. Of a calendar. In case you didn’t know what it looked like…

I’ve struggled with not just creating an organised calendar but committing to each of the action items. Some tasks really only take a minute whilst others require more effort, brainpower etc.

What I’ve found it really boils down to is self discipline and accountability. You’re the only person responsible for implementing the tasks that you’ve appointed yourself to do, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. Since I’m looking at setting up my own business as well, I’ve found you need to be very committed to what you set out to do which can be different to when you’re employed, as you may have a boss that will cast the odd look over your shoulder. Just, y’know, giving you the nudge.

For those of you who are like me and struggle to engage in organising and committing to tasks, here are some tips:

  • Think about how you will feel after you’ve done the task – you’ll feel good right? Right.
  • Each task brings you a little closer to something or somewhere you want to be. Remember it’s the little things you do everyday that will eventually add up to something bigger. Baby steps guys.
  • Treat yourself everytime you get a difficult task done. It doesn’t have to be major – it could be that new episode on Netflix you’re dying to watch. (Ahem, Marco Polo).
  • If you find that you did skip over particular task, and it’s not time sensitive, push it to another time so you don’t lose sight of it. Try not to repeat too much!
  • I spoke to a business owner recently and he told me to pick a day to go over your weekly calendar. My day is Sunday and I usually revise tasks that need to be done for the upcoming week. It gives you an overview of your schedule and how you see your week going (make you feel organised, even it though doesn’t go as planned).

Has anyone else had the issue of sticking to certain action items on a calendar and getting them done? Or even maintaining a calendar week in/week out? As I know from experience that time management is not my forte! Any more tips are welcome :).