Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
We all have something that keeps us moving forward, or we think we do! I am going to bet it is NOT what you think it is. Yep, I am going to challenge you and say that you may be wrong.
How can I say that? Because I was honest with myself a few years back and it made all the difference to me. In fact, it changed my whole perspective on life and drove me to my area of genius where I discovered a level of joy that I didn’t even think was possible.
It was at rock bottom that I discovered this driving force within me. Many women who have children keep going for the kids. Nope that is not the reason. Many keep going to please a partner or parents. Nope that is not the reason. What I discovered at rock bottom was that if I didn’t keep going for me, then I would stop. I discovered and owned up to the fact that I was the most important person in the world and that if I didn’t acknowledge that, and I mean REALLY acknowledge it and own it then I was setting myself up to fail.
I hear so many people ‘SAY’ it, but their actions don’t match their words. I also hear many people say it and do it, but they are doing it from ego not from love and there is a world of difference.
Get to the point Mandy!
If you don’t put yourself and your desires at the very top of the list, forever, then you are literally flogging a dead horse and will probably remain unfulfilled for the rest of your life.
Self-care has become the new ‘in thing’ for women to focus on and discuss, but so many are getting it wrong. I hate saying people are wrong, but there is no nicer way to put it. Self-care starts with completely loving, nurturing, and caring for every single part of yourself mentally and physically so that you can be present in a much better way for both yourself and others.
So, here are my top tips on putting yourself wholeheartedly first…
It is vital that you really understand what it is that you want to achieve during your lifetime. Not your husband, partner, kids, siblings, or anyone else. What do you want to say ‘I am so pleased I did that’ on your deathbed? Truly understanding your own meaningful goals will drive you toward a life of joy and fulfilment. No empty spaces for the words ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I am sorry I didn’t’ to reside. It is not selfish nor ignorant to want things for yourself. It shows that you are equally as important as the next person, and you need to learn to see yourself that way. I always say to my kids, ‘you are equally as important as the person you are standing next to no matter who they are, and they are equally as important as you’.
When I had my epiphany, I found that the best way to make it happen was to tell people. I sat down with my kids and told them that I loved them but that they needed to understand that I was the most important person in the household, because if I wasn’t performing at 100% how could I look after them at that level. We divided up chores and they took on responsibility for things from a very young age. They helped me because they understood why. When I met my late husband and he joined our family I was very clear with him, on the list of importance I was at the top, then the kids, then the dogs and then him because he was an adult and could look after himself.
This set the standard for our relationship, and it was a wonderful one. When things went out of sync, we had a family meeting and discussed why and jointly solved the problems. When I started my dream business, I sat them all down and told them that they had to imagine I wasn’t there when I was working from home, and they did it. In fact, my daughter, who is 21 and moved into her first flat in June with her boyfriend, called me the other night just to say thank you.
Her words were ‘you have prepared me for this so well mum, I can cook, manage my money, I have 2 jobs and I am off to Uni. My boyfriend and I have a relationship like you and Gary had and I am so thankful.’
This made me happy for her but also for me. I don’t need to waste energy worrying.
You need to own your importance in everything that you do. When I plan my diary, I start with my self-care routines. My morning walk with the dogs, exercise, personal grooming and mediation and gratitude. I put in hair, beauty, and shopping first before any work is planned. If there is no space for these things, then I am failing so they go in first. I even allocate my weekly diary planning slot and 15 minutes a day to review and think before I add work related tasks. My diary starts with me first. I am the centre of everything which means I am fully charged and always available for those that need me. Many women really struggle to give themselves this much power, feeling selfish or uncomfortable. This is simply because we are conditioned by society to feel second best, to put our partners and children first.
It is not selfish, and you do need to own it and be comfortable with it. It is our time, and we need to take the power back.
What you will discover when you do these things is that what keeps you going is you. If your deepest desire is to be the best mum in the world, it is not for the kids you keep going, it is because that is your goal. It’s OK to have that goal but what else do you want to be or do? Your kids will grow up and you will still need a purpose, never be afraid to want something new.
Purpose is everything and it is personal. Your ‘Personal Purpose’ is your superpower, and it grows and evolves just like everything else in your life. Don’t be afraid to accept this power and wear it like your skin for the rest of your life. All of those around you who care will accept it as soon as you do.