I always feel like I walk a thin line between being “nice” and being truly kind. Old me is a burnt-out people pleaser. To be authentic in relationships with people that used to know me before I started this journey is an ongoing lesson! See, with new acquaintances, it’s easier: they have no expectations of what I will be like or how I will express myself. But in older relationships, I still have to catch myself.
Be authentic! Stop acting and pretending, stop fawning and being “nice and polite” in socially acceptable ways. Instead, remember to show up as the kinder version of you.
Most of us have emotional triggers that we aren’t aware of until we blow up or “lose it”. These learned responses helped us to survive unpleasant situations (often in our childhood). Unfortunately, those very habits (cues/triggers, course of action or response, and rewards) that allowed us to survive in childhood now sabotage or hamper our growth and relationships.
I’m not talking about PTSD triggers: those are at another level, where it’s not merely a habit. These triggers actually require deeper assistance, such as therapy.
These habitual responses are survival tactics, often learned in our childhood. I adeptly overlook and sidestep the bigger issues when I ignore the hidden rewards of my habits. The slowing down of 2020 gave us much needed time to sit and do the inner work of looking at our survival tactics.
Even 2021 has shown me (especially on social media) how I respond to certain types of posts and comments. There are people that I have been tempted to block “for my peace of mind”. Nonetheless, my commitment to healing and working on myself continues. So, I decided that rather than block them (or engage or shoot back), I would make time to actually look at where I have lost my freedom to respond gracefully.
Confused by all the suggestions that you should lead from the heart, but be careful following your heart? Of course, some recommend that the only way to find happiness is to follow your heart. Others caution that following your heart leads to disaster. What happens if you lead with compassion?
If you are anything like me, you’ve read dozens, possibly hundreds, of self-help books. Whether it’s older books like the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and Think & Grow Rich, or newer books like You Are A Badass – there are plenty of books on personal development. Devouring them helps us make steady changes in life.
However, you may still find that you haven’t found what you are looking for. Perhaps you are wondering – “why is this not working?” I’m here to tell you – unless you make some fundamental changes, rather than simply surface changes – nothing will change.
But I had ignored them, blaming them on my auto-immune disease (Celiac). I continued pushing myself. I blamed the chronic low-grade stress in my life on my illness. And I mistakenly thought that my problem was my mindset, time management, and the need to establish clearer priorities. Continue reading Burnout: discovering meaning, passion & purpose