I started listening to an audiobook today as part of my learning process to become a better person. The book is called ‘Love Yourself – Like Your Life Depends On It’ by Kamal Ravikant. I saw someone recommend it so thought I’d give it a try. It’s not the sort of book that I would normally read (or listen to) but as it was about a subject that I’ve always struggled with I thought it would be worth a try to see if anything useful came out of it.
I’ve always had a low opinion of myself and my self-talk has generally been quite negative. My mind always seems to think that whatever I do isn’t good enough and I put myself under far too much pressure which has at points in my life broken me and not been a pleasant experience. A lot of this stems from always trying to please people, especially my Dad. It’s not that they are putting the pressure on me, but I am putting it on myself as I generally think that their expectations are much higher than they probably are. This is something that has always been a problem and I am working on resolving it. Like any problem, you must admit that it is there before you can do anything about it. The problem started in my early years at school as my Dad always wanted me to have something that he didn’t – a good education. That led to expectation over exam results, going to university and everything that follows. Ultimately, he wanted me to be happy but my perception growing up was that in order to make him proud of me and make him happy, I had to produce the results and do well. All of which just piled unnecessary pressure on and when I felt like I hadn’t lived up to those expectations, negative self-talk followed.
That continued as I got older and when I made a mess of my first attempt at university, it was at an all-time low. There have been several points during that time when it caused friction between my Dad and I but in hindsight a lot of this was caused by my perception rather than his expectations. That didn’t stop the negative self-talk though and that has been present through gaining weight, jobs, being a father, struggling with my mental health and through my fundraising for the Foundation. Whatever I have done, it has never been enough in my own mind.
I have now accepted that this is an issue and something that I need to address so that I can move forward in a more positive way. I have a beautiful family, a good job, some amazing friends so I have a lot to be grateful for. One of the things I’ve started to do is journaling and as part of that I write three things that I’m grateful for each morning and the same in the evening. That is help me focus on what is important to me and why am I happy for it. Another thing that I’ve been doing that I mentioned in a previous blog, is meditation. I’ve been doing some specific programmes on Headspace to try and retrain my brain to note things those thoughts and put them to one side rather than focusing on them as I would have done in the past.
I’m interested to see what the book suggests and hopefully will have some more things to put into practice. I feel like I’m making good progress this year but that is coming as a result of focus and putting in the effort to try and change. Listening to podcasts/audiobooks and reading is all well and good but, in the past, I’ve never really followed ay suggestions through. Just by making some small changes I’ve already seen some big results. That’s not to say that I’m done as there is still lots to do and I am striving for progress not perfection as that would just put me back in that negative space again. As Henry Ford said, ‘If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right’.
Please get in touch if you want to know anymore or you want to help with the Foundation as we are always looking for people to help and fundraise. We’ve got some awesome t-shirts if you want to help spread the message. If you like this blog and think this, or any of the others, could help someone you know please share it with them.
Onwards and upwards