I had said I would be properly ‘back to work’ last week.
That didn’t quite go according to plan.
I did what was necessary but I’m definitely still feeling a need to hibernate in a little cozy cocoon.
Which is TOTALLY normal considering behind the scenes i’m going through one of the biggest life upheavals i’ve ever dealt with. That’s naturally going to take its toll on mind and body so looking after yourself is going to be essential in those times. If you’re going through big life stuff too I’m sending you so much love and the biggest hug because it sucks but if you’re on my email list you will have had a handy pep talk last week reminding you that you are FAR braver than you’re giving yourself credit for. You’ve got this.
Besides that, let’s be honest once the glorious twinkliness of the festive season dissipates you’re left with this cold, wet weather, not much ‘greenery’ around and short days with not enough sunlight.
It got me thinking about all the ways we blindly follow timelines and time frames that, more often than not, weren’t ours in the first place.
If you read anything about the laws of nature or cycles, winter is for slowing down and hibernating. Spring is when you pop into action.
So I’ve decided I’m going with that a bit this year to try it on for size.
There are so many other ‘timelines’ that so many people seem to tear themselves up about.
A lot of societal ‘shoulds’ and what not hitting those timelines ‘means’ about you as a person.
A lot of the time they’re related to age and gender which is also not particularly modern.
So I think it’s time we break some of them down and look at them a little differently, perhaps give ourselves a little reframe.
My dissertation at university was all about women and aging in the media. How society has let women believe they are second class citizens after a certain age and that it’s ‘all downhill’ after a certain age.
This is a crock of you know what.
Women are taught to fear and do everything in their power to prevent an aging appearance from about the age of 20. It’s madness.
What’s the solution?
This is thankfully starting to happen, we need REAL women being championed and showcased in advertising, on the TV, in movies.
If you look now I’m LOVING how many women in their fifties are still being championed as sex symbols and I am SO here for it but there’s still work to do to create the societal shift.
I follow body positive and age positive people on Instagram and make sure I’m filling my feed with their glorious confidence.
When I want to shift the way I see something this is what I’ll do. I’ll seek the evidence that it’s possible. Marinate myself in places where these things are celebrated. It has a profound shift on how you see things. It also has a profound shift on how you see the world.
I seek places that are diverse, championing things that are not traditionally championed, challenging societies status quo and it really works. It’s actually quite profound because all of a sudden, these things you feared becoming are seen in a positive light and you don’t feel like ‘everyone’ thinks it’s negative, or not normal, insert the right word for yourself depending on what’s popped into your head as i’m talking.
So we have all this around our appearance going on and on top of that let’s throw in that you ‘should’ be married by a certain age.
You ‘should’ own your own home by a certain age.
You ‘should’ have kids by a certain age.
You ‘should’ be on a certain salary with a certain title by a certain age.
You ‘should’ be making six figures in your business in a certain time frame.
And it’s all a crock of you know what.
It’s all other people’s conditioning and opinion.
And none of this takes any nuance of what we actually might want into account. Or the negative potential aspects that could be involved.
And it is SO harmful to people’s mental health.
Mostly because of the judgement we might feel from other people and what we make it MEAN about us if we don’t hit that target.
It can cause people to stay in jobs they hate. Stay in relationships where they aren’t happy. Get themselves into debt trying to find the quick fix to the timeline. Live beyond their means.
Essentially society says it’s better for you to have these things and be miserable than not have these things and be happy.
It’s another one of these unconscious thought processes that isn’t questioned.
As if you’re in some way a failure if you’re single in your 30s or rent instead of own.
As if you should stay in a job you hate purely for the salary and the title. That job you chose when you were still in school and didn’t know yourself.
What if people knew it was ok to change careers at any age, even if it means an initial drop in salary or title. In all likelihood it wouldn’t stay that way for long because you’re already super skilled and that will shine through. But you could be happy and love going to work every day.
What if people knew it was absolutely ok to leave a relationship that’s not making you happy or even abusive. And that you’re likely to learn really important lessons and meet someone else who you can be a bazillion times happier with. OR, heaven forbid, be single by CHOICE!
Or CHOOSE not to have children.
If you’ve been with me for any amount of time you’ll know how fundamental I believe challenging our unconscious programming and thought processes is. This, in my opinion, really is the key to living the happiest life you can. The key to finally being able to love yourself and respect yourself. To make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the right people. To finding your confidence.
The more you work on yourself, the more you know yourself, the more happiness, peace, calm, joy and potential into your life.
The possibilities really are endless.
So grab your journal later and start thinking about some timelines you’ve bought into that might in actual fact be a crock of you know what.
Seek people who have been through what you’ve been through and come out the other side. You’ll notice they’re often a little more ‘glowy’ after!
It’s also important to talk things through with people who are going through similar situations so you can support each other.
Seek the stories of people who’ve done the scary thing that goes against the grain of what society tells you you should want or have and see where YOU land. With YOUR opinion and beliefs, without the clouds of these random societal timelines that have got in the way and clouded decisions.
It’s your life and you are in far more control of it than you believe. IF you challenge your conditioning and programming with curiosity.
Especially at this time of year when you’re being bombarded with all the ways you don’t fit the bill or aren’t enough.
It goes back to your values. What’s more important to you? What other people might think, or FEELING happy in your own skin and in your life.
You are GLORIOUS and you get to create your own timeline.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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