Can Guilt & Resentment Shatter Your Self-Care?
When I wrote my first published book, Suck It Up or Change, it was an opportunity to shed some of the baggage I had been carrying; the guilt, the resentment, even some hate. As you may already know, emotions tend to reflect back onto us so you can imagine how I felt about myself feeling all these negative emotions about others & life itself. And that’s how the 7F Principles I now live by came to transform how I chose to live my life.
Going back to the 38th year of my life – I was in an uncomfortable place and so overwhelmed with the state of my life, so internally out of sync, I just ‘did’ as much as possible without being thoughtful, without weighing up the consequences. I was acting out because I was out of control. Self-care didn’t get a look in!
I focused on all the wrong things; at work instead of looking for ways to expand & grow I focused on what was wrong, what was getting on my nerves and even though I fulfilled my role, I did it from a place of resentment.
As a parent I lorded over my parental right with ‘do as I say, not as I do’ instead of listening & understanding, side-lining my son’s feelings.
As a partner, instead of focusing on working through issues or at the very least acknowledging my part in the demise of the relationship, I shortcut to another relationship, one far more challenging to my energy supply, my confidence and self-esteem; constantly trying to prove I was worthy of it. It distracted me from what was important in my life.
I was in an emotional state of turmoil, filled with anger, guilt, blame, sadness, with anxiousness bubbling just beneath the surface, regret and self-pity were my best friends; I was blocked with negativity and my energy tank was running on empty. But I kept pretending and kept looking like all was well in my world.
Frazzled is probably too light a word to use for how I was feeling and burn out was where I was heading. And with that in mind, my ‘Food for Thought’ for you is this:
- Be Self-aware & honest
What is filling your vessel right now? What % of you is in a negative state beneath all that you are doing? What is keeping you stuck in a circle of behaviour that is non-serving? How are you putting a plaster over it hoping it will just go away or heal itself? Because whilst you’re holding the negative, there is little room for the positive. And be ready to ask yourself ‘why’ you keep running around doing and being for everyone without giving yourself a second thought. Who are you trying to impress? What do you want the world to believe about you? I know I wanted to be all things to all people, to be a fab partner, mother, sister, daughter, friend. Who was I kidding? I dropped all of those plates.
And imagine the quality of your decision making when you’re in this kind of negative state as well as what you are attracting into your life. Because like attracts like.
As I look back there shouldn’t have been any surprise that things would get worse. I was simply a magnet for it.
On Monday 5th January 2004 – redundancy day – not only was it no surprise, I could add loss and inadequacy to the mix. I put on a brave ‘I don’t give a damn’ face and I did it well. I then spent some days wallowing in my grief but I knew I had to get with the programme. Change was now a necessity and I had to embrace it.
I did 3 things:
- I got a J.O.B for security
- I focused on my health & fitness so that I could physically feel better & cope, and
- I dived into personal development to discover who I was at the core of me and strengthen my mindset
In fact, the first book I jumped into was written by a Successful Stockbroker – Win Your Life in 90 Days and it opened my eyes to how unplanned and off course my life had become, with no meaningful destination.
- Rip off the plaster that is holding you together and take care of business
And by business, I mean YOU! The plaster is a temporary delaying tactic, a head in the sand approach that, if not dealt with, will support one of the worst habits you could imagine and see you plummet into self-sabotage. Get the help & support you need to transform the direction of your life. There is no weakness in getting help & no shame in dealing with your ego because ego will make you do things your sane loving self would not.
And while you’re there, let go of the petty shit that consumes your energy; the unnecessary arguments, the need to be right, the gossiping about others; it is time wasting & painful.
Remember, the bandage serves only to suppress the issues and eventually will show out emotionally, mentally & physically through you, affecting relationships, friendships, your ability to help others, your ability to enjoy life and your ability to see a way out.
Back to me… I played the 90 day game full on and it was after this 90-day journey that I began to adopt the 7F Principles; not all at once but over time, each one coming into play just when I needed it most, helping me to create more of what I wanted in my life.
And I want to share them with you, how they came to be and their importance:
1. Being Fit & Healthy – I came from a H&F background, it’s what I knew, and I knew it was an activity that would leave me feeling good; I could use it to leapfrog forward. Not only on a physical level, also mentally, leading me to immerse myself in Personal Development, studying works from some of today’s greats, like Tony Robbins. Physical Self-Care.
2 & 3. Being Fearless & Creating Freedom – The idea of starting my own business became more tangible as I stopped worrying about the unknown, stopped thinking that having a JOB was the be all and end all, stopped focusing on retirement & pensions and instead creating something I would love to do until I was no longer capable of doing it. I allowed my creativity to flourish, taking a fearless approach and creating the freedom I desired. Mental Self-Care.
4. Connecting With Family, Friends & Network – fortunately, I have always had a loving & supportive family & a few select friends I could count on. But I knew I needed to expand my network for my business as well as growth and learning the importance of being selective was crucial, letting go of relationships at all levels that were toxic and draining. That was such a huge life lesson. Everyone didn’t need to be in my life forever. Emotional Self-Care.
5. Paying It Forward – I use to read Success magazine cover to cover, soaking up the inspiring stories, all of which demonstrated the way contribution played a major role in the life of successful people. I went from doing charity runs, to being an ambassador to a local charity (People Against Poverty) to being an e-mentor for a global organisation (W4) as well as being a philanthropist for Bath Women’s Fund, always looking to align what I did with my core values. Contribution.
6. Making Time For Fun – Yes, rewarding my hard work with things that were done for the pure pleasure of doing them 😊 I started salsa classes again, I re-joined the gym (after I had been pounding the pavements) & I created pockets of time for me to down tools & just be – spending Friday afternoons by the river people watching over a glass of wine, taking a book to the park to read under a favourite tree. So, by the time I went back into work mode, I felt focused, energised, and happier. Joyfulness & Playfulness.
And lastly comes…
7. Having Faith – by choice I rebuilt my faith in God on a conscious level, having faith in myself, seeing human kindness and the universal laws that guide us as essential to living a full life. I felt connected with my world. My Heart-Centred Care.
Being fit & healthy is now the core of who I am, and faith is the platform on which I stand to be all of me.
- Align Your Words & Actions To Your Values
There is little point in having values and principles if you don’t live by them. Talk is cheap. Armed with my 7F Principles I had structure, a formula that keeps my self-care, my wellbeing, top of mind in every area of my life that is important to me. Everything else that I do hangs directly from one of these 7 principles and they all lead to the centre of my heart – who I am.
Here’s what I want you to consider:
What emotions are keeping you stuck; are they holding you back from putting you on your to do list?
What truly matters to you and who can you ask for help to get to where you want to go?
What guiding principles can you create based on your values that empower you to lead with self-care – and don’t pay lip service to them, live them!
I’m still very much on my journey but I can say with certainty, that I am happy from the inside out and I don’t need a perfect day, week, month, or year to keep my happiness alive. My 7F Principles ensure it is so and they take care of my self-care.