The negative thoughts came rushing into my head. I could feel my chest tightening and my shoulders dropping…my self-esteem was leaking out of every pore…what was I doing here??
Do you feel like you’re going backwards in life? You’re not where you thought you should or would be? You’ve got a goal you’re working towards but you have to do things that make you wonder if you’re actually on the right path?
So often we judge ourselves by what we are doing; what our jobs are; what we’re achieving. If we feel things aren’t moving as fast as we’d like or we start to compare ourselves to others who appear to be successful, we feel crap about ourselves. .
Well if you find yourself having one of those moments of self-doubt and fear maybe my experience below will help you see your way through it.
How I was Feeling Unsuccessful
Recently I’ve begun a part time job in the area I thought I’d never do again…retail.
I worked in the first ever Superdrug back in the 80’s when I was 16, complete with blue and white chequered tabard – the glamour 🙂 – and in the 90’s in a far cooler boutique in the wondrous Kensington Market, London. But at the end of the day I was just a shop girl…stacking shelves.
So this week as I found myself once again stacking shelves, something triggered a feeling of fear and sadness. I was organising a highly succesful skin care range and suddenly remembered that I knew one of the creators. He was about my age and I’d been over to his for dinner and he’d come to my 40th birthday. He was a really lovely guy but we’d lost contact.
As thoughts came rushing into my head, I found myself beginning to feel pretty crap about myself. Immediately I went into comparison mode. I thought about how successful he’d been, how focused and productive. And me? Here I was 51 years old doing exactly what I thought I’d never be doing again…a mundane shop job. What happened to the decades of skill building as a costumier…then as an event producer? Where was the challenge? The excitement? The success? WTF had I been doing with my life?!
I could feel my chest tightening and my shoulders dropping…my self-esteem was oozing out of my every pore…what was I doing here??
How I Overcame Feeling Unsuccessful
Thank God I’ve learnt about the power of Mindfulness… the ability to notice my thoughts and body’s reactions and give myself space before reacting – it saved me from bursting into tears.
So, what did I do? I stopped what I was doing and took some breaths. I then looked at the truth. Yes I was stacking shelves. Yes I didn’t expect to be here but I was.
I was here because I chose to be. I applied for the job to get myself back into working mode after being unable to do so for nearly 2 years due to illness. The job is in a health and beauty shop not a supermarket, so it’s in the area of wellness I’m training in. The people I work with are lovely. No egotistical directors, producers or temperamental clients. I’m learning about numerous products and how to help customers with various ailments. Most importantly; the job is not stressful. I’m being kind to myself.
After cancer recovery, stress is one of the most important things in life to avoid as much as possible. Be kind to yourself and show yourself compassion for what you’ve been through.
As I continued to breath this powerful truth came to me;
I’m simply on a lilipad pausing to gather strength and knowledge, to enable me take my next leap along my future path. I’m successful as I’m alive.
Yae! That felt better! The tightness in my body lifted and I felt better in myself…more confidant and calm. I’d created a new belief in myself.
As for the comparison to my old friend? Well I’m going to contact him and see if he wants to reconnect, putting aside the comparisons and thoughts of I’m not good enough…that I’m not successful…as I know that I am.
How you can overcome Feeling Unsuccessful
When you find yourself feeling fear or self-doubt, stop and notice the thoughts coming into your head.
Stop and breathe. Don’t get swept away by these thoughts.
Notice where in your body you’re feeling sensations arising. Keep breathing.
Let the truth of how amazing you are come to you. Reframe your situation into a positive one and make that your new and empowering belief.
If you think you’re not where you think you should be, I hope this story shows you a way to prevent you beating yourself up and find a positive belief to move forward with – I’d love to hear from you below…
Photo thanks to Brenkee