I would be willing to place a bet that if you are reading this you have found yourself in a place of confusion at least one time or another in your life. I find that confusion with our own lives, our goals, and our futures is, by far, one of the most frustrating positions to be in – especially if you are a person that is routinely positive, upbeat, at least a little bit focused, and grounded.
Welcome to my life. A few weeks ago I woke up, and it was as if everything just crumbled – or more as if everything that I had built up in my mind relating to my own self-confidence, my abilities, my drive, my vision never even existed. I was back to being “that girl” from years ago that I absolutely despised. “That girl” had no control, and didn’t care to take any back. “That girl” allowed her situation to define her, control her, and nearly sabotage everything she hoped for herself. I was becoming “that girl” again, and every day it killed me a little bit more to watch, which made self confidence dwindle even more, which made me more angry, and more sad, and the vicious cycle continued.
Even today, I woke up feeling like I had a 100lb brick on my chest. I was in a negative space. I felt lazy. I felt tired. I was supposed to get up and do a workout, but the snooze button was so much more appealing. I told myself the truth: “Nicole, you feel SO MUCH BETTER when you workout in the morning. Yes, the first 2 minutes suck but the remaining 23 are great. This is good for you!”
I hit the snooze button three more times.
By the time I convinced myself to get out of bed and put on my workout clothes, it was 6AM. I leave for work at 6:30, so my window for working out and showering had passed. I let my mood get the best of me – again.
The cycle started: negative self talk, blaming myself, being disappointed in myself; however, if there is one thing that all the personal development over the years has taught me it is that I can take back control of my thoughts at any moment I choose. My mantra lately has been: control the controllable. Instead of sulking, I grabbed my personal development book and a small cup of coffee and read for 10 minutes. My mind would NOT be staying like this again today – at least not at this level. If I could raise my spirits even just a little bit – it would be a win.
Control the controllable. There’s a lot of shit going on “upstairs” right now – and I don’t know what set it off, or why it has hit so hard ( I have my ideas, of course) but largely right now my feelings aren’t entirely in my control. Which is fine – you need to “feel your feelings” and let them run their course as they are there for a reason; however, I refuse to dwell in self-pity or depression day in and day out until things “snap back into place”. Being realistic, the only way they will snap back into place is by me physically trying piece after piece together to see where they interlock, and begin rebuilding my “positive puzzle”. So I control the controllable.
Feeling bad about myself? I pick out an outfit that makes me feel confident and maybe spend a few more minutes on my makeup that day. Nothing says “I’m drifting” like shuffling around in your robe, with your hair disheveled, in slippers….and realizing it’s 3PM and you still look like that, haha. You need to dress for the part that you want. If you want to FEEL confident again, dress confident again. It’s okay to give a little back to yourself – you deserve those extra three minutes it takes to do your eye makeup in a way that makes you say, “Well at least I have that going for me today”, or to pick out a shade of lipstick that you like. If you’re not big into make-up – hell, at least moisturize! Give yourself SOMETHING that makes you feel just a little bit more on point for the day.
Negative self talk coming into my mind? I shut it down right there and focus on things that make me feel better: a craft, a favorite television show or movie, an exercise routine I find randomly online that I have never done before, good music, my dogs. “This is where I am right now, but it is not WHO I am”. What I avoid during these times? Alcohol and convenience foods. Eating and drinking my feelings will only make things worse for me – and I know that drinking can quickly become a slippery slope because “that girl” DRANK – and let’s be honest – on top of all of this nonsense I do NOT need to gain weight and then have to worry about fixing that. For me, alcohol and food are not hugs in a time like this, they are distractions. When you find yourself in a negative space you don’t need distractions, you need things that ACTUALLY make you feel better and fill your cup – not something that blocks the feelings only for them to come back 10x harder when it’s over.
Frustration over missed deadlines at work or just general lack of care/compassion from others (relating to anything going on)? That’s WAY out of my control, so I do what I can for that situation. I physically do the work that I can do, that is MY responsibility, and then I let it go. I control the controllable. I do my part. If the cards don’t fall the way they should – at least I can say it wasn’t my fault. I did my part. I did what needed done. And when it comes to social media nonsense – sure, I could say A LOT about A LOT – but I don’t. Because that only heightens negative feelings. Ranting is great if it is productive, it is dangerous and self sabotaging if it is done to “shut people up” or “put them in their place”. Stop buying into the nonsense – that person just wants you as low as they feel.
I can’t do everything right now. I can’t take care of everyone right now – but I can take care of myself and so can you. When you are going thru a funk, all you can do is control the controllable and by gaining even that little bit of control back, you will begin to raise your self-confidence, find some sense of balance and order, and soon enough you’ll be back to crushing major goals.