So, first of all, I need to tell you what is happening in my flat right now.
Currently, right next to my toilet, there is a man inside the wall and all that stands between my toilet and him is a black plastic bin liner. It is possibly the weirdest situation that I've ever had in my bathroom.
He's not just there for shits and giggles, he is in there sorting out a problem with some pipes, but I've just tried to go to the toilet -- and I know this is probably too much information -- I just got stage fright because I was just very aware that there was a man bumbling around inside my wall and all that was between us was a plastic bag. So yeah strange happenings...
But that's not what I actually wanted to talk about (imagine writing a whole piece just on that "mmmm actually I can!!")
What I wanted to have a chat with you about is the reasons and motivations behind the things you do.
And more precisely how important it is that we are very clear with ourselves about our own expectations of what we believe the outcome of something is going to bring into our life.
In other words, what are our true motivations for the things we want and the things we do in life?
This has come up because I had some questions in my DMs from people asking specifically about alcohol, "is it okay to use alcohol when you get to the end of a hard week to destress? Is that healthy?"
** From here on you can also replace the word alcohol/ drinking or booze with food because the same thing applies**
In the first instance, I said; "you can literally do what the fuck you want!"
(said in an empowering loving way no horribleness!)
"You have permission to live your life how you want. So, if you want a drink at the end of the week, you absolutely can."
"You want to eat a cake? Go ahead."
" You have permission to do anything and everything in your life."
And that's the truth you do have the permission to do exactly what you want, but what you always need to question is: "why is it that I want to do this thing? what is my motivation?"
So, going back to the alcohol Dm's the questions I asked them to ask themselves were;
Could I manage to get through this okay and manage to de-stress myself without having to use alcohol?
Would I be comfortable to sit in my feelings on a Friday night after a stressful week without alcohol?
Would I or do I have another go-to coping mechanism that I can go to instead of having to use alcohol?
The answers to those questions are really important... because if you would not be able to sit at the end of a stressful week and de-stress without using alcohol or you didn't have anything else that you ever used to deal with your emotions, that alcohol was the only thing you ever turned to, then you have to understand that is not a good motivation to drink.
And that's not to say that you can't sometimes have a drink in those situations, but you have to know if you're looking at wanting to be able to really have a "healthy" relationship with alcohol, you have to be sure that it is not your only go-to at times of high-stress, or that it is not being used to escape from being unhappy, or to hide insecurity or numb feelings of low self-esteem.
You have to know that you have another option and that you would be able to sit in the feelings, ride out the uncomfortableness and not feel like you have to always escape, you have to be sure that you are not letting fear of the feelings drive you to stuff things you don't want to deal with down.
One of the questions that I wish somebody had asked me when I started drinking when I was 15, which lead to a very disordered relationship with alcohol and drugs throughout my twenties and thirties was;
"Sarah, why are you actually drinking? What are the real reasons behind that?"
But in all honesty at the time, I don't think I would have been as insightful as I am now because I didn't really understand what was going on with me on the inside. I didn't understand the beliefs that I had about myself and how wrong they all were and how these fuckers were creating my reality.
I didn't understand any of that, so I just kinda thought I was, a" good-time party girl" and that was that and this was just how life was going to be. But if somebody had maybe just asked me and made me think about it, maybe I would have realized sooner exactly what was going on and would not have lived through using alcohol for all the wrong reasons for so long.
So, it is just important with everything in your life you stop and ask yourself "why am I doing this? REALLY why am I doing this?"
I actually posted on Instagram talking about how we assume that when we're talking about bingeing, that we are only referring to food and drink, but the behaviour of bingeing on something or doing something to excess can be applied to so many things in life.
On my own journey, when I stopped binge drinking because I still wasn't comfortable dealing with my emotions I still needed to stuff things down so I replaced the binge drinking with binge-training and binge eating for a time. So, all I had done was found another way to numb out and escape from all of the feelings that I was having. I still wasn't dealing with my shit.
I had a client who used to regularly have binge eating episode, after working together she got them under control by raising her awareness and using the tools I gave her to manage her response to urges differently.
But after a while, she noticed that she was starting to develop a binge-shop habit, so, like me, we knew we had to go in deeper to see what else she was suppressing what else needed uncovering and once we shone a light on this part of her that still didn't feel good enough things shifted. Her awareness around the story meant it had no power anymore, she had the choice not to listen to it and keep her power within her.
So it's important you have a daily practice to question your thoughts and stay off autopilot I love this touchpoint method here.
If you find that you are spending hours and hours scrolling on the gram or hours and hours watching Netflix or using anything to numb and distract, then you need to get real, honest with yourself and ask "what do I need distracting from?" "What are the uncomfortable feelings I don't want to feel?"
Because you can't spend your whole life distracting and avoiding (well you can do what you want!) but if you want to feel peaceful, content, happy, have a life you love, achieve your goals and be able to have healthy relationships then you HAVE TO FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.
The only way that you're ever going to be able to evolve and be step into living your 'best life' is if you are experiencing the full array of human emotions.
You have to develop the ability to be able to manage your own emotionality to empower yourself to be able to ride them out and respond to anything that comes up in a way that doesn't keep pulling you down a rabbit hole of behaviours that end up making you feel shitty and resulting in living a numb and frustrating life.
And full transparency you may not be able to do this alone because let’s be real: the internet is a crazy confusing place, there is so much information available which triggers overwhelm which leads to an “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality (aka it never gets dealt with because it seems too hard)
This is why I have invested numerous coaches & mentors because I didn’t wanna waste any more time or energy trying to figure EVERYTHING out on my own. (My clients are always amazed at what a difference it makes having someone there to ask probing questions!)
On a surface level, it is easy to think that the problems you have are just the problems, but if that was the case then there wouldn't be so many people struggling with the same things over and over.
It's only once you start turning inwards and going deeper, that you realize that problems are never the problems, there's always more underlying stuff that you have to get to the bottom of and work through to be able to have real breakthroughs and achieve real long-lasting results.
I recently moved in with a client so we could have two days of really intense coaching where I helped her get to the bottom of everything that was holding her back, her life long pattern was constantly getting to a certain point in her weight loss journey and then sabotaging herself by slipping back into old patterns.
When you have more self-awareness and insight to yourself it empowers you to feel more in the driver's seat of life so you can go out and really start to take control of your life journey, so even if you are frightened to start doing some of this deeper work please take peace in knowing that at the other side of the shit lies all the good stuff you've been dreaming of.
And you deserve that because let me tell you, you are fucking amazing. You seriously, seriously are, but you just need to form a healthy relationship with yourself so you can start to appreciate yourself for just being you.
So, my challenge for you going forward forevermore is: when you're about to do anything question it. Let's use mindless scrolling as an example;
"What is the purpose of me going onto Instagram? Is it that I am giving myself permission to sit and just scroll through for five minutes and then I'm going to cut myself off and come off it?'
"I am trying to avoid doing something, so I'm going to spend hours scrolling, letting the voice in my head -- so for me, gremlin Shirley -- tell me that somehow this is useful!"
"Maybe she's going to tell me that the next post that I come across might be the post that is going to absolutely freaking change my life."
"Or maybe she's going to tell me that this scrolling is more important than the thing that I need to do or I'm not going to be able to do the thing anyway, so I might as well scroll!"
It's such a powerful thing to do. I couldn't believe when I really started to become more aware of my own habits. I was like, "Wow, okay." I was doing a lot of things for a lot of reasons that wouldn't actually help me to succeed in life and, more importantly, actually make me feel really fricking good about myself.
So my message to you is to, start questioning absolutely everything and don't be scared of the answers. I don't always like what my motivation is, but I have to accept it. And when I accept it, then I can make the decision about what I want to happen next and then I can move forward from it I don't need to sit and dwell on the fact that I didn't like why I was about to do something.
I hope this has been insightful. I think you are absolutely amazing. I know that you deserve to have the best life ever. I know that you deserve to have whatever you want, and I know how freaking capable you are. So, I want you to go out into the world and I want you to question the absolute shit out of yourself.
On that happy note, I am going to go and hope that the man in my wall is going to be finished very, very soon. I appreciate you so much and I shall catch you soon.