I’m really trying hard to live an honest and authentic life. All too often I slip back into my ego driven self, but when I have glimpses of living ego-less I feel like a new person. In these moments I can look back on the old me and realise how tough it must have been at times to be around me.
I’ve struggled with finding the words to write this because I don’t want to be presented as an ogre (sorry Shrek!) for all of my earlier days. That certainly wasn’t the case. For the most part I think I was fairly easy to be around, but during my days of feeling stressed, let-down, worried or just “off” I wasn’t particularly good company. This is largely because when I was self-absorbed in my own crisis I wasn’t present to others. What a waste of a moment. Also, I know that leaders can affect the mood of those around them. This includes business leaders, family leaders, friends who take charge – anyone who steps up. If I had days at Billie Goat that were upsetting for me, this inevitably affected my team, no matter how supportive and positive they were. I think everyone of us has a responsibility to think about this when we’re out in the world – we’re like the stone thrown into the water…our very presence will create a ripple effect that touches everyone else around us – good and bad.
Earlier this week I posted a quote on my facebook page about how we are all ever-changing. I’m trying to steer this change of late, and here’s some of the steps I’m taking:
- Love myself exactly as I am right at this very moment. This is the hardest step of all, because if I cannot achieve this I will be forever stuck and unable to change. There’s been over forty years of not liking something about myself at any given time, so to abandon that completely is tough. It’s hard to turn the volume down on my inner chatter, but nowadays I have my finger actively working that button.
- Take notice when old triggers produce old thought patterns. This is called becoming more ‘meta’ to my situation. Almost like being able to stand back and watch myself experience a moment and then actively making a choice about how I will react to it – practising mindfulness. Nowadays I truly do “take a moment” when old habits/responses overwhelm me. Others might take a deep breath before exercising a change to their normal responses.
- Read, read, read. Years ago, when I was learning to be a corporate trainer, I was taught that another word for trainer was ‘thief’! We were always on the lookout for new ideas or concepts that we could incorporate into our own programs. Nowadays the same applies to my personal development. I should have shares in Booktopia and Amazon because my bookshelves are overflowing with stories from others who have discovered what life means for them. Yes, I am a proud ideas thief and willing to give new views a go in my life.
- Try, try try to be consistent. Another tough one. If I get brave enough to abandon old behaviours and adopt new ones I have to practise them consistently for others to truly accept I have changed. For example, if I have never stopped to spend time discussing my day with my kids when they get home from school, but suddenly decide to make time to do this each afternoon, they may be suspicious about my motives at first! I have to consistently demonstrate my interest in their day, and share my day also, before they believe the conversation is genuine.
- Remember that it is never about me. I don’t think that anyone in this world gets up each morning thinking about how to make Leanne Faulkner’s day a misery. Essentially, we all come from a good place, and even the meanest of people are simply acting in a way that works best for them at that given moment in time. Hence, if I feel left out, overlooked, undervalued or disliked they are simply interpretations I have in my own head – they may not, in fact, be reality. If I truly want to be a better me – I will seek out connections with others on an unconditional basis and not on what I expect in return.
Like any new learner, if I can get through practising these five points in a day I’m exhausted! I’m not always successful in remembering them all, but I am getting there. Learning is never easy. The first few months I learnt to ride my horse it was painful! I fell off, my bum ached, my thighs hurt and my stomach muscles were unbelievably sore. I was super conscious of all the things I had to do to control the horse and work together. I had information overload and I never thought I would ever stay upright on my horse. After a few months of practice though riding became much easier. The learning was tough, but the outcome was glorious. It’s the same for my current lessons xx