I‘m unsure where to even begin with this blog post. It’s one that I’m working through myself, so as I begin typing away I’m unsure where it’s going to go. So rather than this being a super fitness focussed post, it may turn out to be a blurgh of feelings and emotions on a page. But I think it’s important for me to share this. Some of you may even be experiencing the same – if you are I’d love to hear from you, and if it helps just one of you out there, then it will be worth me tap tap tapping away. Please bare with me, let’s go with the flow here, and see where this leads…
Two simple words. The same two words I’d often hear my elders say to me as a child, usually in the context of being kind to another. But how often do we actually apply these two words to ourselves? Would you say you’re kind to yourself, your body and your mind? Or are you hard on yourself?
I will hold my hand up and say that I put a lot, and I mean a lot of pressure on myself. I always have. I’m what some may refer to as a ‘perfectionist’, constantly striving to do the best job or be the best version of me, and struggling to settle for anything less. Whilst this has many strengths, negatives come with it too, which if not managed, can and still do to this day, hold me back – leading to procrastination, feelings of not being good enough or doing a good enough job, stopping me doing something in the fear that it, or I, won’t live up to my own expectations.
The thing is, these expectations are in my head. No one is holding me hostage to them. It is solely my mind that is acting as my own enemy. I’m hoping I don’t sound completely crazy here – and if I do, well that’s fine too. But I just feel it’s important to discuss these inner mental thoughts, issues, battles, whatever you want to refer to them as, because I don’t believe that I am alone, and I don’t believe that we should be ashamed to have them and to talk about them.
I put a quote up on Instagram the other day saying “Even that girl you see on Instagram probably hasn’t got all her s**t together” – and it’s true. We are all human. On our own journeys and facing challenges behind those tiny idyllic squares. As pretty as pictures can be, I would never want any one to look at my feed or read my blog and think of my life as being all rosey. As you probably know, I have a greatly positive outlook and approach to life, which is why I believe I am able to work through it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a down day, or a thought that enters my head such telling myself that I’m not good enough. This also doesn’t make me weak – although I used to think it did. I even had thoughts of ‘you’re a coach Hannah, surely you should have your own s**t together’ – well on some days I don’t, and I’ve come to be accepting of this and learnt that if anything this is a benefit, as it means I am able to emphasis with my clients, help them as I help myself, and together improve our wellbeing and mental health.
What even is good enough? Think about it for a second. Who created this imaginary scale of perfectionism that we all seem to use on a daily basis to rate ourselves and our own worth. I’m not talking about body image alone here, although that definitely falls under it, for me it can occur when working on a project, writing a blog post – I’ve even written things on here before and thought, narrrrr that’s not written well enough or doesn’t sound engaging or new or fresh or interesting enough. These thoughts are just thoughts, not facts, and looking back I should have probably just hit publish.
On my personal journey, I am learning to work through these thoughts, to be kinder to myself – and I urge you to do the same if you’re reading this and nodding your head. Kinder in the way we talk to ourselves, kinder in the way we fuel ourselves to feel fabulous, and kinder about the ways we gift our bodies with exercise. I’m not through the other side, but I don’t believe any body ever truly is 100% ‘through it’. There always will be challenges we face in life, but it’s how we react and respond to said challenges that make us stronger and impact our every day life. Awareness in itself holds great power, and hopefully this post may help one of you reading this right now to become more aware, acknowledge that maybe you too need to be a little kinder to yourself and cause you to question your current responses and reactions. As these thoughts are simply thoughts, not facts.
I couldn’t sit here right now and say, ‘oh this is the magic answer’, but there isn’t a magic cure. What I am going to do though is share how I am working through it and what helps me to be kinder to myself, my body, my mind, my soul, my whole self – and where ever you are on your journey to a healthier mindset, perhaps these 3 kindness tips can help you in some way too…
- Mindfulness meditation – I’m a big fan of the Headspace app, 10 minutes a day of guided meditation, free to download, try it out for yourself.
- Positive journal – keep a note pad by your bed and note down 3 positive things that happened at the end of each day, no matter how big or small.
- Self care hobby – whether it’s reading a chapter of your favourite book at bedtime, walking round the block at lunch, laying in the grass and staring at the sky, or stretching out on your mat at home, do something every day for you, away from technology, and bring your mind to the present.
There it is. My Monday ramble. I really do hope this resonates, even if with just one of you wonderful humans reading this right now. Because you are not alone. We are all human. But what we are not, are our thoughts.
Remember, we are all in this together, and the more open we all are about the inner challenges that we may be facing, the more we can help one another become stronger – mentally and physically! Do leave me a comment if you are or you have experienced anything like this, and if you have any ways that help you manage it, I’d love you to share them with me below…
LESS pressure, MORE kindness. I’ll leave you with this…