I learnt this from Yoga, but gained most from it in my Clark Kent life.
1) Comparing yourself to the person next to you
Whether it’s a stranger in a coffee shop twiddling their picture perfect curls whilst the rain fuzzed frizz pouf you are styling is scaring the baby at the next table. Or it’s the pert ass of the woman walking in front of you in her perfect hip hugging jeans, as you think about whether you can get away with undoing the top button of yours without anyone noticing. Or your best friend who just got a promotion but only seems to have been in her role five minutes, while you’re shattered from another long week in the office & the only thing your boss noticed about you lately is the day you left early … only to work the evening at home.
Not is all as it seems … this is just a negative view of the world & the only thing it’s doing is making you feel less worthy, less happy. You never know what someone else is going through, what they are living with, what trials they have run and how they might be looking at you envying you for something. Envy is a confidence crusher and success stealer. Stop it, stop it right now. You are not them, they are not you.
Trust me, having actively thought about this each time I did it & reversing it into something positive e.g. thank god for straighteners, what a great ass – but I love doughnuts more & when I wasn’t appreciated in my job: I changed it! The result? I am so much happier as a person. I celebrate other peoples successes, but more importantly I am proud of my own. This includes all the little daily ones too. Instead of if only I was more like, or wish I had her … I think, this is me, I’m going to own it & rock it!
Yogic learning point: In Yoga, the whole process is about looking in, at you, the inner you. Whether that’s in practice and letting the other people in the room fall away or just at home sat on your mat & not thinking about anything. In physical practice in class, of course I sneak the odd look at someone else, look at how what they can do is normally strong, flexible or just pretty cool. But the times I enjoy it most are where I just get completely lost, have no track of time, anybody else being in the room or what they can do and don’t even realise I’ve made it to savasana already. Those are the great days.
2) Caring what ‘everybody’ else thinks.
There’s a reason I say ‘everybody’ here. Sometimes it’s important to care what your lover/mother/brother thinks. Sometimes it’s important to tell them mentally to F@%k off while they dissect the last action you took; into minute painful, teeth grinding, eyebrow raising, Olympic fake smiling whilst nodding your head and envisaging face slamming them into the table detail. Telling them to actually F off is less successful.
But some of the people who you chose to let be close to to you, you trust with the things you find hardest to say & emotions that are most raw to you, will reflect something you need to hear, whether positive or at first hurtful.
Sometimes we see ourselves with rose tinted glasses & sometimes through milk bottle bottom thick microscope lenses, where every crack & imperfection is magnified until we only see what is wrong within us.
Other people can help us gain perspective. Ground us when we are so far up our own arse’s, daylight is only visible through the mouth or lift us when we feel like we are the amoeba on the pile of dog shit someone else just wiped off their Hunter wellies. Pick these people wisely, know when to lean on the truth teller or the sympathy giver – you need both of these types of people in your life!
As for everybody else, ask yourself why do you care? The random person on the street who comments on what you are wearing (damn it they did see that top button undoing), the colleague at work who jokes about the time you left the office (can you tell this really gripes me), or the ‘friend’ who points out how much you chugged back your dinner like you were at a pro eating contest & yikes you’re having desert? Keep on walking, keep on smiling, keep on chugging.
Do you care because you want them to like you? Need their validation? Or believe without question what they say is right and therefore you are doing something wrong? It only really matters what you think of yourself and if this is only built upon what others think of you & pleasing them, you will never be happy, because, who are you?
Yogic learning point: My Yoga Teacher Training group hold me in a safe space. I am humbled by their trust in me and how open & honest they are. In return I am more open to their friendship & their guidance. As a group of ‘trainees’ we are all hard on ourselves, that’s OK, but it’s also OK to be kind to ourselves too and this group of girls really encourage that. As they say, find your tribe, the ones who encourage you to be you & like you just that way.
3) Coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s hindsight for a reason, if it was foresight it might cripple you into never doing anything. I have been guilty of over analysing a situation both before and after the event, to the time stealing, paralysing point of either not doing something I thought I would love or completely whitewashing the memory of something I enjoyed into a negative, sad, wrongly enjoyed event.
We all ‘coulda’ done something else in every situation in our life, in every simple decision we make or choice we take. So what? You made the choice you did, don’t ruin it by thinking how it coulda worked out different had you chosen differently. You didn’t. Move on.
Woulda – really? What’s your excuse that you didn’t? Or does it make you feel like a better person to have stepped into someone else’s shoes & profess you would have approached the subject differently. Or if your circumstances were different you would have acted differently? I doubt it. You made your choice – own it, they made theirs – leave them to deal with it.
Whether we ‘shoulda’ – we will never know the outcome of having taken that different path at that particular moment in time. Take 5 seconds & finish the sentence ‘next time I will …’ & do it. Stop wasting your time wondering if.
Yogic learning point: I dived head first into my teach training. I went on my gut instinct that it was the right time & the right course. Part of me thinks I shoulda done more research, I didn’t realise the time & shift it would require. I coulda have asked more questions, been more prepared, taken more time over the decision. But I know I woulda come to the same conclusion – so I’m going to suck up the lows, because the highs are worth it & my gut was right!
We have all been brainwashed by nature/nurture on how to & how we should act, stop living the way you think you should, stop following your ego & let your intuition guide you. You’ll soon find freedom in that.
PS: Can you tell I just came off the back of a teacher training weekend AND finished reading a motivation book? Boom – get going, stop C-ing around.