Sadly, I have recently noticed that I have allowed myself to slowly fall into a rut. I haven’t blogged in a couple of months and I certainly haven’t been putting ‘my all’ into things that I should be; and I haven’t been making an effort to do things that I know deep down that I love doing. For some reason the thought of sitting and writing or starting on one of my hobbies just wasn’t exciting me enough to make me do it. I was not happy; I let my side down, somewhere down the line.
So what did I do instead of things I liked? I’d come home from work, grab a beer, listen to music, day-dream and get all depressed from it. I felt guilty for myself, because I knew there were things I wanted and needed to do; but yet again, the following day I would do the same, and repeat and repeat…
I was doing so well, I thought. I was thinking positively, loving life, everything just seemed to be working out perfectly for me. Lots of great new changes have occured in my life the past few months! Why am I so damn down? The recognition of the fact that I had actually allowed myself to fall started to make me feel worse. This is probably because I had created some bad habits, and habits are hard to break. Especially bad ones, unfortunately.
While I am at work I seem to be okay; I’m very productive and work really hard all day. It’s just that moment I walk through the door of my home, that I just don’t know what to do. Over-thing is a big one too. My Nan has just moved quite far away and people are clearing out her house; I haven’t heard from my family in the USA in a long time; Bills have appeared from nowhere, and so on…
Anyway, something has got to give! Now! Slowly but surely, I have got to snap out of this haze of negativity because it is getting me to nowhere town, fast! I know that worrying doesn’t help any situation, I know I am being daft. We are only human though, I guess. Being aware of the problem and knowing that it needs to be fixed is a good sign, at least. To give up on yourself would be very sad. Don’t do this, ever! I know it’s easy, just don’t!
What cheers ladies up the most? Shopping. I thought I would pick up my lap top and do some retail therapy; that will sort me out. I must admit I did feel better after ordering a few new summer dresses. I clicked to pay, and then…. then what? sigh. Facebook! I’ll look through Facebook; that got boring after one scroll full of pets and #thirstythursday selfies. So I absent mindedly typed in my website and logged in; had a little click around and then, here I am, typing this.
As I continued to type I began to see my own issues more clearly; rather than wallowing in my problem I am looking at it, reading it. It seems like this problem I have is much easier to solve now. Surely, I can create a good habit if I can create a bad one. Effort is envolved, I know, but it’s possible. And worth it.
Let’s challenge ourselves. We can do it together. Let’s think of something that makes us feel happy; or maybe something we need to do. Maybe something we don’t like doing so much but the feeling we get after we have accomplished it is worth the graft. Let’s try this ‘5 step challenge’:
Just do it! Don’t think about what you want/need to do; just go for it. (it probably doesn’t take too long, and you will be so glad you did it.)
Remind yourself! Make a conscious effort to do this thing every day. (set a reminder on your phone, or put a note in your purse/wallet and tell yourself how much you love doing this.)
Congratulate yourself! Each time you accomplish your task or your joy, lap it up! You deserve it!
Ask your loved ones or friends to support you. (They will be proud of you, and encouragement is always a good thing. You may even inspire others to give this a go in the mean-time! Bonus!)
Feel happy! If we continue to do the things that really make us happy in the end, other great changes will occur in our lives and amazing opportunities are sure to make an appearance.
Isn’t it incredible, that just by us being sincerely happy within ourselves we cause the world around us to ‘morph’ into something spectacular? Our happiness is so important. Honestly, if our happiness makes the world a better place and makes others happy too, how can we be so selfish?
I am going to start the ‘5 step challenge’ first thing tomorrow. I hope you join me and share your results and thoughts. I am so excited! Have fun!
The First Step Towards The Rest Of My Life – Driving
One day last year in February, I decided I wanted to make a change in my life. I wanted to defy my self beliefs of not deserving great things. I thought, what’s the main thing that limits me to what I can do? That thing was transport. Driving my own vehicle and getting my independance was my next goal; and at the ripe age of 32, I knew this was going to be a challenge.
I had many, many lessons, spending most of my money on learning to drive, (and taxis). And I spent most of my time on studying the high-way code and then passing my theory test in March 2016. Then a few months passed and I was ready! My instructor said, I was definitely ready to take my practical test.
My first practical driving test was in June 2016. I remember feeling quietly confident when driving to the test centre with my instructor, but then as we started to approach the building where I would meet my examiner, I immediately began to feel unexplainably terrified. I was visualising over and over in my mind, visions of myself being told, I am sorry, Sarah, you have failed.
Flapping Like A Pigeon
I tried to remember all of the answers to the ‘show me-tell me’ questions, where you must either show or tell the examiner how you would, for instance: check your oil, know when your brakes aren’t working and/or turn on your windscreen wipers, etc…. but I couldn’t think of them. I knew them all before, but now I don’t. Just don’t cry; do not cry! I told myself. My stress levels continued to rise.
Basically, I totally flapped! I was flapping like a pigeon stuck in a chimney. Everything… well near enough everything that could have went wrong, did. So, the lady examiner called my name, and we head outside towards the car I was about to drive her around in; for 40 minutes; whilst being closely examined on my every move.
Okay, I’m not ready, I am sooo not ready, I thought.
Biggest Fear Followed By Bigger Fear
As we get closer to the car,what did I notice swarming all around it? It’s one of my biggest fears: Two inch long, winged insects with black and yellow striped bodies, armed with a little stinging sword on their butts and an irritating buzzing sound to top it off… Yes, they were WASPS! They just had to, didn’t they?Today of all days! And did they have to sit on the bonnet just as I was asked to open it? Ohhhh, of course they did! I thought, resentfully.
As much as I was scared to start my driving test, I just wanted to get inside the car away from the taunting wasps. At this point I was really worked up inside. The sweat was literally dripping down my face and into my eyes. This is not good when you wear glasses and are also wearing quite a bit of mascara. Not waterproof, by the way. This was out of the ‘norm’ for me as I am not usually a ‘sweaty’ person. So there was also that added paranoia that the examiner was thinking, my god… who sweats like that?
When I started the car, my hands started to shake in an embarassing and very noticable way. I could feel my feet trembling on the pedals. My entire focus was stuck on what my body was doing and on the fear of doing wrong. It was not good.
The Bitter Ending
Inevitably, I didn’t do well with my driving. I started in the wrong gear, I hit the curb and I nearly knocked off the left wing mirror on an old brick wall along a narrow country lane… as well as another 10 x driving faults. My previous lessons went extremely well, though. What was my problem? Anyway, of course, I failed my test. Hey! I must be psycic because that’s exactly what I imagined I would be told. This is me being sarcastic; I’m no psycic. I didn’t fore-see my future but I certainly did create it.
I went on and booked another test. And another. These kind of ended the same way, although, in result of all these tests I wasn’t as nervous but I still wasn’t completely confident in my abilities. I wasn’t in the here and now; I was over-thinking everything, getting worked up and then making enough mistakes to make me fail. Again. Something had to be done, and more driving lessons was not the answer this time.
Finally, I booked my fourth test. I booked it for the 17th January 2017, 14:32PM.
My instructor, who I had been learning with since Jan/Feb last year, was due to retire mid December. I had no one to give me lessons for my up-coming test booked for the following month. Before Christmas I called every driving school around and each of them told me either they were fully booked up or there not taking bookings until after the new year.
So anyway, I continued my search, but no such luck. I then thought, it’s fine, it’s all going to be fine. Surely something will come up.I just need to have faith all will work out for the best.
I continued on with my life after new year and enjoyed time with family and friends and my partner and I played with our new toys we got for Christmas. All was good. One morning we had decided to go for a walk and my partner, Rob, could have a go at flying his drone on a nearby field. We head out, and as I walk out of our front gate I notice a sign that read, Chris Kelly Driving School. It was sat on top of an instructor’s car.
As Rob walked out after me, a man appeared from around the corner and walks towards this car with the sign, and opens the door. Rob says, “Sarah, go and ask him if he could fit you in for lessons,and take you to your test!” I felt a bit shy, and thought,I don’t know. Chris Kelly Driving School told me that they’re fully booked.
Rob then shouts towards the man, “Excuse me mate!” The man said, “hi, you okay?” Rob continued “my girlfriend has booked her test which is just in a couple of weeks, and she has no car to be able to do it, could you fit her in at all, and maybe for a couple lessons in your car to get used to it?” He replied, “yeah, that’s not a problem, any time your free,just give me a call later.” Then he gave me his mobile number and everything went smashingly from there.
The lessons I had with the new instructor were completely different to what I was used to with the old one. I was left to my own skill and gained much needed confidence from them. I felt at ease. And I began to feel like a driver, and actually enjoyed driving!
Was it a coincidence that the ‘Chris Kelly’ car was at the right place at the right time? Or was it because I had faith that all would be fine? Over the Christmas period I done a lot of meditating and really worked on trying to see the good in every situation. I like to believe this is why everything worked out.
You Can Do It
A couple weeks later I had my fourth driving test.
Taking a different approach this time, while waiting in the waiting room for my examiner, I breathed slowly and deeply counting each breath, and noticing my breath. When I felt myself getting nervous in the car I made a concious effort to ‘stay in the now’ and be aware of my surroundings, from the feeling of my hands on the steering wheel to the colour of the cars infront of me. All the while remembering to breath and believe, I can do this!
Finally, we approach the test centre. The place I once, twice, three times dreaded, I now couldn’t wait to park up! I already knew the outcome. No time was wasted as I parked I was immediately told I had passed! I only had two minor faults! Amazing! The second I was told I burst into tears and banged my head on the steering wheel leading to histerical laughter. I was Over. The. Moon.
I passed on Tuesday and had my own car by Monday evening. I just could not wait!
Someone ‘Up There’ Loves Me
I got a car on finance from Vauxhalls, a lime green Adam, nicknamed: Sweet Pea. I love her so much. It was strange how I initially was refused finance, after having a quote and two hour appointment with the dealer. So then Rob said, “I’ll pop over with you and It can go in my name, we’re going to have you driving babe.”
We arrive, Saturday afternoon. We take a seat and the dealer, a lovely elderly man named Tony, asks Rob, “okay, can I see your driving license, please?” Oh great. I thought. You need a license to get finance for a car. Of course.
Tony looked devastated for us. Or maybe for the sale, he has just potentially lost, who knows. Tony walks back and to from a little office in the corner. Then he walks back over to us and asks Rob if he could just get a bank loan of £7000 to buy the car. This was not an option for Rob, nor would I want him to do that. Tony then has his head in his hands, and suddenly darts off to the little office again.
He returns with, “Right, we can attempt to try this through a different finance company; it will have to be hire purchase, over five years instead of three, and it will be about £25 more per month. Shall we try?” I said yes. I just want to drive, yes please try this, Tony.
He walks off to the mysterious office once more, and returns shortly after. He says to me, “I’m sorry, I’m not wearing my glasses, can you just read that word at the top for me please?” I looked and readout slowly, “app….rov….ed. Approved!!” The man laughed in delight as did we all. I am a driver.
Monday night, straight after work I was able to pick up my car, (oh-my-god), and drive it home. All on my own. I can’t describe the feeling; Independance, joy, excitement!! So many feelings. At 33 years of age, this is one hell of an accomplishment.
Everything worked out perfectly. Though there were some events that could have disheartened me, I didn’t allow them to. I continuously thought, what’s meant to be will be. Full stop.
Coincidence or not, believing that everything is fine, has got me where I wanted. Not all in one day, but eventually. No bad feelings, just faith that it will all work out for my highest good. You’ve just got to carry on going for your dream. In this case, it was my Sweet Pea. My Sweet Pea and me.
I have always been a daydreamer. This can be a really good thing, but it can also be a really bad thing. Dreaming is not to be mistaken with thinking too much, or overthinking; these are two completely different things; worlds apart. Dreaming of and visualising an amazing, happy and successful outcome is healthy; but thinking over and over again of how an outcome could potentially be bad or worrying about something has had already happened, is the opposite.
Firstly, The Bad thing:
I found that because I used to spend so much time day-dreaming I tended to miss out on what was happening in-the-now. There had been so many occasions where I had been walking or riding my bike somewhere, that when I arrived I couldn’t even remember the journey! I was thinking way too much! Thinking about silly things like: something that had annoyed me the day before, how I could have done something better, or just simply every little thing in my life.
I may have missed out on some good opportunities, whilst being in my own little world. I didn’t take in my surroundings nor experience all the lovely smells, feelings and views that I walked or rode past, many times. We miss out on so much when we’re not present.
I actually used to think so much, that when I would talk to someone, even if I tried my very hardest, I could not concentrate on what the person was saying to me. Of course, in result of this, some people had assumed that I was ignorant or that I just wasn’t interested in what anyone had to say. This was not the case at all. I just had a lot on my mind.
Over-thinking and analysing:
Sound familiar? I used to, (and sometimes do now, but I have learned to stop myself), over analyse almost every situation that entered my dear life. I’d analyse how a person looked at me; I’d think, why did he/she look like that at me? Do they think what I said was stupid? Do I have something on my face? Maybe they’re all talking about me? I must of had a very deep-in-thought kind of look on my face whilst analysing the situation; I would love to be able to see what I looked like while I was doing this.
Another thing that I quite commonly analysed was, the way I look. I would constantly think about how jiggly my belly was getting, wrinkles, dry skin, clothing…. and the list would go on. This is something a lot of women do, and men I’m sure. We always worry, worry and worry some more about what other people are thinking. Well, I know I did. We really should love ourselves for who we are. After all, it’s probably less attractive when someone moans about themselves than when someone is comfortable in the skin their in, whether they’re a super-model or not. Don’t you agree?
It’s not until after reading numerous books, watching relevent videos, practicing daily positive thinking and trying to live-in-the-now, that I finally began to feel more at peace. I’m more at peace with myself; and I realise now that everyone in the world, is actually not against me. It was all in my head.
Time flies when you’re over-thinking:
Have you ever found yourself sitting either at work or at home, and your just thinking? Thinking, thinking and then thinking some more? Me too. What do you think about? Has all the thinking ever helped a situation you were in? Has it ever really made you feel better? I’ll take a guess that in most occasions it hasn’t. This all depends on whether you’re thinking productively or just over-thinking.
Over-thinking can spin your mind out of control! Going over and over the same thing, hoping that all of a sudden, something may happen or change for the better. Thinking in this way can only waste your precious time. Worrying and over-analysing only stresses you out more, and makes you feel worse than you did before.
Lastly, the Good Thing:
Don’t think, don’t try, just do!
Day dreaming can be an extremely good thing, when it envolves thinking about things that make you feel happy. After a bit of practicing, now when I start to ‘over-think’ I quickly switch my thoughts over to what I want in life. What would be my dream job, my perfect house or I’ll think of memories of times when I felt exceptionally happy.
I believe that if you have a dream that you have thought about quite a lot, then this dream is probably what you’re supposed to do. It’s scary to face your dream, I know this for sure; but just do it! There may be times that you fail, or mess-up, but keep going for it and it will be reality. You’re dream will be your reality.
Once you start doing this thing you dream about, you start to feel good inside. Watching things come together before your eyes, how satisfying. Sooner or later, you will be totally focused on your plan (hobby/activity). It’s no longer work for you. You have created a habit of doing what you enjoy; and where did it all start? It was a dream. Because everything in the universe began with just a dream, or a simple thought.
Productive thinking is to think more about things that make you happy, that make others happy and about what you want from life. If we think positively then there can only be positive outcomes. If we dwell on hurtful or worrying thoughts then we can only stay exactly where we are, or make things worse. Helping thoughts are what we should all try to do more often. And try to stop those pesky unhelping thoughts in their tracks!
I admit, I am still a day-dreamer. I tend to remember my way to the local shop these days, but I still day-dream. The important thing is that I am aware of when I am over-thinking or thinking unhelping thoughts; and when they try to creep in I say to myself, stop! and then purposely try to think of something else. It becomes habit after a while.
We’re happy when we think of good things, right? And when you’re happy, doesn’t it make you get more stuff done? For instance: house work, decorating, shopping and other things you may need to be done? Doesn’t it make you more of a joy to be around, as well? You can chat and spend time with friends and family because you’re in a good mood. Because when we’re in a bad mood, or have a lot on our mind, we have got no time for socialising.
For everybodies sake, let’s try to dream big, think good-things, and in the end, get exactly what we dreamed of.
If we practice to only see the good in people, things and life situations; then, eventually, everything in our lives will be good…
Sometimes we can make a situation bad, by the way we think about that situation. So if we try to think good thoughts when something happens that makes us feel angry, then this must make us feel better, right?
Is it the problem itself that makes us feel upset? Or is it the way that we look at or how we react to the problem, that makes us feel upset?
Try it out!
Try to remember to rememeber to think only of good thoughts or things that make you extremely happy whenever you feel yourself getting annoyed or angry. Or when someone or something is getting on your nerves, think of that special thought.
See how this changes the rest of your day, and most importantly: how it makes you feel.