It's Not the Win, It's the Work

For those of us in New England, Tom Brady (the GOAT, the man, the myth, the more than a legend, Patriot) made a post on Instagram this morning and it’s not just any post but a reflective one. One that could be hinting of his free agency, but more importantly it’s everything within the message that is a lesson to be learned by everyone – Patriots fan or not.

The season ended for the Patriots with them on top, yet losing the Wild Card game that knocked them down and out for the season. Brady reflects:

…I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!!”

Like I mentioned in my blog from a couple days ago (“Remember: You’re Human”) nothing is picture perfect. No matter how far in your journey of career, relationship, family, home, happiness; you will grow and you will have moments where it feels like you’ve taken a step back. It’s witnessing in the moment how you handle situations to see just how better you take them on – that the work is the real prize and you see it’s paying off.

I’ve had clients who look at these, we’ll call them “little life bumps,” as failures within their journey and while I’m not a fan of the word “failure” I think it’s important to remember and repeat and reaffirm to yourself: Failure Is Inevitable. It doesn’t mean something ends, or you throw your hands up and walk away from whatever the situation might be. It means that you take the opportunity to soak in the lesson and learn from it.

Tom Brady’s Instagram post ends with this:

In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You don’t always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again.
And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove.”

And you do, too, have more to prove. In the absolute best of ways. Wherever you find yourself on your path to happiness, keep proving to yourself just how beautiful the results feel when you see that hard work paying off. Dust yourself off and KEEP GOING.

View Tom Brady’s original post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7D5twlB76Y/

Behind The Mask

I was on the phone last night with a friend who pointed something out about me that I easily forget. See, she saw me at my absolute worst, during a time I was honestly starting to believe that I was the crazy one. (Nope, wasn’t me. It was just the narcissistic, borderline personality disorder denier without meds making me feel that way. Insert thumbs up here.)

She brought up this time that she stopped by the radio station I was working at for a lunch meeting. I was doing a pretty good job of putting the fake smile on my face and forcing down my salad and oh, would ya look at that, I had to go run to the studio – show time! The studio has always been a sort of “safe space,” where you’re alone, yet talking to potentially hundreds of thousands of people at any given time. It’s honestly a little weird when you think about it, especially since when my friend came to say her goodbyes, she caught me in a complete hysterical crying meltdown. Oops. Mask off.

I had been dealing with texts all day on and off that were incredibly hurtful and demeaning from my now long-gone ex and it was one more poke at my side that made me lose it. My friend was trying so hard to calm me down as I was explaining what was going on and then it happened. I stopped, mid-sentence, told her “hold on,” cleared my throat and went on the air sounding like the happiest, bubbliest, most fun person around.

Her mind was blown.

It was like I flipped a switch and turned into a completely different person, even if only for a moment.

Now, someone who has never been in a mental head space like I had been (or maybe you are in currently) might think that does make me sound like the crazy one. In reality, as one dealing with an abuser, we learn new skill sets to get us through our days. For me, I never once faltered at doing my job and doing it well. Not a single person listening ever knew that the girl making them laugh and smile, felt so worthless and pain-ridden.

I stayed in that relationship years longer than I should have, this story above is actually one of the moments that pushed me to leave. My health was affected, I was questioning my sanity, I was depressed and it turned out it was all due to a toxic person.

The moment I got away, was the moment I started to feel better, healthier, more “me,” lighter and happier. It was a slow and gradual change, but it took a situation like this to make me realize I wasn’t crazy, there wasn’t a chemical imbalance all of a sudden showing it’s ugly head, it was situational anxiety/depression caused by an incredibly toxic abusive person.

If you’re someone that’s going through a similar situation right now, I know how hard it can feel thinking of trying to get out. Every one of these types of situations are different, but they’re all the same in the way that we all feel “stuck.” Whether it’s a feeling we’re manipulated into, a feeling of guilt, a lack of finances or support – you’re never alone. You can get out. You can start your life over. It’s all about taking the first steps in your happiness journey.

If you know someone that you believe may be in a domestically abusive situation but are wearing that mask and wearing it well, let them know you’re there with an ear, a shoulder, a place to stay and that they are so very loved.

The Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/ Phone Number: 1−800−799−7233

If you’re feeling high anxiety and stress, look at your world and see where it’s coming from. Is it from actual things happening to you that are out of your control? OR Is it caused by things you can control? your work environment? a friend or family member that’s bringing the drama? Make 2020 the year that you remove anything toxic from your environment and watch how much better your space feels.

Remember: You're Human

On your journey to happiness, every day isn’t going to feel good. Even when you’ve put in years of work and you’ve been at your absolute best place ever; a day or moment is going to hit where you want to throw your hands up and say, “Come. ON!!!”

I say that because that was me yesterday.

Listen, we’re human and we have emotions and feelings and some times it can just feel like too much. It doesn’t mean we take giant steps backward, it just means we’re alive.

What I can tell you is based on my reaction, and I notice this a lot about myself (you will too during your journey,) I can see my progress.

If this were a few years ago, the smallest of things could have broken me down because inside, I felt broken. I was abused for so long, I was like a battered puppy dog flinching at every situation I was a part of. I was admittedly in a very dark, uncomfortable place and I knew it. So, I did the work.

Now, yesterday, I hate even typing this but…it was a Facebook Memory. GASP They are meant to bring joy, but really they’re the spawn of Satan himself because it’s that very memory that can trigger the emotions within you.

It just so happens that 4 years ago, was what I had expected to be an incredibly positive turning point for myself. I had been out of the relationship abuse about 6 months, I had been doing a lot of work on myself and in my career, the radio station I had a large hand in had its biggest ratings in 18 years! Whoa! Big! Positives! are happening! ….right? Wrong.

I was laid off a month later, along with a few other people in the building. Since then, I’ve been laid off two more times (among other things.)

So, I saw that and I was tweaked.

I’m an incredibly positive person. But every so often there’s a moment like this where it feels like instead of celebrating my success, I’ve been forced to trip and fall over them, to climb my way back up only to have it happen over and over again – it can be defeating.

Here’s my point.

The Healing Process shows in how I dealt with it, compared to how I would have dealt with it a few years ago. Instead of allowing it to take control of my day: curled up in the fetal, crying my eyes out and wallowing over the past all alone in a dark room refusing to speak to others; I instead allowed myself to feel the upset and then…I moved on with my day.

Truth is, we’re all going to have these moments and it is okay to feel sad, frustrated and angry at things that happen. It’s all in how we handle it as these moments come.

Think about one thing that upset you today (I’ll wait as you sort through the possible hundreds on a first day back after the holidays.)

Ask yourself:

How long did it bother you? Will it bother you tomorrow?

Was this something that you could control or change?

Did you allow it to effect your productivity?

Was the anger or frustration guiding you? Or were you able to transform the energy positively?

Example: I was in a horribly abusive relationship, I got out of it depressed and “broken,” I had a panic attack and instead of focusing on the sadness and a pity party, I picked up my pieces and went through multiple stages of healing that all led me to create, Feel This Happy. I took my horrible experience and turned a negative into a positive.

This is a “bigger picture” type of example, but how can you do something similar with even the smallest of frustrations happening in your day?

Crazy Little Thing Called Life

Life is tricky.

Every single one of us are on our own path and we have no idea what to expect, we just keep doing what we think is best.

Honestly, it used to scare the crap outta me, the unknown.

At the beginning of 2016, I had been at the same radio station for almost 9 years. It was everything I ever wanted. I was home, both literally and figuratively. I was living my dream. To top it off, I was really good at it.

Then, the unexpected came up behind me, pulled the rug out from under my feet and sent me straight on my ass: A budget cut. As you can imagine, it was immediate panic with a zillion thoughts swirling through my mind. I could barely focus.

What am I gonna do? I can’t move, I have a house. I don’t wanna move. What else am I even qualified for? How am I here when my ratings are through the roof? What is happening? I don’t want to work anywhere else. I’ve given my heart and soul to this place, it’s all I know. Is this all just a dream?

Stop.

You probably have a similar story of a situation that sent you into a tailspin. Life is funny that way. We’re all so different, but all so very much alike.

So, in these crazy moments, how do you handle things? It’s important to prepare because, I’m sorry to say it, you’ll have more of these shit storms coming, no matter how you play your cards.

Your mental health is key. So it’s important that you take care of it. If your mental health is well, healthier, when these crazy spots arise, you’ll react less extreme and more level headed.

Here’s a list of ideas that, when implemented, can help:

  • Doing things that make you feel good
  • Getting enough sleep
  • A regular exercise routine
  • Learning to journal
  • Meditation
  • Creating and Repeating Positive Affirmations

I have found that writing is one of the best things I have ever started doing for myself. Some journal about their days, some write stories, or keep gratitude lists; I write songs. It gets all those feels of frustration, sadness, disappointment, even happiness and excitement out. Having that energy, even a little bit of it leave your body, can feel like a weight lifted. Soon, you’ll feel as light as a feather.

Start small. Try out just one of these into your life to begin. Hold yourself to it daily, even if only a few minutes and gradually grow it to a few more and allow yourself some true “you” time. See how you change, see how you feel. Feel free to report back.

New Year, New Me

It sounds so cliché: New Year, New Me, You, Everyone. But, many do look at the flip of the calendar year as a chance to fix all the problems in their lives.

And I’m totally here for it!

Just remember: Absolutely nothing, I repeat, nothing in life has a quick fix. (You in the back, you hear that?) Anything you want to achieve this year is possible, with work.

That last part is so incredibly important. It’s also why so many people don’t live up to the resolutions or goals they’ve set out for themselves.

Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve had so many people comment on my positivity, my outlook on situations, my “bright light” and it feels really nice, but it hasn’t always been this way.

For me, what worked were small changes, because small changes can produce big happiness. I’ll give you an example:

I was working nights and would sleep in every morning until my body woke up. Some days it was 9am, some days it was later. But, I never really gave myself a routine to follow, so I changed that. I made sure to get up at a reasonable hour and head to the gym first thing. This pumped up the start of my day so I would no longer feel so out of whack because of my weird schedule. I became more productive and felt more accomplished all because of one…small…change.

Another example:

I noticed I was stressed, but it wasn’t because of anything I personally had going on. It was residual stress. Stress acquired from toxic people in my life. So, I cut it out. I deleted the drama. This is a small change, but not always an easy thing to do because, if you’re like me, you don’t want to hurt anyone. But, if you understand that, even inadvertently, they’re hurting you, then what are ya doing keeping them around?! (C’mon, you know I’m right.) So, they had to go. Weight lifted and almost immediately.

Think of your resolutions (and if you didn’t make any, make one right now.) Is it trying to lose a few pounds? What can you do in your life to help you reach that goal? Maybe it’s a matter of having others hold you accountable. Post it on your social media and keep track of your progress so others can cheer you on. Maybe you want to be more well rested but you find that the time always seems to get away from you. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself that bedtime is approaching and stop what you’re doing to prepare to let your head hit the pillow.

It can be as simple as one small change to start your journey to your happiest. What will you implement to get yourself started today?