Do you ever catch yourself talking to yourself? I do it all the time. Often out loud. What so you say? It's all about the language we use that can simply change our mindset. And I don't just mean chat and banter, I also mean the little voices we have inside our heads. Yes we all have them, it doesn't make us crazy, it makes us human. When we have the internal battle of whether or not we should have that brownie, buy those shoes, or make that life leap - those inner voices pip right up. But how often do you truly listen to what they are saying?
I banned 3 F words in my life over the past couple of years - 2 have been easy to banish, one not so much. I try to no longer use the words Fat, Failure or Frustration.
I used to get called fat on the regular - so much so that I was called the DUFF (Designated Ugly FAT Friend). The thought that being fat made me less desirable and worthy so I would be sent out to go fishing for my 'pretty friends'. I now realise that just made them ugly on the inside. What a load of b****cks! Yep I still got fat on my body but I also have hair, freckles, scars - doesn't mean I AM them just that they happen to be there at the moment. So I no longer call myself or anyone fat and if any of my friends call themselves it too they get this lecture.
Failure, to me, is a ridiculous word with a whole bunch of negative connotations. To me there is no such thing as failure/I don't conform with what society says failure is. To me there are only lessons, opportunities and redirections. So you didn't get the promotion you wanted, you didn't pass that exam, you didn't get chosen for the team. So what? That opens the door for something else to ignite your passions. Yeah it sucks, sometimes it hurts, sometimes you feel it was the last option. There is never a last option. We always have the gift of choice - 'failure' just reminds you to choose another way - one that may be more rewarding or suited to you.
Frustration however, that's the tricky one I can't shake. Cool things happen to me everyday because I wake up telling myself that
. Seriously - I say to myself 'let's see what adventures we can get up to today' and I go for it. But I'm impatient. And I can be self judgemental. Sometimes I try and pass the buck and say I don't have the roles I want because no casting director/director/studio will take the risk to cast 'someone like me' - I get frustrated. Then I tell myself 'hush ya nee - go and find the ones that will take the risk. You know you can do it, so do it.' But that's pretty scary and I'm not completely FEARLESS. Yet. So the frustration word keeps ebbing away, it's just taking its time.
Learn to refocus your language; rather than thinking 'I don't want to do that' thinking about what you do want and say 'I love doing this!' It makes all the difference. Rather than thinking 'I don't want to stand in this open call queue for 4 hours' tirn it into 'I love taking my time meeting new people and making new connections'.
What words do you use that you probably shouldn't? That put a downer on your day? Whatever they are write them on a piece of paper - then scratch them out. Feel the satisfaction of removing them from your life. It's not going to be easy but it's going to worthwhile. Talk to yourself how you would talk to your best friend, big yourself up, support yourself, keep the good words flowing and see what difference it makes to your day - just have FUN!
I have made a very conscious effort to surround myself with incredible people. No nasty selection process or ratings going on just a matter of matching vibes and then when those great vibes do match, making sure those awesome people hang around.
At school I wasn't the most popular kid. Being honest I was a bit of an oddball. Tall, big, loud, brainy, singing and dancing through the corridors - people seemed to like me but not understand me. I spent my years up into my early twentys trying to work out how to fit the mainstream. I moved to different places seeing if a change of scene meant that I would find 'my place'. Little did I know my place wasn't a location it was wherever I was, as long as I was with the people who mattered to me and who I mattered to.
Having moved to a big city and started to pursue my dream career I often get asked 'do you still speak to anyone from school/college?' And I don't. Not because they're not lovely people - they are just not my people. My people come from an array of wonderful places and moments. My people are incredible.
They seem like ordinary people but I have come to realise they are extraordinary. Teachers, waiters, fundraisers, managers, parents, business owners, performers, bar crew. They wake every morning and treat everyone whose path they cross with love and they spread joy. They work hard for what they want and for who they love and they are always there when you need them. They came into my life when I needed them to arrive - dance classes, investors, shows, events, auditions - not just in traditional places like school or the office. Because let's be honest when have I ever been traditional?
I've had my eye on the Olympics and watched people, who others may have once discounted, do incredible things. They said they wanted to achieve something and the people around them said 'OK let's go, you got this'. But we all have those people and we all can be those people. We all have our squads cheering us on, picking us up when we fall over hurdles, letting us know we are only a metre away from gold. And when we reach it they are there to celebrate with.
So it's not just The Avengers or Justice League who can save the day - it's the people who you call friends. Each with their own special power that when you unite, you can take on the world.
"To fly free as the butterfly you have to spend some time in the darkness of the cocoon."
I haven't written for two months. During June I was spiralling, the naughty doubt demons were knocking on my door but during July I was staring my climb again - stronger and more determined than ever.
For a month, flickerings of 'what are you actually doing?' were echoing in my mind. Friends (and nosey people) were asking so many questions of me - 'what's the next job?' 'Why don't you have a boyfriend?' 'Have you thought about settling down yet?' 'Have you thought about going home?'
I have come to realise I am home. This city, this house, this team of friends, they are what make my heart sing and remind me that I am exactly where I should be. Doing what I love with those I love.
So know this - others questions don't matter. All that matters is the one question you ask yourself,
Am I closer today to my purpose than I was yesterday?
If the answer is yes then you are successful. You are courageous and incredible. And you must keep going. Don't worry about those that don't understand, they don't need to.!ll
And if it's no, is it OK with you if it's no? Are you happy where you are in your life? If so then enjoy your bliss as then no questions matter at all and you are truly where you should be.
Doubts will always rear their head, and shadows will cast themselves across bright days but live in the moments of spectacle,
breathe in every thing that makes your soul happy and the doubts will drift away. Make sure to surround yourself with those who think and feel the same as well because with them you are stronger together. Know that you have your own special path and whether you are walking, running, skipping, gliding along it, it is your path to travel - but you don't have to travel alone.
So whilst waiting in that darkness of the cocoon use that time to grow wings beautiful and strong enough to help you soar. Because the time will come when you see the light again and it will be your time to fly in the sunrays.