3, 2, 1…Pivot

Hi there,
“Pivoting is not the end of the disruption process, but the beginning of the next leg of your journey.”
Jay Samit, Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless InnovationI love this word “pivot”!  I first heard it being used in the business context when listening to Vusi Thembekwayo speak at work.  If you have not heard of him, i highly recommend that you get hold of his videos on YouTube.  He is a brilliant speaker and i just love the way his mind works.  You can also start here: http://vusithembekwayo.com . I digress but i have to admit, like most women, i am a sucker for a good looking guy and if he has a brain that happens to fire on all cylinders…well, i am putty in his hands.  If this dude wasn’t married, I would probably be a groupie …lol
Anyway, moving right along…  at the beginning of this year, I realised that I am a bit frustrated with certain elements of my life. I had made certain decisions over the past 5 years that might have been the right thing to do for my son and I at the time but I have rested on my laurels and didn’t reassess those decisions or my environment often enough to understand when a change or tweak was needed to keep moving in the direction of my goals.  What’s important though is that I have now recognised that change is needed. I have started identifying new ways of doing things that will get me to my goals.
 The source of my frustration was that I felt like I had lost control of my finances (and let’s not forget what a control freak I am😜)  Don’t get me wrong, I am not broke but I have stopped growing my asset column in my balance sheet. I am not getting any closer to making my money work for me and am slogging for my money in the “rat race”. I was very disappointed in myself.
I could and, at some point did, blame the company I work for for this inability to afford the things I wanted and the people in my life but it is not true. In “Rich Dad Poor Dad” Robert T Kiyosaki’s rich dad tells him: “If you think I am the problem, then you have to change me. If you realise that you’re the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something and grow wiser.” He then goes on to say:”…it’s easier to change yourself than everyone else.”  I would add to that that it is also more rewarding.
So I have pivoted. I have started changing the way I do things.  It will take time to undo the damage that I have done. There will be a delay in achieving the goals I have set out to achieve but that’s ok.
I have also damaged a relationship that was very important to me. This is the hard part because I blamed this person for my mistakes and took my frustrations out on them.  Relationships are that much more difficult to fix but I will take it one day at a time, do what I can and leave the rest in God’s hands.
Before I leave though, I need to take a moment to just be grateful for what I do have for I have more than a lot of people and I have achieved it through my own hard work. So yes, I may have a taken a few steps back but I am by no means in a bad place and I am very proud of where I am in my journey. I encourage you to do the same ever so often. It creates positive energy that problems you forward on your journey.
Onward and upward (and don’t be afraid to pivot when necessary)
Have a great week!
 

Older but by no means colder!

Hi There,

Welcome back!

I was reading an interview with Dame Helen Mirren in the July 2017 issue of Fairlady magazine yesterday.  I love her to bits.  No matter how old she gets she never loses her spunk! Anyway… in it she was saying how things get better as you get older.  She says she is more confident and less likely to give a hoot of what people think.   It got me reflecting on my own life experience and I have to say that I agree.

I am almost halfway through my forties and in a lot of ways, my life is way better now than it was in my twenties.  I might be back to being single (yes, cute tattoo artist didn’t work out so we live, we learn and we move on…swiftly) but I have come to realise that life is filled with possibilities and opportunities  that I just hadn’t considered before.   I have mentioned before that I have been a late starter in everything so no surprises here..lol.  I feel more settled in my own skin and as a result, my confidence is growing. I feel more optimistic about my future than I ever have.  Weird when I think about it because in the current economic climate, my job is not secure.  I put this down to listening to the words of wisdom of those who have gone before me.

There is so much wisdom out there.  There is always a lesson to be learnt from other people’s life experiences.  I find people’s journeys through life fascinating as I believe that your past experiences and your reactions to them shape who and what you are today.  I recently watched “Becoming Warren Buffet”.  I found the man most fascinating. The thing that really blew me away was how decisive he is.  He also struck me as introspective.  As a young person in particular, he was very aware of his shortcomings and the impact that  they would have on him acheiving his goals so he would actively go about correcting his self-perceived flaws.   Reflection is a great tool that has clearly helped him grow in business and as a person.   Confucius says, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest”

A key difficulty that I have faced since turning 40 is the change that I see in the mirror.  I have learned that tying your identity to your physical image makes ageing harder.  I was always thin and, I didn’t realise it then but my perception of the level of my attractiveness was very intertwined with my weight.  The reason for this is a subject for another day. Anyway…as I have gained weight over the years I have felt less and less attractive.  Now I look in the mirror and my skin is not as smooth as it was and the tone is not as even and boy it has been hard to accept.  The icing on the cake was when i gave up smoking and gained 20kg in 5 months. What a shock to my system physically and to my psych!  (A word to the wise, when giving up smoking, replace your smoking habit with healthy habits to avoid such excessive weight gain.)  I am now able to accept that I am still attractive despite my weight (I pause to thank Anthony for helping see this), I feel a lot more confident.  I even feel sexy 😉  The weight definitely still has to go though.  Moving around is just easier as a thin person 🙂

Feeling more confident, more settled, more curious and having a better understanding of people has, I believe, led me to be a better mother.  I have been able to put more thought into the decisions I make with regards to my son and less afraid to go against the grain.  I make lots of mistakes no doubt but I  pray that he is on the right track to being able to make a meaningful contribution to this world one day.  I suspect he would have been a complete mess if I had had him in my twenties so God decided to bless me with him a little later.

Lastly, it is only in the last 2 years that I have felt ready to tackle my fear of commitment.  I bought a home for Alex and I and entered into a relationship that I believed had the potential to be long-term.  Sadly that didn’t pan out but it taught me that I am capable of adjusting my lifestyle and making compromises in order to give a relationship a fair chance.  I am a control freak and have always jealously guarded my independance so the fact that I could give up as much control as I did  to make the relationship work completely blows my mind.  Gees I was even cooking and baking!  I never thought I would see the day…lol!  Oh well, it was a great experience and it all just means that there is still someone out there for me 🙂

I feel like my life has really begun at 40.  I like to believe that I am a little wiser now with a lot to look forward to and lots of goals to achieve.  If you are on the cusp of 40 and a bit apprehensive about it, don’t be.  It’s actually a wonderful place to be 🙂

Until next time.

Bye

Bumps in the road

I have been working through A year of Miracles.  It’s a  book of daily devotions and reflections by Marianne Williamson.   On Day 67  ” Today I will be a friend to myself” I came across the line:  “I was waiting for someone else’s acceptance to prove to me that I was worth accepting!” It struck such a cord with me.

It took me about 40+ years to accept this. Thank goodness I finally did.  The day I walked out on the family member who’s acceptance I had always desperately craved, was the day I felt the strongest i have ever felt.  I thought it would break me.  it didn’t.

I didn’t plan on it.  It was an accusation made about my child that made me say “enough is enough”, pack my bags and get to walking with my son in tow. I was so angry. I got home and, once I had simmered down, I started to ask myself…”so what”.  The first thing I noticed was that I felt free! I actually felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  Until that point I didn’t realise how much this craving for approval was weighing me down.  I was actually holding myself back from living my life.

This experience had me wishing I could live my life backwards so that I could have access to my hindsight sooner…lol.   I do however believe that everything happens for a reason and in a time frame that is right for you.   When you constantly live for other’s approval you actually start living their lives rather than your own.  This is also the reason why constantly comparing our selves to others and their achievements is also a fruitless exercise.  Why so we keep doing that to ourselves? 

This experience has taught me that the person whose acceptance is the most important is mine.  I need to accept myself first.  I need to be believe in me and be proud of my achievements no matter how small and no matter how delayed compared to everyone else. 

Motherhood has come later to me.  Love has come later to me.   The best part of it all is that I was only ready for both now.  I therefore can only truly appreciate the priceless treasures that these are now. My journey of self acceptance only started  10 years ago. I will never be done as self acceptance and the growth it brings is after all an ongoing process.  A journey. The ride is bumpy here and there but wouldn’t it be boring if it were all smooth sailing?

 Before I go, should mention that in this instance, walking away set the boundaries in that relationship. I receive less criticism and more offers of assistance instead. I will never be accepted by this person and that’s actually ok. They have their own issues that  they have to deal with and I wish them well on that journey.  In the meantime, I will deal with mine. 

Chat soon.

Michelle
 

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