remembering what really matters
(sometimes we have to go back to the start)
We’re beginning a mini-series of sidetrack blogs this Wednesday. This is the first in a short series looking at the key areas of wellbeing that have been proven to make the biggest difference to our everyday lives.
This week, it’s the mind.
This is a huge topic that a short blog can’t even begin to cover.
So I’m going to cover one small but important point that came out of my interview with Marg Bristow, trained psychotherapist and contributor to the Everyday Wellbeing course.
Our mind suffers when we try to get our worth from the wrong things.
What causes a human to flourish? A good reminder is to go back to the beginning. Babies. When a baby comes into the world, there are no expectations placed upon it. We love it, we care for it, and nurture it and we don’t expect anything in return for the care that we give, and the baby doesn’t feel like it needs to perform in any way, shape or form in order to be loved and to have a sense of self-worth. But we grow up, and as time goes by, we forget this concept. The world around us tells us that we need to do things, be things, and behave in certain ways in order to have worth. We need to count what we do, count what we accomplish, and count what we achieve. Then, and only then are we worthy of meaning, acceptance or even love. We don’t expect others to love us unless we perform, and we most definitely can’t love ourselves until we have shown that we are worth it.
When we redefine where our sense of validation and worth comes from, ultimately our mind suffers for it.
Where does your validation come from? Achievement? Acceptance? Other people’s praise? Other people’s opinions? Your work? Your kids? Your belongings? Take a moment to ask yourself this question and be honest about the answer. If your sense of worth comes from anything external, any measures that involve a need to perform, you will never be satisfied and you always fall short. We’ve got to learn to separate a sense of enjoyment and fulfilment in what we do: it’s not the same thing.
You have intrinsic worth and importance that cannot be added to or taken away from by what you do today. Take some time to soak in this truth. If you like to meditate or pray, this might be a thought to focus on just for five minutes. Go on, the world will keep spinning on its axis even if you stay still for five mins. You could write it down on your to-do list (Marg talks about to-be lists), or put it on your phone lock screen.
P.S. This was a tiny nugget from my time with Marg as we worked together on the Everyday Wellbeing course. She is full of this kind of stuff to help us grow and see ourselves differently. Together we cover depression, anxiety, catastrophising, headspace, self-esteem, and stress.
P.P.P.S I am featuring on an incredible free webinar series this week with Bob Hayward to talk about all things leadership and wellbeing! You’ll be given a chance to audit your own wellbeing and learn about six keys to improve it. Head over here to sign up!