In the penultimate step of our journey to becoming Unbreakable we can look forward to the future with some new skills and habits that enable us to build on our foundation of health and wellbeing.
As I return to Step 11 for the 3rd time in 3-years I’m looking forward to leaning a new skill that is going to help me evolve what I do to help others. I’ve done a little audit of my skills and I’ve identified a gap in my knowledge and recognised that in order to grow I need to fill this gap. A skills gap analysis is common in business, not so much in personal life. Learning skills for fun or to improve our hobbies is one way to improve our well-being. Learning skills to develop ourselves personally as well as professionally is also important in our evolution as people.
If we don’t learn new skills sooner or later, we become redundant to our employers, family and sometimes our friends. Don’t get me wrong experience counts, as well as loyalty, but just as important is our ability to use our experience to help us identify where we need to put our energy and what information we may need to acquire to help us. Plus, new things to talk about, new ideas to share, new insights into the world around us.
Remember that only 2% of us will ever self-actualise; That is, to become the most that we can be! Shocking when you think about it. So how do we self-actualise: We grow, we evolve, we learn, we share, we help, we create, we do!
This simple Plan, Do, Check and Act Flow is a simple model that I have adapted, that can help us decide what we will do, and then we can hold ourselves accountable for our own personal development.
In order to regain and retain my health and well-being I’ve had to unlearn lots of unhealthy habits and beliefs and I’ve had to relearn some helpful information I’d forgotten along the way. This is common, but the simplest thing to do when you are not feeling well is to remember a time when you felt good and remind yourself of what you were doing at this time. That is a quick roadmap back to a healthier you. If you struggle with your health and well-being on an ongoing basis then it’s important to consistently focus on things that will help improve your health and wellbeing.
Since I’ve learned (and re-learned) the following information I’m much healthier;
• Mental Health is closely linked with Physical Health.
• Gut Health is fundamental for good health as it’s where we produce our hormones and neurotransmitters as well as absorbing nutrients from our food.
• Vitamins and Supplements can help support my mood, bone density, aches, pains, inflammation and regulate emotional health and enable more restful sleep.
• Sleep is fundamental for good health and chronic sleep deprivation is a fast track to illness.
• When I’m not feeling well mentally or physically, I can just focus on doing one small positive step.
• Sitting all day is not good for my health especially my lymphatic system which is my garbage disposal system and I need take the trash out throughout the day.
• Eating too many animal products, too frequently slows down my metabolism and is linked to different types of cancers as well as diabetes.
• Eating more plants in a variety of forms is much healthier for my body as well as my brain.
• My self-worth is not linked to my professional success or bank account.
I’m focused on my need and desire to self-actualise and I will do what needs to be done in order to achieve that. As I said in the intro of my book, my goal is to live until I’m 107 but not just survive, actually live a healthy, fun and fulfilling life. I feel that if I continue to grow and learn new things, I will achieve that no problems. I want to be an inspiration to my young children showing them that I follow my passions, focus on my health and I’m there for them when they need me, with new insights and new information. Then as the world changes, so will I. This is also called Growth Mindset.
I also want to learn how to be a better writer, coach, mother, friend and colleague. So, from time to time I engage in events and programs that enable me to do that.
So, what did I unlearn in my quest to improve my mind, body and spirt?
• Ruminating and Overthinking; my thoughts hold me back and can make me sick.
• Insomnia; suffering with insomnia most of my life is harming my brain as well as my body.
• The food pyramid is not going to optimise my health; I need to eat the rainbow, mostly plant foods which will optimise my health. Food is medicine!
• Putting my needs first is not a crime. I can still be a wonderful mother by prioritising my needs. I must have a self-care routine.
• Money is relative. We work hard to make money, neglecting our health in the process and then spending our money to get well.
• Fixing everything is not my responsibility. Compassionate people have boundaries too.
• Holding on to grudges is not going to fix anything. Letting go and forgiving is a path to healing and well-being.
Actually, this list of unlearned habits, behaviours and values could go on for many pages but you get the gist of it. As well as learning new habits and imbedding healthy rituals I had to let go of habits, beliefs and rituals that were not serving me and keeping me stuck on the unhealthy hamster wheel.
I’m the kind of person that likes to work hard, not let people down, show up when I say I will and don’t quit until the best possible outcome is achieved. At all cost to myself. Well, I’ve said goodbye to that girl. She was not looking after herself. She was the sucker that would go out of her way to help others and then often feel used and unappreciated. I’ve a new outlook on situations now and I’ve a new way of prioritising my life so that I can still be reliable, considerate and helpful without compromising every aspect of myself. It’s a pretty useful new skill to have to be honest and I’m kind of pissed that someone did not pull me aside earlier and say;
“Hey you, you have a strong moral compass, and you will always try and look after people, but you need to look after yourself first, and by the way, that’s not selfish, it’s fundamental to your life.”
You see I used to look at selfish, self-obsessed people and think, “I do not want to be like them!”
Those traits are contrary to my values and moral compass. BUT now, I get it. There is a middle-ground and those of us who are very sensitive to others and very compassionate people often get burned out the quickest and left to look after ourselves.
So, once I understood this about myself, and I now see it so obvious in others, I want to help those compassionate, sensitive people, with a strong moral compass not to compromise their life and health away.
Making new friends, having new experiences and gaining new perspective is also helping me self-actualise as I recognise my need to expand my comfort zone and challenge my thinking.
As I create new content for my books, wellness school, blogs, articles and so on, I can continue to put into practise my new knowledge and my new creativity. You see I’ve created new neural pathways in my brain by unlearning that useless stuff that was holding me back, and embracing new information that is valuable. I hope that others can take some lessons from this and to consider that self-actualisation is not just for the 2% but that we all deserved to become the most that we can be.
I joked with a Dr of Criminology recently that writing books is my mid-life crisis… He quipped back that if this was a crisis, he would be curious to see what I could do if I was not in crisis. That comment has stuck with me, and I’m curious too… At 46, I’ve got a lot of time left... What the heck may happen? An author I admire got her first commercial publishing deal at 47 after submitting dozens of manuscripts. I submitted 1 manuscript to 2 agents 10 years ago and got knockbacks. But I’ve gone on to publish 4 books without an agent. Writing, designing, publishing, selling and distributing my own books. Maybe I don’t need an agent, maybe I don’t need a traditional publishing contract, maybe I just need to learn all the new skills I need to back myself and go for it… To get to the top of my own pyramid and be proud of where I’ve come from.
Of course, I’ve had help, guidance and support during this time. Some was free and some I paid for but it was all of my own making. Goodluck on your journey to self-actualising. Don’t be afraid to learn that you have some gaps to fill in your life, or, your knowledge, this is very useful information. Take your time, be kind to yourself and remember, you are the most important person. When you accept that, you will prioritise your health, be around longer for others, and be able to give with more energy, more compassion and more love in your heart. I’m on your team to hit that elusive 2%.
Love and Health,