I nearly gave it all up.
The idea of owning my own business. My writing. My coaching. My teaching. My learning.
I nearly reverted to the unsatisfied life. A job to pay the bills. Vegetating. Getting back on the hedonic treadmill.
The words of an ex-boyfriend reverberated around my head. “You’re a fraud,” he said. And I felt it. I write in my blog, on Facebook and in my emails about living this satisfied life. But I was far from satisfied. My heart and my spirit were broken. How can I teach people how to live this better way of life when I can’t even stop crying? I’d caught myself in a whirlpool, a vritti of self-contempt.
One of my students broke my spiral. We have been talking about Finding Your Self this season, and the discussion came round to Self Identity. I posited that our identity is the way we choose to present ourselves to the world. How it’s not about our demographic make-up, but about our values and our skills. How we present a different aspect of ourselves in different situations and how WE are in control of how we are perceived. As we discussed this thorny issue, my student said, “basically, we are all frauds.” Mic drop.
I’m not sure I would go quite that far. It’s not that we are all frauds; more that we cannot possibly show everything of ourselves to everyone all the time. I know I’m not a fraud. I know that what I teach and share is strong, genuine, helpful and largely backed by science. I know that it works because, despite occasional dips, it works for me.
I know that emotions only last in the body for 90 seconds, so when another wave of sadness comes over me, I let it come and go, safe in the knowledge that it will pass. I know that by manipulating the length of my inhale and exhale, I can either calm or energise my body and mind. I know that embedding new good habits and routines takes up to two years but provides a framework of essential self care.
I need The Satisfaction Revolution classes as much as my students do. That’s the idea of the membership. We cycle through four seasons of fresh content, but then return to the beginning the following year. Sometimes we are not in the right place for a particular concept, principle or strategy to have an impact. However, the following year, the same advice can come at exactly the right time.
There’s a reason why I moved away from “happiness” as a driver for my business and my life. Happiness is an emotion. Emotions move through us quickly. And to be human is to experience the full gamut of emotions. We SHOULD feel sadness. We SHOULD feel fear and anger. All of our emotions shape our values, our purpose and contribute to our long-term satisfaction.
We can’t take action on everything, all the time. Building a satisfied life you don’t need to escape from is always going to be a work in progress. I don’t claim to have perfected it. That doesn’t make me a fraud. That makes me a living, breathing example of what I teach.
Doors are now open to The Satisfaction Revolution for our Find Your Focus season. I REALLY need it. Maybe you do too?