Starting 2023 with a virus, I read more blog posts than I wrote. This meant I got to read a whole slew of New Year posts – some on goal setting, a whole heap on Word of the Year, but the new – and interesting – addition, was a couple focused on Rejections. Even while feeling rubbish, I felt a little spark 🙂
For this year and for the foreseeable future, I reject…
Feeling overly obligated in the growing clash between my day job and my business as a life and dating coach. My day job demands full-time attention whenever they want or need it, but at part-time pay for this access. This makes it difficult to build my coaching business. I don’t allow the day job’s requirements to intrude on my client commitments, but all the other stuff that goes into building a successful business gets put on the back burner. The demands of the last three months have caused me enough problems to face that a change needs to take place. I’ve worked there for 22 years, but there’s a realisation which cannot be avoided – that I give my time to them without hesitation or thought due to a sense of obligation which is out of all relation to what is rational.This will change.
Fear of saying yes to something I want to do sometime, but don’t feel ready to do right now. There’s been a couple of opportunities come my way which have been well outside of my comfort zone – and I’ve said no, because I believed that neither my business nor I were in the right place. Another realisation is that you have to take the opportunities when they come calling, so I’ll be calling upon my word of the year from last year (courage) when future opportunities come knocking.
Expecting my body and my emotions to run on empty is a long-term issue. I’m good at managing my depression whenever I feel it start tapping on the door, but I’m bad at maintaining the routines which keep it at bay – especially when the weather isn’t conducive. Today I danced along the corridor for my exercise, as the outside world is cold and icy. There will be more of this going forward 🙂 I’ve also long felt the need for the sand beneath my feet, yet struggle to persuade my other half to take holiday and feel bad about going away without him. So, this year, I will be going away to a Welsh beach with a friend, and will walk on that sandy beach barefoot, regardless of the weather conditions 😉
Word of the Year
I haven’t set any goals, aspirations or resolutions, but I do intend to live my life with more purpose. To that end, I’ve selected a word of the year – Onward! I plan not to examine the past with blame, but to use the foundations I now have in all areas of my life to build and make forward progress. I first had a WOTY in 2020, and it worked out very well for me in a notoriously difficult year. The following year my selection was an abject failure – for the simple reason that I wasn’t in any way clear on what it was I wanted, and seemed to be waiting for it to manifest all by itself without my doing the work! Yup – insert mega eye roll here…
After that lesson, I engaged a business coach for 2022 and also finally settled on a WOTY – Courage – during the spring. I learned a great deal from my coach, but struggled to put my learnings in to action, as I had a serious issue with putting my head above the parapet. After peeling back the layers, we uncovered how a lot of stuff from way back when was holding me back. And yes, it did take courage to face, uncover and work through.
I thought I’d share the deepest layer with you, as it’s an interesting tale. Aged not yet 11, my family relocated from India to Nigeria. On arrival it became clear that although the civil war was being fought in outlying areas, martial law was firmly in place. The airport was full of soldiers armed to the teeth, and my father got into an argument with a senior officer. Although, we all made it safely home, I have a clear memory of the fear, as guns were being waved and threats made to my father. We had many lessons to learn about life in Africa and living in a city under martial law. With soldiers everywhere, on major junctions and manning roadblocks on the bridges that had to be crossed to move around a city spanning multiple islands – we children couldn’t stray far, and never went anywhere unaccompanied by one or other parent. But our parents went out most nights to socialise with colleagues, as was the norm, with my father throwing an armful of cigarette cartons into the back seat of the car before going out – to ease their path through those roadblocks. Many a night, my mother would remind him that he needed to stay cool and keep his infamous short temper under control.
Now, all of this has previously been discussed in therapy. But when my coach kept challenging me over what I believed would happen if I wasn’t liked… these memories are what came up, and with them the deeply buried belief formed at the time. Based on what I saw and heard as a child, I understood it was necessary to be nice and to be liked, that rocking the boat, saying anything controversial or upsetting, could result not only in the penalty of arrest and jail…. but being shot.
No rational brain would accept this belief, so my subconscious was where this belief lived, and it was determined to keep me safe. It did this by sabotaging any idea of putting myself out there in anything other than a totally unchallenging manner. Amazing things our brains, aren’t they? I bloody love Psychology 🙂
Whether you’ve decided on a word of the year, goals, resolutions, aspirations, a focus, a don’t do list or things you’re rejecting – why did you choose what you chose? Is there a story behind your choices?
© Debra Carey, 2023