My has this been a season of growth?!
Personally, I’ve been making more and more small positive changes, in every aspect of my life, and it’s bringing me better and better results.
I feel more mentally well and resilient than ever; physically, I feel stronger and fitter than I’ve been in decades; my son-shine is thriving; my close relationships are nourishing; my creative business is growing; and my current levels of creativity, joy and confidence are unmatched!
A lot of it has been inspired by deeply checking in with my purpose; working on feeling truly worthy (not just intellectually appreciating I should feel this way); and adjusting my thoughts and behaviour to match.
It’s a cold pill to swallow but, I realise I’ve spent most of my adult life, not taking myself seriously.
What the heck am I on about?
Okay let’s get into a definition. On Merriam-Webster.com:
“Definition of take (someone or something) seriously:
To treat (someone or something) as being very important and deserving attention or respect”
Yes, in the context of this article, taking yourself seriously is a good thing!
What does life look like when you’re taking yourself seriously?
When you’re taking yourself seriously, you make better decisions – you actually make decisions in the first place! You know what you want and you’re clear about who you need to be and what you need to do, to get there.
You ask for what you’re worth. There are no doubts in your mind that you deserve it and you have confidence there are people out there who will accordingly value what you bring to the table.
You declutter your life – and not just in terms of your physical space but also, in terms of every thought, habit or even person that is not bringing you joy.
The truth is your friend, even when it’s challenging, so you don’t shy away from it. You enjoy greater self-acceptance and open communication with the people in your life – meaning, better relationships all around.
You’re not afraid of your numbers. In fact, you dive into them, knowing that this embrace will help you fix what needs fixing, maximise what’s working and get closer to experiencing the freedom you desire.
You respect your time and so others do too.
Your creativity flows with abandon. You’re prolific in your output, making the kind of impact you dreamed about.
You experience clarity, focus, motivation, synergy, lightness, expansiveness, joyfulness and growth. A potent self-love formula if ever there was one!
All sounds good, doesn’t it?
What areas do you need to pay attention to, when it comes to taking yourself seriously and enjoying the reality described above?
9 signs you’re not taking yourself seriously
1. You feel as though you have no direction or too many!
You either: have no goals; have goals that aren’t SMART; don’t revisit your goals once you set them; or are constantly changing your goals.
As a result, life seems to just happen to you. Each new day could blow you in any which way and you have no idea where the wind will take you.
Or, being multi-passionate, you feel stuck. Paralysed by an overwhelming number of ideas. Unclear about what your next steps should be.
2. Your finances are undesirable
You undercharge: undervaluing the contribution that you make – to your clients/customers, to your employers (and even to your relationships).
You make yourself momentarily feel better by telling yourself the art, or the cause, is what’s most important.
And when that high comes down, perhaps you overspend, in an attempt to feel better still.
3. You hide from your numbers
You’re a creative person – you’re not “supposed” to be good with numbers.
Ignorance is bliss, so you exercise blind faith backed with no action.
Which gets you into more trouble in the end, often leading to situations that were totally avoidable, had you paid attention earlier.
4. You’re unhappy with your body
You detach from it and become so desensitised that it seems to be able to handle all the harsh ways you treat it.
With your unkind thoughts and words; with what you put into it, without discernment; with what you push it to do without paying attention to its feedback.
Again, it’s for the art, it’s for the cause – the ends will justify the means.
5. Your mind has a mind of its own
You don’t take ownership over your thoughts. As a result your feelings are all over the place and this shapes your actions too.
Depression and anxiety quite possibly become familiar states of being and you feel trapped by them.
6. There are people in your life who drain you
It takes so much energy to be around them but, you feel like it will take even more energy to do something about it!
You’re so busy trying to make your creative dreams work, you tell yourself you’ll deal with this later. When you have some more headspace. Not realising just how much low-level stress, anxiety and worse, these toxic relationships are causing!
7. Escaping is your activity of choice
Rather than surrender to rest, you find temporary pleasure in a fantasy world on TV or social media. It’s addictive! It gives you some sort of high!
Before you know it, hours have passed and now, it’s even trickier to stick to those good intentions you’d set for yourself. Ah well, you’ll try again tomorrow…
8. You’re exhausted
You say “yes” too much. Your boundaries are few and/or you fail to enforce them. Other people’s needs come before your own.
You feel worthy when you’re being productive, so there’s no way you can slow down.
The creative practice you loved so much, now often feels like a chore.
You hardly enjoy any me-time where you allow yourself to indulge in the things you love. Quite possibly, you’ve forgotten what those things even are!
9. Your creativity is blocked
You’ve got no juice left. And you’ve lost hope about the point of it all anyway because, hard as you seem to work, you’re just not seeing results.
Maybe you should consider throwing this dream out altogether. You can get a “real” job or stay in the one you hate.
But wait, you have a choice!
I myself have experienced some level of all these 9 things (and there is work still in progress!). And I’ve seen so many others go through them too.
I want to assure you: if any of this is resonating for you, you’re not an anomaly. Despite the glossy narratives you may follow on social media.
In fact, you and I are quite probably the norm!
However, where we diverge is having this awareness and then what we choose to do with it.
You have a choice to take yourself seriously and avoid the bleak 10-years-later picture that comedian Sarah Cooper describes in this post.
You have a choice to get unstuck and work towards the freedom that comes when you take yourself seriously.
Where to begin?
I’ve put together the systems, tools and inspiration that have helped me, in my journey towards my creative dreams. I’ve now packaged them all into SHINE – a program designed to equip creative business owners in building a profitable, sustainable and joyful business.
At the heart of SHINE is a series of 9 workshops to help you set up foundations for success. You will implement mindset shifts, systems and processes to get your money right; to find ease in marketing and sales; and to become a brilliant version of yourself that is organised, purposeful and nourished.
You know what I want to see more of in the world?
More people freely living their truth and pursuing their dreams.
And it begins with taking yourself seriously.
That’s why I’m sharing with you an invitation to SHINE.