Hey! Back from a Mini Break

Heyyy all ūüėä,

I don’t know about you but this May has been so intense! I’ve been feeling a multitude of emotions and have experienced some deep revelations. My internal world is shifting- for the better. The full moon has just moved to Scorpio but I’ve felt the need to release, cleanse and address some unwanted energy all month. I’ve been doing a lot of personal writing. I think when you get so used to blogging publicly you tend to censor yourself in some way. This month I’ve allowed myself to write unfiltered and just for my eyes only.

This personal development work is so tough at times right? My intuition has pulled me towards delving into my childhood and teen years, forcing me to finally make peace with certain things that I’ve experienced. Sometimes we think we’ve gotten over something but end up being triggered later in life. Lately when I feel triggered I’ve sat with it and gotten to the root of the issue. I am working currently on making peace with my pain.

Did I tell you that I live by myself? Well that’s added a whole layer of intensity to this month. My partner stays with me occasionally but he lives in another city so I spend most of my time alone unless I am with my friends. I always thought I was comfortable being alone but being by yourself with no one else in the house is a whole other level of intensity. I’ll be honest, I am still getting used to it. I have cried, felt lonely and scared. But over the past week or so I’ve been alone and felt so much peace. I know this is bringing me greater self acceptance and the opportunity to truly appreciate my own company.

So yeah this month has been so intense for me hence my absence from the blogging world. Also I am happy to announce that I will be doing a workshop in London called Challenging Low Self-Esteem on June 1st. So excited to finally talk publicly about something that is so dearest to me. Planning and preparing for that workshop has also occupied my time . Anyhoo I have a blog post coming out this Sunday so keep an eye out!

Questions to you: 

How are YOU doing today?

What is your mental health like today?

 

Love always, Ash xx

 

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People Pleaser: Personal Confessional and 5 tips to help you

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)Do you frequently put other people‚Äôs needs before your own? Does the thought of saying ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ make you feel anxious and uneasy? If yes then I can totally relate. Wanting other people to be happy and maintaining harmonious relationships is completely fine. However there’s a fine line between wanting other‚Äôs happy and people pleasing.

Confessional time, I am a serial people pleaser! Overextending myself and putting other people’s needs before my own is my weakness. I try to avoid saying no at all costs and if I do it’s usually accompanied by an excuse to why I can‚Äôt do something. This habit even goes as far as offering to help others when I do not have the means or capacity. People pleasing has caused me a lot of anxiety, disappointment and unnecessary stress.

The sad truth is people pleasers have an underlying fear of being disliked. They want to be seen as a good person. They hold guilt around expressing their needs and in some ways believe it makes them selfish. People pleasers accept most things even at their own detriment because they belief they have to constantly be in service of others. As a result people pleasers have a difficult time setting healthy boundaries within their relationships. This can negatively affect relationships as they can become imbalanced, often leading to the people please overextending themselves to the other without leaving room to consider their own needs.

Also, people pleasers often have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people. The fear of saying no comes from an underlying fear of conflict, reprisal or loss. Saying ‚Äėno‚Äô is associated with the negative so people avoid using it and instead opt either do the thing they don’t want to do or make excuses. However I’ve learnt that in order to maintain healthy relationships it’s important that we truthfully express our needs and desires, even if it’s not a favourable response. People who respect you will respect your ‘no’ when it is said meaningfully and with good intent. If you keep saying yes, it will lose value and people will take advantage of it (knowingly and unknowingly).¬†

Based on my own experiences, I’ve been able to identify a few reasons why people try so hard to please others:¬†

Reasons for people pleasing:

  • Wanting others to be happy
  • Feeling like other people‚Äôs needs are more valuable than your own
  • Your worth is contingent on other people’s likeness of you
  • Fear of conflict and being disliked
  • Fear of not being respected
  • Over anticipating our ability to handle things and thus over extending ourselves

I’ve spent too many years navigating my life trying to please everyone around me. ¬†I was so worried about what others would think of me to the point where I would put other people‚Äôs needs before my own. Currently I am challenging myself to say ‘no’ with love and integrity, and be honest about my capacity to extend myself to others. There are a few things I am trying and it’s working so far.

If you are a people pleaser and would to stop putting other people’s needs before your own, try the following: 

1. Become aware of how you feel when you have to compromise- Think about all the times you overextended yourself to please others when you really didn’t feel like it. Write down how you felt after you made the commitment. You might have instantly regretted it or felt drained, and under pressure to perform. Think about whether it’s worth going through these feelings again just because you didn’t say no or not right now. It will make it more clearer that being honest with ourselves and others saves a lost less stress in the long run.

2. Practice saying no-¬†Saying no doesn’t have to sound harsh or mean. You can say no full of love and integrity behind it. If you’re not comfortable saying a straight up ‘no’, then try using phrases like this: ‚Äú I appreciate you inviting me but I will not be able to make that event. Thank you for the invite and have lots of fun.‚ÄĚ “At the moment I can’t right now, but when I have capacity I will reach out to you.”¬†

3. ¬†Figure out your needs and desires-¬†When you are faced with a decision whether to extend yourself or not, think about whether the thing you’re committing to aligns with your present needs and desires. For example; You might need to spend sometime on the weekend studying so it’s in your best interest to stay home instead of committing to go out with friends. Make decisions that prioritize your own needs and desires.

4.¬†Remind yourself that Social Media ‘likes’ is not an indication of your worth- It’s easy to think your worth is based on your following when we live in an age where people buy their followers and spend tons amounts of time figuring out how they can get more likes to their page. I fall into this trap from time to time. It’s inevitable that the lack of likes would make a person question their self-worth. It’s important to realise that the amount of likes you get does not determine your self-worth. The only person who should have control over the way you view yourself is you! No amount of likes will satisfy you unless you decide to validate yourself.

5. Find and repeat a mantra to yourself when you feel the urge to people please- You could try these or find your own that are suitable to you: 

‚ÄúMy needs are valid‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI am overthinking this situation‚ÄĚ

” I am entitled to boundaries and they are necessary for my own self-preservation‚ÄĚ

“No is a complete sentence” – Lisa Nichols

“People who respect me will respect my no”

“If you keep saying yes, you diminish the value of your yes”

Anyways, I hope you learn to become comfortable with saying no and choose to give to others from our overflow. Remember no amount of people pleasing will substitute your self-worth!

Questions to you:

Are you a people pleaser? 

Do you feel comfortable saying no? 

 

Much love, Ash xx

The Gratitude Journal: February 2019

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate

(Photo taken by me, Spain Catalonia 2019)

Isn’t it beautiful knowing that everyday is a new day?

The sun rises each day to reminds us that everyday we have the opportunity to truly shape the course of our life. From the moment we wake up we get to decide how we choose to lead our lives and how we react and respond to circumstances around us. A new day is another chance to start again.

I am grateful that I’ve been able to wake up today and given another chance to start again. A new day should remind us that despite our negative experiences, we get to decide how we choose to live our lives in the present moment. We don’t have to be confined by our past or defined by the choices we’ve made previously. You are not here by coincidence- you woke up to fulfil a purpose. You get to choose how to make the most out of the day that’s available to you!

What are you looking forward to this month?

What are you grateful for today?

I would love to know!

Love Ash, xx

 

Toxic Friends

copy of the ugly truth about self love (3)

The company we keep plays an important role in our lives. A good friendship should consistent of these overarching characteristics; supportive, considerate, trustworthy, generous, honest and understanding. Great friends growth together. They should make you feel good inside. They share moments of joy and are great support systems.

But what about if your friend/s are toxic? Unfortunately¬†many of us have experienced a toxic friendship. If you have never experienced a toxic friend then you’re extremely lucky or…delusional lol!¬†When a certain friendship becomes detrimental to your well-being and puts you in a negative space, you have to consider whether the friendship is worth maintaining or not. This is not an easy process especially when you extremely care for that person and once had close friendship.

This is something I’ve personally experienced. I found myself feeling like certain friendships became more like a chore. I never felt like they supported my endeavours and that they would project their insecurities onto me.¬†Friends should never make you feel like you’re not good enough or that your feelings do not matter. I often felt compelled to maintain our friendship because they have previously shown me care and had them for a significant period of time. But when I started to attract people in my life that were loving, considerate and caring, I realised how dysfunctional a few of my ¬†friendships were and decided that I had to make changes in order to preserve my well-being.

However, saying all of this¬†I have also been a toxic friend! As painful as it is to admit it, I am guilty for the very things I’ve experienced.¬†We don’t like to admit when we are the problem however in order for us to grow we have to hold ourselves accountable and live in our truth. I have been that jealous, un-supportive, bitchy, negative friend. The reasons why I was so toxic was because I was unsatisfied with the person I was inside.¬†The way I treated others was mostly a reflection of how I felt about myself.¬† When you are a toxic person, it’s common to believe that you’re a great friend who does little wrong. It’s very important that we sit with ourselves and analyse how we interact within our friendships. Admitting that you’ve made mistakes is the first step for transforming yourself and becoming a better person and friend to those around you.

I’ve stood on both sides of the fence- being the toxic friend and having toxic friends. Because of this I feel like I can offer some humbling advice.

Your friend is Toxic:

Signs that they’re toxic:¬†don’t support your endeavours, gaslight you, picks on your personality, thrives off of your insecurities, projects insecurities onto you, lack empathy, untrustworthy, gossipy, self-centred, stubborn, rude to you, doesn’t admit when they’re wrong.

Words of advice:

  • You deserve to have friends who genuinely supports and shows you love (not just says it). You are not obligated to settle for less than you deserve within your friendship. You shouldn’t accept abusive behaviour under the guise of ‘love’. Ultimately you get to choose the company you keep. You have agency over your life and get to either create a circle of friends who are helping or hindering your growth.

 

  • If being around them makes you feel negative then you need to seriously consider distancing yourself or removing them from your life. Growth takes some people time and your friend probably isn’t a bad person. In fact you’ve probably shared plenty of great moments together in the past.¬†Experiencing good times with someone or knowing someone for a significant period does not give them an excuse to treat you badly. Your needs and desires come first and you should be selfish in preserving that. There’s people out there who will be loving, supportive and trustworthy, so you are not obligated to settle for those who don’t.

You are the toxic friend:

Signs that you’re toxic: you put your insecurities onto them, you’re not supportive, you gossip about them, you’re possessive, you’re unforgiving, you don’t admit when you’re wrong, you copy them, you don’t ask them how they are, you undermine their goals.

Words of advice:

  • When you put your friend down and have something negative to say about them, most of the time it’s only ¬†mirroring your own insecurities. It might make you feel better finding flaws in someone so you don’t have to deal with your own insecurities, but you’re the only person who loses in the situation. The next time you find yourself feeling triggered by someone’s achievements, ask yourself whether you are 100% satisfied within that area of your life. Chances are you are not. Figure out what’s missing inside of you that’s causing you to act this way. What do you need to do more of to feel better about yourself?¬† If you truly love your friend and yourself, you’d take some time out to become a better you.¬†Use those feelings as a guide to where you need to work and develop on yourself.

 

  • You are probably an amazing person deep down inside who is currently going through a difficult time. That being said, you going through something doesn’t mean you can’t apologise for the ways you’ve hurt others. If you’ve really hurt someone you should admit when you’re wrong and say sorry. Even if your apology is not accept by them, accept and forgive yourself. The best form of apology is by demonstrating that you can be better.

In conclusion

Ultimately the message is if we love ourselves more we will naturally treat others better and we would expect better from the company we keep. Keep people around you where love is reciprocated, where you both want to grow and glo together.

Questions to you:

Have you had a toxic friend?

Have you been a bad friend to someone?

I would love to hear your experiences & thoughts.

Love Ash, xx

 

 

October 1st: The Gratitude Journal

im-thankful-grateful-appreciate-1.png

It’s October guys! I hope that everyone has a blissful month ūüĆĽ. The theme of this month is all about transition. Embracing change and making room for something greater. As the leaves fall on the ground and birth new ones, may this season remind us of the importance of letting go and allowing change to make the necessary shifts in our lives.

Octobers Affirmation:

You might not understand the chain of events or the transition you’re currently undergoing in your life right now. You might be wary of whether things will work out in your best interest. Note to self; not understanding your current circumstances is completely normal! Although things might not be clear to you at the moment, you will eventually understand why it was necessary to go through. Transition creates space for something greater. Uncomfortable change makes room for a necessary transformation in your life. Personal growth arrives when you embrace change and allow it to make you greater.

‚ÄúI will take on this transitional phrase with ease. I may not make sense of it now but I will come to understand it in time.‚ÄĚ

Question for you:

What changes are you currently undergoing?

What changes do you need to make room for?

Love Ash xx

Downplaying Compliments and Low Self-Esteem: A confessional

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (7)

Do you ever receive a compliment and instantly deflect the conversation away from yourself? I can relate. To give myself credit, this past year I have made a conscious effort to accept nice things said about me. However, I still catch myself feeling uncomfortable or deflecting from compliments especially when I receive them in real life.

Just a little background into why I am talking about this topic. I was out one night with a few friends and one of my friends complimented my hair. I began to downplay it and ended up rabbling on about how I purchased the hair. She replied back to me and said: “take the compliment and go”. I was shocked at her abrasiveness but I’m happy that she said it as her words led me to certain revelations that I had not yet realised.

The resistance I feel towards praise stems from many years of low self-esteem. The truth is for a long time I never felt like I was enough and would always find fault in my achievements. When I receive a compliment it’s unfamiliar language to me because I’ve become accustomed to believing my negative self-talk. When I get told nice things I automatically want to respond by saying “are you sure you’re talking about me”. I know that sounds negative but this was my thought process.

Another reason why I don’t respond to praise well is that I hardly celebrate myself. Rarely do I say ‘well done’ or reward me for my accomplishments. For example, I didn’t go to my graduation despite doing very well and being the first in my immediate family to go to university. I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that finally got a new job, one which brings me more joy. Not once did I organize a meal or self-care days to really celebrate my accomplishments.

Another revelation I had was that I’ve somehow conflated self-praise with bragging. I steered away from publicly sharing my accomplishments because I didn’t want to be perceived as showing off. There’s definitely merit in celebrating privately and knowing that we don’t need to be validated externally to feel proud of ourselves. But I think that I was being unnecessarily unkind to myself by downplaying and hiding my achievements from the world. I’m starting to realize that you can be a humble person whilst receiving praise and celebrating yourself openly.

I’m trying each day to tell myself I deserve happiness. I deserve to be complimented. I deserve to receive and believe nice things about me. Irrespective of what I’ve done in the past, right here and now I deserve to be celebrated. Breaking this learned behaviour which I’ve become accustomed to is proving to be harder than I anticipated. However each day I commit to being more aware of my response to compliments and to consciously celebrate my accomplishments, right down to the smallest things.

A Question for you:

How well do you take compliments?

If anyone can relate let me know your thoughts x