Last Thursday night, I felt myself going down a negative spiral. I’ve long since come to realise that when this happens, I have to struggle to change my mindset. (It’s getting worse, the older I get).
I was sitting at home in front of the computer in a Zoom class with the Alliance Francaise and I felt this crushing dread come over me and questions started to flood in my head.
“Why am I doing this?”
“Why can’t I bloody well string a sentence together in French?”
“Why can’t I ask a simple question in French?”
“Why is speaking it so hard?
As a result, I started feeling sorry for myself.
Me. French class. Ce soir. 👇 Je vais pleure. Pourquoi est-il difficile pour moi? I’m ready to give up. pic.twitter.com/RqvbswOGqx
— Helen Blunden #AlwaysBeLearning 🤔🧠🦉📚🥇 (@ActivateLearn) November 26, 2020
I know myself when this happens in my life and it seems to be happening a lot more in recent times which I really need to shake myself out of it. I don’t know if the COVID lockdown for months on end being stuck at home unable to see friends or family has anything to do with it but I feel as if my confidence has taken a real blow this year. Maybe it’s the perimenopause thing. I have no idea why. I just don’t feel “like myself”.
I can tell when this is happening because my personality changes. I start to become quieter. And I was REALLY quiet in my French class. (Alarm bells).
I was retreating into my own shell. When this happens, I know that something is wrong and I need to change my mindset quickly.
I’m usually upbeat, enthusiastic and a ‘roll my sleeves up’ kind of person who doesn’t think twice of jumping in and giving things a go. When I’m at my most comfortable, I’m creative – I come up with spontaneous ideas and have a laugh at myself doing them. Also, I’m also quite autonomous and self-motivated. If I have an idea, I just go out and do it. If I want to learn something new, I’ll just do it. This attitude has served me well for many years because I had a motto of , “Whatever happens, happens!”
However, 2020 has thrown a curve ball at me where I’ve had to create all sorts of little goals for myself to keep my mind active and not turn into negative thoughts.
Seeds of doubt have just seemed to get ingrained in my head and then I start to worry (for no real reason at all), then it just all goes downhill from there. Positive things that happen to me don’t seem to have the same ‘wow’. It takes time to stop me going into this phase so I do some small personal goals that get me back to normal but it ends up being temporarily before the whole cycle begins again.
For example, it was the reason I did the Couch to 5K as I hadn’t run in many years and wanted to overcome this dread of doing this jog because for years I used to say, “I’m not a runner” so it was self-determined thought. (I did it in the end, it felt amazing).
Guess what?! I DID IT. I RAN 5K. I was a couch potato to this!! (The very moment the app said, “Congratulations! You are now a 5 K runner!” John Hamm (Mad Men said “congratulations, you made it!” as I was listening to a podcast where he was being interviewed by David Tennant. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/GcDSVN6wUW
— Helen Blunden #AlwaysBeLearning 🤔🧠🦉📚🥇 (@ActivateLearn) August 13, 2020
Part of me wishes I still had the same positive outlook as I did years ago in my younger years or at the times when I feel at most myself which is usually when I’m immersed into some completely new creative project.
Now I seem to have become so bloody serious all the time and I hate it.
Over the last month or so, I was watching SAS Australia on Channel 7 on television. A group of Australian celebrities were put through their paces doing an SAS survival course. Watching the activities and how the celebrities battled with their own demons – their minds – made it hit home for me that I have some work to do on my mental state. Of course, I know that if I put myself through a physical bootcamp, I’ll end up hurting myself because I’m so unfit but I guess I can get the same level of discomfort if you put me through an acting class. To be fair, I don’t know which is worse.
(However, the French language training seems to be my pain point).
Listening to some of the celebrities talk about why they wanted to do this hit home for me that each of them had lost their way a bit. I resonated with their story. They had something happen to them where they lost sight of the bigger goal.
Maybe it’s high time for me to make some changes in my life again and start to focus on getting my mindset right again and determine what exactly it is I want from hereon because it feels like I’m “biding time”.
Why do I do the things I do? For what reason?
Here’s the recent book review on Ant Middleton’s Zero Negativity