This admission might surprise you all! Despite my seemingly confident, outgoing and bubbly personality, I struggle daily with my confidence and self-esteem. This took a turn for the worst back in February when I lost my best friend to the big C… Cancer.
I have been on quite the journey since the death of my best friend. Losing someone so close to me, who always loved me for exactly who I am, really changed my outlook on life. It put into perspective the friendships, or so-called friendships I had. It made me look at people as a whole, differently. I realised that life is short and that we should grab it with both hands. Really live our best lives.
I have always suffered from self-esteem issues really. Being someone who is high energy and very excitable, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Those who ‘get me’ and invest time and effort into me get a very loyal and loving friend who would move mountains for them. Those who don’t… well, here’s my dilemma… I try to understand why they don’t ‘like’ me and have been known to try and change to be more accepted.
Acceptance is something that I feel I am always craving. I don’t understand why this is such a thing for me. I feel the need to always ‘play up’ for people. I feel like, if I’m myself, then there’s no way someone will want to be friends with me. I have been working with a coach and a therapist to explore that this year and it’s been going great. I’ve made some positive mindset shifts and I’m getting there, but there’s still a lot of personal work there to do.
Friendship is the one thing that really gets me down. I haven’t been anyone’s *best friend* since school. I thought I was at one point, but that ended so badly, it’s made me feel really anxious and scared to put myself ‘out there’ again in that way.
I feel like a bit of a saddo saying I don’t have a best friend and that no one considers me as theirs. It’s not meant to sound as pathetic as it does, but it is what it is and through my coaching and therapy, I’m embracing ‘me’. I feel like I need to work on becoming friends with myself at the moment and allowing myself to accept who I am. Because of this, I have really put a lot of time, energy and money into helping shift my mindset.
Working on this in the past few months has really helped me to re-focus on what and who is important though. I’m really deep diving into myself and understanding where these beliefs and values come from. Can they be changed? How can I find me and be happy with me?
Returning to work was one of the best things I’ve done! It’s really helped my self esteem and given me a different type of confidence. It’s allowed me to focus on something other than just being ‘Mum’ and to just be ‘Leila’ again has been wonderful. It obviously comes with it’s own challenges, but they have been positive challenges and given me a different kind of self-belief.
Having that part of your life that you can call your own is so important! I’ve made new friends, learned new skills and created a whole new me out of it. Yes! I sometimes feel like the grandma of the office as most people are mid 20’s, but that doesn’t really get to me as everyone is lovely. As above, I don’t tend to form the closest bonds with people easily, but I feel like I belong and that’s *so* important.
This is the best job of all and one I know I’m smashing. Being a mum is challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always a bed of roses. You have to take the rough with the smooth and roll with the punches sometimes. Being a good parent means difficult decisions, boundaries and tough love!
Over the past year, I have learned a lot, especially when it comes to boundary setting. Kids will push… naturally. Let’s be honest, they’ve done this since birth. You always want to make your child smile and be happy, but this can’t be through giving them everything the want. I’m not going to lie, I do spoil my boys sometimes and I scold myself for it, but by introducing boundaries with them and sticking to them, life has been so much better. This is very much a work in progress though and is forever changing to keep up with the changing times.
Goal setting is so important to me for the new year! My ultimate aim is to move home. This is my one and only focus as it sets the foundation for all other projects I want to work on. It’s going to be hard as there’s a lot to do before we can even get to the point of putting our property on the market.
Juggling work and the kids is enough, let alone the other extra-curricular stuff I get involved with as well. My aim is to try and document my journey and I’m going to try and keep on top of it here on Swanny.me. Any tips on moving house will be greatly received!
For now, that’s my thoughts… I know it’s all achievable, it’s time to stop procrastinating and just do!!!