This is a deeper subject than I usually talk about on my blog. In person, I actually talk about topics like this more often, as I am usually the agony aunt for the people close to me. I want to bring more of that side of me to this blog and if I can help one person through a tough time it would be worth it.
So basically my life hasn’t exactly been a breeze, without going into an X-factor style sob story – I’ve been through a lot of crap! Even still, people always ask me ‘Kumba, how are you so strong?’, and the truth is i’m not, I may not be the first one to cry but I’m AM human and my mental health isn’t perfect. The only difference is that I learned not to dwell on my bad experiences and redirect all my hurt and negativity into self-development with the mentality of focusing on how I learn from a bad experience to move forward with my life in a positive direction.
The most recent shitty thing that has happened to me is that I got laid off this month. I took a risk and put my all into a start-up company who offered a product really close to my heart – helping people in care homes especially those living with dementia. My Nana who has been a mother figure to me growing up, lives with Dementia and it makes my heart ache every time I see her. She was the only reason I really took on the job because working within the tech/care industry was completely out of my comfort zone but I understood the potential of how a small start-up could make a difference.
Anyway, instead of dwelling about being laid off – my initial thought was to move forward and ask myself what’s next for me?
I have been blogging as a hobby for 5 years now and I thought it would give me the perfect opportunity to try to turn my hobby into a full-time job.
2 proactive weeks later, I got signed with an talent agency (The Nomis Agency), I’d booked myself flights to London to attend one of the largest influencer conferences, I started an ecourse and I networked with a few different photographers – I even chased one photographer down the street today to grab her business card.
I also arranged a backup plan to offer digital marketing services as a freelancer too. So if I don’t make enough money to pay my mortgage, and I have already got one client set up!
All of these things make me feel anxious and uncomfortable but you’ve just got to be bold to get what you want in life.
However, I haven’t always been like this. Over the years, I have learned a few techniques to help rebuild confidence and self-esteem after it’s taken a hit.
My way of thinking is that bad things happen for a reason. Those experiences shape who you are and once you conquer those feelings of fear and self-doubt or overcome a bad situation it will make you a better, stronger person. I honestly grateful for all of the unfavourable things that have happened to me. As if it wasn’t for those hard times, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.
It is important to remember that true confidence isn’t about pretending that you are OK or suppressing pain or feelings of hurt. It comes through acknowledging your feelings and accepting them. Trust me, I know this isn’t an easy thing to do. Usually to help me acknowledge or sometimes even understand how I feel – I talk about it. Tend to your wounds by speaking to the ones close to you and get it all out in the open instead of keeping those thoughts just in your head.
If you are still having self-doubts another way to help is by practising self-love affirmations daily. Write in a notepad or say to yourself in the mirror a positive statement about yourself. @alex_elle is a great person to follow on Instagram for daily affirmations, some of my favourite from her page include; “I am enough for myself. Despite being once broken, I am whole.”, “Owning my truth is part of the healing process and I am worthy of every step, including self-forgiveness.”, “I win always because I am a good person. Karma will handle the rest”.
I know it is hard to gain perspective when your mental health is suffering. My trick is to write down a list or even just think about of all the things that I am grateful for and appreciate in my life. I then compare my life to someone else who may be affected by the global issues in the world (poverty, homelessness, illness) and how they may have to live compared to how I am living right now.
It sounds silly, but just doing that takes 5 minutes and it immediately helps me to gain perspective. As I realise that I am healthy, I have a roof over my head and feel content with the direction in which my life is heading. I also seek help from the ones closest to me to find out their perspective on a situation. It always helps to talk to people when gaining perspective as sometimes they can shed a new light.
This is a biggie for me as I am ALL about self-improvement. In this day and age I understand that everyone is always wanting more and to keep moving forward but this way of thinking can seriously get overwhelming. Especially if you work in a fast paced industry.
I am interested self-improvement not so much as to learn a new skill or talent, but, more about improving your mindset and lifestyle. Finding a way of working that’s right for you, so you get to a point where you understand your boundaries and don’t burn yourself out. I am constantly trying to improve how I think, so I can keep a positive, healthy mindset a few things I do include:
- Podcasts: The topics I usually listen to favour towards positive thinking, self-improvement, motivational speeches. You can also find a lot of mediatation podcasts that I sometimes listen to in bed which help me when I feel anxious about something – you should check out Jen Hardie’s podcast she’s an amazing woman.
- Self-help books: Reading books like ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management’ seriously helped me through some really hard times. Self-help books are also good if you struggle with your mental health as there are so many people out there that have struggled and overcome similar issues.
- Ted talks: Every once in a while I listen to a Ted Talks as it always opens my mind up to ideas and gets my litle brain thinking!
If you are having other types of self-doubts that are more about your skills or capabilities invest in yourself. Read books, do an e-course, attend forums or reach out to people you admire. If anyone ever needs help with their blog, I am always free to chat!
Relief stress from your life
Have you got a friend or a partner who is negative 99% of the time and constantly making you feel drained and crappy about yourself? Don’t put up with it, you don’t need the stress. Take a step back. You are better than that. I have cut ties with so many people in my life who were sucking up all of my energy to a point where spending time with them made me feel crap. Since doing that, I have felt so much better and tbh I haven’t even missed the company!
You can also try different methods of relieving stress, a few suggestions including meditation, yoga or even just a walk around your local park or a nice hot long bath after a stressful day. Find out what makes you happy and make sure to find the time for it!
I am always free to chat about anything, just msg me on social @kumbearxo or via email!
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