How Much Time Do You Spend Learning About Yourself?

I know lots of people struggle to stick to their goals. Is it my way of proving to my brain that I'm not good enough because that's what I think of myself? It can be a huge self sabotage tool. Most people don't know this, although I've told you many times, abuse is addictive. Now, just because you don't necessarily see that you've been in an abusive relationship, abuse can come in many different ways. Abuse can be a really strong term sometimes, and it sounds a very strong term, but even if you don't feel like you've been in an abusive relationship, relationships always change you. Not necessarily for the negative. Relationships always change you in some way, positively, neutrally, they just change you. You grow, you learn, you adapt, and you compromise when you get into a relationship, or you're supposed to compromise when you get in a relationship. You take the other person's opinion on board, you do things that are ultimately not what you would do if you were on your own.

I know lots of people I speak to, they've never been single, or they certainly weren't single for very long, which means they've always been compromising their whole life. So now you're potentially in a situation where you are single and you're not compromising yourself. You're actually just living for you. The abuse that you used to receive, and I don't mean necessarily physical or mental, emotional abuse, it doesn't have to be hardcore. It just means that life over its toll and relationships over the total of your lifespan have just all kind of slowly added up. Not to say you don't have to have that killer punch, that really abusive relationship, to feel this way. Things can just kind of creep up on you. Sometimes that's almost worse because you don't realise that what's happened. You haven't had the alarm bell going off.

A lot of clients that I work with who've suffered emotional abuse find that it's only when the physical abuse starts that they say, "No, that's enough." Whereas they've suffered ten years of emotional abuse before that alarm bell was rung, when they were hit in the face or smacked around the head or thrown against the wall or whatever it was for them, that decided for them that they were going to walk away. But even for people who are still in that emotionally abusive place, or even if you don't class the relationship you've been in as emotional abuse, if you've been compromising yourself because everyone, as soon as you get in a relationship, makes compromises, you don't just do what you want. You change the TV channel, you think about what the other person wants for tea, especially if you live together. You compromise. You change. It necessarily isn't like a drastic thing that happens. Bang, and you're suddenly like, "I'm so fucked up." It can be such a gradual thing. You just slowly lose who you are, what you wanted, what is actually you, what did you want to do. Once the abuse is removed from your life, once you think you're completely independent ... I know there are lots of people who think they're independent. They're not truly independent because their thoughts are not independent. You may well be a Mum who is strong and on your own and manage your children and run your own business and do all these things, but your thoughts on are not independent. Your thoughts are still governed by other people's opinion. Therefore you're not independent at all. You might tell yourself you're a strong independent person and you may well be strong. You may well act independent, but your brain and your thought patterns are not independent because they're still governed by what other people think or what you think other people think. This is the biggest one, what you think other people think. It's not like someone's verbally told you, "This is what I think of you." People often make up what they think people think of them, and then live their life on that belief. That "Oh, well this person thinks I'm this. This person will think that I do this." They've never said that. They've never even acted like that, but people make that belief up of what they think people think of them. Then they live with that.

That is simply replacing the abuse you've previously suffered. As I said, abuse is addictive. So even if you've been in a relationship which is not necessarily abusive, there's just been ... compromises, so that slowly, over time, your identity is just not what it was before. You're not who you were before that relationship, before children, before all this stuff. 

Then you're out of the relationship and now you're lost because who is going to abuse you now? Who is going to put you down? Who is going to sabotage you? Who is going to hold you back? Because you need to meet those beliefs that you've now got. You've got that belief system now that needs to be fulfilled. Your belief system needs to be fulfilled, so your brain will go and find things to fulfil your beliefs. So you go and find those answers for yourself. You go and find those things and torture yourself. It becomes self harm. People call it self sabotage. I call it self harm. It's self harm.  The words in your head are yours, whether you mask them as somebody else's, whether it's your ex in your ear saying you weren't good enough. "See, I told you you'd never be this." Or whether it's just your own voice saying, "See, I told you you're no good." That's self harm, that's self sabotage, and that's not independency. That's not thinking on your own, that's not being yourself. This is where most people get lost and this takes some awareness to really be truthful with yourself and realise how you are truly treating yourself. I can almost hear you now saying "Oh wow, this is me, this is me. Oh my God, you're in my head." Now this is fine. Most people just are not prepared to look at it, or they just aren't aware. The big thing I always say to people, "Hey, you're not supposed to know this stuff, alright?" We don't teach this at school. They don't teach us this at school. They don't teach this at university. There's no school of life. There's no school of relationships. There's no school of mindset. If we spent the same amount of time, money and effort on ourselves and our mindset, on our relationship, as we do on our education and on our vocations, we would be vastly different people. People spend huge sums of money on courses, qualifications, university. The schooling system alone costs billions of pounds. Seriously, how much time and effort have you actually spent learning about this stuff? So don't beat yourself up. These things are not the case.Who knows you need to know this stuff? Who knows this stuff even exists?Until suddenly ... this is why people book breakthrough calls with me and they kind of sit on the fence, they um and ah and when they book one, they have such huge realisations because it just unravels right in front of them, their own life and it's all personalised and it all unravels. I say unravels, not in a bad way, it's not a bad thing. It's like getting big floodlight at a football stadium and turning it onto your life and into your brain of why you do the things you do and why is this all relevant to you and how you could have changed your relationships. It's about looking at that problem. If there's a problem in your relationship and things have happened, it's not necessarily because there's a problem with you or with them, but obviously them choosing to do that negative action towards you means there is obviously a problem with them to mean they want to hurt someone that they say they care about in that way. That is my opinion. But this is about being aware. Like, "What did I do? How did I contribute?" Not in a blame way. Not in a, "Woe is me," way, but by asking yourself "How can I learn to be better for myself? How can I communicate with myself better?  Why do I choose people who want to meet their needs in that way? What needs are my important needs? What am I doing? What's my energy? How do I respond in anger? How do respond in frustration? How do I respond in emotion? How could I annoy people? How could I frustrate people? How could my message get lost? How can I improve that with the next person I get in a relationship with?" No one does this. No one analyzes this. Not many people do. So they end up in the same situations over and over and over again. It's just about raising your level of awareness in yourself and then learning how to action it and implement it. Implementing an actioning it is one of the most important things. You can't deal with an issue if you don't know it's there and obviously lots of people come with one issue and it turns out that it's actually something very deep rooted. It's very, very different and then people wonder why they spend their whole life figuring out how to fix this. A lot of people don't see this. Mental health and even relationship health and everything in terms of that way is exactly the same. If you treat the symptoms, you'll never get better. Whereas if you treat the cause, you will actually find true happiness and fulfilment and freedom because ultimately we want to be free and we truly want to be independent.We want to be the owner of our own minds. We want to be in control of our own mind. Lots of people say they want to get to the gym or lose weight, but it's looking for the why and not just because they want to feel better. Looking for the why and finding that why and building on the why. Logically you want to look better, you want to feel better, you want to look more attractive to the ideal sex, but your inner why, the real reason, your vision, your mission, your dream. As I said, Martin Luther King's speech was not, "I have a plan." It was, "I have a dream." He had a vision, and it was an empowering speech for that exact reason. He didn't come out with the features and benefits spiel, he came out with something that meant something to him, which then obviously influenced other people because they believed in his vision. They believed in the dream. If you live with passion and you live with conviction because you actually believe your why, because it's so great that you have to get there in your life.

As I always say, if you want to get to the island, burn the boats, which means you have to learn to swim. You have to learn to swim because there's no other option for you. When you give yourself a way out, when you let yourself have reasons and excuses, you'll then let yourself have reasons and excuses. If you don't accept that for yourself, if you raise your own standards of what you will and won't tolerate in your own life, if you raise that up, there is no falling short. There is no falling short because you'll just keep going and repeating and repeating until you get to where you want to go. There is no end, and this is where I talk about infinite versus finite games. A finite game for example, I know maybe you're not a football fan, but a finite game, 90 minutes of football plus injury time. Both teams agree to the rules, there's a set amount of players, and there's a set time limit of when it ends. At the end of 90 minutes, you don't get one team saying, "Oh, if we only had 15 more minutes, we could get those goals back and win." It doesn't work like that. It's a finite game. There's a start and there's a finish and there's an agreed set of processes. An infinite game, for example, business. There's known and there's unknown players in business. Also, the rules of business, there are no rules. We didn't all agree to the rules of business. We've just set up our businesses and started. There's known and there's unknown players, there are no defined or agreed rules. The game, when does the game of business stop? It doesn't. The game of business just rolls on. It's just infinite, infinity. It just keeps going and going and going. Whereas a finite game, for example, football, it ends. This is the difference when I say about destinations versus journeys because life is an infinite game. The only time it ever stops is when you give up the will or the resources to continue to play the game. Obviously in business, for example, if a company loses the will or the resources to continue to play, that business is over. How this is relevant to you right now in your life? Life is an infinite game. I say game in the way ofit being a concept. The finite and infinite games, that's a concept. Life is not necessarily a game, it's real life, but it's something that keeps on going and there is no end until obviously you are to pass. But when you pass you just pass to your children and then your children pass down. Your children treat themselves how you treat yourself. That's 100% true. And we all know they do model your behaviour, and we obviously don't treat our children like we treat ourselves. But we all know how many times we may have made a comment about our own bodies in front of our children. They will take that and they will know that you pick on yourself, you put yourself down and body shame, and then you don't want them to shame themselves, but you shame yourself. Why is it any different? Life's an infinite game and we have our children to look after, and this is why it's so important. It's so important for us to get all these concepts so we don't influence them in a way that we don't want to. So why would we treat ourselves any different to how we treat our children, how we want our children to treat each other and themselves? You know when you're looking at reasons why you do things and why you should change or why you should build your why up to influence everyone else, that's the reason. That's an easy reason to find. I'm layering on that reason because you need to be your best self. As I always say, SELF, TEAM, TASK. You need to be your best self to make sure your team is okay, which is your family in this case, and your team then execute the task. The task, whatever it may be, you cannot do the task if your team are not good and you cannot do the team if you are not good. So many people say, "I spend all my time on my children. I spend all my energy on my children. I do everything for my children." I say, "Great, but spending zero time yourself is actually completely contradicting you spending all your time and energy and being the best person you can be for your children, because to be the best Mum you could be for your children so they grow up to have independence and to be responsible for their own actions and to know it's okay to look after and love themselves, you need to do that stuff. You need to have a break. You need to be your best self. You need to be able to have me time." It's important that you show your children that these things are important to have. SELF TEAM TASK. Self love is so important and it's important in your children. Like it's important for you to love yourself for your relationships, but also for your children. You would not want your children to treat themselves how you treat yourself and that's the sort of thing that's really, really poignant, really, really key and something we should all take a massive long think and realise, "You know what? Yeah. They are going to be like that if I don't make different choices in my life."

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