Tag Archives: what I’m doing

Remind Yourself That You’re Enough

I know that my mental health weakens when I compare myself to others, get jealous of others, fail or fall short, or don’t do “enough”.

Well, the best way to combat this is to remind yourself that you’re enough. Remind yourself of the awesomeness that you’ve already achieved or seen or experienced.

We can feel like we’re not enough when things aren’t happening right now, but we forget that we had a great experience or achieved something great a year ago or a month ago. Stop being so against yourself. You’re amazing. You’ve done great things, and great things are yet to come…

Remind yourself monthly or every weekly of what you’ve achieved. Of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Remind yourself that your life as a whole isn’t as bad as you think, just because right now it isn’t sunshine and rainbows.

Let go of expectations. Let go of comparison.

The best way to do that is to not go on social media. I’m trying to start my day by not looking at my phone right away, otherwise I know I’ll probably see someone doing great things on social media and it will make me feel crap and then it’ll set the wrong tone for my day. So you need to not do this, too.

Have a constant list of great things about yourself. A list of achievements. A list of things that make you feel good. And regularly look over this list. I have a “sad times” book that I go to when I feel down and it’s full of quotes that make me feel good, lists of things I’ve overcome and achieved and like about myself, and generally all feel good things. It’s a way to effortlessly remind myself with my own words that I’m okay, I’m good, I’m enough.

Let go. Let it be. Trust in the course of life.

So, if you’re feeling low, remind yourself of what’s real about you and your life. Remember that you’re not alone, not as lost as you think, and not a failure or disappointment. Remind yourself that you’re enough, you’re on a path to something, and growing pains do hurt but it’s a part of the process of growth.

Breathe. Laugh. Live.


If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.

If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Perspective

I find that perspective is the most important tool to checking yourself (or rather, getting yourself in check). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found my ability to check-myself and put things into perspective has increased tenfold, and I’m writing this IEG article today about perspective because this morning I finished reading “The Fault in Our Stars”, my old friend Tahlia’s favourite book.

I say old friend, not because she passed away three years ago, but because I had known her since we were toddlers. We grew up together. My mom taught her how to ride a bike. We went to the same primary school, the same senior school, and she was very present and important in my life, even with our differences .

Perspective for me has become strong since her passing. A twenty year old girl was taken from the world due to an illness. It’s horrid. It’s cruel. We all knew she would pass before 40 but it was Tahlia, you know? If anyone would survive and stick their middle finger up to Cystic Fibrosis it would be her.

But alas, it took her.

And I hated myself because I didn’t get chance to meet up with her one last time before she passed. We spoke, and if there was any bad energy before, it was long gone. I forgave her for our somewhat troubled teenhood, and she was over my leaving our friendship group. We moved on. We were adults and we were happy for each other.

It’s so special that she read the first edition of the first book in my Eternity series. She popped up to me and was enthused about it. It felt amazing that she was still supporting my dream after we hadn’t spoken properly since school.

I could go on about our time together and how unique our relationship was and how awful it was to hear that she’d passed and how I broke down at her funeral in 2015, but that’s our business. She knows how I feel.

The reason I bring her up is because these days when I feel crappy and get tired and feel low – I remember her and how she was ill her whole life but it never stopped her from living.

When I don’t feel like writing, I remember how she believed in me and how she too was a writer who had her voice cut short. And so, in her honour, I must continue to write. Always. It would be a slap to the face not to.

Perspective.

Not everyone has someone who can help them to put things into perspective, so I’m here to help.

There are so many people who aren’t able to live as we can, and so we must live instead.

Stop wasting time being angry with people you love (or people you don’t love, especially), as it just doesn’t matter enough. It just doesn’t. What if they got sick or were hurt and you couldn’t see them again? Would all the anger have been worth it?

Put your anger into perspective.

Put your sadness into perspective.

Put your unproductive days into perspective.

Think.

It’s easier said than done, I know. There’s days when perspective doesn’t happen, but at least try. For some reason, I’ve been bitter and angry lately but I put my emotions into perspective and realised that I’m angry for internal reasons, not external, and I can’t take it out on others.

It really helps to be honest with yourself and do this for yourself, too.

Ways to gain perspective:

  • Appreciate that there are many of those who are less fortunate than you and though everyone’s problems are valid, it can help you to drown a little less in them when you consider this.
  • Think of those who are gone. You have life and they’d give anything to have it.
  • Read.
  • Write.
  • Watch films.
  • Meditate.
  • Do Yoga.
  • Walk.
  • Speak with a friend.

Doing these things can help to clear your head and gain some perspective. A clearer, wider view of your life, your problems, your actions, and your purpose.

These things are important for a better life. They’re important for being a better person. You will be in better control of your emotions, too. A lot of people are bad people without realising it. They’re bitter, angry, selfish, poisonous, negative and sometimes downright awful. But perspective helps you to realise what you’re doing and thinking, in order to move forwards with a better mind.

When I put things into perspective, I realise I have a lot to be grateful for. I have achieved a lot for my age and where I come from and what I have. I’m lucky. I should remember that. I should hold on to that. I will always try to have perspective in trying situations, and you should, too.

So please, try.

In my 22nd year…

On this, my 23rd birthday, I want to reflect (as I often do) on my 22nd year. What did I do? Where did I go? Did I grow?

Here are the notable things that happened over the last year for me…

Recent (Jan-Apr 2018)

  • Spring Wolf Run completed despite my crappy body.
  • I wrote my manuscript in under 2 months, the WIP that I aim to traditionally published (a Children’s fantasy book that I literally finished yesterday!)
  • Left my content writing position
  • Started working out again
  • Became self-employed, a freelance writer, with my own clients (this is huge and was such a challenge)
  • Got black and grey braids
  • Circus visit
  • Bowling
  • Tried sugar cane
  • Partner moved in with me, and we revamped our room
  • Developed my cooking and eating (a lot)
  • Republished my self-help book
  • Loads of blogging progression
  • 3rd anniversary with my other half
  • London trip to the British Library for the Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition
  • So much anxiety and periods of lowness that I overcame

Earlier (Apr-Dec 2017)

  • Read many books
  • Left Argos/retail finally
  • Became employed as a content writer (first full time office work position)
  • Travelled to South Africa, and lived like a local for 2 weeks
  • African safari
  • Rode a horse
  • Quad bike safari
  • 10 hour packed car ride to Durban beach in South Africa
  • Loads of Africa misadventures
  • Wrote part of a book about my time in Africa
  • Wrote a third of the third book in the Eternity series (my self-published fantasy book series)
  • First couple-only holiday abroad (France)
  • Became friends with my brother’s partner
  • Met my baby cousin
  • YouTube channel changes
  • More driving experience on difficult roads
  • Republished the Eternity series
  • Began to love Chinese food and curries!
  • Hosted a Goodreads giveaway for my books
  • Went to watch Jeremy Kyle (aha)
  • Rage kart driving and air rifle shooting fun
  • Gave blood
  • Watched some awesome films

Here’s to my 23rd year, may it be filled with more progression and exploration and proving myself wrong! Clearly I am capable of a life well lived…

Things Writers Are Tired of Hearing

  • It’s not gonna make you any money
  • It’s not like a real job
  • I don’t really read, sorry.
  • What do you write? Is it like Fifty Shades of Grey?
  • Sorry to disturb you.
  • Not busy, are you?
  • You’re always on your phone or laptop or writing something down.
  • How many books have you written? (And whatever your answer is will always be disappointing).
  • Is it like — or like —
  • I’ve always wanted to write a book.
  • You must be so smart.
  • I think I’m gonna write a book.
  • What does this word mean?
  • Why don’t you go outside, get some fresh air?
  • What have you done today? (And writing is a not a good enough answer).
  • I really liked your book/post (but they didn’t really know anything about it).
  • I’ll buy your books (and they just don’t, they never do).
  • The unenthusiastic “oh” when you say you’re a writer.
  • Why won’t you come out with us?
  • I know a great story you can write!
  • Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that?
  • It’s a bit long…
  • I don’t get it…
  • You should really get out more.
  • It’s not a realistic dream.

Remote Working and Freelancing Sucks!

Most people who work a job they hate, or work a 9-5 stuck to a desk, have probably once dreamt of working remotely (away from an office). But as a new remote worker (freelancer), I’m here to say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Here’s why this way of working isn’t always so perfect:

People in the house

When you work remotely, you often start from home. But don’t do it! It’s so hard and crappy for so many reasons. One, people. If you don’t live alone, and sometimes there’s people in the house with you, they will distract you.

My sister is a shift worker and my mom is a teacher, and so there’s times when they’re in the house in the daytime. And it super sucks! They’re so annoying. For them, it’s free time. They’re doing errands, chores, or having fun. But that effects you, someone who’s meant to be working – and they just don’t get that.

Or a lonely “home office”

On the other hand, it’s not all that great if you live alone or don’t have people in the house during the day. It can get lonely. Perhaps your partner goes off to work every morning, and you’re left behind. It can feel really isolating and loud with absence. I’m good at being alone; I like working alone, but still the quiet can get to you at times.

Finding a suitable coffee shop

If you’re sensible, you’ll work outside your house, where possible. Whether it’s a cafe, coffee shop, library or other, it’s not going to be as easy as you’d think. Not everyone lives in an accommodating area that’s rife with internet cafes or suitable sitting space.

Plus, some cafes or coffee shops may have time limits on them. Or you could feel pressured to keep buying things so that you can stay, thus spending more than you may like when you’re starting out as a freelancer, like I am.

Other issues are the loud noises, lack of plugs, and lack of work space. You’re lucky if you live in an accommodating area.

“It’s not a real job”

You’re going to have to deal with a lot of naysayers, saying your job isn’t a real one. They will think you’re waking up late and chilling out for most of the day. My mom asks me to do things when I’m in the house, or my sister chats away to me like I’m not busy, just because I’m in the house!

I may be in the house, but I’m working, dude!

Time management

You know you can sleep in, but you know you shouldn’t. No day is a set work day, but neither are any days a no-work day. And so, you need to manage your time well, otherwise you’ll lose out. When you don’t work, you make no money – simple. So, manage your time effectively so that you make your money, as well as live the life you want.

More time, less money

The greatest thing about remote working is that you suddenly have more time. If you manage your time well, you can get more work done in less time and be able to do what you want. However, the case usually is (especially at first) more time and less money.

My friends with full time jobs have more money than me, but less time. I have more time, and less money. It’s so frustrating. This is the case with most beginners freelancers.

Finding your own clients

As a freelancer like me, or simply someone who works for themselves, you’ll have to find your own clients. It’s great when they find you, but don’t bet on this. It’s so difficult to be a nobody and have to prove your worth.

Also, there’s the whole finding your niche, your interests, your ideal client. It would be amazing to work for someone who you actually like, or produce content for them that you enjoy doing. Finding that client will be hard, and getting paid suitably for it will be even harder.

Making a lifestyle

For me, working as a freelancer was all about developing a lifestyle that works for me. I wanted time to work when I wanted, write when I wanted, read when I wanted, work out when I wanted, have fun when I wanted, and so on. It was all about control and freedom to be me.

But making a lifestyle this way isn’t easy. Having all this time to work with is kind of daunting. Making a routine for yourself that works for you, your family, your work, your progression, and your leisure is so tough and very frustrating.

“Work” is hard

For a lot of us, especially beginners, work will be so much more than it was on the 9-5. Yes, there’s more freedom and flexibility (hence why we decided to do it) but there’s much more groundwork to be done. You have to email often, meet new clients, complete briefs, do invoices, manage multiple clients, track time spent on work, track time spent on research, track time spent on revisions, find new clients, do sample work, blog, website update, feed your mind, and more.

Of course, it all depends on what work you’re doing and how you’re doing it, but you’re your own boss, so everything falls onto you. Whatever you don’t do, doesn’t get done.

And work for me, as a writer, is so much more than just writing what a client told me to write. That’s what I’m paid for at the moment, but as a writer “work” also means reading, blogging, researching, book writing, book editing, proofreading and more. But no everyone gets that, and that’s something you’ve also got to manage.

You become a recluse

It’s so easy when you’re a remote worker to never go outside. You never have to talk to anyone. No more awkward encounters with colleagues. This is great for anti-social people or loners (kind of like me) but it’s bad. Don’t become a recluse. Try to meet up with people around their work, or make friends who are also remote workers so you can meet up now and again to work together.

Plus, don’t fall into the trap of working everyday in your PJs or joggers! Get up, shower, get dressed and do your hair. Remember that you’re a person, who should look as such no matter where you’re working for the day.

What to charge

As a freelancers or remote worker, you may have to set your own rates. This is awful!! Charge too much, and you lose the client; charge too little, and you’re a fool. It’s so difficult to determine your worth, the project difficulty, and what would be reasonable to charge. And oftentimes, you will say different things to different clients. It’s just awful.

In truth, being a freelancer is great. I love the time. I love the freedom. I love the rewarding feeling of knowing I’ve been paid for something that I made happen. And working to my schedule rocks.

There’s a lot to suddenly do and take care of when you’re a freelancer, though. I’ve yet to find comfort in the new lifestyle – comfort meaning a nice routine, a steady pay, great clients in areas of interest, and more. However, this new lifestyle has been very rewarding so far. I’ve been able to write nearly a whole book in just over a month because of this. I’ve been paid for writing whilst not being an actual employee. I’ve proved my worth. I’ve blogged like crazy (as you can see). And I’ve explored myself.

I think you should try it, but know that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows!

My Feelings About the Wolf Run

So yesterday, I completed the Spring Wolf Run. For those of you who don’t know, the Wolf Run is a 10k obstacle run, featuring a lot of mud and water and big obstacles. It was torture! Here is what I’ve thought about the whole event from my personal experiences…

Be more prepared

I wasn’t prepared for the Wolf Run. I’d like to say that this was because I was taking it with confidence, or because I was just having fun so it didn’t matter if I was physically prepared.

But no.

I had other things going on in my life at the time, which took priority. Going to the gym or working out, just weren’t at the top of my to-do list. And that was fine, it made sense, but I should have made more time. I should have worked out more. I was ill-prepared, and that ruined things for the others.

Go at your pace

However, I had to go at my own pace. I pushed myself so much, I hope they all realised that, but I couldn’t run for very long. I was fine with the obstacles – I can push my muscles – it was my heart and lungs that couldn’t do it. So with running, yeah, I couldn’t do it for long at all. It did what I could, I pushed myself, but I tried to remember that all I could do was go at my pace.

Have fun

It would have been more fun if I was with people of a similar fitness to me, that way we could have gone at the same pace and just had fun. However, my brother, his girlfriend, my partner, and my sister are all much fitter than I am. Therefore, I held them back. Seeing as it is a team effort, you can only go as fast as your slowest person. And so, they were as fast as me! That made me feel so guilt again and again throughout the run, taking the fun away at times.

But, we still had so much fun on the obstacles, and in the mud. It was fun to fall and slip and get so dirty. Do it with good people, and it’s a great time.

Show up

There were so many times when I thought about dropping out. My sister’s friend had wanted to do it, too, and I kept thinking about dropping out and saying that she could go in my stead. I was so close to doing that.

But I didn’t.

I showed up.

I was aching, terrified, and ill-prepared, but I showed up and I did it – that’s worth so much.

Don’t quit

You’re going to hurt and ache and struggle, in the Wolf Run and in life, but you have to keep going. I just kept telling myself,”keep going, don’t stop.” I said that with every step, I was getting closer to the end. Stopping or overthinking the water obstacles, would only prolong the pain. Instead, don’t quit and dive in and keep on moving however fast you can. Even if you crawl, you’ll get there eventually.

Get a little dirty

You can’t have a good life without getting a little dirty and achy. Trust me. The best things involve a bit of craziness. I loved how dirty we got doing the Wolf Run. It made me feel like a kid again. Find that feeling, and hold on to it.

Prove yourself wrong (and maybe some others, too)

I didn’t think that I could do it, but I did it. I’ve actually done a lot in the last few years that I never thought I could. Smashing those things, and proving myself wrong, was amazing. It’s accomplishments that give us a euphoric feeling like no other, so prove yourself wrong time and time again.

Tell the story

At the end, you have a story to tell. By doing fun, challenging things, you become a storyteller and it’s brilliant. I can talk about my troubling runs, the slips and slides, the mud (oh, the mud), the water (and having to swim because I’m so small), and the bleeding fingers, and the mud dribbling out of my sports bra when I tore it off. It’s great to have stories, so do interesting things.

Will I do it again? Yeah, probably (provided it’s the summer one!) but I’m glad to be able to say that I have done it. I freaking did it!! Do the Wolf Run, guys, or a task like it. It’s a brilliant experience, no matter who you are or how fast you go.

The Secret to Success in All Areas of Life

…is P-ing all over the place.

That’s right, p-ing. You need to focus on and harness these Ps in life and you will never go wrong

Persistence – the only way to win is to keep on going. The water cuts through the rock with persistence above all else.

Patience – with persistence comes patience. Your journey won’t always be clear and there will be scary times, hard times. But patience in the journey will take you further than the rest. Good things take time.

Perseverance- in life, and definitely in the pursuit of your dreams, you’re going to face setbacks. There will be a lot of punches and kicks trying to stop you and beat you down. You can’t let this keep you down for long, though. The successful of us have been through some really tough times, but they persevered.

Pride – take pride in your appearance, your heritage, your achievements, your struggles. Walk with your head high and be proud of yourself; celebrate yourself. But never forget to be humble, too.

Power – powerful people make changes in the world and in their lives. The thing is, we forget that we all have power inside us. If you have a vision and a dream, then never forget that you have the power to make it happen. Recognise and harness your inner power. Give it all you’ve got.

Practice – practice makes perfect. Practice is for all of us, even those who think they’re experts. We all need to practice our craft, practice patience and self love, and practice gratitude above all else. Practice will keep us alert, strong, happy, and connected to our goals.

Perfection – to reach perfection, we must let go of the idea that it even exists. Perfection is recognising that you’re imperfect, but that it doesn’t matter. Love yourself in your entirety, work on your weaknesses, but value your strengths. You are perfect the way you are.

Prevention – prevention techniques are a good way to never fall completely flat on your face. Self love is a good example of this. If we have continuous routines of self love and strengthening the mind and body, then when the inevitable pitfalls of life come along, we will be able to remain strong because we’ve prevented our own collapse due to always working on ourselves. We will then be in a stronger state of mind to pick ourselves up and form a new plan.

People – find your people. Successful people, happy people, have good people around them. People who help them, love them as they are, and encourage them to strive to be their best self. Surround yourself with likeminded, goal driven people.

Protection – protect yourself from negativity, wrongdoing, procrastination (a naughty P word), and bigheadedness. Have a bubble around you to swat those bad things away. Don’t let those things seep into you and ruin everything you’ve worked for.

Privacy – keep your personal life and goals private. The most successful people do less talking and more acting on their dreams. Don’t speak about everything on social media. Hold the cards close to your chest.

Pizzazz – life is no good without a little pizzazz. Without magic and beauty, life is dull. The same should go for your life. Actively sprinkle some pizzazz in your life and you’ll never grow bored of it.

Pause – it’s okay and important to take breaks and breathe. Don’t over-exert yourself.

Play – never forget that with hard work comes play. Make time for it. It’s healthy for us to play as well as work hard. Those who only work hard, are bound to fall at some point from fatigue – or worse, they’ll lose friends and realise that in all their hard work, life got left behind. Instead, live and play whilst you’re climbing your mountain.

Pray – it doesn’t have to be to any god. It’s up to you how you want to do it. But the only way to manifest your dreams and wishes is to speak them into existence. Say the words. Ask the universe for its help and guidance. Every step of the way, speak it. What’s next? What’s the next lesson? The next milestone? Seek guidance and protection from a greater force.

Some Ps to avoid:

Pretending – don’t pretend to be someone or something you’re not. Be you. Own where you are and then work to be somewhere else if that’s what you want.

Procrastination – get it done now, stop waiting for tomorrow. There’s no better time than now!

Projection – don’t project your negativity onto others, or let them do it to you.

Popularity – don’t confuse popularity with success. Being popular isn’t necessarily a good thing. Seek respect and happiness over popularity.

Plugging-in – unplug! Live life!