(throwback to 2018)
Over the weekend I had a beautiful evening sitting, eating and talking with other women. “Women, wine and words” a time for us to pose questions to each other and discuss various topics we feel passionate about. We were asked to each come with a question and share our thoughts with the group as we shared laughter and stories together.
A question asked: “What do you admire about other women?”
A lady gave a beautiful answer about me.
“I admire how you can wear so many hats and not let one basket fall while you are attending to the others. You’re a Mother, a Coach, a Business Woman, a Wife. I struggle to juggle multiple hats and I always look at you and admire how you manage to keep everything on track.”
I felt so warm inside and grateful for the beautiful women around me.
As I drove home, filled with love, strawberries and chocolate, my mind started ticking. As soon as I got home I grabbed my journal and jotted down some thoughts in gratitude for a nice evening.
The hats that I wear interchange every day, sometimes every hour. Whether it be checking in with my staff in the morning for our focus that day, a dummy stuck between my teeth while I hold Lexie down to change her nappy, or coaching our strong ladies in the night time before I head home to see my husband for the precious 30 or so minutes we get in the week. Employer, Mum, Coach, these hats feature in one day. Multiple hats move on and off in a day however they all belong to the one fabulous collection. Ro Hawley.
This is my life. And wearing multiple hats is not unique to me. We all have various hats that come on and off during the day. At times it may feel overwhelming and in the past this very much was the case for me. But it doesn’t have to be like that.
With a fast paced world at our fingertips, the tools and strategies we use and adopt can either make or break us. They can either serve us to make the progress we want in our personal and professional lives or the lack of this skill set can cause frustration and desperation.
Have you ever caught yourself saying things like…
“I’m just so stressed out, I have so many things to juggle”
“My issue is that I have so many things to do and so little time”
“Once these three weeks are over then everything will go back to normal”
I most certainly said things like these in the past.
But these types of statements solve nothing. They simply heighten the problem and provide no solution.
I found myself living a life with these types of thoughts and it made me unhappy.
I was overworked and stressed out. I didn’t get to enjoy the time with my husband. I didn’t get to celebrate the hard work I was doing. I didn’t get to enjoy the training I was doing. Something wasn’t working for me. It may have appeared like I had it all, but my mind was frazzled and that manifested into a negative whirlwind of thoughts about my body. That is usually where my thoughts were directed. Unhappy in my body, unhappy in myself.
So I made the decision to change it. Now I didn’t wake up one day, step out of bed and everything had changed.
It was a slow and steady process.
This process required me to show up to the conversation every day. When it got hard, I couldn’t retreat. When it got emotional, I couldn’t throw in the towel. Many times I wanted to but one thought kept coming back. If you do that, you will be no better off and you will still feel unhappy.
The first step for me was identifying what my behaviours were and when they occurred. When I felt fat, I ran more km’s. When I ate too much the day before, my training was a true punishment the next day. When I felt anxious, I retreated. When I felt uncomfortable, I played it safe. These things were holding me back. I could see that.
I didn’t know what I really wanted but I knew what I didn’t want. The next step for me was to determine what I wanted for myself and my life. Now that’s a really tough question and not something I could truly answer. Knowing at this stage what I was moving away from was enough to help me in the first step. If my behaviours were associated with certain emotions, scenarios, events. Then how I could change the way I responded when these things came up.
The biggest one for me was my anxiety and lack of confidence thereafter. New situations, larger crowds, anything that was out of my “safe zone” evoked this response. It scared me to death but I knew I had to challenge this in order to overcome it.
So that’s what I did. I said yes to a course I once rejected. I said yes to a dinner in the city despite how edgy I felt. I challenged myself slowly (still within my safe zone). At each encounter, it was never that bad at the end. I needed to start small and work my way into it. Hard and fast was not an approach that I could take. Sure at the start, my heart was beating out of my chest, I was a hot sweaty mess and felt so uncomfortable, but nothing life threatening actually happened!
Small daily steps. Small awkward encounters. These small steps began to pile up into a large pile. That large pile of small wins began to change me. I wasn’t getting rejected (sometimes yes). I wasn’t breaking down into an emotional wreck every single time (sometimes yes).
The evidence began to stack up which showed me that what I was doing was providing me with a positive outcome.
I can’t stop now, once you see the truth, you can’t go back.
So I didn’t.
I began to take responsibility for my actions. I took responsibility for what I wanted my life to look like. What I wanted my days to look like and most importantly what I wanted my mind to think and produce.
I uncovered unconscious and conscious behaviour patterns to be able to redirect my life. I learned to identify where I was not taking responsibility and change my thought patterns to own it and create my own happiness.
You too can learn the tools and strategies I, and many of our women have used to make the changes in their lives that provide happiness.
This was not easy. It is something that requires attention every single day.
It can be a part of your life that doesn’t feel like a drag or a chore.
If I can do it, so can you.
- Ro x