Wednesday, 26 August 2015

It's OK to not be OK!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 
                                                                                                                                       2 Corinth 12:19, NIV
I am glad many of you found my last two posts to A level students so useful. If you are currently studying your A-levels, please do read them here and here.

I am keen to keep non UK based readers engaged so in today’s post I would like to stay true to the purpose of this blog, and use my personal journey to hopefully encourage some of you.

In today’s perfection obsessed world, I feel that there is a lot of pressure for us to always seem to have it together. I attribute a big part of this trend to USERS of social media sites.  People can practically edit and filter their lives into a perfect but very false reality.

By now, you might have the impression that my entire life is neatly organised into perfect checklists.  Not so my dears!

As the oldest of four sisters, a youth leader and a newly joined member to the corporate world I find the pressure to always be calm and collected bares its weight on me so much!

You can filter all you want, but...

To share from my own experience, I worked as a communications assistant last year. At the time of the interview, I made a lot of outlandish statements about my multi tasking skills, as most of us naturally would . I didn't realise I would be expected to be a task juggling, kick-ass ninja! In my dedication to proving to myself, my colleagues and managers that I wasn't going to crack at the first sign of pressure, I remained stoic and steadfast in the face of a huge work load. The result? More work was piled on my desk. 

Also, I wanted to hear "them" say “well done”, if only once, during the entirety of my 12 month contract!

It seemed, I was too scared to hear my boss say “if you can't handle it, then leave”. And besides I didn't want to appear weak, so I continued in my project in silently killing myself. Eventually this led to many sessions, locked up in a toilet bawling my eyes out. After my contract ended, I mentioned this In a meeting with my now former boss. She looked at me like I had sprouted an extra head. Her response was “Madeline, I wish you had spoken up at the time”

I got it in the end!
The lessons I have learnt in accepting that it is OK to not be OK.
1. Life is not always plain sailing – accept that and you are halfway there.
2. It’s OK to cry. I once read that by the time a woman sheds tears, it is actually a build-up of many frustrations. So crying is really a release, If you don’t let it out it will make you sick emotionally, mentally or even physically.
3. Not having a rose tinted life is what makes it unique. Most of all, it proves you are human!
4. Acceptance of your weaknesses gives you something to work on.

Sometimes, life is full of blunders!

From experience, these are the things I have found helpful in accepting that we don't live in a world where imperfections can be simply edited out.

(P.S. Numbers 2,3, 5 and 6 are usually done after a mini tantrum!...Yes I am working on this!)

1. I have accepted that crying is not a weakness
2. I have found a confidant I can speak to when things get rough. Everyone needs a sound board!
3. When I do lose it, or things do not go as planned, I try to think back to the route of the problem? I.e. Am I really this upset because I left my bank card at home? Did I miss my train because I wasn't organised? This has helped me to better compartmentalise my problems.
4.  I hate being stressed, so I keep a diary (or two) to stay on top of things

Get organised. It really helps!
5. I am now in the habit of asking myself, “In the next year, will this even matter?”. If the  answer is no, then I keep it moving.
6. My other favourite question is “What’s the lesson in this?”
7. I spend mornings praying, and committing the day into God’s hands. I found this makes me less nervous about the day, especially when I know it will be full of challenges.

Prayer and a cup of coffee!

Thank you for your time. I hope you have found this useful.  

I will continue on this theme in my next blog post on "Finding Perfect in your Imperfections".

P.S. I have not forgotten about the third and final instalment of my Love series!

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