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Monday, 30 January 2017

How to Motivate Yourself, and Cast Away Self Doubt

I actually wrote this blog post a few months back and just left it in my drafts folder unsure whether I was going to do anything with it, I was going through a particularly flat phase in terms of feeling like I wasn't achieving what I wanted to in life. Which in hindsight is totally ridiculous, I'm 25. How many people have their entire life sorted out by the age of 25? If at any age? 

However I'm now looking back on that moment with a totally different mindset. I took the plunge and went freelance, and although stressful and not at all secure it is actually working out okay. My work is picking up, and I'm getting more and more regular presenting slots. I spent pretty much my entire Christmas working, but I was loving it. It felt so good to be busy and doing varied things in the career that I love. I'm also reaching a great stage in terms of personal relationships, my boyfriend Rob and I have just hit the 3 year mark which feels pretty great (mainly because he's put up with me for that long). We are also moving out into a house-share next month, it'd be great to have our own flat but London is sky high when it comes to rent prices, but I'm still incredibly excited about this step. 

And looking back on what I wrote a few months ago I still feel it's relevant and useful, and no doubt I might need this advice again at some point. That's because we all have it, days or weeks when you just feel like...well - a giant turd. You have no self belief, you doubt everything you are doing, and you convince yourself that you are a failure in life. Which when you say it out loud sounds ridiculous doesn't it? But we still do it. 

Now I'm not going to be patronising with this post, there is nothing I hate more than people ordering me to think more positively with motivational Instagram quotes when I'm in a bad mood. No, I'm wallowing in my own self-pity, bugger off (I am well aware that this is me being a bit of a moody so and so). But I really do think there are little, practical things you can do to try and turn your mood around that won't require searching through your soul for inner peace with a green tea. 

I had a bit of a down week, it happens. I was honestly just miserable, wondering around with no purpose, which is really unlike me. If you aren't aware then I currently work in radio, and I'm perusing the career of a full time presenter. As much as I love radio and embrace my inner radio geek, it really can be a bastard of an industry. It's competitive, small and completely network based. This combined with the fact that there are only so many presenting jobs available, and as a presenter you are a personality and therefore essentially a brand - so sometimes you just don't fit the bill. And I know radio isn't the only industry that is like this, and I know my career struggles aren't something that I am alone with. Everyone gets this, they want to do something or be somewhere, but the knock backs and struggles just feed your lack of self-belief. And the thing is, as much as you may be in a crap mood and think you are rubbish - you know deep down, somewhere, you aren't actually as useless as you think you are. So it's all about bringing that mentality to the surface. 

There are small things that I do, to try and lift my mood and re-shift my focus.

1. Get out of the house and socialise. Seriously. I know when you are in that kind of mood all you want to do is wallow in your own self-pity. But if you do that, guess what? You will continue to feel like crap, because your mind isn't focused on anything else. Even if it's seeing a friend and venting to them for 20 minutes about it all, getting it out there will lift you up a bit and get it off your chest. Plus seeing friends or family forces you to smile, and laugh! And I hear that stuff is good for you. So crack on with it. 

2. Be productive. Do something to make yourself feel like you are moving forward in some way. Is there someone you know who can help? Is there an email you can send? A plan you can make? Do it! It will start a domino effect, and then even if it's just by a small amount, you will feel like you have progressed to a higher level than the place you were in before. 

3. Totally shallow, and I appreciate this mostly applies to females, but do your make-up! I often wake up at 5am, so I'm just not someone who wears make-up every day anymore. But I find that once I have done it, when I look in the mirror I just feel that little bit more confident and therefore happier. It's a small thing, but it does help improve your mentality for a day.

4. Find that 'go to' comfort of yours. Favourite film? Book? A particular spot you love to go walking in? Go and do it, it'll put you back in that warm and comforting mindset that you associate it with and just shift your perspective a bit with some escapism. For me, that place will always be the Harry Potter books. Which I appreciate isn't the most original one...seeing as they've sold about 500 million+ copies, but they are my personal dose of escapism and comfort, so use whatever yours is. 

Lastly, you aren't a pile of crap. Stop it, stop thinking that way. You're talented and great, and you know you are really. You have people around you that think you're awesome, and admire your qualities. And the odds are half of the paranoia and rubbish in your head, no one else is even thinking. You've got this. (Also treat yourself to a bloody lovely dinner, because why the hell not?).

If you are having a rubbish moment, then I really hope this post has helped you out some what. It happens to all of us, but just remember you have the power to turn it around. 

What do you do when you are feeling this way? I'd love to know, comment below.

Emma x

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