“You should be … by now”… approaching the ‘Big 30’ and revisiting my past demons.

So this week I turn the BIG 30!

I should be looking forward to it… I mean after all; I get to spend another joyful weekend in COVID-19 lockdown. 

But sarcasm aside, I should be looking forward to it, I have got some time off work and I am sure my partner will pull out some surprises.

But I am going to be completely honest, it has set off fireworks in my head, although I do think these thoughts have been building for a while now. 

I am falling victim to my own self-imposed ‘I should be… by now’ mind prison.

Now it is no secret that I suffered with depression, which has been for the most part career related. Predominantly, due to this ‘feeling like a failure’ story I have told myself, as well as feelings of massive unfulfillment when it comes to working life.

Now when we hold onto a story like this, combined with this feeling of unfulfillment, it breeds a dangerous place for anyone.  

I know this ‘wobble’ has been building for weeks … I actually know it’s coming, as I start to get ‘the thoughts’ and questions.

These include 

What do I want to do with my life?

Where am I going? 

Why am I not moving forward? 

Do I even want to do this in anymore?

The feelings of ‘feeling stuck’ 

These are just a few of them and to be honest, there often the same ones that resurface anyway and I have faced them before, numerous times.

In my book I write about methods which helped me overcome these feelings in the past, I believe in them, and it was why the book essentially became my counsellor and it massively helped!

I just feel with approaching thirty this weekend it has almost added a bit of petrol to the fire with these thoughts! As well as the ‘I should be… by now’ thought pattern.

There is a long list of what these could be!  One of them that seems to almost crop up is this ‘financially comfortable’ feeling… which is something I have never been. Now do not get me wrong, I have never been poor either and I am not pleading poverty here, but for some reason I have always believed I should be doing better. The truth is, this is me telling myself this and there is not any external pressure, it is just something I believe I should be. I think its deeply rooted in the fact for the most part my friends have always done better than me financially as well as family members, I have always believed I should be doing better and as a result of me not… I feel I am not as good as them.

For me this is one example but the “I should be” or “you should be” mentality is something that people may suffer from in different ways.

“You should be settling down now”

“You should be married now”

“You should have kids by now”

These are things that I have heard in the past. This stuff I have never given a fuck about, but when it comes to career related stuff I have always struggled.

If I were offering my advice to anyone else in this situation it would be.

You do not need to be anything at all! 

Thirty is just another number.

Fuck Society’s ‘should be’ rules!

Your only as old as you feel (and I have personally never felt fitter).

But I guarantee I am not the only one to ever feel like this approaching a big birthday milestone.

As I said earlier, I do believe these feelings have been building for a while anyway. 

A big factor for me personally is that I always feel I need to be progressing. If I feel as if I’m standing still and not moving forward … there’s an issue. I often speak about how progress = happiness. For me it really is that. When I feel I am moving forward, no matter how small the steps are, I feel happy and content and it keeps the questions and thoughts at bay.

However, when I am not it really sets of these bad thought patterns. It has a truly awful effect on me.

So, I am going to be brutally honest for the last few months now I have felt a little stuck with the Joe Bloggs Talks business. I have lacked clarity for one. I have run myself into the ground with overworking, literally locking myself away in an office but still feeling I am not actually moving forward. I have felt overwhelmed. I have felt isolated. I’ve invested money into courses which I thought would help me progress, but I don’t think has been the right one at this stage. It has removed my motivation levels completely and I’ve fell out of love with lots of parts of it!

I am consistently told that we are progressing, but I do not see it personally as much! I have felt massively frustrated by the lack of progress! It is leading me back to all those feelings and thoughts mentioned above. 

I am also told to be patient to.  Gary Vaynerchuk says that those who can hold their breath the longest win! Meaning be patient and be consistent.

Why I get so frustrated is that I have never ever lacked work ethic. I work harder than most people I know. Whereas I do see this as a trait I am proud of, I would swap it for smart working and clear clarity and a clear strategy and plan all day long! This is what will take me forward. 

What I will make a point and say as well though is it is up to me to find most of my answers. It is up to me to make any changes.

As much as I am venting my frustrations, I know it is only me who can fix them!

Feeling the way, I have been lately also serving to remind me that I still face my own problems. This has nothing to do with my age. 

Just because I write or learn or speak about mental health and wellbeing, and provide mindset techniques does not mean I cannot sometimes still suffer with problems – I clearly can. 

Similarly, just because a personal trainer teaches about health and fitness does not mean he never skips the gym or never eats cake.

This Blog was one to get things of my chest. There is a quote that reads:

“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time” – Mina Murray

This Blog has been an element of that, and I do feel better for getting this out.

I have got some questions to start answering again and to start gaining some further clarity.

That said, we are working on an exciting planner and journal project at the moment, and this blog once again just cements the importance of completing it. Writing for me is powerful and therapeutic.

I also have a birthday weekend approaching!

Until next time … 

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