I am not a victim

I am daily shedding the idea that I’m on the backfoot, forgotten about or living a messy life

Truth bombs I chose live by... 1. I am not a victim 2. I'm seen, heard and loved by a powerful Papa God 3. Every chapter of my life has power and meaning. Even the awful parts. 4. My life carries a message that impacts others 5. I reap what I sow… compounding of everyday decisions 6. I hold space between my hard work and for Papa God to move

Truth bombs I chose to live by…

1. I am not a victim

I am daily shedding the idea that I’m on the backfoot, forgotten about or living a messy life. I refuse to let any ideas of victimhood shape my identity. In spite of the many challenges that I’ve faced in the last three years, I will not allow my identity to be tarnished by victim thinking. It’s an awareness and habit I’ve had to practice daily. I say out loud who I truly am and say a verbal big fat no to feeling on a downer that my life isn’t where I want it to be. The first step of shaking off victim thinking isn’t awareness (that comes a close second). But realising the harm that type of identity is doing to our thought life and how we show up in the world.

I’ve noticed in people where victim thinking has taken root over a long time span - there can be a weird comfort to their unhappiness. Victim thinking equates to powerlessness. When someone loses their power they take on a two forked view to shit circumstances. Firstly, everyone else or someone else is to blame. Secondly, they avoid taking the reins of responsibility, and having the confidence to own or change the situation that they’re in. I can think of at least a couple of beautiful, talented, bright people who have faced some extremely hard circumstances. Sadly as they’ve aged (and victimhood ages you much faster!), their regrets, blame and unforgiveness have taken up residence and manifest in their thinking, speech and behaviour. Especially in the area of follow through or being powerful enough to assert their own boundaries or change. Witnessing that from a distance has been a huge reminder not to let the feelings of victimisation linger. Even if I feel I have been victimised - which is a legitimate feeling to express - I ensure there’s a finite timeline to how long I feel that. It’s a feeling not part of my identity or how I think moving forwards.

It’s very evident in someone’s speech: “They’ll never change…” “That would never happen to me…” “I’m never able to do that like so and so can…” Their language is defeatist and on the backfoot from the get go. There’s also a lack of intellectual curiosity to try or explore new things. Often victim thinking is also minimising pain. So that sense of adventure and curiosity becomes defeated too.

We're more powerful than we realise.

Choice and mindset governs so much of where we'll end up.

2. I'm seen, heard and loved by a powerful Papa God

I have come to know God as good, kind, for me and over the top generous.

A lot changed for me when I discovered the tenderness of God. Specifically the Father’s heart. Sadly not every follower of God I know has really grabbed a hold of this at a heart level. What I mean by that is knowing in the deepest part of my soul that He is trustworthy, good and is authoring great things in my life. Even when life is falling apart. Great things can come out of tough situations. I’m certainly not going to attempt a one size fits all blanket statement over suffering or other people’s pain. It would be insanely insensitive, naive and trite to do that. But I do have a confidence in asking God to reveal more of His Father’s heart to me. His tenderness and kindness - I’m not ever going to tire of. Believing His infinite nature, I’ll also never fully know enough of what He’s about. But exploring and seeing Him reveal that to me, will increase faith in me and a deeper sense of me belonging to Him.

3. Every chapter of my life has power and meaning. Even the awful parts

Nightmare situations can create an incredible amount of movement and change that *can* produce radically different and noticeable results. Actually positive results. It’s a totally unique, brave opportunity - pain drives big change that other more ‘day to day’ life can barely get the needle to move on. I’ve had my mind opened up to the possibility that my future partner lives in another country - and that’s created a big incentive to travel and explore. I just didn’t have before.

Incremental day by day change, rarely forces enough of my attention on changing sizable parts of my life. I just didn’t have the incentive to dream and imagine new possibilities around an overseas romance and travel.

When I went into burnout - I lost huge amounts. Financially, a great previous job, a lot of confidence, weeks and weeks of creative output that I never got to put my name to or own. But above all of that it cost me my mental health. The most precious of things that took many months to rebuild. Because it felt cataclysmic it opened my eyes to so much of my life being up for grabs in terms of change: my career (huge), it opened the door to writing, change of financial habits and lifestyle, and the big one I mentioned around travel. I now have an open mind towards the people, dates and adventures waiting for me in California. California?! I would have never considered this before at all! My previous comfortable life would just not have made room for it.

4. My life carries a message that impacts others‍

My life isn’t really about everything I get to tick off and do.

Valuing how my life impacts other people - this holds more weight. If I focus my attention towards other people over myself (without losing my boundaries or self care) - then this becomes my super power. Have you thought about how your life serves other people?

It can be things we sacrifice and also things that supercharge and energise passion. As I’m stepping into remission I’m aware that people are watching how I handle the next coming months. How I spend my time, what I talk about. I want to look back on my life and say I lived courageously. And that I helped people make braver moves in their own life. I’m serious and committed to that. I’ve also felt the opposite of that message. And been around people led by fear. I intentionally stand against that lifestyle.

5. I reap what I sow… compounding of everyday decisions

Where personal growth is concerned: the plateau is a lie.

Comfort and fear of failure would try to convince you the plateau is a safe ledge to hang about on. It’ll even be audacious enough to convince you the plateau is a place to build your foundations on. That’s the equivalent of building a house on quicksand. The plateau doesn’t exist. We’re either growing or dying. We get to choose, but the choice is pretty limited.

So I choose growth. I choose having difficult conversations rather than putting up with stuff or avoiding someone. I welcome someone I trust having those difficult conversations with me. I want to know my blindspots or if I’m unconsciously causing hurt.

I invite challenge and opportunity into my life. I really don’t want to cling onto staying in the same place. My everyday decisions, no matter how small and inconsequential they seem up close, do matter and build towards something over time. I get to discern if I’m investing in junk and escapism or things that help me improve and put me in new places. Over time there’s an evidence trail for everyone that shows what you did or didn’t sow into. That excites and motivates me.

6. I hold space between my hard work and for Papa God to move

I touch on this in a previous episode, Cancer changed me. I was kind of addicted to hustle content on my phone. You know the sort. Sadly in my case not even the GirlBoss stuff which ruins my feminist creds. A lot of Gary Vee, Rob Moore, even some Tony Robbins if I needed to feel super caffeinated. Yup. I was a hustle devotee. Now I’m on the other side of burnout, and the significant time frame it’s taken for me to get over, I have a deeper appreciation for balance and clearly defined work cut off points. Can you hear a little but brewing? But the only thing I hold in tension is seeing how hard work does produce good things in my life. Let’s be clearer on what I define as hard work. Hard work that’s healthy is showing my commitment and dedication to values, people and excellence that I care about. Hard work that’s hustle is working the blood, sweat and tears out of every hour God gives, and feeling constant pressure to grind on. It’s working as if everything is solely reliant on my own talents, ability and hours I put in. There’s little regard for breaks and giving space for my head to decompress away from the problem or screen. It’s not sustainable. You know when overwork is catching up on your emotions and anxiety levels. I can work hard without hustling. I need to find other sources outside of work for joy, fun and switching off.

I’ve found the most exciting moves in my career, haven’t always been the ones I’ve generated. (Even though there’s definitely been some good ones I’ve been proactive in). I recognise for me hustle and fear are connected. It’s when my mind is in scarcity mode and I think if I can’t make this happen for me who will? There’s certainly times where stepping up is so needed. But there’s been beautiful times when I take my foot off the gas and see what Papa God wants to do. The last three years have been me and Him slowly figuring that out together. It’s not always been pin sharp and strategically clear. It’s felt fumbly, uncomfortable but also I can see some of my bravest work has been put out into the world. Which honestly feels exhilarating. In my previous design career I can’t really compare how clear my creative voice and messaging has now become. I feel I’ve got a story to tell and strong desire to share other peoples’. My new message is how courage and creativity are inextricably linked. That message just wasn’t there for me before. I tended to serve, through design other peoples’ messages.

I can say through the mess God has strengthened my voice. He’s enabled me to find clarity and a cause I’m invested in. When I told you about the things I’d lost earlier - yep that was tough to accept. But on the flip side, there’s a whole big space I’ve got in my life. I genuinely believe that’s a space Papa has created for better things to come into my life. The discomfort and pain has to lead to new people, friendships and purpose blossoming in my life that wouldn’t have been possible to usher in previously. How can you do that with a full to the brim lifestyle? My hope isn’t whimsical but anchored to a confidence in His character. As He loves us like a daughter or son we can hope for his goodness to show up in our lives.

If I hold onto overwork and hustle, I’m essentially adopting an all down to me mindset. Which I don’t really want. That’s going to be too tiring on my weary shoulders.

These are the truth bombs I choose to live by.
Keep being courageous x

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