Getting others to believe in you.

“Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time”.  From “Desiderata” ~ Max Ehrmann 1927.

5 June 2019

Day 5

“Water Lilies and Reflection”. Acrylic by GPC

Selling your skills so others believe in you or your dream does not come easily to many people. There are those who are naturally shy, those who have suffered repeated setbacks or made many decisions which did not work out to plan, or some have even suffered belittlement, non-support or even abuse from significant others which leads to consequences for a person’s self-confidence. We should never assume that someone who is not confident in their own abilities, means that the ability is not valid. Some people must learn to be brave and realise that we must market ourselves and our strengths first, and then market our abilities.  

Learning to take compliments is a great place to start. When somebody says, “great painting” or “great presentation”, the best reaction is a straight-up “thank you” response. No over-analysing, no shyness, no putting yourself down, no saying “thanks, but…”.  People who want success need to train themselves to take the compliment and enjoy it!

Marketing yourself requires seeking external reassurance and validation; interestingly many of my introvert friends tend to need less validation or mental stimulation from external sources than do extroverts, and I would call myself an introverted extrovert (I am comfortable on my own in my own space for extended periods of time needing no outside stimulation, but thrive in a team when there is a common goal.) I also love receiving rewards for work well done either on my own or in a team, so maybe that is my extroverted side.

Believing in yourself and your own achievements can be difficult when you are not in the place you imagined yourself to be in, or things around you are not going to plan. Stay flexible, keep searching but enjoy the moments of the now, and never stop learning. All those frustrating instances are lessons in disguise. All the disappointments, near misses and slow-moving plans are getting you one step closer as long as you look for the lessons, stay focused on the objective, keeping eyes, ears and the mind open to possibilities. Sometimes failures are opportunities in disguise.

Projecting to others what you want them to see about you and your endeavours starts with your strength in believing that you are unique and authentic, your work is of value, and your efforts are undeniably positive and productive. Be yourself; allow others to see you how you want to be seen.

Gabe (GPC)

Determination: (noun) definition – firmness of purpose. Synonyms: steadfastness, will power, tenacity, boldness, courage, resolution.

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo da Vinci.

To be determined to get back up more times than one falls down is an admirable trait; a virtue that all champions around the world have in common. People who have succeeded after many failures have true grit in the face of adversity; people like inventor Thomas Edison, film maker Stephen Spielberg or writer Dr Seuss all had their ideas rejected time and time again, but they persisted, and in the end they triumphed.

The world is full of stories of persistence, bravery and determination to win against the odds, to be heard, to be seen, to have an innovative idea accepted, or they had a whole-hearted belief that their ideas could change the state of the world. On a global scale there are people who refused to back down or to give in, people who had seemingly radical thought and ideologies of the time which went against the status quo, like Emmaline Pankhurst one of the leading suffragettes for women’s rights in the U.K, and Nelson Mandela a stoic campaigner against apartheid in South Africa. Both were arrested and suffered for their opinions and their actions against the mood of society at the time, but in the end won favour and changed the world.

I am not suggesting that I or anyone else should need to be so anti-normative in challenging society to achieve freedom in the context I am addressing such as finances, career and independence. I am suggesting that with refusal to give up, using courage and determination to succeed, comes the will and the power to make it a reality. Never giving up means that one keeps searching no matter the odds, and eventually a solution or a transformation takes place, whether it is within the problem or within the person, with action comes change.

It has also been known that serendipity intervenes; one is in the right place at the right time, an influencer understands the struggle and offers a lifeline, an introduction leads to a job offer, a vital book is discovered which leads to different solutions, or the teacher appears when the student is ready. But one must stay in the game, keep searching, never quitting, always confident that success is possible and will happen.

True grit will get you there.

Gabe

Finding Your Purpose.

“To know yourself and what your life’s design is meant to achieve, is to know the divine purpose.” GPC

If, and when, you find your skillset, what do you do with it?

In this Western capitalist world, to gain the comforts of life above a subsistence level takes either capital to start a business, great marketing skills, good luck and great timing, a competitive edge, or a knockout skill or product that very few have or can compete with. Making a living is based on Commerce; it is a simple premise of supply and demand…if what you have is not in demand, or there is a glut in the market, what else can you do to contribute? Could you become better at marketing yourself, or adjust your course? Explore and promote another talent you already have, or learn another skill?  

“Ocean Storm” Watercolour 2018 GPC

Giving up is not an option, not for me anyway; my challenge is to make something more of my skills, with no investment capital to start a business, just my time and my belief in myself that I have so much more to offer. I will succeed in finding freedom from stress whether it is financial or existential.

First things first: which skills are in demand and which skills do I have that the world wants? Sounds simple right?  Starting with what one loves to do, what ignites the passion, what has in the past or still does make one jump out of bed every day? These are the things I will first search for purpose. Today I contacted a local Community Garden Group; I have always loved gardening and I now find myself without my own piece of dirt to grow food. I love art; I could seek out a local art group or theatre group to paint backdrops; it is an awesome way to network, doing what you love with like-minded people. I also love to cook, so could search for a community kitchen to be involved with. Whenever my life has been at a loose end, I find solace in being involved in community projects. To me this is what humanity is; help others where you can.  So, if you are reading my blog, and you too are at a crossroads, you don’t know what or where you are supposed to be, try volunteering; it is extremely rewarding, for you AND for those you help.

In the meantime, believe in yourself; we all have something special, we all have our story, let it out.  

Gabe

Networking

2 June 2019

Day 2

Network: (verb) definition – meet with like-minded people to exchange knowledge and connections for mutual business or social benefit.

Synonyms: connect, link, interact.

No man is an island, entire of itself…” John Dunne

Support

It has been said that to be truly successful in life takes a supportive team; therefore connectivity, conversation, encouragement and mutual respect are the way to achieve success. In my search for financial freedom (and freedom to be worry-free, freedom to be useful, freedom to make a difference), I realise I will have to learn to network with like-minded people, find mentors or a community of people who will encourage me, teach me and hear me.

My first steps towards this end have been to study a degree in Community Development over the past two years whist working in the community in aged and disability care. This has taught me to be brave, to value my input into these vulnerable people’s lives in making a positive difference. Opening one’s self up to scrutiny in the provision of service is daunting, as client’s may rightly say that I have not experienced what they are living. This is where empathy and reflective listening are paramount to understanding others; thinking critically before responding, keeping a kind heart and clear mind, trying to stay right there in the moment is how one helps those in need.

So within the search for my own freedom particularly in finding a way to be independent, to be financially viable and of benefit to society, I have found courage; courage to fail, get back up and build resilience, courage to focus on who I am and what I have to give and not on negative opinions of me or my skills, courage to continue to strive in the face of adversity, and courage to never give up, ever.

Being brave and putting one’s self “out there”, being unafraid of negative opinions, finding courage to network and to connect with those who have succeeded, with those on the same path, or even with those who tried and failed, courage to be vulnerable but steadfast and to listen, share and learn; these are traits worth building and are surely positive steps to freedom.  

“Fortune favours the brave”. (From “Phormio” by Terence 161 B.C.).

P.S. as it is the weekend, I have been cooking up a storm of wholesome and nourishing food. Today is my Lime and Thyme Marinated Mushrooms with cream cheese on sourdough.

Getting Game Ready.

Scope, Plans, Ducks in a row.

“Real change in the world will only come with a change of heart The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be“. Dalai Lama

The first thing I think of when I think about the path to reaching a goal is my mental state. Am I ready? Do I feel I can win? Do I feel I deserve to win? In other words, have I put in the hard yards to be prepared? In order to get to this point, I needed to work hard on my health, including physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Over the past few years, I have taken stock of unhelpful foods, destructive thoughts, bad habits, dead-end jobs, and even unhelpful or destructive friends. These are part of who I am, I accept them, I encouraged some of them in my past as they were fun or relevant for the time, I respect them and love them, learnt a hell of a lot from them all, but now I no longer can justify having them around me. They are not within the scope of my purpose. They are incompatible with where I need to be, so beginning with my attitude, I surrender these unhelpful moments to the past.

Going through a private and highly traumatic series of events which saw my family in crisis a few years ago, I struggled with concentration; I kept pining for the past and carrying guilt that was not rightfully mine to carry.  I allowed myself to be beaten up by my own self and by the attitudes of a select few others because I just did not have the confidence to stand up for myself or to understand how to separate “me” from chaos. I saw the future full of heartache, I lost all joy in the moment, I forgot how to be happy, and it was after a few months of emotional collapse, still turning up to my workplace in a state of zombification, with an inability to cope with seemingly small problems, rushing breathlessly from moment to moment, even surviving a car accident where I rolled down an embankment, narrowly missing being impaled on a fence strainer post, that I finally found a way out from the bottom of the pit I was in.

I re-read “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle (2004), changed the music I listened to, the books I read, the radio stations I played in the background, I removed as many painful experiences as I could from my life including some toxic people and toxic memories, and started to find peace within. I listened to quiet and reflective background music when I could such as binaural beats and alpha wave music on YouTube, it really quietens the inner beast! I sought strength in physical exercise and meditative practice, and learnt to forgive, especially myself. Eventually I remembered humour, and how much I loved to laugh, and sought out ways to bring humour back to my life, even joining a Comedy Improvisation Group to help me re-emerge from my shell and to give me back my confidence for handling public speaking (I did not think I was very good at it, but wow, I had some fun).

I changed the way I thought about life, starting with building stronger emotional intelligence and recognising the power of my empathy to others in bringing a feeling of peace to my very core.  I began on a journey of professional and personal development with study course after study course, rolling with the directions of whatever work I happened to find myself in; I was determined to excel and to understand, and I am still on this path ten years later. Thanks to all these changes, I was finally able to be happy in the here and the now instead of yearning for the past or fretting for the future. That is not to say I do not slip back occasionally, I do, but I am now able to recognise the unhelpful moments, I acknowledge them and move them on. My daily goals now are to exercise, be in nature, walk, swim, dance, move my body, learn new skills, talk with like-minded people, share experiences and great food, listen reflectively, laugh a lot, cry when I need to, be here. This is how I intend to get to my freedom.

Very early today on my first day of the 90 Days to Freedom, I sat on a rock at the edge of the ocean, letting the connection of the planet underneath me course through my feet and hands, feeling “grounded”, watching the waves smash into the sand and rocks, huge waves that churned and broke into a thousand crystal shards; I was so close I could feel the mist. I stayed in the moment for a while, then when at peace, I formulated the trajectory of my next steps in my life’s expedition. I went home and baked the best wholesome biscuits I could think of to share with my family and friends and thought about what comes next.

Gabe’s Heart Healthy Oat and Date Biscuits (with a hint of chocolate)

So, am I game- ready? Yes, very much so. Bring on the future!

Gabe. *

Tolle, Eckhart. 2004. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Sydney, Australia. Hachette. https://www.eckharttolle.com/power-of-now-excerpt/.

Occupation: (noun) definition – a job or profession

Synonyms: job, day job, profession, work, line of work, line of business, trade, employment, position, post, situation, business, career, vocation, calling, craft, skill, field, province, walk of life, purpose.

The luckiest country – Beautiful Sydney Harbour from the air.

For the past two years, I have worked part time, studied part time…and lived part time… I have very few possessions, no land or house or fancy car, no massive savings account, no money in trust or inheritance waiting for me; there is just me and a few thousand dollars debt including HECS. I chip away at paying my debts, but I have unfulfilled ambition and a lot of drive, but still remain under-employed. I want to travel, to be independent, to have some fun, to splurge on my loved ones or even to spoil myself a little or a lot. I would also love to make a positive impact on others, to make a difference in the world.

Since January of 2017, I have searched for more work, submitted hundreds of applications, had loads of interviews, yet I believe as I am well and truly into my 50s, here I am, still under-utilised; I am grateful that I have some employment, working in aged care in the community, (a very emotionally rewarding role), but it does not provide enough income or enough activity for my over-active brain. I have volunteered in the community over many years or immersed myself in art, sport and exercise, nature, family, cooking, or gardening. To me, the opposite of working or being occupied is “inertia”; a total loss of self waiting for an outside influence to change the form, or simply, it is like falling into a deep black hole or vacuum… wasted energy.

You see, I am a creative person; I have a million ideas on everything from kid’s stories, recipes, artistry, philosophy and society, I just lack the outlet to bring these to the surface.

My challenge: Over the next 90 days, I will set out to prove to myself, and to you, that with the right focus, and with SMART goals, one can get from here… to there… (SMART goals: Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Relevant; Time-bound). I will research precedents, ask questions, analyse, formulate opinions, and record facts and my findings, and do some miles for you dear readers. Bon Voyage 🙂