I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud the last few months, which is quite honestly why you haven’t really heard from me. I almost shut down this entire website because I struggled to look myself in the mirror.
To say I have been feeling guilty is an understatement.
However, to truly get where I am coming from with this post, I need to start at the beginning and share the journey to where I am now and the really interesting discovery I found today.
Caveat: If you are reading this in a hurry, please stop… grab yourself a cub of something and slow down enough to read it from the beginning through to the end.
The start of it all
When I started this website (which used to just be a blog), I set out on a mission. The mission was actually not about changing the lives of women with endometriosis or turning this into a business or anything like that. It was about me – yes, it was just about me and my mission to cure myself of endometriosis. I wanted a place to store the information and have it available anytime, that I could write in daily as I went through my journey to discover how I could manage endometriosis naturally. It was even called “cure endometriosis” for the first part of it’s life because that was my personal mission.
I was determined and I was fired up. I wanted to rebel against the “big pharma” and “nasty corporations” selling us sugar laden products and pesticide ridden foods. I was going to fight against the “system” and prove them wrong – that I could get rid of endometriosis and that all those years of suffering with surgery after surgery wasn’t needed and hormone treatments were all bad and I was going to find a way to overcome this – totally naturally!
It was a tough journey. I faced countless obstacles and did the most ridiculous things to try to overcome endometriosis. It seemed the more the medical system warned against something, the more I wanted to do it. I did fasts, liver flushes, stuck things up my vagina, up my bum and did just about anything I came across in the aim of overcoming endometriosis – some worked and some were down right dangerous. Looking back, I now know that many of these methods were not ideal for really healing my body – but more on that in another post.
I achieved the goal
Here’s the thing…
I did eventually achieve my goal. I finally got to a point where I no longer experienced pain or symptoms from endometriosis. I was, what I now consider my “uber healthy” version of myself. I was slim, my hair glowed, I had clear beautiful skin but more importantly my endometriosis no longer caused me pain, bloating, clotty blood, pain during sex or any other issues.
YES! I had reached my goal in overcoming endometriosis.
And herein lies the trouble with that…
When things started to shift
Over the last year or so I noticed a big shift in my mindset and my attitude. I have had a hard time trying to work out what was going on and an even harder time sharing it with you. It probably came about after moving to Auckland and finally attending college in person – I was studying my degree in Naturopathy through distant learning prior to moving to Auckland.
I think what changed was that I was finally surrounded by like-minded people. People that got what I was talking about, who understood the importance of healthy eating and looking after our bodies. At first, this was a warm welcome to my mission and made me feel more confident in what I was sharing and more supported in my message.
As time went by a strange thing started to happen…
I started to rebel against the very same things I was learning. At first it was little things… a chocolate bar here and there or a missed meal here or there – we can just put that down to stress with being at college or whatever…?
As the months went by however, I started to notice that things started getting more extreme and I have been feeling so incredibly guilty about it.
Ironically, it was when I went to a talk by Lani Lopez where she made a joke about going to visit people at the college and absolutely craving McDonalds afterwards, that it kinda hit me – okay, I never went as far as McDonalds but I certainly did go as far as eating burgers and pizza’s!
My sugar cravings took over again and I found myself consuming chocolate on a daily basis again. I wasn’t always eating or when I did eat, I wouldn’t make the best food choices. I remember making an entire batch of cookies one day and eating the whole lot in under 4 hours – I remember telling myself it was okay, cos they were gluten free cookies!
I was staying up late and not sleeping well. Ignoring my own advice. I stopped doing Yoga and found myself in this complete state of stress – which I recognised but didn’t seem to do anything about. I felt guilty, anxious and to be honest… I was questioning everything. My life, my purpose, why I was studying, why I was doing any of it…
It was as if something had ticked over in me and I started to rebel against the very things I was being taught or things I kept reading in books. It was as if I had a room full of people from the entire health sector, standing there all telling me to eat this, avoid that, drink this, take this herb, not that herb, add in this supplement and not that one, stand straight, practice deep breathing, meditate, do yoga, be mindful etc. etc.
and a big fat part of my child-like nature just went: NO! I DON’T WANT TO DO ANY OF IT!
I started to rebel against the very things I had fought so hard to share. The ironic thing was, they were the things that had got me well and I knew inherently were good for me but for some strange reason I just wanted to rebel against all of it.
What was going on?
At first I put it down to becoming complacent about how I treated my body. After all, I wasn’t experiencing pain anymore – why not indulge for a while?
The sad thing was it didn’t seem to apply to only my health choices…
The effects on my business
I started to notice this trend within my business too. I would set out to achieve things or set tasks for myself and I simply wouldn’t do them. I would rebel against my very own schedule! I honestly thought I was losing my mind!
How could I set myself a schedule of what I want to do that week and then do exactly the opposite?
What was wrong with me?
I started to consume massive amounts of information on how to build a business, how to market myself and how to grow a following etc. etc. I believed that perhaps these tools could give me structure, help me decide on what was important and make the journey easier. Help me stick to doing things I had set out to do.
But once again…
I rebelled. I found myself in that same place:
This expert says you should do this, that person says you should do that, you should be on Facebook, you should advertise, you should be on Instagram, you should write blog posts, you should do video, you should create downloads, you should… you should… you should.
I started to question my motivations for doing this work. Why couldn’t I set out to do the things I need to do? What was holding me back? Was there some big fear I had that needed to be conquered?
Business mentors told me I had blocks, fears and things which were holding me back – I just needed to break free from them. Do these things.. try this… meditate, read this book, follow this person on YouTube etc. etc.
And once again….
I just yelled out:
NO! I DON’T WANT TO DO ANY OF IT!
So, this is where I am now…
In the last week I have come down with a terrible cold. I haven’t actually had one for over 4 years, so it hit me pretty bad. It was so severe that I couldn’t focus enough to read and could just veg on the cough and watch movies on Netflix. I honestly think this is our bodies way of ensuring we actually take some time out and actually reflect on what we are doing within our lives and take stock so we can feel better and move forward.
The big realisation
Today, I felt physically better and decided I would slowly give the house a light clean and was going to put on my favourite Spotify Playlist I created called happy days. By accident I must have selected Happy Podcasts and found myself listening to a podcast by Gretchen Rubin called Happier. At first I thought the podcast would be all about how to be happier in life and some whimsical stuff about how to think positive etc but it landed up being about what she calls her Four Tendencies.
Gretchen explains that we all have different reasons for doing things or things that motivate us. For some of us we are simply motivated by doing things for others, while others of us need a reason why we should do things. She breaks these down into 4 distinct tendencies and she explains that we are pretty much born with these tendencies.
The outer expectations are what others expect of us while the inner are what we expect of ourselves – so if we set goals for ourselves that no-one else knows about. If you want to know what sort of person you are, do the quiz.
Here is an outline of the different types:
This whole concept has really resonated with me on a big level because I have always wondered why some people are super good at setting goals and achieving them, while others need a coach and others just need a good reason why.
Here’s the thing I worked out…
I am a REBEL.
Watch Gretchen Rubin’s video that defines me sooo well:
Suddenly, all the questions and reasons for everything started to make sense. When I felt like I was fighting the “big pharma”, I felt like I was fighting Goliath and was rebelling against the system. I didn’t want to be told I couldn’t!
When eating healthy and treating our body right was all I heard and was being told all sorts of information on what to do about it, I rebelled against that by eating batches of cookies and consuming chocolate daily. I didn’t want to be told what to eat or what to drink – I preferred it when I decided that on my own!
And finally when every business mentor and coach told me to do this or do that, I rebelled against them because I didn’t like being told what to do by them either – even though I had spent $1000’s of dollars to get their advice!
The annoying thing is, it seems that my rebellious nature is getting in the way of me actually achieving what I want in my life and my personal mission with this business – as my husband said: “You are shooting yourself in the foot!”.
But, the good thing with finding Gretchen’s work is that I finally can understand myself better and why I have been making the decisions I have been over the last few months. I can uncover more about my personal motivations and can work out ways to work within my own tendency.
How this changes the approach
I am back on the “wagon” as they say… but it not coming from a place of “I must” or “I should” or “so-and-so, told me this is a good idea which is why I am doing it…”
Instead I am coming from a place of empowerment. One of choice.
So, it is now about:
I choose to do…
There is also a deeper level to this, which makes the whole motivational reasoning much stronger. When we use a feeling to motivate us, it is much more likely that we will stick with it.
I choose to do _ because I want to feel _
So, for instance:
Let’s say we were stuck in the old mindset of “I must do Yoga today because Melissa said it will help me loosen my adhesions”.
A reframe would be: “I choose to do Yoga today because I want to feel looser in my body, freer in my spirit and happier in my mind.” – doesn’t that instantly make you want to do Yoga?
Explore this further for yourself
You can pre-ordered Gretchen’s new book, The Four Tendencies and get the Better Than Before book for yourself to determine what your tendencies are and how you can use this knowledge to help with your motivation.
I would love your thoughts on all of this, if you feel like sharing. Do you resonate with some of my experience? Do you find that you seem to revolt against eating healthy because you somehow want to rebel against being told what to do? Or do you find it hard to get motivated unless you have a justified reason for why you should do it? Perhaps you need to be accountable to someone?
I know this is a longer than usual post and is predominantly about me but hope it has given you some thoughts on your own motivations and perhaps you are a rebel just like me, so can understand my journey and my experience.