Hey, readers! Do you ever feel like you’re moving so quickly that you don’t even process the events unfolding in your life? This week has felt like that. I am approaching the sixth-month mark of my new life in Glasgow, and even though things are heading in the right direction, there are still so many things that overwhelm me.
Last week I burst into tears because I felt homesick and just wanted to be home with familiar faces and to see my dog (please, don’t be offended friends and family, but the lack of a pet has been VERY tough). Monday morning, I had to take a train to an area I am not familiar with to get to a client, and I got myself so upset that all the city names are weird and unpronounceable that I cried to a ticket agent, which made my whole morning schedule screwed up. Then, yesterday morning, just seconds before my husband left for work, I burst into tears because I couldn’t face the prospect of being alone for the day, again.
Now, I know, these are not “end of the world” problems. I also know that SO many people would trade their problems for mine, and believe me, I have the perspective to know when I need to suck it up and get on with things. I have lost a parent, so, I know that being homesick, missing trains, and feeling lonely are ridiculous in the grand scheme of things.
However, this doesn’t make my feelings irrelevant. Though, the reason I got so upset in the first place was because I was feeling irrelevant.
As I train to become a Life Coach, I am being educated on our emotions and how they work to meet our needs, for better or for worse.
One of those needs is achieving a feeling of significance.
I have struggled most of my life (definitely as the middle child) to feel significant.
I have also suffered most of my life trying to feel significant.
What do I mean by this?
I mean, that in as much as I have fought (unarmed battles, albeit) to feel significant, I have also suffered by not meeting my need to feel significant.
It should not come as a surprise that significance is one of the core emotional needs that we all need to meet.
Let’s face it, feeling insignificant sucks. Big time.
So, no wonder it has caused me both struggle and suffering in my life feeling a lack of personal significance. Especially after I got married and decided to start a new life in a foreign country. Talk about feeling insignificant! I’m about as insignificant as they come these days. So it’s safe to say, these feelings have been amplified by my move and are also the reason for my emotional outbursts to anybody who would listen.
Want to know the most frustrating thing about struggling to feel significant? In trying to nurse your own wounds, you do things like, for instance, starting to cry before your husband leaves for work or to the unsuspecting ticket booth employee, because, guess what? It makes you feel momentarily significant, and thus your emotional need is instantly met.
If you ever want to feel significant — just for the hell of it — get emotional or expose your insecurities in front of another human being.
Whether they have sympathy and/or empathy for you or tell you to grow the hell up, your need will be met.
As I have stated before, I am happy that people, like my husband, have made me aware of my need to feel like a victim.
I know this myself, I mean, I don’t like to hear my clients say negative things about themselves.
So, why do I get into these emotional struggles and sufferings to feel significant with myself?
The reason I get into these states is because I haven’t truly understood this internal battle until now.
The combination of continuing training and having a blog is one of the greatest things for those of us on a journey or wanting to connect with others who think and feel the same as we do. Just sitting down at my laptop and getting these words out is making me feel the right type of significance.
My struggle and suffering for the need to feel significant has distracted me repeatedly from facing real challenges.
My real challenges right now are continuing to grow my business, taking the next steps to make sure this is possible, and starting a family. However, some days these tasks feel impossible. So, instead of taking steps to constructively work out these issues, I return to my struggle and suffering, and distract myself from the reality of my situation, by telling myself the two following statements.
“I’m not significant enough to have a successful training business.” Clearly, I must be because I have gone from having no clients to filling up my schedule with clients over the past several weeks.
“Why would people train with me when they have their pick of so many other better-established trainers in this city to choose from?” I can offer something different and people enjoy working with me because of how I make them feel and the progress they make by working with me.
How To Stop Allowing Your Struggles To Define You (Part 1)
One of the questions a Life Coach will ask once you’ve established that your problem is providing you with a feeling of significance is this:
“Do you feel it’s a personal struggle that’s started to define who you are?”
Maybe you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or an eating disorder. Take a step back and ask yourself this question. Is your personal struggle defining who you are? Is there a version of you that doesn’t have this issue? Envision yourself independent of this struggle and ask yourself, “Am I the same person when I take my struggle away?” Or, more importantly, “Am I afraid of who I will become if I take my struggle away?”
If I take away my struggle to feel significant, I not only envision a life where I am capable but also a life where I don’t need others to feel capable.
I’m not suggesting that none of us ever needs a boost or help in our lives. However, if we can determine not only where our struggles lie — and subsequently whether or not we’ve allowed these struggles to define who we are – we may find a way to get past what is truly standing in our way.
As I wrap up this post I leave you with an important question to think about before we move on to part 2…
What is your struggle costing you?
Your happiness? Your health? Your relationship? Your dreams?
Think about this and then join me next Thursday for part 2!
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******I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today for Thinking Out Loud!*********
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