We’re all very excited here at Lovely Silks Publishing as we launch Reboot Your Life Phoenix Edition the third in this book series.
Bronwen’s chapter Why Wait To Change has been chosen as our sample Reboot Your Life Phoenix Edition
Here’s Bronwen sharing a few words of wisdom with us:
Why wait to change?
The world is changing. Every day sees new demands and new expectations. It feels like we’re stretched even thinner than we were the day before. We’re out of control, our heads are spinning and we’re connected 24/7, so our work and home lives are now constantly blurred. It’s like there’s no escape – and every day it gets harder and harder to breathe.
To make matters worse, we’re hiding a deep, dark thought: that we’re secretly, desperately hoping that our lives won’t be like this forever. To the outside world we pull on our ‘big girl pants’ and go about every day, for no other reason than that we’ve been taught to accept our lot in life because there are plenty of others who are worse off than we are.
We constantly compare ourselves to everyone else and they seem to be so much more happy and successful, which leaves us feeling like there’s something wrong with us. What we don’t know is that almost everyone else is also hiding that same deep, dark secret thought – we just haven’t recognised it.
Finding ourselves sadly lacking in the comparison game, we take on more and more to appear competitive – but we end up leaving ourselves behind. We give until we have nothing left to give – and then we find a way to give more!
How Do I Know This? Well, Because I Perfected This Way Of Life.
In fact, I was so successful at living this way that I ended up pushing myself so hard my mind snapped and I experienced a total breakdown. You could say that I created a situation where my mind and my body had to conspire against me to force me to stop … it was that or die.
My name is Bronwen – and I am a recovering perfectionist.
I was the classic example of the saying “give something to a busy person and they’ll get it done”. I was the ‘go-to-girl’ who always got things done. I didn’t know how to say ‘no’ to anyone – I simply found a way to give everyone everything they wanted.
There was always only going to be one cost in this equation, and I realised what it was just before it was too late: it was my life.
I am living, breathing proof of what happens when you put your blinkers on and power through your life, ignoring the warning signs and refusing to acknowledge that something needs to change. My life was hauled out from under my feet in a matter of minutes. I went from being a fully functioning, award-winning executive to – in less than an hour – a puddle on the floor, shattered into a million pieces and unable to stop crying.
How do you begin to explain to others how you are feeling when you have nothing but blank space in your own mind? How do you get others to understand what you’re going through when you can’t understand it yourself?
The Simple Answer Is This: You Can’t.
For me, the only way out of this situation was to start from scratch and try to piece together how I got myself to where I was, and to rebuild myself in a way that enabled me to decide on the direction I wanted to take moving forwards.
Here’s What I Learned About Myself …
I used to live my life by chanting the mantra “… it will all be okay … just keep going …”. I ignored every warning sign my body gave me; I simply put the blinkers on and kept going. Until I couldn’t do it any more.
Before the breakdown, I went to bed every night exhausted. I closed my eyes only to struggle to fall asleep, because even though I was tired, my mind was busy processing all the problems, issues and details that I would be facing the next day.
After finally falling asleep in the early hours of the morning, I would be woken by my husband after what amounted to maybe two or three hours of sleep – at best. I lived this way for over a decade.
My first thought every day was “… it can’t possibly be time to get up …”.
My second thought every day was “… I’m so tired …” which was then closely followed by “… just get up and keep going …”.
I’d drag myself out of bed and into the shower, trying to ignore the pain in my body caused by the sheer exhaustion of trying to hold myself upright. I’d force myself into the kitchen to wolf down a quick breakfast, because even though it wasn’t yet 7 a.m., I had to urgently get to the office.
I’d spend my working hours running around after everyone else – solving their problems – before heading home to log back into the company server to complete the work I should have gotten done during the day … from home. Work-life balance? Non-existent.
There were never, ever enough hours in the day; there was always something that didn’t get done. I was harshly critical of my inability to sort everything out, and I constantly berated myself with the feeling of always letting everyone down.
I had endless buckets of empathy, understanding and kindness for everyone around me, and absolutely none of these things for myself. I was a harsh and demanding self-critic. I learned that I was a perfectionist who was driven by not being good enough and who was addicted to being busy.
I had no idea just how depleted my health was. As is turns out, it was nothing other than pure strength that had kept me upright. My energy was totally washed-out and I was seriously unwell. I was exhausted, running on fumes and I was extremely unhappy.
Worse than all of that: I would have been dead by age 45 if I had kept going like that.
Then … the breakdown.
It dropped me from such a height and with such a force that I couldn’t get back up again. I was suddenly incapable of fulfilling the role of ‘go-to-girl’ – in fact, I was barely able to manage basic daily functions. I was left completely lost and unable to determine which way to turn to ‘fix’ my situation.
If you would like to find out more about Bronwen’s story pick up your copy of Reboot Your Life Phoenix Edition today by clicking Here