A few days ago a handsome dude that I’m dating said to me “I don’t think you have a negative bone in your body.” It was quite the shock for a former self-professed pessimist.
I remember people outwardly describing me as a pessimist
I used to agree, I was proud that I was “realistic”.
I’ve been back in my hometown for a wedding over the weekend just gone, it’s always weird being back there with all the memories of old relationships and friendships in which I was a very different person. There was a lot of pretending going on when I lived in Auckland 7 years ago.
From the outside I would have looked like your average person, happy, hardworking, together.
But inside I was lost, numb, really rather bored with life.
I picked fights with boyfriends to create drama and excitement (though at the time they felt rational), had run ins with friends when my strong moods make me irritable and intolerant at the drop of a hat. I liked my own way and I didn’t consider any other.
I was ruled by my emotions, never satisfied, and often bored. Never excited to wake up. I always found myself thinking about something else when other people were talking to me. I tried not to but I always ended up bitching about other people with friends. It made me feel better somehow. But also worse. I got really very angry in traffic, and I was very, very impatient and reactive.
And I was really insecure.
I cared so much about how I looked. I thought people would only like me if I was hot. Which meant never getting my hair wet so it would stay straightened. Which meant not going camping or swimming with my head underwater or dancing in the rain or leaving the house without a hood and umbrella. I wouldn’t even take off my eye makeup when sleeping next to my long term boyfriend. I thought he wouldn’t like me without it.
Being back in Auckland and being around my old friends reminded me of how much I’ve changed.
I’m happy. Content. I listen to people – properly.
I enjoy the moment where I am, rather than always seeking to be elsewhere. I appreciate everything I have. I don’t pick fights, I’m tolerant, I’m malleable to new ideas, and I go with the flow much more often (though I prefer my own way ;)) I have passion and excitement when I talk.
I know what I’m doing with my life, and I really fucking care about it.
And others. I hate speaking negatively about others and try to avoid people who do. I make friends easily, I’m comfortable in my own skin, I’m not so much bothered by what others think of me. I have a granny trolley. I’m not very reactive to others’ rudeness and anger anymore. I feel stable, and sure, like I’m on the right track.
I’m still a perfectionist, I still like my way, I still pile too much on my plate and freak out. I still care about how I look, but not to the point that it alters my behaviour. I still find my mind wandering, but I know what to do when it does. My emotions still get the upper hand sometimes, but not for long, I know how to reign them back in.
This for me, apart from anything external, is what makes a bloody good life.
I’m still me. I’m just less of the bad and more of the good.
The point is to say that your negative traits aren’t set- they’re changeable.
And it doesn’t require any magic or mumbo jumbo.
It requires learning to rewire your brain with simple techniques. Mindfulness. Gratitude. A bunch of other things I go into with my clients.
I’ve been reading lately about how our brains have a built in negativity bias. Without techniques and support, most of us are hardwired to see negativity and dissatisfaction in life. More on that another day.
Project Self is about showing as many people as possible that that gnawing sense of dissatisfaction that threads through the background of your life- most of us have it- it’s changeable!
Whether you go on that journey by yourself, or by reading my posts and others, or by working with me in Bloody Good Life 101- it’s all awesome. If life’s already awesome- awesome!
Want to learn more about being less of the bad and more of the good? Check this out. And either way, sign up for my newsletter for more honesty in your inbox.