Today Bloody Good Chap are driving into the country to go to a wedding (good god, I’m even going to wear a dress!), and I’m going to be meeting a whole load of his relatives for the first time. Just a few years ago I remember dreading meeting my boyfriend’s family and friends because I was so cripplingly insecure that I was CERTAIN that they wouldn’t like me.
In fact I’m pretty sure they didn’t – no one likes a person who is so insecure that they constantly pretend to be someone they’re not.
There was a time in my youth where I wouldn’t even answer the phone because talking to people was too confronting for me. Talking to new people was my worst nightmare.
The first date I ever went on with a guy we went to see Mr Deeds. He found it hilarious and I found it stupid and we sat in awkward silence and then afterwards I asked him a million questions to fill the silence while we waited for our Mums to pick us up, and he asked me if I was quizzing him against my dating checklist. I just didn’t know how to have a conversation! When he called me to see if I wanted to go on another date (god knows why), I told my brother to tell him I wasn’t home and I never called him back – not because I didn’t like him, but because I was too scared. Remember those days of home phones?
So you could say that I used to give more Fs than your average giver of Fs. I cared about what EVERYONE thought of me, it was crippling.
I now give only a handful of Fs some of the time.
Mostly I give 0% Fs, but some days I still give 62% Fs.
I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m cool with who I am, and I don’t try to pretend to be anyone I’m not. Mostly. It makes social situations like this weekend infinitely easier. Now all I have to worry about is wearing heels, which is really only a handful-of-times-yearly occasion.
I rock around with a granny trolley for my organic groceries, I sometimes wear hippie pants (you know, like those MC Hammer ones) to the supermarket, I dance sober at all possible opportunities and I sing out loud to Jamie Woon while biking to yoga (though I do try to go fast and not make eye contact with anyone while I’m doing it).
I used to think people were set the way they were for ever, pessimists were pessimists for life in my world. But I’m living proof – to myself- that it is possible to completely change your behavioural traits.
Insecurity, selfishness, greed, anxiety, anger, irritability and intolerance are all symptoms of an untamed mind.
In the mindfulness world, this idea of identification with our mind (thinking that we ARE our mind) is called ego (not to be confused with ego in terms of arrogance).
I like to call the ego my “inner dickhead”, AKA Neville.
I’ve also heard the ego labelled your “inner critic”, or your “mean girl”. I’m so not into the “mean girl” shenanigans, but whatever floats your boat.
The point is, when we can learn to create a separation between ourself and our mind, we suddenly find that the negative traits that we had identified with (“I’m just a <snappy/grumpy/anxious/insecure…> person”) need no longer take up residence in our bloody good life. They can f right off, infact.
When we can put distance between ourself and that voice in our head, we realise that who we really are is a bloody good chap (or chapess).
Our real personality is the side of us that comes out when we’re having a good day.
I get many people coming to me looking for their “true self”, their “real self” (etc). I used to feel the same – the sense that everything I did was based on pleasing (or impressing) others, to the point that I forgot how to please myself and lost track of what I was passionate about.
Which is about the time I went looking for my Self.
But what I found instead is that the Self doesn’t need to be found. Our inner legend is there waiting for us as soon as we learn the techniques to create separation between ourselves and our minds.
Bloody Good Life 101 is a program to teach you exactly that. I’m launching a group program in January (Bloody Good Lifers 101), hell yes, it’s going to be bloody fun I tell you – we’ll all learn to give less Fs and find our true selves!