I recently read a blog by Catherine Winter called, “Why Is Life So Hard? And What ONE Thing Makes It Easier?” She states that we can alleviate a lot of personal misery by establishing what’s really important to us, and what isn’t; what we need, and what we can offer others. Winter offers an exercise of ten questions that helps people establish what really is important, here are my answers:
- What are the most important things that you feel you need to thrive?
I’m not saying this is a good answer, but I personally believe that money is what you need to “thrive.” To me, thrive has nothing to do with family, it has to do with financial success. It’s not an emotional state, it is purely socially based.
- Which aspects of your life do you find most challenging?
Relationships. I seem to find success everywhere else, but this is where I fail. I am extremely insecure, and what is even worse… is that I am aware of it.
- How could other people help you?
I’ve never been asked this… I don’t know honestly. I don’t think it is up to other people to help me accomplish my goals or help me with my insecurities. I believe that I have to be able to find my own self love and confidence and work my way to the top career wise.
I live to help others, but I personally do no ask for help myself. This is actually something I have been told by my family and many of my close friends- I never ask for help. I don’t know if it is because I have too much pride and don’t want to feel weak, or if it is because I fear asking others for help. But I do know that if anyone reaches out to me, I will always do my best to go out of my way to do what I can.
- Which societal expectations make you feel resentful?
I’ve worked in the fitness industry since I was nineteen years old and I have been expected to uphold an image that is both physically and mentally flawless. My body has always been my greatest marketing tool and my inspirational words on social media has been a close second. For a long time, I felt that I was put on a petastool. Everyone knew my name, I was unable to just be a 21, 22, 23, 24 etc. old. My name would get brought up so much I felt that I was living under a microscope and was unable to just be myself. I resented this because it felt that people forgot that I was human too. There were times that people would dissect my every move and break me down because I wasn’t living up to my social expectations…
- Do you enjoy the work you do?
I really do. I have loved being a personal trainer since the day I started, but it is exhausting, I have always said it’s more personal than training at times, you are literally working twenty-four hours a day. But at the end of the day, I love what I do; I am truly passionate about it.
- If not, what type of work would fuel your soul?
I love training, and I have dreamt about having my own disability gym in town, but if that didn’t work out, I would own a clothing boutique. I have always loved fashion, but I just never say a professional future in it so I have stuck with being an avid shopper.
- Do you have expectations of what life should be like?
Of course, I do, doesn’t everyone? I can remember thinking when I was younger that I would be married by 26, having kids by 27, and my career would be established by 28… That plan did not quite go as expected. I envisioned myself driving a Mercedes G wagon, living in a big house on the beach in San Diego, and being able to buy whatever I pleased. I have set my vision of what life should like on material things because to me that was a sign of success.
- Are those expectations making you unhappy?
Extremely, I find myself being envious and jealous, and looking down upon myself because that is not what my life looks like. I feel disappointed in myself often.
- Would your life be a bit easier if you let go of those expectations?
Yes probably, but I also believe that expectations push us to work towards our goals. It also helps with drive and discipline instead of being content with mediocre effort. Personal expectations to me is a double-edged sword.
Winter states that once you are done answering these questions, it may offer a bit of insight into your major stressors. Once you’ve identified them, you can think about putting plans into action to work on them. Personally, I don’t know if this exercise helped me at all. I am very aware of myself and analyze my thoughts and actions. I was kind of hoping this would contribute to a call to action for my brand but as I said, I don’t know how much it really got me to think outside of what I already do. I ask you to try and let me know if this exercise helped organize your thought and assisted in taking action to your major stressors. so-fareast-