Letters to Life

Letters to Life (63)

“My only competition is the person I was yesterday”Unknown

Dear Life,

Psychology class taught me about conflict theory and its division of people into two groups: the one is focused on cooperaton working together towards something, being a part of a team. The other is competition based and its members strive only to always be the best, regardless of others.

I believe, Life, that even in pretending I was cooperative, I’ve spent the majority of you being the opposite, desperately trying to be the best at something, just so someone would acknowledge my talents, my worth, my sole existence.

Everything was a competition to me which, in my eyes,  I was constantly failing. This made me try even harder to gain everyone’s (or just someone’s) respect, turning you into a vicious circle of failure, Life.

This week I met someone who’s a lot like the me from twenty years ago: always keen to shower anyone and everything with never-asked-for-and-seldomly-accurate-wisdom, pressuring for others to believe their words so as to elevate everyone’s opinion of them.

This encounter reminded me that somewhere in my past, Life, I’ve strayed from my base camp and have found solace on the other side of competition. Thankfully, I liked the ambience here much better, as now, years later, being cooperative keeps rewarding me with growing amounts of inner peace.

There’s less fighting, there’s less frustration, there’s less seriousness. There’s much more room for fun, laughter, and, most importantly: others.

If psychology is right on this one, I feel I am on the better team now. There’s more people willing to help each other out, and even if you don’t excel at something (or anything), there’s acceptance and kindness all around.

Being competitive is a lonely walk and I thank you for leading me the opposite way.

You and I, Life. That’s teamwork.


 

 

Are you competitive or cooperative? Let me know in the comments (or write a better blog post about this topic) 😉 ↓↓

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (62)

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we can fear less”Marie Curie

Dear Life,

Every Friday we list all of our successes in my new coaching community.

This week, Life, I felt I had none to share.

As I struggle to make social media work in my favour, everything I do turns around to slap me in the face. It’s gotten to a point where Facebook is starting to feel eerily like my high school: no matter how hard I try to fit in, I simply don’t.

In high school I would try to copy “normal” others so they would like me (or at least leave me be), yet the results were a saddening divide in attention received: where they would be showered with positivity, I’d find myself a lonely 180 degrees away from that exposure.

Social media in general leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth and a headache to accompany my frustrations. I honestly don’t see the appeal of it, yet I realise I need it to grow a successful business.

As I shared my issues on my community’s page, several advises were given. All very well-meant, none very well-useful…

(If I state I hate social media, I think the worst thing to advise me is to “try Instagram.” I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’ll fix it)

Eventually, my business coach replied: “There are other marketing ways to explore which we’ll dig into soon. For now, take some time away from social media so as to not raise an aversion to it.”

That reminded me of something else, Life: my tendency to move too fast, skipping a few steps along the way.

Maybe I am different than most others, but if you taught me anything, Life, I know that when I do find my way, there’s no stopping me!

And that is my biggest success this week.

 

 

 

 

Let’s see if WordPress people are more eager to comment 😉 What were your successes this week? List them below ↓↓

Aside

About Heaps Of Money & Leaps Of Faith

To quote a certain blonde pop singer I was a huge fan of at ages 12-14: “It’s been a while. I know I shouldn’t have kept you waiting, but I’m here now.”

(In case of any doubt: yes, I mean Britney Spears)

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged or spent enough time reading your blogs, but I am here now 🙂


A few weeks ago my mother came to me and told me about a nightmare she’d had: her and my father had died, my sisters had insisted on selling the house and I had ended up spending the rest of my life living in a cardboard box.

My mother has since repeated this fear to me with increasing anxiety, as she’s convinced it will come true.

What my mother is incredibly good at, is 1) projecting fears onto people and 2) blaming them for it.

Her SUPER POWER, however, is making people who already feel bad feel WORSE.

I’ve been feeling like such a failure for months on end now, because my business is not picking up. It’s gotten to a point where I can honestly say it’s doing as bad as any decent doom scenario: I am losing money. I have bills to pay and make no income. Can’t get worse than that, right?

After my mother’s nightmare talk (pun intended) my dread grew worse and I picked up my phone to start looking for a 9-5 job immediately.

If anyone of you has ever read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, you might recognise the lesson to “listen to what you heart has to say” when I write that my heart ached as I clicked on a job opening for a pharmaceutical packer.

I don’t know what a pharmaceutical packer does exactly, but I do know they make way more money than me – but so does the rest of the World right now, I imagine.

My heart almost literally hurt when I clicked on job description after job description and I eventually caved; I don’t want to just give up on my coaching business until I’ve at least really tried to make it work!

So I did the unthinkable and hired a business/marketing coach.

It cost me almost the remainder of my savings, but after netting a 30 minute free “strategy session” that turned into a 90 minute excited talk about passions and how to deal with the marketing aspects of a business, I dare say me and the marketing coach really clicked. I enrolled in her marketing programme that starts in September and she’s immediately given me access to all her online trainings (that are quite impressive in number – and success rates!).

Taking this step, this risk, scares me witless. What if my investment won’t pay off? My bank account will hit 0 sooner than my mum can make curtains for my cardboard box! But… If I don’t do this, then the results will inevitably be the same.

I understand my mother, I know she’s only worried. I am the first person in our family to try and start their own business and therefore I am not related to anyone who can relate (you’ve got to admire that sentence!).

But I have to do this… As painful as the confrontation with my mother was, seeing that money disappear onto someone else’s account was strangely liberating. I am actually going to do this. I am going to give it a massive, honest, passionate try! With almost literally everything I got!

With that, I felt my heart rejoice. If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing, right?

I hope that’s right.

I’ve given myself a year to get on my financial feet. If after that time it didn’t happen, I’ll gladly take that cardboard box from my mother’s nightmare.

And use it to do whatever pharmaceutical packers do.

 

 

 

 

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? How did that work out for you?

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (61)

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men”John F. Kennedy

Dear Life,

I couldn’t help but notice how great an analogy baking a cake is for living your life or pursuing your dreams.

You see, as I added more ingredients, the mix became stickier and harder to whisk. At one point I even thought my hand mixer would give up altogether. But I persevered, because I knew I had yet to add my secret ingredient: my separately whisked egg whites.

Eggs are a fundamental ingredient to cake, but simply adding them is not adventurous at all. The trick is to split the yolks from the egg whites and beat the latter stiff, adding them at the very end of your cake-baking by gently stirring them into your mixture.

I could tell you why, but this letter is not really about baking cakes. It’s about you, Life, being just like baking cakes: people who go through you doing things “according to the book”, will never get any spectacular results. Their lives will be a lot like everyone else doing the same things in the same manners.

However, if you choose to stray a little from the beaten path, persevere even when things get tough, you’ll end up with something amazing instead.

For a split second I doubted my trick, as the mixture was very difficult to stir. It felt a lot like trying to get my business to become a success, which feels hopeless right now. The ironic similarity, Life, did not escape me.

But then the egg whites did their job and smoothed everything out, just as expected. The cake turned out super light and fluffy and I was reminded once again: if you want success, you have to work for it.

Trust your own abilities.

And your own secret ingredient ❤

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”Dolly Parton

 


Dear Life,

I once read that after 30 days of trying something new, it will become normal.

Today is day 49 of the Dutch quarantine.

Last Thursday, Life, you found me on a bench outside the local supermarket, waiting for my mother to return from a small errand. Sure, I could have gone in with her, but we’re only allowed into the store with a cart. And two carts for one bottle of milk seemed a bit too much. So I remained outside, in the sun, sitting on a bench more than the specified 1.5 metres away from the rest of the human world.

Meanwhile, a line of people started forming, all patiently waiting for a disinfected shopping cart to take into the supermarket. One girl was burdened with the task of cleaning the carts, one at a time, and handing them to the customers, one at a time. Even if it was taking a lot of time, nobody complained. People laughed. People talked. People were understanding.

I simply stared at the scene in front of me, Life, and felt sad. Despite people’s merriness in times like this, I couldn’t help but wonder what the world will look like post-corona. Maybe I am moving too fast in my thinking, but I know that nothing lasts forever, Life, and this too shall pass. Eventually.

Never one to like the ordinary, the first two weeks of quarantine I surprisingly found myself longing for “normal”. Now, with Quarantine Week 8 lurking around the corner, normal has changed. I’ve actually gotten used to the current state of affairs.

I hope that whatever you have in store for us, Life, us humans will carry it with pride like we do now. And that we’ll keep our merry spirits indefinitely.

Until the new normal will have, once again, been redefined.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you are all in good health and spirits. Let’s all hope our current normal will quickly be followed by a better version ❤