Reprogramming my mindset to “I am enough”.

written by Sarah Colgate

Self Awareness

February 17, 2024

Today, I believe I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I back myself, support myself and work towards my goals, believing in me.  I speak kindly and gently to myself. I treat myself with love and care. I am my best friend.

Now, I can do what I want to do, I choose to make myself happy and I choose people, activities and work that I know makes me feel good. 

I began my self awareness journey the year I turned 30. I have had a mentor through the entire process and still check in within her from time to time to discuss the latest developments in my life, the growth in my self awareness and my thinking. 

For the first 30 years of my life, I was telling myself how completely shit I was. I was a bubbly, happy successful person to the outside world and a mushy self criticising mess on the inside.All my life I believed I needed to be concerned and let’s say focused on what others thought about me.I was all about the external view on what Sarah looked like to the world. I totally neglected the internal view due to my lack of self awareness. 

In addition, I am a perfectionist deep down. I constantly look for improvement in everything I do. In order to look for improvement you have to identify the problems, gaps, and what’s lacking. I do that very very well.  The term fixer has been used a lot to describe me. My desire or need to look for improvement in every aspect of my life included a strong dose of self criticism to go along with it. I was never good enough, successful enough, smart enough and so on. 

An example of the way I think.

Just last night we sat and watched Claira, a singer/piano player at a piano bar on New Year’s Eve. She is sensational, so talented and her voice is exceptional. Whitney Huston/ Mariah Carey kind of exceptional and the first thing I think is “why is she working here? She could do so much better for herself”. I don’t know this person, her age, her circumstances, or anything about her except that she can sing really well. 

At no stage am I thinking, what a great job, she looks like she absolutely loves it. She puts on an amazing show and people love it. No, I look at how she can be better, be more and do better, do more. I start creating a strategy in my head for Claira on how she can build a better career for herself.

Who even knows what Claira wants, this might be her dream job and she may wake up feeling so blessed and grateful every day. 

Years ago that was where it ended with me seeing the opportunity for improvement and then formulating a strategy to address the gaps, holes and problems. Nowadays, because I have spent so much time improving my self awareness, I can now hear the thoughts in my brain, I can hear myself building the strategy and I stopped myself and reigned it in so there is no more thinking about Claira the piano playing singer. 

How did I get here?

Back in my mid 20s, I remember my husband started asking me “Who are you trying to impress or what exactly are you trying to achieve?” I never really had an answer. I knew I had big plans and a checklist of how I was going to make millions and be so super successful. I dreamt about it, strategised in my head, on paper, in journals. It was all about getting to this place where I would be happy. But I struggled a lot, I had a hole in myself emotionally and mentally that was filled by nothing I did. Nothing was right for me. I was constantly looking for something else, something more. I never put any of the strategies into a definitive plan. I jumped around a lot and told myself nothing is working.  

I was never enough. What I had or did was never enough and I nearly destroyed myself and my life trying to get to a place where I had enough. 

Who actually knows what or how much it is to have enough?

I didn’t. I was just blindly chasing and throwing everything I had at getting enough.

I have been working on reprogramming my thinking for the last 17 years now. It’s been a significant education. Why, you might ask, has it taken so long? For a number of reasons, I didn’t always know what was best for me or how to support myself in a better way.  I also felt like the process was so long and not that easy to undo yourself completely, then rebuild yourself.

As I was working through it all, while my life was happening so I came and went from my self awareness education.  I often did not believe or understand how learning about myself and honouring myself would benefit me. These are all excuses I know, however they served me at the time and somewhat prolonged my education.

How did I reprogram myself?

Over the years, I have learned the best and in my opinion only way to reprogram myself was with positivity. Positivity in every aspect of my life. I surround myself with authentic positive people, good humans who believe in living a good life, that don’t judge and criticise others and understand what humans are like and forgive easily. 

I have now spent 17 years filling my life with positive affirmations, self awareness building books and courses, good music, time to think and to enjoy. Also I pull myself up when I hear negative self-talk, I spend time writing a journal as that usually brings up deep dark beliefs of the past so I can address them and move on.

I have a routine each day when I get up and also when I get to bed when I allow myself time to think, process any negativity inside me and remove it or address it. This ensures I sleep really well.

The entire process hasn’t been easy, hasn’t been quick and I may not have fully changed my instinctive thinking but I have changed my intuitive thinking. The results are exceptional and I know I will continue these routines for the rest of my life. 

I have made conscious decisions to remove people from my life that don’t align with me. It’s not about them, it’s about me, identifying the impact those people are having and then protecting myself. I started this practice about 15 years ago and up until about 6 years ago I was exceptional at it. Then I chose money and business over myself. I knew that the people I was going into business with were not right for me, I had friends, colleagues and associates  warn me about it but I put all those thoughts, pieces of advice and feelings aside and dove in.

Then two years ago, after a meeting with them one February day it hit me like a truck. These are not my people, we don’t align, we will never align, they are not people I want in my life and I started to look at how to remove them from my life. It wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy but it was definitely what was best for me and I do not regret it, not for a second. 

It’s my life, my happiness and after years and years of working on my self awareness I finally realised I couldn’t reach “enough” out there in the world with a job, money, business profit, profile or whatever it was I was looking for, it simply wasn’t there. 

For me, there is just me, only me. I will be with me throughout my entire life. So I now treat myself as the most important person in my life. I love myself, I am my own best friend and I ensure every day I look after myself. I know there are going to be some good days, great days and crap days, that is life, however I also know I will never again sacrifice myself for another person, business, job or amount of money. 

My mantra is Me first then my family, then the world.  It’s amazing how happiness reveals itself once I let go of everything else and realised I am enough.

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