change, The Ideas

Challenge #4 – Putting Yourself Down

I say, “Welcome back.” It has been a long while since I wrote something other than in a journal this year and a half I’ve been away. My time away was due to my personal relationship ended after 13 years, I took it really hard. I am much better after taking a break. It is a good thing sometimes to just pair things down and just survive.

I will admit that this time was the time of “Putting Yourself Down”. As far as challenges go this would be something you’d want to change. But due to the changes in my life, this became the one thing that was unavoidable. It’s the worst thing you can do to yourself. It’s visceral and with a relationship ended that was not seen, you can only tear into yourself. Who needs enemies when you are your own worst enemy.

You are your worst enemy. It is your negative thoughts that hold you back, nothing else.

-Leon Brown

I second guessed myself, I berated myself for things that in hindsight I felt I should have seen. I have learned something simple is to see the flaws for what they were and did I learn something from them. Yes, I learned that you have to get the ‘stuff’ out of your head onto paper or you torture yourself as you go viscously in circles. That was the enemy within.

So writing down the things that you replay in your mind is the best thing to ‘airing your laundry’ kind of therapy. Not everyone will be comfortable writing things down. Many times I wished for him back. But in that, he refused to even talk to me. So I did all I could to not break down except at home. I shielded myself with work with mindless TV shows and journaling.

From my journal: “Do you feel the darkness, the mirror of your face reflected back at you from the deepest abyss and where you feel the pain like an all-consuming live hot wire and yet you feel the coldest of ice in your veins, like someone dead? When all that was is so destroyed, and you stare at a black mirror in that timeless space wishing things to end?…”

One paragraph after another was the catharsis that helped me move from one day to the next. My hashtag on IG was #onedayatatime and #healinginbitsandpieces. Each day was a gift and I did take a big breath and move through the days sometimes just chanting a mantra of “one minute, one hour” you can do this. Get up and walk for a minute and come back with my mind still holding hands with my sanity.

We also put ourselves down, in this time of stress and change. I said the below and more even hurtful things I’ll not post.

  • “How could I’ve not seen this?”
  • “What did I do wrong? Everything!”
  • “You’re getting old and stupid!”
  • “You’re a blind bitch!”

I had to stop at some point. That point came when we (body and mind are separate entities) were so raw with emotion and we can no longer cry, no longer yell at ourselves, no longer take the beratings. That we see ourselves at the bottom of the well and it is now empty. That we see the ladder and the light above our heads. We can then start to sew our body and mind back into one being.

Each day the journal helped empty my head and heart of feelings. Each day was a significant milestone, a year built into one day. We’ve all been there and we hate the way it makes us feel. We do come back to life, we do feel the shock disappear and we awaken once more to a beautiful day without the pangs of anger, loss, and helplessness. We also stop thrashing ourselves back and forth over the floor like a wet mop!

So I learned to not be my own worst enemy, for I had to be my friend when friends also have to go back to their family’s and their duties after supporting me. I am ever grateful for the late-night chats via text or phone that my friends provided that ‘life-line’ when I felt low. I am ever grateful that I looked into the abyss and saw myself and felt the fire and ice and was able to come back by sheer will. I am grateful that I learned to stop putting myself down for surviving each day. We cannot destroy ourselves for we have the desire to win, as long as we come to realize that.

I came to find the beauty in myself, the beauty in life, the beauty in being me, and being someone who can love themself without having to define it by another. I came to realize that being a visionary of seeing the possibilities in others and remember to look within and see them there inside of me as well.

To all of you who have walked this path, I salute you. We are survivors and we have won.

Yeah, this challenge is laid to rest. One more to work on, last one #5 – Overthinking.


Want to check in on my other posted challenges you can use the following links. Challenge #1 – Trying to Please Everyone, Challenge 2- Fearing Change, Challenge #3 – Living In The Past

And the list, if you feel the need to work one one:

The Ideas

“The 5 Essential Ingredients To Achieve Academic Success”

Going back to school is like a well-loved baking recipe.  This recipe though is for Achieving Academic Success. Now you are probably already thinking that this is way too hard. I do have the ingredients for that. The number one main thing holding many back from moving forward is that main ingredient, money. I’m not going to let that deter me though. In my case, I am an older professional and after many years of hard work and achievements, I find myself in the arena of needing to upskill. No matter how much you can learn from within your work organization; you sometimes come to the realization that it is not enough.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

So, to fill in my recipe of success and come up smelling roses, so to speak! How does one find the energy to go about finding those five necessary ingredients? The first one is ‘Determination’ to succeed. Can you see your co-workers getting congratulated when they mention some cool achievements? Can you see that person learning more and possibly receiving more responsibility or even a better job position within the organization? Well now you have seen that determination in action. You need that to just get started, and it’s a good start.

Yet you also need to have the next ingredient ‘Desire’ or mindset to grow. With the old habit ‘learn-as-you-go’ must go away. Start with the free eBooks, YouTube videos and free online learning courses that can give you an introduction to what you desire to know and improve on! Now this ingredient is easy and requires no monetary input. But the thirst for knowledge is a good thing to have. Feed it and it will grow and it will be possible to reach a certain awareness and level of improvement. But will it be enough to change your impact internally? That remains to be seen.

The next stage is the hardest, when learning is more than just a ‘when you have free time’ kind of investment. The energy seems to be all gone by the time your workday is over. When all you want to do is eat and have some much needed down-time. ‘Perseverance’ is your next ingredient needed to face time shortages. Carve out another sliver of precious time in learning new things and change your mind-set to accept improvement. Sticking to a plan and seeing it through is the glue of getting your recipe to take shape.

Now the next part how does one show newfound knowledge? We take a pinch of ‘Pride’ in our accomplishments and we look forward to opportunities to show that. But what if there are no opportunities, projects, or conversation where it comes to bear. You now realize that you cannot showcase this new found knowledge. That kind of frustration can set you back and think, “Why am I wasting my time?” How can I show my co-workers and company I’m worth investing in on that new project or open job position? We compete in the workplace and in the world and our pride of a job well done. This is something that no matter how humble we strive to be, we also need that recognition that all that work was worth it.

Photo by Ekrulila on

Lastly, but not necessarily considered last, is the ‘Investment’ ingredient we need in our recipe. A key piece that we apply to all areas of our life. We use to invest in ourselves, like new clothes help shape our persona. We also have to pay for groceries, rent/mortgage and other mundane life requirements. To show that we can take care of ourselves is an investment as much as our Academic Success requires financial application. This we need to stir in and it need not be a hard found ingredient. A good start is school yourself in learning how your finances work. Savings is a good start for future and for schooling. Keeping ourselves in good credit standing also requires work. Being aware that we have access to monetary advantages such as grants, scholarships, personal loans can go a long way to funding your ‘Recipe’ towards Academic Success. It is also a good motivator to know that in the end it is all worth it.

To your success.

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