My body ached, and I thought I would actually listen to it for once! As I sat down, I got my phone out to have a quick scroll, check messages, that kind of thing. I had totally forgotten that I was waiting for some exam results until a message popped up just then, to remind me of them. I took a deep breath and opened the message.
I skimmed through, my eyes feverishly darting across the content until I got to the grade. Hmm, not what I was hoping for. I felt a bit deflated as I really thought I’d smashed this one! I sound a bit big-headed I know, but honestly, I had worked hard in the build up to it all.
I carried on with the day. There was an audio message that went alongside the result, but I thought I’d listen to that the next day. I needed to process for a bit. I spoke to my partner to express my disappointment. He just said, ‘You did your best, that’s all anyone could ask.’ So true I thought, but not exactly along the lines of comfort I was looking for. I felt like punching the wall, but knew that would hurt, a lot!
I kept myself busy and had a good chat with a friend that evening. She listened to me feel a bit sorry for myself. Her advice was to keep my eyes on the prize. Not to worry too much about it, as it wouldn’t in reality affect my overall aim. It didn’t help, I still felt crappy!
The next day I got myself together and listened to the recorded message. It was actually a really nice review of my work, there were many good points. I found myself thinking…hmm well, why didn’t I get a higher grade then?
The negative thoughts were there in the back of my mind which even led to an argument with my partner. It wasn’t his fault, poor thing. He was just in the line of fire. As the day wore on, I kept replaying the little mistakes that might have cost me a few points. I was still grumpy, focusing in on what had gone wrong, not what had gone right.
It wasn’t until that evening, when I chatted to a colleague, that I realised I was still in with a chance of getting the result I actually wanted. He shared his experiences with me and told me not to worry too much about the next steps. I found him so reassuring. His candidness, honesty and, ‘take it in your stride,’ attitude made me feel a million times better.
I apologised to my boyfriend sheepishly. I thought that if only I had taken a bit of extra time to digest my thoughts rather than overreact, I would be able to see the bigger picture.
Calmer, gentler, more loving thoughts suddenly started to fill my head. I silently congratulated myself for all the effort I had put been putting in. It was a good feeling. A very good feeling. My goodness! What a mixture of emotions I had experienced in the last twenty-four hours.
So what did I learn? Quite a few things as it turns out…..
I found that taking a short break, if time allows, does wonders for my emotional state. Mulling it over, if I really have to, while doing something nice really works for me. Going for a walk, taking a bike ride, doing some gardening. Whatever it is that makes me feel a bit more grounded, makes me feel a bit more grounded.
Once I start to feel a bit braver and feel the equilibrium returning, I know it’s time to take a step forward. Yes, go ahead and reflect on that unexpected blow, and then think about how I can deal with it in a positive and productive way. Next, ask for help. A fresh perspective from someone who has knowledge about a particular problem, is really, really helpful. But perhaps the biggest lesson, is to just chill out for a bit! Learn to love myself a bit more for everything I have done so far in the life I am already living.
Stopping to reflect upon how consistently I have turned up for myself time and again. That should be enough to stop me tipping over again next time. Take time to have that glass of wine and reflect over the positive points of my day. For each day that I do that, I build my strength, my inner core and trust in myself.
So I ask, when was the last time you congratulated yourself? When did you last just sit and reflect and write down what has been going well?
Doing this one simple act really will raise your self- esteem and get you to see how much hidden power lies right there inside of you.