Category Archives: Daring Greatly

A post about honesty

bven748_hi copyHello! How’s everyone? How was the first week back to normality? Any resolutions still in tact? I’m still booze free – hurrah!

I am also full of lurgy (like everybody in the world, it seems) which means that I don’t quite have the brain power to introduce The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, but I hope I’ll be feeling sharp enough to do tomorrow. It’s bizarre how much I like reading it, though, it’s like a new age comfort blanket. It makes me feel calm and content every time I open the page. Promising.

Anyway, today’s post is just a little one about something that’s been knocking around in my head for a while. It’s about honesty.

Since I started the blog there are two words that people generally say about it. First of all they’ll say, ‘It’s very honest‘. Often they say it in that way that people say ‘You’re very brave’, when actually, they mean ‘stupid, you’re very stupid’.

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SWEARING, NUDITY AND INTERNATIONAL BOOK DEALS… 2014’s highlights…

Hello! Before we get stuck into 2015, I thought I’d do a kind of sum up of last year, just for kicks. I realise that I can be very negative, so I’m going to BIG MYSELF UP and focus on the VERY COOL stuff that happened as well as well as acknowledging the moments where I kind of lost it…

So are you ready? Here goes:

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 01.22.54January – Started with me chatting up strangers on the tube, getting naked in public, doing stand-up comedy (terrifying, awful, amazing!! I’m a hero!) and jumping out of a plane (never, ever, ever again) in a Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway extravaganza.  Susan Jeffers self help classic advises doing one scary thing a day. I do. With bells on. A triumphant – if nerve shattering – start. The Daily Mail ran a big feature about my project which led to interview requests from BBC Berkshire and er, China. Hurrah! This is amazing and exciting!

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What to do when you’re unhappy? Blame everyone else, of course.

When I was in the midst of my financial meltdown – otherwise known as August – I did what you’d expect from a woman who’s spent six months trying to improve herself. I ignored the problem, watched hours of television and drank litres of wine. I engaged in what Brene calls ‘numbing’ behaviour.

I also did something else that Brene says is very common when we’re ashamed of ourselves: I BECAME A B*TCH.

I grabbed any opportunity I could to put other people down. I’d criticise people on the telly, moan about my family, get annoyed with friends and even people on the street: Can you believe the way she looked at me? What is her problem?! etc etc.

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SELF HELP IS DRIVING ME CRAZY

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that this blog has been driving me nuts over the last couple of months. Not proper-need-medical-help nuts but ever so slightly losing the plot nuts.

Shock horror, it turns out that analysing your feelings and facing your every weakness is a recipe for crazy. There is now hardly a minute in the day when I don’t think – Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Am I self-sabotaging? Am I scared of being vulnerable?

I am over-thinking everything.

It’s making me unhinged. I now cry at almost anything – X Factor, Nationwide ads, a sideways look – and am fast becoming that person you’d back away from at parties. The one who gives a two hour answer to the ‘How are you question?’; an answer that involves therapy speak about my childhood and inappropriate details about my issues with men.

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A small good thing


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Last year mum made a vanilla and strawberry cake for my sister’s birthday.

I carried it from Surrey to my sister’s place in East London, via two trains and a bus.  Mum didn’t have a tupperware container big enough for it so it was on a plate and there was some strange net thing put over it, the kind of thing that you put over food when it’s outside on a summer’s day. Something to stop the flies.

This made travelling in rush hour pretty challenging – I kept thinking someone was going to bump into the cake and send it flying but they didn’t. Rush hour that evening was like no other rush hour I’ve ever experienced. People smiled at me, people moved out of my way, people even chatted; ‘That looks nice,’ they’d say, looking at the cake. Their face would soften. The hard, tired, determined, ‘I hate life’ look most us adopt on tubes would melt.

It was really weird. It was like everyone become human again.

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Back to the actual book… Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Your cheat sheet.

Hello,

Happy Thursday… Just thinking that I’ve been a bit messy on this vulnerability stuff, I only really skimmed what the book is about before delving into my own various back stories… so this post is a cheat’s guide to the book so that you actually know what Brene Brown is saying as opposed to just knowing the inner workings of my mind (and immune system).

It’s a wonderful wise non-self-helpy book that touches on every aspect of life so I really do recommend you read the real thing but even for my own clarity of thought, here you go:

WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF SCARCITY

Brene starts by arguing that we live in an age of scarcity. In our media dominated world nothing we do is ever enough – we’re never rich enough, successful enough, beautiful enough etc…  Even when we wake up, our first thought being ‘I didn’t get enough sleep,’ followed by the fear ‘I don’t have enough time…’ We go to bed thinking ‘I didn’t get enough done today…’

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A post about friends

This is a post about friends – the ones who matter and the ones who don’t – i.e. the people who are not really your friends at all.

Brene Brown says that in order to have the courage to Dare Greatly, be vulnerable and go after what we want in life, we need the support of a couple of very good friends who will encourage us, cheer us on and pick us up when we fall.

We then have to stop worrying about what everybody else thinks.

She writes:

“I carry a small sheet of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and struggles. You have to love and respect that I’m totally uncool.’ 

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My story

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 08.04.13I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability and how nearly two years ago it changed me life.

In the last post I gave you a lot of back-story about being sick throughout my twenties. I hated putting up that post. I felt exposed, embarrassed and like everybody would be judging me. I have always felt that getting sick  is a huge weakness, something to be ashamed of.

I experienced what Brene Brown calls a ‘vulnerability hangover’ – which is where you cringe about what you’ve just shared. You want to run away and pretend it didn’t happen. It was like when you say something stupid in front of a guy and just the memory of it makes you feel hot and sick weeks later.

Anyway, no doubt I’m heading for another vulnerability hangover but I’m going to finish the back-story…

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Is my sore throat a sign that I’m angry? Or that I’m self-sabotaging? Or I am just sick?

Well, as some of you on Facebook might know, I’ve sick for the last ten days and counting. At first it was fine – an excuse to stay in bed and watch TV (after a solid three days watching Gossip Girl, Netflix is now asking me ‘How often do you watch teenage drama? Often/Very often…’) but I’m bored and fed up now.

It’s just a virus, according to the doctor, who says these things take as long as they take etc but I’ve been doing a right number on myself – beating myself up for having such a crap immune system and trying to find the psychological cause of all this.

You see, in self-help land you’re never just sick – there’s always some sort of emotional/psychological problem at the root. One friend suggested I might have an ULP – which apparently stands for an Upper Limit Problem. This is when things get too good (Brazilian book deal good) and we self-sabotage. Could be true.

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