Written by: Kylie Mort, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I was thinking about you in the shower this morning. I know, a little creepy, but hear me out. We need to take a break. It’s not you, it’s me, I just need space. I have dreams, I have goals and I’m just not getting around to prioritising myself. I feel trapped. And the thing is, I need to look after myself first if anything is to change. So I was in the shower, thinking about our breakup and how one is to start again. Change can be confronting.
We get comfortable, you know. Even if it is not good for us, we fall into a pattern. Simply going through the motions of the same routine. Busy being busy and not really thinking past our immediate needs and responsibilities. We are in a safe zone, focused on what is safe but I need more than this. No good things come from comfort zones and safety. I feel like I’m waiting for life to begin. I need to grow and explore; I need to remember what it is that motivates me to be my best self and define my own unique future. So where to from here?
I’m not denying that we have shared some important moments and explored significant ideas. Remember where it all began? The tentative steps we took moving into our new situation. It happened so quickly, and I was initially paralysed by fear and self-doubt, but the serenity of our new experience enveloped me, and I was eager to explore. I reassessed my priorities and consciously took control of my focus. Remember how we discussed what really mattered? What strategies we could use to disconnect and take back control? Those two pivotal questions:
Where are your priorities?
What controls your focus?
Then we explored judgement. This was uncomfortable, wasn’t it? Facing the truth that sometimes your efforts just aren’t enough. Not in the reality of the adult world anyhow. And importantly, how it all comes back to focus. We need to focus on the fact it is the action that is judged, not you as a person.
So much of our success or failure relies on the critical nature of our focus.
We looked at judgement as a distinct entity, analysing it like an insect under a microscope:
Is it significant in the short-term?
Are their long-term repercussions?
Can you negate these?
Does this give you clarity for your next step?
We were better together, I admit that. We explored our innate skills, and we were empowered. Personal empowerment and resilience are essential to success because we will inevitably encounter toxic characters. To weather the storms of controversy you must be self-reliant on your own inner strength. Remember how we discussed this through literature? Art depicts life depicts art. You are the protagonist of your own story, and you must have the innate ability to analyse situations individually. We explored elements together but ultimately, I was trying to fortify you, as a unique and independent person:
The Analysis – an objective assessment of the situation
The Internal – take what serves you and discard the unhelpful
The External – make choices about the people involved based on knowledge of their motivations
The Time Factor - this too shall pass, and it is perspective that heals wounds
I was equipping you with the tools you need to succeed alone. Empowering you to withstand unwarranted criticism and use it for your own enrichment. Because in the end, you need to be your own leader, fulfilling your own purpose. At this point we discussed children and it was provocative, I admit that. There are so many perspectives to consider and what is ideal? I fell back on the analogy of business because this is how I think. I use left-brained logic on the tricky issues as I don’t do emotions well. I have issues…Julia Michaels was right. What mattered was that I believe in you, and you can help others believe in themselves too:
Believe in their potential
Provide the supports they need
Be the safety net
Foster their innate self-belief
Remind them what is important
Perhaps this was a turning point. Perhaps we have different life goals; we have been living in such an insular bubble, it could have been oppressive, or maybe I am just giving voice to my own concerns. The messages are so confusing with everyone claiming they are the authority and this divisive madness that is permeating our relationships. Ultimately, it is so important to stay in touch with our own truth and purpose. We need to be confident in who we are and what’s important to us intrinsically.
We spoke about this too remember. Was I pushing you away? Is it a cycle? These are questions we should all ask of ourselves. Our decisions will ultimately impact upon others, this is unavoidable. Yet, we can’t listen to those who are clamouring about their own priorities, we are not drones serving a despotic master. We have the right to put ourselves first, we have human rights and as long as we are doing no harm we should not be coerced and criticised. However, self-assessment must be honest. Are we doing harm? Are we meeting our own needs by unjustifiably damaging others? To be confident in your choices remember these 7 steps:
Consider all feedback
Take responsibility and be accountable
Make a choice (and even inaction is a choice)
Remember you are loved
Take time to heal
Speak your truth
With internal fortitude we can face our interpersonal battles with fearlessness and during these past months we have faced some intimidating opponents. Collaborating gave us determination and collective power. The unprecedented events of our time have bought out the best and worst in people but united we succeed. We need networks, we need knowledge. Knowledge is power. We explored the three main knowledge banks imperative to our success:
With a detailed analysis of all three areas we can be sure in our methods and of our outcomes. However, we cannot let this descend into an Us-versus-Them Mentality! It does not have to be a mutually exclusive choice; we can do what is right for both of us. I feel at times these lines become blurred by subjectivity and emotive arguments. Comfortable and centred in our own power, we can continue to reach outward without the tribal shaming that can perniciously permeate our perspective. Remember that just because we are not united under one particular label, it does not make us any less connected in other ways. Nor is that label necessarily any less valid.
Sadly, I think the world is forgetful of this core reality. Why do people focus on hate? Why focus on the negativity? The media is a heartless machine that preys on the insecurities of the masses. Even if we are growing apart in our opinions, why must we stoop to a level where we are blackening each other’s characters and focusing on difference and identifying lack? I spent so long gathering opinion and researching facts about labels toward the end. I know that there is good to be found in everything and I struggled to reconcile with the way we have fallen so far from where we started. Can you feel the shift? Can you articulate what you stand for? They say if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything, yet, at the moment I just feel that we are falling, collectively, and who knows how low this is going to go?
Therefore I must make stand, for the sake of all. I have considered the options, I have explored tactics and trade-offs but always, it comes back to this, that I have always known, one cannot pour from an empty cup, and I have nothing left to give. Self-care is critical and I have failed to schedule this self-preservation. Just as you should. We all need to.
You can do this! I believe in you and the opportunity is now, don’t let it slip away! If there was ever a time to start again on your own, this is it. We can be open to a brand-new world, but we cannot forget the lessons of these past months. Yes, there has been pain, but with pain comes resilience, with resilience comes hope. What else is there to do but grow stronger? We have both been forced to evolve, the world came between us and there is no going back. You must adapt. Take these small wins and achievements of your new position and grow them into tangible benefits. You may not have chosen to continue alone but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Think of the new ways you have found to connect with people, to study, to work, to make time for yourself. You don’t need to return to the same way of thinking.
With adaptation comes the ability to pivot. To change your perspective completely and forge a new pathway. There is more opportunity than ever before to change the way you think, the way you operate and the way you work. You have the power. What works for you? You must focus on you and your needs. How can you optimise your own peak performance and efficacy? Personally, I have my best ideas in the shower. It doesn’t quite suit the office 9-5 but after what we have been through, I just can’t see myself going back. Where to from here? Who knows, but I know I will be dictating my own terms and focusing on my needs first.
Kylie Mort, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Kylie Mort works with individuals of all ages to embrace and support the Academic Mind, Self-Awareness & the Mind-Body Connection. Assisting individuals by tailoring bespoke mentoring packages supporting academic, physical, and personal advancement and success.
Kylie is an International Author and Writer for Global Magazines, writing both academically and creatively to connect with those who seek guidance and inspiration to be their best selves. A former Secondary School Teacher & VCE Leader with 20 years of teaching experience, Kylie is a qualified & registered: School Teacher, Yoga Teacher & Performance Coach. She is also an entrepreneur, leading multiple-award-winning companies.
She is currently studying Psychological Science at Deakin University to provide holistic mentoring to her clients better, having spent decades honing her skills in face-to-face teaching, mentoring, and business & company development. Now, she is focused on the human mind and its power to empower through reimaging, redesigning, and recreating.