The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Category: Inspiration (page 2 of 21)

Why You Shouldn’t Fake It To Make It

A popular motto used in addiction recovery is, “Just fake it until you make it.” I have seen this confusing phrase thrown around in business circles as well, especially for new entrepeneurs.

Although this phrase CAN be used for short term reasons, it can actually cause more harm than good.

How??

You Can’t Fake Being Happy

If you’re struggling with depressed feelings or grief, it can be more exhausting to feign happiness. Usually, the feeling we’re trying so hard to hide, is totally apparent to everyone……but ourselves. Recent traumatic events (divorce, loss of loved one, job loss, health diagnosis) may require us to take a time out. During times of grief, I truly had to reserve my “normal” face for work and that was it. Don’t ask me to smile after 5:00. I once had to duck into the bathroom between clients to cry, because it was torturous trying to put together a coherent conversation.

How can we distance ourselves in order to regain our emotional balance? Maybe you have to skip a family event, birthday party, sporting event, kids’ activities or work event so you don’t risk SNAPPING! After 3 times of people asking, “Hey you’re not yourself. What’s wrong?”, we may be inclined to yell back in response. Stuffing our feelings for too long will inevitably cause an explosion. Exploding on the wrong person can be damaging to our jobs and reputation. And as I mentioned above, explosions aren’t always angry. Tearful outbursts can actually scare people around us and will come at unexpected times. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings because we don’t know how to inventory our emotions.

Tip: Take an emotional inventory and be honest about how much longer you can “fake it.” It may be time for a self-imposed time out. Don’t push yourself to act on a normal schedule when your emotions need a chance to rest.

You Can’t Fake Your Passions

If you’re starting a new job, business project or activity for your family, there’s a time limit on how long you can fake passion. When I started blogging I had to find my niche and area of expertise. It wasn’t hard to discover that self-care & helping others is my passion since it’s my full-time career.

Faking your passions “until you make it” can only work on short-term projects. I’m not normally a baker but I could handle baking a cake for a family member or colleague because I see it more as a challenge rather than being “fake.” Now, I wouldn’t sign up to be the resident baker at my office because I wouldn’t put my heart into it. Personally, I don’t have THAT type of creativity. Since I’m a blogger, I would be more aligned with a company newsletter.

Plus, faking a passion for too long is a sign that you’re not assertive with yourself. Why are you unable to speak up and remove yourself from this job or task? Being honest with yourself or others about your limitations is a foundation for healthy communication. Don’t say yes if your heart says MMM MAYBE and allow yourself space to accept opportunities with a HELL YES!

Tip: Identify what you’re good at. THOSE are the passion projects you should sign up for. You wouldn’t have to fake anything and it would be a welcomed challenge.

Remember! Challenges are good and shouldn’t be filled with resentment. Click To Tweet

Resentment = faking happiness.

Some people may argue and say “faking it until you make it” helps motivate them to workout. This is great! If you need a motivating mantra (i.e. No pain, no gain) to keep you on track with fitness goals, PLEASE USE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. But if you’re faking that you love the treadmill, see how you feel on a stair climber or cycling class. I don’t mind working out but the treadmill bores me to tears. I prefer Zumba, weights, running outdoors and hot yoga. Life is really too short to be half assing something that’s supposed to be beneficial for you!

In short, “faking it” may work for a short term project or activity but our lives are too busy to be resentful all the time. This is why boundary setting is key. If you don’t want to act fake around certain people, then bounce! Seriously, protect your energy and your precious schedule for taking care OF YOU!!

Recommended read: What Are Boundaries?

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What Fibromyalgia Means To Me

Originally published May 12, 2015

May 12th is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Fibromyalgia was suddenly introduced into my life in 2011 after my grandfather’s death. Within 2 weeks of my 1st symptoms I was crying at the ER not understanding why my body was so weak. I begged for an IV full of miracles to pull me out of the fatigue.

As I was researching for treatments those first few months I came across a story that spoke to me. Christine Miserandino wrote a true story about how she explained lupus to a close friend. The title of the story was “The Spoon Theory.” She beautifully details how people with chronic pain have a limited amount of energy each day. Healthy people and chronic pain sufferers wake up with 6 spoons worth of energy. Simple tasks like showering can suck up 3 spoons for a person in pain, leaving them to choose the rest of the day’s activities carefully.

Although the story highlights her battle with lupus, it is a theory that speaks for many with chronic pain (CFS, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic enchephalomyelitis-ME, etc). I’ll only speak for myself but fibromyalgia means these things:

 

  1. I have to plan ahead EVERY DAY! I wake up with a certain amount of spoons. Cleaning the kitchen may not be an option in the evening if I have used all my spoons at work. My days off are also planned accordingly. Sometimes being exhausted at night may mean that I’ll feel worse the next day. I don’t want to use up all my spoons every day because the unused spoons don’t rollover.
  2. I am paranoid about getting sick. If you are sick and you interact with me I could be sick for weeks. My immune system is weak. I have literally fallen sick HOURS after being near a client who didn’t disclose that they “weren’t feeling too good today.” Most people with fibromyalgia or autoimmune disorders need to be VERY careful about being near sick people. I have literally passed out in stores not knowing that I had a fever.
  3. Fibromyalgia means I have to say no all the time. No, I can’t host such and such event at my house. No, I can’t help out with _____. No. Sorry but I can’t stay that long because I am useless if I get less than 7 hours of sleep. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep feels like having the flu.
  4. Sometimes I forget about things because fibromyalgia affects the brain. It’s called “fibro fog.” I could start a sentence and then forget what the hell I meant to say. I forget names of streets, people, where I am….you get the picture. You’d be a sweetheart to get me Post-It notes for my birthday.

But this post is not meant for me to gripe. It’s to boost awareness. I recommend finding a support group to help you share your thoughts and gain knowledge about your illness. The knowledge and support I gained from a local Fibromyalgia Support Group helped me and my family learn more about what to expect.

And I know I’m not alone.

And warriors like myself, who want to still do “normal” things, just want some understanding. I don’t mean to be a party pooper. I don’t mean to sit out on some activities. And I’m not trying to be rude by running away from you or your coughing child.

I don't want to count spoons every day. Click To Tweet

Recommended Resource: National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association 

I also have a Pinterest board for Fibromyalgia support filled with healthy recipes, quotes and remedies for our painful symptoms. Follow me today!

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