Saturday, 6 February 2016

Book Review - Quiet by Susan Cain

"Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

What a fascinating read!

It talks about the differences between introverts and extroverts, how we actually need both qualities throughout the population but how we focus too much on one spectrum - the extrovert.

The extroverts in our society are levelled up and are consider the ideal persona, while in a lot of cases the introvert is made out to be less than, anti-social, shy or not the ideal. It's just that people have different styles and approach matters at different speeds and angles. There's nothing wrong with that at all but society only wants one style, one approach - the extrovert style.

Our business world is set up this way - open plan offices, consistent teamwork and collaboration, the loudest get noticed more. Our schools even - group work majority of the time, group desk, constant participation required, the quiet get left behind.

Introverts are living in a world that tells them there's something wrong and negative with them, made to feel inadequate cause they work differently to others.

My report cards said the same thing my whole school life "hard-working but shy and needs to talk more". At home if I didn't want to talk, my mum would ask me "what's wrong?" or at social gatherings I was called rude for not speaking up. It's not that I didn't like people or the event or anything like that I just enjoyed observing more than participating. I've always believed there was something wrong with me that needed fixing and I would try to act and be different but it just didn't fit well. Over the last few years I've started to accept this quality of mine and have felt happier and more myself in the process.

Quiet helped me understand that's there nothing inherently wrong with being an introvert and nothing wrong with be an extrovert, we need both sides to make the coin. Yes I do need to draw on extra strength when I have/need to do extroverted things/projects but that's just how I function.

Susan delves into both the scientific and physiological research behind introversion/extroversion which is both numerous and fascinating. I found the fact that people can actually be thin/thick skinned and thin skinned can be more sensitive to circumstances, which explains why I sweat so much when I'm nervous in an uncomfortable situation even if I appear to look conformable. Also introversion/ extroversion is a trait we are born with, yes personality, nature, nurture, free will, environment and society can all influence it to a degree, but it's built with in us from day dot.

It's always good to work on extrovert skills but it's also good to honour yourself and recharge when you need to. We cannot force people to change or fit our mould but we can work on adapting and accepting each other and ourselves. Approach each person as they are, to use an analogy some people are like slow cookers and take their time to warm up to situations whereas others are like microwaves and warm up in a flash. We need both types and we need to respect and honour both, neither one is better as we need both to make the world go round.

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Pregnancy Meltdown

I'm just going to call it was it is - a meltdown!! There were tears, sobs and struggling to make sentences. It wasn't pretty but it happened and it was honest.

Truth be told I'm struggling being pregnant, I don't particularly like the process - there I said it out loud. I love that I'm having a baby and really want this baby with all my heart. I just don't like or enjoy the process that's required to get said baby.

What I'm struggling with the most and what caused my epic (as MJ called it) meltdown is the extra weight. I'm currently carrying about an extra 8kgs to what I was pre-pregnancy and I feel huge. I know technically I'm not huge but the extra weight feels so heavy, so awkward and just plain yuck. I use to be this weight a long time ago but it was spread all over my body not centred in one location.

I'm finding it difficult to not only carry but thoughts are playing up in my head (don't you just love how the mind works - not) about how big am I going to get? how are you going to cope? you're struggling now so what will you be like in a few months? I'm so scared about how big I will get in the future (I'm currently 30 weeks) as I've been continuously told by so many people that you stack on weight in the last 2 months.

As much as you try to ignore what other people say, it really does get you down sometimes. After hearing how big you've gotten for the 10th time at work in a day and having a few of those people say it 2-3 times to you in that same day, it really just tires you out. I know others are just excited and what to be part of the journey etc and it's not personal but what I've discovered is people don't quite understand what they are saying or doing. They think they're being nice and are meaning well by it all but don't realise the words can really get under the skin and stay there, becoming all itchy.

My darling husband in the midst of my tears and sob placed his hands on my belly and told me: "you'll be okay, it's not fat, it's our baby, it's only for a little bit of time not forever, you will go back down again". Gosh I love that boy, he helps me through so much even when he doesn't quite understand what's wrong.

I know I'll get through this and I'm sure with more moments but I cannot wait to meet this little blessing that's kicking around inside, the countdown is on - April 8th isn't that far away now.

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Photo my own

Thursday, 28 January 2016

101 list is no more

If you've been following me for awhile now you might remember my 101 things in 1001 days list (see here).

I've decided since reading "Better Than Before" and getting to know myself a little better that I will not be continuing with my 101 list.


I've started to realise that deadlines haunt me. When I'm given a deadline I only seem to start at the last minute and struggle to keep myself accountable (my obliger tendency coming out). Plus I find that deadlines put pressure on the task at hand and take the fun out of it, making it feel like a duty instead.

Don't get me wrong I still want to do the things on my list plus many much more but I need to take the guilt off myself and work toward these things at my own pace and in my own time, that way I'm not pressuring myself to be something that I am not.

Also I was finding myself feeling guilty for doing different tasks other than the ones on the list (which is just silly), plus I keep disappointing myself for not achieving things within a certain time frame.

Have you ever started something you thought was great and then changed your mind about it?

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Photo source here

Saturday, 23 January 2016

You'll always disappoint someone

I hate disappointing people and being unreliable, I like people to know that I'm there for them and I'll always show up. Lately since being pregnant I've been finding it harder and harder to be there for people the way I use to be. I've been sick, tired, unwell and just plain don't have the energy to be able to be who I was beforehand. This has really been getting me down and frustrating the heck out of me. So last week I spoke to my psychologist Suzie about it and gave me the most interesting insight:

"You'll always disappoint someone"

I'd never thought of it like that. Suzie went on to say: "you'll always disappoint someone no matter what you do. You'll disappoint them or yourself or your husband, no matter what choice you make, someone will be disappointed. The more you know that and learn to sit with that knowledge the less guilty you'll feel."

I feel terribly guilty when I disappoint someone, as it's not nice to trouble someone else. But I've started to realise that by pushing myself and my body to be there and do everything for everyone, I'm actually disappointing myself as I'm not giving myself the time that I need and I'm disappointing my husband MJ because I'm giving everyone else the time and energy and have none left for him.

Yes I don't want to become selfish and disappoint people for the sake of it of course. I need to keep working on healthy boundaries and realise that someone is always going to be disappointed with my life choices and I cannot let the guilt of that rule my life.

How do you feel about disappointing people? Do you struggle with guilt? What boundaries do you have?

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Monday, 18 January 2016

Book Review - Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

“Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin

I was given Better Than Before for my birthday in December by my husband MJ, I've read 2 other of Gretchen’s books and I really enjoy her style of writing, so in depth yet so easy to read.

Better Than Before didn't disappointment me at all, I couldn't put it down. I underlined so much as it was full cover to cover with fantastic insights in the nature of habit formation.

If you want to try and start a new habit, change an old habit or work why you have the habits you do, this book is differently for you.

What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. You need to know “what habits serve us best” – because what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Because “while I'm not much different from other people, those difference are very important”.

You need to know yourself so you can build the right habits for you and have the right foundation that will work for you.

Are you a lark or an owl? I'm a lark (morning person)

Are you a marathoner, a sprinter or a procrastinator? I'm a procrastinator.

Are you an underbuyer or an overbuyer? I'm differently an underbuyer

Are you a simplicity lover or an abundance lover? I love simplicity

Are you a finisher or an opener? I'm a bit of both

Are you a familiarity lover or a novelty lover? I love novelty and trying new things.

There a four tendencies that make all the difference when forming habits.

Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel – each one forms and keeps habits in a different way. I realised I'm an obliger. I can meet external expectations and obligations to others but not so easy to myself.

Pillars of Habits include: Monitoring, Foundation, Scheduling, Accountability and more.

Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Abstainers find it easier to give up something altogether than to indulge moderately. Whereas moderators find the occasional indulgence helps them. “For abstainers, having something make them want it more, for moderators, having something makes them want it less”.

I found quite a few thought provoking statements in this book that have really helped me not just in my habit formation journey but my life in general.

The first one is one of my biggest downfalls with habits – rewards. “A reward teaches me that I wouldn't do a particular activity for its own sake, but only to earn that reward”. That’s so true, I really undermine myself so often and only do things for the reward – “the reward for a good habit is the habit itself”.

Second one is what are my values: “The clearer I am about what I value, and what action I expect from myself – not what other people value, or expect from me – the more likely I am to stick to my habit”. I'm always looking at what others value and think that’s what I'm meant to value, not always, I might value something completely different. I need to understand and stick to my values.

The last one that really hit me throughout this book was: “Not everyone is like me” “I cannot convince people, they must convince themselves” “No simple, universal solutions exist”.

I'm alike to people but I'm also different to people, there is no one size fits all solutions out there, I can only change myself not others.

This book is a great insight into human behaviour (which I find absolutely fascinating). If you want to learn more about yourself and how you tick and also how others tick, this is a great book to read and find out so much more than you expected.

Thank you Gretchen, you've done it again, look forward to your next book.

Have you read Better Than Before? What did you think of it?

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.
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