Are you a secret moaner?

Lately I’ve caught myself in the heat of the moment complaining about stuff.

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee
Nov 15, 2014
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I don’t like it when I moan about stuff. I feel I should know better. But the truth is it’s how I’ve been feeling. It’s not big stuff in the scheme of things but those complaints seem to accumulate and pretty soon I’ve created a big story about how things are and how hard done by I am. I do know better. I do know this is only a reality I am creating but how do I get out of it when I feel so tired and it seems the world is on my shoulders?

I know it’s a perspective. I know there are other more resourceful ones, it’s just that I’m sat in this one, on my own and the only record playing is the one in my head that’s playing over and over, looking for opportunities to reinforce its’ truth.

I am fortunate. I have structures to help me be the best I can be. I’ve set it up that way.

Three years ago I went through this incredible leadership journey. After ten months of being with this international group, I made a request that anyone who wanted to continue on their road to being their best selves, join me in a mastermind group.

We’ve been running for two years and these women hold me to my highest self. They never judge me. They never collude with my story.

On Tuesday night I found myself on a call with these gorgeous women. I found myself saying, “I don’t like who I’m being right now. I’m complaining about everything, I’m being critical and I don’t like it.”

“What do you need?” they asked me.

“I don’t know” I replied.

They won’t accept that. “Take time, allow yourself to be with the question.”

Silence ensues.

I know that what I thought I needed - the kids doing their homework, the bills sorted, the website redone isn’t really what I need.

I take a deep breath and ask myself the question out loud. "What do I need?"

Suddenly from out of the blue the answer came. “I need to remember who I really am.”

A moment of discomfort within me follows. Did I really just say that?

My buddies reply with the following statement, “You are a blueberry. You are courageous as a lion. You are a spirte.”

As they said this the emotion flowed through.

I felt like I was coming home. I was being seen, not for my story, my complaint, my despair.

I was being seen for who they know me to be in my highest self. I was being reminded about how I loved the high ropes courses, how I would speak the truth that others are avoiding and how I can shift the energy in a room with my laughter and aliveness.

Behind every complaint is a desire, a need.

When we allow ourselves the vulnerability to let down our walls and reveal our true emotions, we discover our needs are just waiting to be spoken.

As women, I believe we often struggle to know what we really need. We’re used to putting our needs behind others. We’re taught caregiving.

What I needed most was affirmation of who I was beyond the roles and transactional day to day that was weighing heavily on me at the time.

Sometimes we just need someone to see us and speak from that place of deep acknowledgment.

So if you catch yourself caught in complaints, try this ...

1.Stop. It’s not going to get you what you need.

2.Slow down and sit quietly with yourself. Ask yourself like I did, “What do I really need?” Maybe it’s affirmation, maybe it’s quality time or perhaps it’s a small gift to show they care.

3.Listen to the answer.

4.Allow yourself to be vulnerable and ask for what you need without knowing whether you can have it. Let down the shield that probably says something like, “If they cared they’d know without me needing to say it.”

5. Receive. Allow in what’s offered to you. You might be surprised.

Go to the profile of Vanessa Anstee

Vanessa Anstee

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.
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Go to the profile of Devora Gila Berkowitz
Devora Gila Berkowitz almost 3 years ago

Vanessa, thank you for your transparency and willingness to be the voice in the room. And so wise. Imagine what a world it would be if we could all feel safe enough to let down our walls and express our needs for love, acknowledgment, and appreciation. Many of us are stuck because we are in that perpetual mode of waiting to be understood, as you say in #4 above. You are fortunate to have such a loving mastermind group. Ultimately our ability to acknowledge and appreciate OURSELVES is the key to shifting our experience. Keep up the great blog!

Go to the profile of Liz Adams
Liz Adams almost 3 years ago

Wow! This totally hit home for me. It was like you were in my head! I basically burst into tears when I read the question "what do I need?" "I need to remember who I really am".
Bombshell. I am a 35 year old stay at home mum with 3 gorgeous boys under 5 and a loving husband, but I have totally lost myself over the past few years. This article has helped me write down some points of what I need so I can find "me" again. Now I just need to work out how I can make it happen, and also "when" - amidst my busy life of living for others. How do I find me when I feel so responsible for other people?