I am still engrossed in my book ‘Authentic – How to be Yourself & Why it Matters’ by Professor Stephen Joseph. It is a real page-turner. There is a belief that if you are not ‘true’ to who you are, you are derailed and therefore will not be happy until you get back on track.

For my part, I have spent the bigger part of my life not being on track but not knowing what the hell to do about it. I simply could not get back onto the right tracks and because of that, I felt deeply and secretly unhappy, despite showing a smiling face.

As I reflect back on where it all ‘went wrong’ or ‘where it all changed’, as nothing in life is ‘wrong’ or just not the perfect path. I took a job at an Advertising Agency to work for the CEO but in the interview she ‘scared’ me. I could see that she was going to be a challenge but she wanted to hire me there and then. I was flattered – who doesn’t like to be ‘wanted’ so I said “Yes”, even though that voice in my head said “No”!!! And it started from there… my inauthentic life.

According to this awesome book, did you know that we have the need to be the agent of our own destiny, free to choose our own path without feeling controlled? We also need a sense of belonging – we need connection and attachment. We are social creatures (courtesy of ‘Authentic’ by Professor Stephen Joseph). So if you ‘derail’ your life and say “yes’ when you want to say “no” you have basically been controlled by someone else.

Even a few years ago I was invited to talk at DWIB – a lovely local networking group full of amazing women. My plan? To talk about my life, be truthful and openly and honestly share my mental health issues and battle with depression, and that despite my ‘issues’ I had come to Highcliffe, stormed a high street and even opened a shop. However, on the actual day I ‘copped out’. Truthfully I did. And what resulted? A kind of weird, messed up speech about my life with references to keeping good mental health, the odd “I love Oprah Winfrey” comment and a random selection of ‘funny’ stories to deflect from what I really wanted to say. What I really wanted to say was that I had been struggling with life but that I was determined to get back on track. That I was walking a lot, keeping positive and having lots of amazing therapies like CBT and NLP etc. What I should have done was ‘share’ my story to say “it’s okay to struggle” and “it’s okay to talk openly about #mentalhealth“. Instead, it was easier to make jokes and do a weird speech which sounded like me standing up and reading out my CV. That was not the intention – I am not arrogant – many people have achieved amazing things and when you get to my age it’s a ‘given’ that you have done some random stuff. No, what I wanted to share was the ‘real me’ but I was too scared to reveal the true me. The truth is I would never want to appear as a ‘victim’. I am a positive person and I wanted my image to stay intact.

The truth is that I have always been a positive person who loves to smile and laugh. Despite all my experience, I carried on… felt down, got up again, felt down, got up again, and so on. You get the picture. I have surrounded myself with amazing people who believed in me, propped me up and kept me going towards #DestinationHappy.

In the words of the song “Everybody’s gotta learn sometime” by The Korgis, it just took me a little longer than the average bear but that is okay! I got there in the end and that is what matters – so “Yay” to that! ?

With love,

Tracey B x
Lifestyle Consultant