Janey Holliday, a single parent and founder of online coaching hub www.makingthingseasy.com shares her top 5 tips on how to manage your mind. You’ll be able to read more from Janey in the first edition of Slick Mummy magazine, which comes out mid- Feb.
“ I’ve been a single parent to my 7 yr twin boys for over six and a half years now and I’m also having a daughter in a seven weeks time by myself. People think I’m mad or suggest I must be super-stressed or miserable because of my so-called ‘circumstances’, but my life is awesome. Not really for any other reason than because of the way I think.
As a mindset coach, I help hundreds and hundreds of women each year turn their lives around and I like to inspire by example. But one of the things that women (especially Mums) are always astounded by is my ability to turn things around in my mind to make everything work for me. I’m not really that different from anyone else really and I often have the same negative, anxious or stressful thoughts many Mums and women do. But I have a magic power that can turn anything bad into everything good and I want to share them with you today…
- A feeling you have stems from a thought you are allowing yourself to have. I woke up yesterday morning feeling overwhelmed. I’m about to be a single parent of three children and I was having a panic about money and time and how will I cope. I may be a mindset coach but I’m human (and have pregnancy hormones flying around!). But as soon as I have a feeling, I know it is stemming from a thought. I think of my thoughts and I have the power to change them at anytime. I say to myself out loud ‘Janey, a thought it just a thought’ and I change it. I was focusing on a lot of fear-based images of empty bank accounts, playing a movie in my mind of me juggling 3 children terribly and it all being chaos and carnage! Then I took a deep breath in, reminded myself of how strong and resilient and great I am and replayed different movies in my mind. Those of joy, happiness, fun, ease, style and grace – all the things I can achieve being a single Mum of three if I allow myself to. I replaced the ‘I can’t and how’ mentality to ‘I can and I will’ one. In seconds my mood changed because I was having better feelings from the thoughts I was creating in my head. Literally nothing else happened, other than I changed my thoughts.
- Comparison is the thief of joy and the cause of most stress. As a single Mum undoubtedly I often find myself comparing myself to women who have a nice husband, are in a better financial position than me, own their own house, have support in the evenings and at night, lovely family days out at the weekends, savings, a pension, those kinds of things. And when I do that guess what? I’m a miserable cow! Firstly, you never know what’s behind the exterior – not everyone who has these things is happy, fulfilled, authentic, living the life they want, nor will have these things forever. Secondly just because I don’t have all those things doesn’t mean I’m not successful, happy, having a great life, will have those things eventually. We make others right and us wrong, or them a success and us a failure. It’s not about being a single parent though, Mums and women in general do this with bodies, careers, family, relationships, the list is endless and it’s EXHAUSTING! As per tip one, once I know I’m feeling miserable, I know it’s down to me to change the thoughts. So I put all my focus on what I have got, all the things I am grateful for, my children, a job that I love with a passion, that I’m healthy, alive, have a roof over my head and that the best is yet to come. Most recently when I saw that starving boy in Syria who was stuck in a besieged town and they’d run out of food and he hadn’t eaten for six days, I had a big perspective-shift. What must his Mum be going through? And I can’t help notice that many western women worry about the most ridiculous of things, don’t you think?!
- Do NOT care what others think of you, it is none of your business. Quite possibly the greatest piece of advice I have ever been given and I try to pass it on to as many people as humanly possible. I am a very confident, happy and relaxed Mum and I’m an excellent mother too. Many Mums are always astounded that I can make such a statement (saying they would never be able to say the same thing!) and people always ask me my secret. Well it’s this! I don’t care what others think of me and it’s that simple. I’m bringing up my children, my way, in my home with my values, to the very best of my ability. I listen to my gut instinct when it comes to raising them, I listen to myself over anyone else (media, websites, health visitors etc) and I don’t care about percentile charts, red books, tests and statistics, what my children do when (sleep, walk, talk etc) and I couldn’t give a hoot about exam results at school or playground politics. I want my home to be fun, joyous, full of love and I prioritise this over things like order, tidiness and to do lists. They way I bring my children up is very different to other Mums but that means exactly that, it’s different NOT right or wrong. Some Mums may have values around order, tidiness, financial security etc, so completely opposite to mine and that’s absolutely fine. Thank god we don’t all want the same things in life! So drown out the noise of others and damn well become the Mum you want to become that works for you!
- It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond to them that matters. When things happen to you that come out of nowhere like a curve ball and throw you off path, see them as a life plot twist and embrace them rather than fight them. We cannot control everything in life so focus on the things you can control and let go of the ones you can’t. I accidentally fell pregnant last summer already being a single parent to my boys and my daughter-to-be’s Dad completely bailed when I told him I couldn’t not have the baby. As a result he wants absolutely nothing to do with us and has blocked me from contacting him and won’t respond to any emails or messages, nice eh?! So I have a choice about how I react to his behavior. I can choose to be the victim, make my life over, completely ruined (as he has!). Or I can choose a path of acceptance, success and happiness. Don’t’ get me wrong it took me a while to get my head around this almighty life plot twist, but which on do you think works better for me? Which do you think gives me energy? Which approach do you think makes my life easier? More enjoyable? Stress and misery is a choice. Playing the victim in life is a choice. We may not be able to change some things in life but we can choose the way we deal with them.
- We are all work in progress. I think it’s so important that in life we have a growth not know mindset. That we accept our imperfections and weaknesses, focus on our strengths, have self-compassion, become less critical, are nicer to ourselves (and other women and Mums) and stop waiting for everything (or us even!) to be better or perfect. No one ever has it all, no one ever has everything right and no one ever knows everything about anything or has a perfect life. Perfection does not exist – even though we’re led to believe that it does by the media. So the minute we drop this bull****, the better in my view. Repeat after me… we all make mistakes, we all make bad choices or do silly things, sometimes we thrive and sometimes we struggle. We are human. And we are work in progress until the day we die. Let stuff go, lighten up, don’t make the past or the future better than the day we have before us right now. You get one life, live it on your terms and live it well!
In 2014, Janey created a 40 week mindset and self-motivation online audio program for women called BEST – designed to help women become the best versions of themselves and life their lives to their full potential. It kicks off for a third year running on 1st February. Slick Mummy readers can save 50% off the BEST deposit and secure an early bird rate place (saving you £105 in total) by using slickmummy50 on when you sign up for BEST. Visit www.makingthingseasy.com for more details.
Follow Janey: Facebook: Makingthingseasy Twitter: @janeyholliday & @easyMTE Instagram: @janeyholliday