Wrapping up the year with a delicious reflection session.

It’s been a year of realisation, healing and going to work.

At the beginning of the year, I landed a stable office job with a great team of people. Very quickly, I was confronted by my unbalanced work ethic and was left trying to balance the remainder of my time between the podcast, Júlia, friends, family, exercise, and self-time. It was difficult.

But I was grateful for this situation because I became highly aware of some of the dysfunctional beliefs I hold around work, and why work takes priority over most other areas of my life.

The troublesome belief I became aware of was:

My value as a person is determined by the outcome of the work I produce. If people approve of my work, then I feel good, well and worthy. If they feel it’s lacking or needs improvement, then I feel worthless (worth-less) and need to work even harder to make up for the self-worth deficit I’ve just created.

This is a very intense belief. However, there is something I found helpful when I was deep in moments of being my own worst boss.

Every time I felt the pressure to work harder, I would look around the office and become aware of everyone else working around me. While I did this, I recalled the times they had shown their work to others and received feedback on things they needed to improve. From this, I realised that not everyone puts the same amount of pressure on themselves as I do, and they seem perfectly ok, maybe even a little happier…

I realised my workmates weren’t working for their worth. They were just working. They knew they were valuable even if their work falls flat and they have to do it all again.

Of course, not everyone in the office had this worked out. I found it quite sobering when I saw others putting pressure on themselves to produce good work or work harder.

I got to see this belief from the outside and realised it only serves to add extra pressure to perform which makes it even harder to work efficiently because suddenly my self-value is riding on the quality of my work.

Anyway, enough of this intro. Let’s get to this post!

Most Popular Episodes of 2017

Here are the three most listened to episodes of the podcast this year. (Note: visit the Archive page to browse the entire podcast collection)

EP42: Dealing with Anxiety – A Talk with Neil Hughes

An excellent talk with Neil Hughes (walkingoncustard.com) on the powerfully practical things we can do to manage anxiety. This podcast is for anyone wondering how they can start reclaiming their lives from the grips of anxiety. Super practical advice from a terrific guy.

EP38: What is Ego?

In this episode, I hear from a range of people on their definition of ‘ego’ in an attempt to piece together a common understanding of what ‘ego is and whether we should eliminate or befriend it. A highly thought-provoking episode.

EP41: Navigating the Waters of Self-Love – A Talk with Caira Lee

A comprehensive look at the obstacles of doubt and fear and how to deal with them when they are thwarting our attempts at self-love. This episode is action packed and full of heart. One of my favourite podcasts of the year.

Biggest Learnings of 2017

I’ve learned a lot this year, but here’s a curated list of the things which have set in motion the most significant changes in my relationship with myself and others.

I’m Highly-Critical of Others Who Remind Me of Myself

There’s a lot of critical energy in me towards people who remind me of the parts of myself I haven’t accepted yet. This year I experienced a lot of negativity towards other people who were talking about spiritual or self-development topics as if they were already an enlightened being. The negativity became so intense that I recorded a whole episode to understand where this negativity was coming from – EP48: Why Am I So Critical of Others?

My Work Is Not an Ultimate Indicator of My Worth

Picking up from the beginning of this post – I hold a belief that I need to work to gain my self-worth. This view was causing me to see work as more important than any other area of my life. That makes sense. If I feel there is no other way for me to feel worthy and valuable, I’m going to work my butt off to prove that I’m valuable.

What about we try an alternative belief on for size and see how it feels:

I’m already of worth. The outcomes of my work, or any other area of my life, do not affect my worth.

I reminded myself of this everytime I began treating work as ultimately important – I’m already of value, and there’s nothing I need to do to prove that.

After doing this (a lot!), I’m starting to notice a gradual shift in the way I see work. I’m becoming aware that my life doesn’t revolve around work and I’m noticing I have more time and energy to spend in the other areas of my life. Heck yeah!

If you’re interested in learning about the origins of this dysfunctional belief, check out this episode – EP40: Why We Don’t Have to Feel Inadequate When We Get Rejected

I’m Ready When I’m Ready

I’ve realised jumping too far out of my comfort zone is often not helpful. I can get lucky and feel comfortable in a foreign experience, but usually, these large jumps put me in a situation that I don’t yet have the tools to deal with.

This leap can end up with me scaring myself and retreating to safety instead of resulting in a productive forward step. I’ll talk more about this under The Courage to Create section below.

What Were Your Biggest Learnings?

If you’re feeling it, I invite you to take 5 minutes for yourself and write down some of your most significant learnings from 2017. I was surprised at how much I learned from just taking a moment to reflect back on the year.

Coming in 2018

The Courage to Create (Video Series)

The Courage to Create series is as much an exploration of the present moment as it is a case study of what happens to a person’s fears and insecurities when they begin doing what fascinates and intrigues them.

It can only be good, right? Let’s find out!

The first video goes live on Youtube January 5th, 2018. I’ll be creating three videos every month, so subscribe over to the B is for Being YouTube channel to come along as the journey unfolds.

Where This Started

I’ve wanted to record ‘ambient videos’ for more than ten years now and never done it.

’Ambient video’ is the term I’m using to describe a video which emphasises the sights and sounds of a videomaker’s surroundings to immerse the viewer in a particular environment, feeling or experience.

The inspiration to create these videos has returned to me countless times, but the thought of creating what I wanted to create was terrifying enough to keep me from taking action. I did experience moments where the inspiration was so intense I would work on concepts and think about the environments I would like to record, but I never shared these beyond close family and friends.

I wonder if I would have been able to jump out of my comfort zone five years ago and start making these videos?

Something tells me I wouldn’t have been able to produce these videos for very long before burning out and having to return to my comfort zone. This leap would have been too big for me.

Before starting the podcast, I could feel I was ready to step outside of my comfort zone as the idea of challenging myself to record interviews with people energised and excited me.

The podcast provided me with enough of a comfort challenge that I began to learn and develop new skills without being so overwhelming that I needed to stop and return to safety. (Related episode: EP14: Making It Easier to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone)

I’m grateful for the experience the podcast has given me. Now I’m at the point where producing the podcast is starting to feel comfortable. My expanded comfort zone is swallowing it!

In the past few months, I’ve found myself increasingly interested in the idea of recording myself on video. I even started experimenting back in 2016 with the Free Flow Fridays series to see how it would feel.

All of these progressive steps have brought me to the point where recording these ambient videos feels like the next challenge for me to develop and expand myself further. I feel energised and excited by the thought.

The Podcast in 2018

Even though I’ll mainly be working on The Courage to Create video series, I’ll still be producing new podcasts when I’ve got something to share with you.

Live Newsletters

At the end of every month, I go out into the world (hopefully in nature) and record a live freewriting session on a specific realisation or struggle I had during the month which has limited my self-expression.

I share the practical techniques or perspective changes which have brought significant relief or understanding to troubling areas of life. You also get to hear the ambient sounds around me as I type.

I send these Live Newsletters straight to your inbox if you’re on the Mailing List. (Sign-up here if you’re not on the list.)

Thank You for Joining Me This Year!

Before I leave you, I have a small request.

If you’ve gotten something out of any of the content I’ve shared on B is for Being this year, I’d be very grateful if you could take a moment to leave me a review on iTunes or Facebook.

Leaving a review not only lets me know you’re enjoying the content but also allows others to discover the same content you’ve been enjoying.

Thank you so much! It means a lot to me.

I look forward to sharing more with you in 2018.

Until then, let’s treat ourselves to an extra large serve of self-compassion over the holiday period.

Adiós amigos,
Benjamin

Featured image by
Sandra Strait

Licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)