My 13 Personal Lessons, Learnings and Insights of 2013

Lessons Learnings 2013
This includes the gorgeous, the horrendous (well, nothing is really horrendous when it comes to the things you learn about yourself, they just may not be great…but horrendous sounds more dramatic so we’ll go with that in this instance) and the aesthetically displeasing (aka the Ugly).

There were a few things that popped up in my mind when I was thinking about something that was troubling me about myself. Then the floodgates opened and a few more came into my mind. Then some good insights came. Then I mentally reviewed some of the themes and a-has I’ve had. Then I thought I could share this and it may help others. Then I thought you might think me a douchebag. Then I thought, “to hell with that, if just one person gets something of benefit from this then it is my responsibility to share!” (let me know if you’re that one person!!! ….Please?!).

Some of these things are just at awareness stage. I’ve not yet really processed them or seen what (if anything) I need to do about them. Maybe I’ll just have to accept and surrender to some. Perhaps I’ll have a crazy good solution for others…

Some of these other things, well, I love that I’ve learned about them about myself. I love that I’ve learned these things about Me. It’s not about ego or arrogance. It is about accepting that there are some amazing things about myself that go along with the things that I’m not so rainbow-and-unicorns about.

  1. I have chosen this life and lifestyle so I’ve got to suck up the not-so-fab with the FAB!
    I could be sitting somewhere in an office and getting my marketing on and receiving that (awesomely) regular paycheck but I have chosen not to because I realised that that does not make me happy. So I’ve been carving out my life and my livelihood and it can be freaking challenging (where are those unicorns??). When shit hits the fan, it is all on me. And there is no security blanket. And let me tell you that even when you do everything with your heart and the right intention – the occasional piece of poop still happens.But there are many upsides too. I am the Queen of my day. I choose what I do (more or less). When something happens I can fall apart and feel stressed and cry and lose sleep and think people dislike me and scream at the sky (which I have done, recently too thanks to some Life is Crafted behind the scenes happenings) or I can take a deep breath, own it and see that it is all part of the (most of the time) amazing journey.Which leads on to…
  2. Things happen. I choose how I perceive them. I can react like it is the end of the world or that it is growth…
    I find myself quoting this to people at least twice a month because it is sooooooo true!

    Found On

    Found On

    Things happen. We give it the meaning. When we realise this and can choose our reaction, we can empower the situation by seeing the good, or the growth opportunity, or the lesson on what not to do next time, or we can just get the chance to say, “Well, that was shit!” and laugh about it anyway.

  3. I am very good at beating myself up. Olympian standard good. 
    I take responsibility for my life and what happens in it (which is a very, very good thing! Pat on the back Arienne, two gold stars!). Well mostly anyway, I’m not enlightened Buddha (yet…!). This is an empowering place to be, because when you see the role you play in your results and everyday interactions, you can change what you need to or choose better next time.

    This is as opposed to being a victim to all this ‘stuff’ that happens to you all the time (boohoo…woe is me, why does this always happen to me? Other people always… when I never…They….This just keeps happening…I don’t know why…).Okay, okay, I play the victim too on occasion (Two gold stars retracted from Arienne).

    The problem for me happens when I take responsibility and then don’t learn or let go. I turn it into a Rip Arienne to Shreds Session (RATSS): It’s all my fault. I did that and now these are the consequences and they hate me. I am stupid. I should know better than that. Gosh, I’m a failure, even a three year old could do better. Who did I think that I was? Oprah? Why do I think I have what it takes to make a difference to people? Why did I say that? Now they probably think I’m a hopeless weakling. They won’t want to know me. And I am responsible for that. Why didn’t I send that email earlier? I knew what would happen. I’m just not good enough. Why did I react like that? Is all this worth the heartache? How can I live up to this vision? I should just stop trying. I should have gone after this years ago. Yes, I did this but they are all just better than me. Smarter. Faster. I try so hard and I still can’t do it. I put my hand up to help and I just can’t do it. See Arienne, this is all your doing…

    Okay, so I don’t know if that made sense to you, but that is how my brain works during a RATSS. Not very nice am I? It is taking a healthy habit (taking responsbility for your own life) too far into the land of soul destruction. I’m catastrophising my role in EVERYTHING to the nth degree. It is not helpful. I just need to take the lesson, do good, do my best and run.

    I’m getting better at not going overboard though. I’m catching myself in a RATSS much earlier now. I’m a work in progress (three gold stars!!)

  4. Making life happen is all about clarityIt sounds so simple but getting to clarity about something can be hard! When I don’t have clarity around something I want to do, time flies, years pass and I end up frustrated and kicking myself (and getting even better at #3).Case in point. I’ve wanted to do the whole idea of Savvy Sassy She since 2008. To build a movement inspiring women to create amazing lives for themselves in a holistic, fun, full-life encompassing way. But I had no idea where to start. How to do it. What to include. Who it was really for. I just had vague ideas and didn’t commit to any of them.It is only now (eeek, hello 2014) that I am grabbing this and truly making something of it. It is morphing into This is my calling and my purpose and my passion, but it was only when I got clarity on the big picture that I could start to make it happen.Yes, there are still things I am unsure about, but overall I know my why and my outcome, so I can do the work. Yay!!!Even though this length of time to get something going still makes me feel uncomfortable, I am still a big believer that things happen when they are meant to:
    But now that I realise clarity is so essential to progress, I will make it a priority for the important things I want to happen!
  5. I dislike when I HAVE TO do something
    Yup. The minute I HAVE to do something, even things I absolutely LOVE, I resist.For those of you who know me, you know I love planning, visioning, goal setting, dreaming, listing. Anything to do with creating more of a life I love, I’m there will bells on.Today is the 30th December 2014 – the perfect time for all of the above. The prime time to sit down and reflect and put on paper what heart and soul and mind are yearning for.But, I feel like I have to do it. So what am I doing instead? Everything and anything but. Gazing out the window. Reading fluff. Stretching my back on the floor. Decluttering drawers. Playing one more game on my iPad. Clearing my desktop.It is all about perspective or the packaging of the task. Now I have to work out a game to play with myself…Or just let go and trust that the time will come and I’ll get inspired to do this work I want to do anyway – who cares if it ends up being on the 15th of February instead?!
  6. Everything happens (or doesn’t happen) for a reason
    This one has been life changing for me.I truly, madly, deeply believe this.I used to take EVERYTHING personally and react – every happening or non-happening effected me (super tiring!!). Every decision I made seemed like Life or Death. (Exhausting!!!) Or I would put off making a decision because I was scared or worried I’d make the wrong one and be in limbo (Extra exhausting!).Somehow (trial and error, personal experience, getting fed up with this exhaustive reacting) I came to the realisation that everything (EV-ER-Y-damn-Thing) happens for a reason. I put my faith in that.When something I want to happen, doesn’t happen in the timeframe I dictate or when something happens that I didn’t want to happen at all, then I trust that something for the greater good is happening. It makes my life so much easier. Sure, there are still moments I’m affected but I come back to normal much quicker. I can make decisions easier and happenings are not such an emotional roller coaster. Through these experiences I believe there are lessons to be had or bigger and better things to come to me.Trust. Faith. There is magic in the worldeverything_happens_for_a_reason
  7. I am both an introvert and an extrovert
    Oh how simple life could be if we could fit in clean boxes sometimes (ultimately though, I love uniqueness and honour the differences in all of us!).Sometimes I’m a total extrovert – I can small talk to anyone, walk into a stranger-filled room with my head held high, enjoy being the center of attention (sometimes) though I don’t actively seek it, speak in front of a room or run a workshop without deathly fear.Other times I dread going to a party or networking event. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make intelligent conversation or fear I won’t have anything valuable to add. I love my own company and can happily go for days without human interaction. I prefer doing certain things by myself and I get exhausted if I’m around people without my own space for two long.This isn’t a problem, I’m just trying to understand myself and man, am I a complex being with way more than 50 shades of grey…
  8. I am both a rule breaker and a goodie two shoes
    Go figure. The minute I’m told I can’t do something I totally want to do it – especially when I think it is something stupid and without a good reason (like going to the toilet when the seat belt sign has been put on for the 5th time without there actually being much turbulence).When I was in kindergarten in Hong Kong, I made Dad come and talk to the teacher. Why? Because one kid had been naughty and we all got in trouble for it. I felt it was so wrong that me and the other ‘good’ kids got in trouble when we hadn’t done anything ‘bad’. I was a good girl and I was always a good girl and I shouldn’t be punished, right? You agree with me right? Well, so did Dad, he actually came and spoke to the naughty teacher (God, I love that Man).I also stand in line, wait my turn, put my hand up to speak, say please and thank you, listen when somebody is speaking, do what is expected of me (ok, I’m getting better at not doing that), I’m polite to the point of pain, do everything I’m told (hmmm…), don’t rock the boat, smile and nod – see total goodie two shoes. Okay, reading over that list I think I’m becoming a reformed goodie goodie.
  9. Make a decision and just do it
    Life’s too short to be in limbo. When faced with a decision make it as quickly as possible.Most of the time, if you end up making the wrong one you can always go back and make a different decision. You might have lost a bit of time and money but at least now you know and you didn’t waste more time left wondering…
  10. Progress not perfectionIf you’re waiting for everything to be just right, you’ll never get started. Just do it. You’ll learn along the way, get feedback, tweak it and it will be better than if you never started, or started later.strive-for-progress
  11. I find it hard to relax
    Ahhhhhhhhh. I find it hard to turn off. I find it hard to be in the moment and spend quality time with who I’m with (even though I love them or think they are awesome). I always feel I should be creating or doing more, better, faster, bigger.I try to lie on the couch and I feel guilty. Even after I give myself permission to. Even after working a 14 hour day. That is fucked up.Intellectually I know I need to refill my well. That inspiration comes in silence and peace. That quality time and special moments are created by being here, now. Maybe if I got more efficient or focussed at work I could let go more because I know there are days or pockets in days when I’m just doing ‘busy’ work and not achieving anything, so then I feel I should be doing more and it never ends.I’ve been on a much needed  holiday for 10 days so far and I’m struggling, which is why I’m writing this post, creating a whole new website, outlining book ideas…But I’ve also read books, spoken to my family (heehee), put up the christmas tree, gone for walks. I’m a total work in (relaxation) progress. 
  12. I’m slowly getting over being a people-pleaser and worrying about what EVERYONE thinks about me
    The operative word in the above sentence is ‘slowly’ and ‘everyone’. I think this is part of the goodie two shoes in me.Being the real, authentic me means I may not make everyone happy. I may have an opinion or do things that not everyone agrees with. I may say no, or say yes. I may live my life in a certain way that people think is wrong. I believe things that go against the beliefs of others.As I start putting myself out there and sharing my message about creating a life you love I will have people who criticize me.  I have cried and had my little heart hurt when people have said negative things but I’m getting better at dealing with it. I am determined to not let this stop me from doing what I believe is good and my purpose and which will have a positive impact on others.If I come from a place of pure positive intention and it generally helps rather than hinders and I can sleep at night, I can’t help what others think. If it makes me happy and I believe it is for the greater good then I will do it. And I will always try to respect the belief and opinions of others even if I don’t agree with it wholeheartedly (unless it is obviously intended to hurt others or is not for the greater good).Any when I get stuck on what to say or how to deal with something, I will ask “What would Phyrne do?”

    Found On

    Found On

  13. I can inspire others
    So, I don’t want to be that guru that says, “I am an inspiration” (hello, Wankeress!) but I love that things I say or perspectives and experiences I share can be inspirational. I believe we can all be inspirations to each other. I get inspired by others all the time – by the child in the street, by a photograph, by a line in a book, by an insight on a blog, by a post of facebook. Inspiration galore!The feedback I get from coaching clients and from customers of Life is Crafted blows my mind. I am humbled and grateful when they share that something I’ve created or stated has inspired them to be or do something that is more in line with who they truly are or helped to change their attitude more positively in life.I am embracing this. This make me glow. I am a perfect work in progress with so much still to learn, as we all are, and if I can positively impact someone, somehow, large or small, I am so glad I can inspire.

How about you Adventuress? What are one or more of your learnings, lessons or insights of 2013? Share with us and inspire others below!

Make it as you wish Adventuress,


2 thoughts on “My 13 Personal Lessons, Learnings and Insights of 2013

  1. Thank you Arienne for this amazing piece. I can relate to sooooo much of it. Your insight and self awareness astounds me, truly! How incredibly fortunate you are to recognise all of this at this stage in your life. xxx

    • Happy New Year Jo-Anne! Thank you so much for your comment here 🙂 Self Awareness is such a powerful thing. I really believe ALL change and transformation begins with this. I am very grateful I have focussed on cultivating it, my healthier and more powerful inner world and the successes I’ve started to build have come from it. But, as I’m sure you know, it can be confronting and challenging to take responsibility (or at least co-responsibility!) for what you do, who you are showing up as in the world and what is showing up as a result of this.

      Warm hugs to you 🙂

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