Changing The “Blueprint” – Getting Realistic for 2016


Getting real

Sometimes when I’m feeling ‘bleh’ I turn on a Tony Robbins video. Have you ever watched one of his talks? Wow, wow, wow. If you haven’t, do it.  It’s worth those few minutes, I promise. I was watching this motivational video on YouTube the other day and it was like one of those big “AHA” moments you have when things suddenly click into place.

It’s changed the way I think about a lot of stuff, especially the way I think about my life and where it’s going, etc.

I consider myself to be a pretty positive person, but deep down, I’ve been battling quite a few demons lately. Being an introvert, I’m in my head a lot, daydreaming about the future, and constantly beating myself up because I have an A-type personality and nothing I do ever feels good enough.

This has been one almighty roller coaster of a year. It brought out the worst in me. It made me seek and find faith like my soul depended on it.

I went through a rough patch of having the lowest self esteem ever. I was comparing myself all the time, feeling ugly, waking up and hating how I felt and what I saw. I can’t remember exactly when it started this year, but I know I even had bits of that feeling when we went on holiday to the USA in June. A DREAM holiday I’d been daydreaming about for 20 years. I’m still kicking myself for not being able to just ‘let go’ and be myself more.

My happy outlook on life took a major knock, too.

This is hard to write because I don’t want to talk badly so publicly, but I’m also trying to be more real in my writing and online, so let’s just say that things were far from peachy at work. (To the point where I was picking up weight, looking tired, feeling depressed and having my first panic ever.) You can try and exercise, meditate and do things to stay healthy and happy and keep stress and depression at bay, but at the end of the day – you spend a decent chunk (+/- 9 hours average) of your day at work. It’s not like you can just leave stuff at the door the minute you get home, or tell yourself that it’s just a job, that you should be grateful and just get on with it (well, I couldn’t). Work affects home. Home affects work. That’s why there’s a thing called a work-life balance.

Beyond the low points, there were some awesome parts. I met some amazing people who I bonded with and learnt a hell of a lot from. It’s also the first full-time job I’ve had as a writer, and that was a major stepping stone in my career. But I need to feel like what I’m doing has value and that I can grow. I need to work with a positive bunch of people who are excited about what they do.

Changing to Plan B

So I resigned with a whole Plan B mapped out for 2016. I was going to start a blogging business and do freelance writing again. But then, the “blueprint” changed. God clearly had other things in mind. I still can’t believe the way things worked out. I applied for so many jobs, went for a few interviews and had a lot of rejections. Hence the Plan B. I’d all but given up on finding another job when I got asked in for an interview at a really huge company. The interview went better than I imagined, but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up.

I start my new job in January. Funny how life works out when you least expect it. I’m beyond excited and terrified. This job means so many things. It’s a validation of the leap of faith I took three years ago to follow a dream of writing for a living. That’s huge. It means independence and being a bit more of a grown up, having to buy my own car for the first time. It means learning to open my mouth more, and believing in myself and my abilities.

This whole changing your “blueprint” video from Tony Robbins has opened my eyes big time.

He made the point of asking why we feel stressed and depressed compared to others. And you know, his answer sent chills down my spine. Something so simple, which I thought was a good thing. Dreaming. Dreaming about the perfect life and feeling like shit when it doesn’t work out the way it’s all in my head. Comparing my life to someone else’s just because they’re the same age as me. At 33, I honestly thought I’d have my own successful business, that we’d have two kids, that we’d own our own house. I’ve kept that dream going (and MANY, many others – too many others) year after year after year. I’ve felt like I’m not living up to a certain standard. But whose standards are those? Society and what’s considered the norm: Your biological clock is ticking, you’d better get a move on! You’re in a junior writing role, but you’re over 30?! You’re STILL renting? But I also put a lot of pressure on myself and tend to live more in the future instead of enjoying the awesome life I have right now. I can’t complain at all. I’m working in a field I’m passionate about. I’m married to the man of my dreams. We can come and go as we please – wine tasting, running, gorging ourselves full of sushi. We live in a beautiful part of the world, it’s not first world and I still have this dream of moving to America one day, but I’m training myself to shelve this one for now. We have two little furkiddies who are spoilt rotten. I have great health. I’m creative and ambitious and caring. So what if I’m not a loud mouth or super model beautiful? I need to remind myself that there’s something to this “be yourself” and “unique is awesome” thing.

So my blueprint is changing. 2016 is going to be my year.

I don’t know what’s in store and I’m going with that. I’ll let the blueprint change as much as it needs to.

Imperfectly ‘perfect’

I’m not perfect, I’ve made sooooo many mistakes over the last few years. Like expecting way too much from people, it’s such a bad habit and it’s made me lose a few healthy friendships. I’m working on it though, I’m not perfect and I need to learn that other people aren’t either.

A few weeks ago we did this personality test for fun at work. I was classed in this ‘box’ and it stirred something inside me. I was a little mad, mad to be thought of a certain way by some people, but that’s just because I hide a lot of myself behind all these layers and it takes a while for people to get to know the real me. The quiet, introverted person is just the first layer. Writing this, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the handful of amazing people in my life who stuck around long enough and let me to open up and really be myself. For someone who struggles to make new friends, I’m so grateful for these peeps who just ‘get’ me, who I ‘get’.

Because of that, I’m constantly reminding myself these days that I can’t just judge someone based on the little snapshots they choose to show.

2016 will be a year of faith, fun and friends. I want to live more in the now, get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I want to be around and connect with people who like me just the way I am, who aren’t just there when it’s convenient for them. (Want to know who your real friends are? Go through a shitty stressful period. You’ll find out quick.) I want to try and distance myself from social media a bit more. It’s my comfort place, because it’s so much easier hiding behind a keyboard and being (mostly) who I really am online… I need to do more of that in real life. I want to be less selfish. Instead of putting a down payment on a house, we went to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Temecula and Las Vegas. I wouldn’t change it for the world, those kinds of memories you just can’t replace. But that was my big dream, now it’s time to give someone else a chance at having his dream.

Give and grow. I LOVE the way Tony Robbins puts things in his videos. It’s stuff we (mostly) already know, but he has a way of breaking it down and making you want to fist pump the air and scream, “YES, yes, yes!!!” at least 20 times out of sheer excitement at the way he’s made the most daunting things, seem possible and simple. He talked about how giving and growing were the very essence of what it means to be alive. If you don’t grow, you slowly die inside. And giving, well – if you’ve ever spent time volunteering you’ll know that feeling of joy that makes your heart want to leap out of your chest. I want to find something cool to support next year.

This blog post goes against all the blogging rules I’ve learnt, it’s more of a ‘Dear Diary’ post. But it feels good to just write what’s inside without editing a zillion times until I think it sounds perfect. I don’t know if anyone is even going to read this, or get to the end so maybe it really is just a little diary entry just for me, and if it is – that was therapeutic as hell.

I’m looking forward to the changing “blueprint” of 2016 – less expectations and plans, more going with the flow and enjoying the ‘now’.


3 Replies to “Changing The “Blueprint” – Getting Realistic for 2016”

  1. And sometimes it’s just awesomely cathartic to let loose and let the words fly. I would like to do this more, too.
    Poignantly written. Love this. Love your written expression. Here’s to an awesome 2016. I’m already thankful for how awesome it’s going to be. 🙂 🙂

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Aaah, 2016 is going to be GREAT!! Cheers to all good things and to you my friend, I have a feeling this is going to be your year as much as it is mine. Talk soon xx

  2. Your last appraisal is the most important…imperfectly perfect. Damn, there are days I wish I was perfect, but can you imagine how boring that would be? LOL

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