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How to Grow Iron Sunflowers

“It’s not what you are that is holding you back. It’s what you think you are not”

Today I wrote a letter to myself. Staring at a blank notebook, slowly but surely the words started to come. Small things at first, ‘safe’ things, but then a few words turned into a few sentences and before I knew it there they were … my gifts. What struck me what how difficult is was to focus on the positive aspects of me, when I could sure as hell reel off a list of my perceived shortcomings for pages and pages.

For the past week I’ve been immersed in my NLP Master Practitioner course, an intensely beautiful journey of learning, healing and realisation. Picking through the fragments of the past eight days I notice the same familiar patterns surfacing … the underlying belief that I’m not good enough, the inherent need to get everything ‘right’ and try a little bit too hard, the desire to ‘push to be perfect’ and then the feeling of failure when I can’t live up to my own unrealistic and self-imposed expectations. Once again, I've found myself seeking validation from others, as if my own sense of self worth relies on their praise, and the crushing feeling of despondency that this can cause. I am once again catapulted into the realisation that I have been my own harshest critic, and have set the bar so high that I have made it impossible to reach. I also realise that in this, I am not alone…

When is the last time you stopped to celebrate your achievements? Stepped back to appreciate your part in creating your beautiful family, fulfilling career or vibrant health? Understood just how much you make an impact, how much others can learn from you, how much you have to give?

What if the measure of our success each day isn’t the validation we get from others but a deep sense of inner accomplishment and peace. What if we could end each day content in the knowledge that we did our best, that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ and that in each and every moment we are making the best decisions we can.

Your worth is determined by the value you have for yourself. Until you see the unique gift you have to offer the world you will not understand how great your contribution to your family, your friends and your community. Yours is a unique imprint, no other is the same, and when you give yourself permission to shine you share the very thing you were put on this earth to … YOU.

Take care of how you speak to yourself, because YOU are listening. Treat yourself as you would your best friend, your child, your partner; with kindness, acceptance and love. Nurture your uniqueness in order to understand your God-given gifts. From this newfound space, the sunflower grows an iron stem … still beautiful but now with an inner strength, so that whatever storms may pass, it stands tall and majestic.

You are so much stronger than you think you are… so much more capable and loveable.

What you hold in your hands is a unique gift that will change the world. With love, Jenn xxx

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