Stumbling Through Adulthood
by Vivian Olodun
Turning Self- Sabotage to Success
My guided journal, Stumbling Through Adulthood is a tool to identify dream killing behaviors and confront the reader with the power to decide how he or she plans to move forward. I believe we are all more powerful than we give ourselves credit for, but we mask that power in self-sabotaging behavior that can be corrected. My readers often come back to me saying, “I saw myself in your story and I didn’t realize I can stop doing that.”
We all know that feeling of procrastination. When we should be working on that assignment or studying for that next big project. Instead, we choose to spend hours watching a subpar Netflix series, or get lost for hours online scrolling through images of people we barely know comparing ourselves to their highlight reel. All normal behavior and all examples of self- sabotage. Perfectionism is another form of self-sabotage, where we become consumed with the idea of making something “perfect” before sharing it with the world.
The irony of self-sabotage is that in order to participate in it, you must first have a goal. People who are aimless do not self-sabotage. Those who have a greater purpose suffer from this the most. Self-sabotage is often driven by negative self-talk, where you tell yourself that you’re inadequate, or unworthy of success. You find yourself thinking things like, “You can’t do that!” “You don’t deserve that.” These behaviors become a self-fulfilling prophecy – you told your self you couldn’t do it and so you cannot.
Words have power and what you tell yourself, that you will be.
In my guided journal, Stumbling Through Adulthood, I position my reader to journal about some of my hilariously immature behavior, tough moments, and shameful situations because I want them to be in an elevated mental state. I want them to look at what I did and say, ” I can do better than that.” I ask them to write down what they would do, so that better decisions can stick to their mind. I want them to be able to think good thoughts and speak life into their behavior which will become their reality.
The most successful people in the world are not immune to self-sabotage. They are hyperaware that they can ask for the right kind of help to support their vision. In my business as a marketing consultant, I am often asked to help my clients find self-sabotaging behaviors that are negatively affecting their business. Once we know what the problems are, we can fix them. The writing prompts in my book help my readers transform once negative behaviors into springboards for success.
How We Should Deal with Negative People
Negative people only have space in your life when you make space for them to have it. I walk my readers through this concept in my guided journal. Managing relationships are a major part of being an adult. Dealing with negative people is more about managing your reaction to them. I was born a bad bitch with a very high perception of myself. I know I am not perfect. I know I am not better than any other person on this planet, but I also know I make the best decisions with the information that I have at the time. I know that I don’t actively look for ways to do harm to others. I consider how other people are affected by my actions.
For those reasons, when someone has something negative to say about me, that is their opinion. I value my opinion of myself higher than any other person’s opinion. The fact is, I love myself. I put myself in high regard and I expect others to treat me that way because I also treat others with the same level of respect that I would want.
All that being said, I know we all find ourselves in situations where are trapped by our environment. Maybe we have a negative boss, a supervisor who is bullying us, or a romantic partner who challenges our self-worth. In those situations, it’s important to remember that you have choices and you have a voice.
At work, there are systems in place to protect your personage but it’s up to you to say you are being violated. That violation doesn’t have to be a big thing. I can remember working with a man going through a divorce. I was single at the time and I’d talk about my dates at work. Being that he was going through a divorce, you can imagine he wasn’t a big fan of romance. My now-husband would send me flowers at work. I loved it. He hated it and actually tried to have a rule put in place that staff wasn’t allowed to keep flowers at our desk! What a hater! While in that instance, during our staff meeting I addressed it in front of everyone. I let him know that his sorrow was his own and I nor anyone else in the office planned to participate in his pity party. Also, I would be keeping my flowers for as long as I deemed reasonable and I did.
Friendships and relationships are choices. If you are in a relationship that doesn’t serve you, that is a different issue that starts with one very important question. Do you love yourself? If you love yourself, why are you putting yourself in a situation that makes you feel unloved?
Let negative people be negative, but don’t allow them to push that negativity on you. You are entitled to happiness and peace in every situation in your life.
Toxic relationship are those that are damaging to one or both of the partners. This can be emotional, mental, and sometimes physical. Generally, when there is a significant disproportionate distribution of care and respect, the relationship is toxic. Those inequalities manifest in different ways, but here are some identifying characteristics:
- Moodiness is the norm. Emotions are often erratic.
- Feeling bad more than good.
- Bracing yourself for the next attack.
- Avoidance as a defense. Looking for ways to put space between yourself and your partner. This can be physical space or not address certain topics in conversation out of fear.
- Withholding love. All the care and compassion comes from you and is not reciprocated by your partner.
- Passive-aggressive behaviors.
- Diminishing your self-worth.
- Forms of abuse (physical, emotional & mental)
How Women Can Get Clear on What They Want
Women are powerful and I think most women know what they want. I think the real challenge is believing she can have it or giving herself permission to pursue it. It’s easier to be a follower. It’s easy to accept the traditional path and do traditional things but more and more women are living unsatisfied because she can see other possibilities.
Representation is the first step to massive change. I’ve read plenty of books written by women but when I started to see minority women like Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, and Ava Duverney build empires with stories, it did something to me. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I created a box for that dream and I limited myself to writing resumes for c-suite executive, or copy for digital ads. It wasn’t until I gave myself permission to pursue this project that I realized I had a true talent for communication. I learned that self-publishing was an option and I did it.
There is someone reading this now, maybe it is you, who has a passion for something and you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do it. You’ve told yourself that only certain kinds of women can do it and the lifestyle that you led isn’t right for that, but you are wrong. Women can have any reality they want, she just has to let them have it.
Speak positivity into that dream and watch the world open up to that. Right now, I am responding to this amazing opportunity to write this from an Airbnb in Paris, France. I am here with my husband. He is working and I am on vacation. When you read the stories in my guided journal Stumbling Through Adulthood, you will quickly realize how massive that is.
Stumbling Through Adulthood, A Guided Journal for Failing Forward is available in paperback, ebook, kindle, and soon to be an audiobook. Buy your copy and learn more about the author Vivian Olodun at VivianOlodun.com
About Vivian Olodun
Vivian Olodun is a marketing consultant & owner of vivianolodun.com, a boutique marketing firm which helps mini moguls grow from a commodity to a brand so that they can demand top dollar for their services and have more leverage in their industry.