#BackYourself x Mandatory Mindfulness

Words by Gemma Hanley of Mandatory Mindfulness;


In my past, without even being deeply aware, I wore a heavy crown of self-doubt, criticism, overwhelm, indecision, and double guessing.  I was an energy sucker for reassurance, and I was terrified of failure.  I lived my life and made my decisions based off two anchors; how I believed I would be perceived, and pleasing others.  I allowed my outside world to determine my definitions of success and happiness, and it felt horrible.  Living under this value system landed in me in a world of emotional pain with an extreme and prolonged relationship with Anxiety and Depression.  But it’s not all storm clouds.  The positive? In reaching my pain threshold, I switched that overrated crown for pure determination and self-belief, and I dug my way out.


Since stepping into my self defined sunshine, and with loads of reflection upon how I got here, I’ve come to understand that I now live my life in deep connection with my intuition.  This home base allows my courage to flourish, and for the confidence to back my judgment at any time and any stage.  Of course there is always going to be slips, but so long as I always remember to come back to base, these are now resembled as a toe dipped into the wrong water.  No longer do I face an unanticipated drowning after falling in.  This is the beauty and power of being peacefully self-aware, and I passionately believe that every single one of you are able, worthy, and brilliant enough to #backyourself too! Here’s how I got started.


  1. Self Enquiry

Without awareness to the noise floating around our minds, the opportunity to harness our true potential is missed.  Leaning into the less glamorous parts of my personality, as well as discovering what environments and people triggered these reactions or behaviours in me was totally game changing.  When we can truly take pride and feel love for the person we are, shrinking away from our greatest dreams becomes a matter of the past.  Instead we stand tall, beaming with confidence, and overflowing with enthusiasm to step up to our goals and share our best selves with the world.


  1. Self Confidence

Trust in our own judgment immediately becomes shaky when we allow ourselves to validate the opinions of others as fact.  Before a negativity shower dampens my sparkle, I question whether the opinion is even coming from a person I value and respect.  Is their own life a picture of progressive happiness, health, and success?  Regardless of whether this is the case, it is still so important to never waiver from the truth that the only person who knows what is wholeheartedly right for us is ourselves.  I love Jake Ducey’s empowering language on misaligned opinions: “thank you, but that is not part of my value system”.


  1. Self Worth

Becoming clear on the standards you want in your life and the values you use as a framework for decision making is integral in order to #BackYourself.  Without doing so, it is very difficult for elevation of any kind to happen in our lives.  Rather than looking at this foundation of how I lived my life, I was the queen of outwardly seeking gratification and validation to prop up my flimsy self worth.  My decisions and actions were derived from fear-based emotions of loneliness, impatience, scarcity and failure.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, our self worth is the driver behind the type of intentions we set for our future.  When we stop, confront, and feel the painful truths that eat away at our pivotal self worth, we gift ourselves the opportunity to rebuild and embody any and every quality we desire. I truly believe that I only receive in my life what I genuinely feel I deserve and am worthy of.


  1. Self Respect and Love

While self worth dials the volume of our intentions, self respect (or love) is directly reflected in our actions.  Behaviours such as excessive spending, social media binging, unhelpful use of drugs or alcohol, emotionally driven eating, toxic or abusive relationships, or self crucifying your own body image don’t need to be at the point of ‘ruining’ your life to be robbing you of your happiness.

I spent years in a seemingly never-ending cycle of setting the intentions yet failing to consistently follow through with the actions.  I knew that deep down I wanted a higher vibration of life, yet some of these addictive behaviours were either too painful to break or too satisfying in the moment.  It’s a hamster wheel that we never stop running until we actively participate in flinging ourselves off, tolerating the pain of change, and slowly but surely feel the rewards ripple throughout each area of life.  It’s a forever project and one that I have come to love and feel most at home with.


  1. Self Purpose

I truly don’t believe that you can have wealth and health if you’re not gifting your most precious resources (time and energy) to a project or profession that authentically ignites your fire.  The universe hurled me this harsh but invaluable gem loud and clear, and boy did I need it.  First, I had forced, dragged, and tortured myself through two and a half years of a Law degree that totally depleted my spirit.  Still not having learned the lesson, I then went on to work for five years in an industry that certainly didn’t inspire or generate my joy! It was at this point that I became incredibly unwell with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and an extreme exacerbation of my Anxiety and Depression; I could no longer deny that major changes needed to happen.

In addition to the above four points harmoniously dancing away in my life, I am now extremely conscious of what encourages my self purpose to radiate and shine.  This is so much the case that I actually find I am unable to force a connection if I’m not intuitively on board.

Regardless of where you are today I deeply encourage you to drop the societal standards measuring stick, step off the path that’s grown mind numbingly laborious, and #BackYourself.  If it doesn’t feel right or harmonious for you, back that inner judgment.  Stand in your truth and grow into everything you’ve ever envisaged and more!



Follow Gemma on socials! @mandatorymindfulness

Head Office

  • 52 Kellett Street
  • Darlinghurst
  • NSW 2010, Australia

  • +61 (2) 8005 4388
  • [email protected]