How do you view you?

For many people, how they value themselves comes from other people.

This can be great when people are treating you well but when not so much when you’re treated poorly. You go from feeling good about yourself to not feeling good enough and because you’ve become reliant on other people to determine your value.

It may even get to the point where you almost feel lost and are unable to truly establish how you feel about yourself without it coming from other people. And so, you feel down and worthless whilst also blaming other people for how you feel.

I think that stage of blaming others continues until you’re able to realise that nobody else should be in control of how you feel about yourself. That’s not a solid foundation.

Minimising uncertainty

One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.

It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.

This can be done by asking more questions.

Questions like:

When would you like me to complete this?

What time do you want to meet?

How do you feel about this situation?

You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.

Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.

500 and something

It started with 1 then 50, 100, 300 and now 500.

A few weeks ago, I reached 500 followers on this blog.

I consider it an achievement because 500 is quite a lot of people. At the beginning of the year I wrote down that I wanted to grow this site and reach 500 followers, as well as a certain number of monthly views.

Yet, at the same time I’m aware that the numbers are not the most important thing. It matters to me more that you gain something from what I share

That’s something that won’t show up in my WordPress stats but it happens because I know how much of an impact words can have on someone.

I like what I share here, I’m passionate about it and I’ll continue to do it regardless of the numbers.

But at the same time, it’s nice to reach a milestone, so here’s to the next 500!

You don’t need to change

Just because you try something new doesn’t mean you have to adopt it as a long term thing or even do it more than once.

This applies to so many things work, relationships, hobbies, habits, diet and fitness.

Trying new things is about being open to something you’ve not experienced before, it doesn’t require permanent change.

We so often advocate for change and for not sticking with the way things are. However, sometimes trying something new one time is enough to make you realise that you don’t actually need to change.

There’s nothing wrong with trying something and then deciding that it’s not for you. In the short run it might feel like a step back, in the long run you’re simply doing what feels best for you.

Assuming the worst

Often when when we face a new situation that involves uncertainty, we automatically assume the worst. We make up a story about how bad it’ll be, how everything will go wrong and how maybe we’d have been better off if things stayed the way they were.

But, change is inevitable and so you have to learn to get used it.

The funny thing about these situations is that, we prepare ourselves for the worst but things never turn out as bad as we think they might.

In fact, things often turn out much better.

The problem with putting things off

One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is, do things that need to be done, instead of putting them off.

Our lives would be so much easier and our stress levels would be significantly lower if only we didn’t wait to get things done.

Often these things to be done are small and don’t take much time at all but the longer we wait the more the urgency builds or the problem grows. Then, all of a sudden we begin to feel overwhelmed by something we could have resolved and moved on from, weeks or even months ago.

Feelings of freedom

As we go through life we develop ideas of what freedom would look like or feel like for ourselves. It may come from how you were brought up, the career aspirations you have or maybe just how you feel in particular moments.

If the idea of feeling liberated matters to you then it’s worth while creating a life that aligns with that.

Maybe for you liberation comes from being able to have last minute getaways a few times a year. It could be a day in a new city or a week somewhere far away. What matters is that you have the choice to do it.

It could be that freedom for you comes from being able to speak your mind without worrying about what other people will think.

Or perhaps you feel free when you don’t have to explain yourself to other people, as in you’re free to make choices without having to justify them.

Choosing a life that conflicts with what makes you feel free only leads to frustration. Frustration towards those that have become a barrier to your freedom and frustration towards yourself for ending up in these circumstances.

In all this, one of the most important things to remember is that freedom is a feeling. You might not feel free right now but you can always feel differently tomorrow (or a few months from now once you’ve made some changes in your life).

The old normal

Lockdown allowed us to fantasise about the possibilities of life.

The way that things were was no longer seen as the way that things had to be.

The longer we were inside the more we began to speak of the new normal. We were able to imagine changes on scales small and large. I think this gave a lot of people hope, that this pandemic would not be for nothing if once it was over there would be change for the better.

But, somewhere along the way, there was a shift. Instead of speaking of the new way of life we had once hoped for, we began to long over the old ways.

Suddenly, it was the old normal that we were dreaming of, not something new.

A writers growth

Looking through drafts is a great way to observe your growth as a writer. Many time you come across things your current self would never write and so you press delete. Other times you come across good ideas that are poorly written out and you then have the option to just delete them and start over or to tend to them with a fresh perspective.

I believe that most writers drafts or deleted content far outweighs what they’re shared and put out into the world.

It’s quite obvious that the things that get deleted aren’t considered worth sharing. Perhaps, it had been in your drafts for a few months or even years but every time you went back to it, you didn’t really like it enough to work on it a little more and complete it. Maybe it just wasn’t a good idea, it happens and it’s perfectly okay.

Then, there are the drafts.

There are days when you write, write and write some more. This results in an influx of ideas and some of these ideas are ‘microwavable’ whilst others are more like seeds.

The ‘microwave’ ideas don’t take much time to be brought to life. They’re not necessarily instant but if you set a little time to work on them you can finish them fairly easily. They don’t stay drafts for long.

Then there are the ideas that are like seedlings, these ones require time, care and attention. They can’t be rushed and if if you ever try to hurry them along, you’ll never be happy with the result. But if you’re willing to have patience these ideas will flourish when they finally come alive in all their glory.

What’s the point in having a dream life?

We often end up pushing what we really want to the side in favour of something considered more realistic.

The point in having a dream life is being able to acknowledge and accept that where you are may not be where you want to be, then finding ways to bridge that gap.

It’s not about telling yourself, I’ll be happy when…

It’s not about spending all day fantasizing about the life you want as a form of escapism from your real life where you’re miserable.

It’s not about pining after a life where you’re rich and famous.

Often when we make plans for the future we come up with things like stable job, nice house, a few holidays a year and be comfortable financially.

That’s not a dream, that’s something we say because we’re scared of uncertainty. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that life or that you wouldn’t be happy living it.

But try digging a little deeper, get lost in thought and see what comes up. Slowly, overtime your daydreams will come together to form a dream life and it’ll be full and specific.

Once you have that, the next step is bringing it to life which first requires you to believe it’s possible.