Failed expectations

Sometimes the way you envision things in your mind isn’t quite the way they pan out in real life.

It can be difficult to accept when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to. But this only really happens when reality fails your expectations. On the flipside when you’re expectations are surpassed you’re happy, you don’t question it.

The reason failed expectations bother us so much is because we allowed ourselves to get excited at the thought of something we want to happen. Then, when reality falls short we’re now disappointed because we know how things could have panned out and things could have turned out much better.

Complaint without action

Complaints can be categorised into 2 groups, things you can change and things you can’t change.

If you are able to sort the issue that feel the need to complain about, it’s probably not worth the effort to complain. Instead take action, do something about it.

Lets say that you’re cold. You could fix this by putting on another layer or closing the window. But instead you choose to complain. Maybe you’re usually the one that has to close the window and you want someone else to do it for a change.

If you can easily fix something that bothers you and you choose to do nothing then maybe you don’t actually care, maybe you just like complaining. I think that can be a difficult thing to admit but it’s the truth for many people even if it’s just for something small.

And sometimes the case is that you care but you want someone else to fix the problem. Perhaps you feel like it’s always on you.

However, as much as that’s understandable, it is also of very little benefit to you.

Let them get it wrong

When teaching someone how to do something, you have to let them get it wrong.

It may be easier to jump in just before the mistake, error or failure occurs and rectify things. But this brings little benefit in the long run.

In the short run, the person may feel supported which is a good thing. But too much support leads a lack of independence and self-reliance. Instead they become reliant on you being there.

It teaches the person that they don’t have to work things out for themselves because someone will come along to make things right. It may also lead to this person not trying because you’ve showed them that you won’t allow them to fail.

The reason you step in before things go wrong is because you want them to get it right. However, you have to give people space to learn things for themselves and that includes getting things wrong.

Rational decision makers

When I first heard the term ‘sunk costs’ I had no idea what it meant. However, I heard it from Seth Godin so I payed attention and came to find that it referred to money that had already been spent (which you can’t get back) that should not be considered in future decision making.

This idea can be applied to more than just money, it can also be applied to time although they say time is money so it all really just boils down to the same thing.

The idea of sunk costs is so useful because often we make decisions based on the past whereas sunk costs advises us to put that aside and make choices based on the present. I think it helps us to become more rational decision makers instead of relying on how things of the past have made us feel.

Start showing up

It’s important to show up for the things that you care about and for the things that matter. It doesn’t need to be for praise and attention, simply do it for yourself.

This can be applied to so many things. Maybe you’re passionate about the environment, you might even have lots of good ideas or thoughts worth sharing. However, you don’t share about it online, you don’t volunteer and you don’t talk to your friends about it.

I think all the reasons to not show up stem from fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged even a fear of being seen.

It’s okay to feel all those those things but don’t let that stop you from showing up for the things that you care about.

Putting yourself out there

You refuse to put yourself out there because you’re afraid of being rejected. Meanwhile, you’re also not allowing people to accept the real you.

Rejection is a part of life, you’re not for everyone it’s okay, it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Don’t get so caught up in the people that don’t want you, they’re not your people. Give the others a chance. How do you expect to find your people if you aren’t even willing to show them who you really are?

In search of community

I think a key part of being creative is doing it as part of a community.

Community is really important. You don’t need to be working on a joint project you can simply work on your individual projects together. Being part of a community can help keep you motivated and accountable, give you people to bounce ideas off and act as a sounding board. Plus, you have people to share your progress and growth with. All those things you can gain are also the things you’re able to give.

There are the kind of communities that you pay for with a monthly membership fee. There is usually some sort of leader or overseer even if they don’t interact with the members directly.

But there is also community formed when a few people (sometimes total strangers) decide to come together. In this case, there is no leader or hierarchy. This is what I’m currently in search of.

I’ve been sharing my work online for close to a decade and it has always been a solitary pursuit. However, lately the idea of community has really appealed to me, both online and offline.

An unanticipated shift

Sometimes your life may take an unanticipated shift.

The easiest thing to do is resist but this only ever makes things worse.

It might seem strange to be told that accepting something that is difficult, challenging or unwanted will be better than trying to avoid it but it’s true.

This shift could be related to health, career, personal style, home, friendship or a romantic relationship.

More often than not you’re simply not ready for the change and so you try and put it off until you are.

But, you can’t control it, no matter how hard you control.

You’re much better off going with the flow of change than resisting or pushing against it.

Being a beginner

The idea of being a beginner may be enough to put you off starting something new especially if you use social media. These days everyone is an expert at something and if that something is the thing you want to try out you might end up feeling like there isn’t room for someone new.

However, the feeling may also be fear related, perhaps you’re afraid of showing up in a space as a beginner or someone with little experience when everyone else is more established and more experienced.

But it’s important to remember that you have to start from somewhere, everyone was once a beginner.

You don’t need to show up as an expert when you’re just starting out and you don’t need to worry about whether there is room for you, just show up as someone who is ready to learn.

Good enough for right now

Not everything will be perfect and not everything needs to be.

Sometimes all you need to do is focus on making something that is good enough for right now.

Maybe, you can make it better later or maybe good enough is all that it needs to be.

If that’s the case, any time spent making it amazing isn’t time well spent. Instead of stressing to make it better, try focusing your efforts and energy on something that needs to be much better than just good enough.