Sometimes difficult things are only difficult because we choose to perceive them to be.
But if it works one way then maybe it can work the other way.
Maybe, difficult things will become a little less challenging if we choose to perceive them to be easier to overcome.
In life there are small wonderful moments that remind you to trust that everything is always working itself out.
These moments occur almost randomly yet they’re in perfect synchronicity.
It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘the overwhelm’. The overwhelm is the stress, anxiety and fear that occurs in life. These occurrences may be big or small but often we hold onto them much tighter than we need to and we let them consume us.
And then suddenly something happens like you notice a beautiful flower, you receive a message from someone you hold dear or something makes you laugh.
It’s always something small but it’s more than enough to totally transform your day.
The idea of something is often much more appealing than the reality.
When you get caught up in a daydream about life, you’re in control you can make it whatever you want it to be.
You can come up with an idea that is totally impossible in the real world but plays out with ease in your mind.
But when reality strikes, when the thing you’ve been thinking about finally happens, it’s always very different.
It could be owning a designer bag.
You have this idea in your mind that you’ll be happier, that it will grant you some sort of status and that you’ll be more confident.
The reality is that you’re exactly the same, you just have a bag that was super expensive.
We create this fantasy that can only ever exist in our minds which often leads to us just feeling disappointed.
Sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do. But it’s important to remember, there are levels to this sort of thing.
You might not want to go to work but you have to. Work could be 9-5 or it could be a 12 hour shift, that’s a lot of time spent doing something that you don’t want to do.
You might not want to leave your house to collect a prescription. That’s not likely to take more than 30 minutes so even though you don’t want to do it, it’ll be over soon.
It’s really important to ensure that you’re not spending spending too much of your life doing things that you don’t want to do. Doing so may lead to a life of misery. And so if you find yourself spending large amounts of your day doing things you don’t want to do, maybe you could do something to change that?
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.
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.
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).
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.
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because we put others above ourselves.
We choose to consider how our actions might make someone else feel, as if that is our responsibility. It often results in not doing the things that we want to do.
In the moment, it might feel like the right choice but in the long run it often leads to regret or resentment.
It could be staying in a ‘good job’ when you actually want to pursue something that is held in a much lower regard by the people you know, maybe it pays less too. You’re worried that people will tell you you’re making a mistake, of the looks you’ll get at the family dinner when they ask how work is going, you want to please your parents and you don’t want other people to think that you’ve regressed.
So, you stick with your current job that you’re no longer interested in.
Overtime you grown to resent those people around you because even though they’re happy with where you’re at in life, you’re miserable. It feels like it’s their fault. But, deep down you know that your misery comes from you caring about other peoples opinions more than you care about making yourself happy.
The lesson here is to learn to put yourself first. How you feel about your life and the choices you make matters so much more than what other people think.