Sometimes in life, all of a sudden you’re busy.
Things go from being normal one day to all systems go the next.
It might feel quite overwhelming because now you have so much to think about and plan. Perhaps you even find that your plans overlap. Now you have to choose what to leave early or show up late for.
You end up in a bit of a trance, just trying to get through the busy period until finally normality is restored.
Being busy can be difficult but you can also make being busy a little bit easier. Things like planning things in advance instead of in the moment, checking your calendar and being sure to write things down can all make a big difference in helping you feel less overwhelmed.
Sometimes in order to bring in something new, you need to make space for it. A life that is filled to the brim with ‘stuff’ is not a life that is open to the new.
It might seem like the change you want isn’t happening or that things aren’t working out for you. The reality is, you don’t have space for the things that you want.
You have to make space by clearing out the things you no longer need, even if you feel like still want them in your life. It could be physical clutter, friends you’ve outgrown, past times you don’t enjoy, a diet that is hindering your health or a job you’ve been talking about leaving for the past 2 years.
When you finally make space in your life you’ll start to notice how new things flow in with ease, you’ll also become a little more picky about what you choose to keep.
I think most people have a some idea of who they are, what they like and what they would and wouldn’t do. Sometimes the idea we have of ourselves is flexible. We’re open to the idea of changing even if that means being very different from who we were or who we thought we’d be.
Other times the idea we have of ourselves is rigid. We have a mental note of things we wouldn’t do and we stick to it. There are times when we want to try new things, explore and experiment but we restrict ourselves because it goes against the idea we have of who we are.
But I think there is something wonderful in doing something you thought you’d never do. It’s a reminder that we’re constantly changing and also to remain open to change.
Often in life when we’re going through a difficult time or something unideal happens we end up feeling stuck. We think it’s because our situation is just so awful and terrible. However, often we end up stuck because we aren’t putting enough of our effort and energy into the solution.
For example, lets say you got made redundant. You then spend the following days or weeks talking about how you didn’t deserve it, how X person should have been let go instead of you, that it’s not fair, you’ve been hard done by, it’s ruined your life, constantly dropping your redundancy into conversations and wallowing in self pity.
As much as it’s important to acknowledge a difficult situation, there’s little to no benefit in dwelling.
Instead, you could focus on moving forward and getting a new job. That could involve updating your CV, researching companies to apply at, filling out job applications or thinking about what you want your next career step to be.
A new job might not come come quicker but I think that being pro-active can do wonders for boosting your morale.
If you don’t think you’re good enough that belief will have a major impact on how you experience life.
You’ll have a hard time identifying when you’re being treated poorly because you have such low standards for yourself. This could be with a friend, romantic partner, family member, colleague or even a stranger.
Perhaps someone is unkind to you and instead of speaking up you sit and internalise it. You find yourself almost justifying it with things like ‘it’s not that bad’, ‘they probably didn’t mean anything by it’ or ‘at least they didn’t…’. Your sense of self is so low that you’re willing to accept below the bare minimum.
This can be an awful thing to experience and can result in mental health problems like anxiety or depression. However, it can also serve as a catalyst for change. You’ll reach a point where you can no longer accept the way that you’re being treated because it feels like a betrayal. When you realise that you shouldn’t be okay with people doing things like ignore you, lie to you and overlook you, you’ll be much less willing to accept it.
Suddenly, the awareness you’ve gained has given you the opprtunity to live a very different life that you didn’t even know was available to you.
It could mean ending friendships, resigning from your job, having conversations that feel difficult, settling firm boundaries, saying no and learning to stand up for yourself.
That might seem daunting but if you focus on the fact that life will be a easier to navigate when you think better of yourself, that should at least give you the motivation to get started.
So often in life we feel like we’re super busy but in reality we aren’t actually getting anything done.
Perhaps you’re the sort of person who always has at least 7 things on the go. You feel like you’re busy but really you’re just overwhelmed. You’re overwhelmed because you’re not allowing your mind to focus.
Instead of finishing one task before you start the next one, you’re doing little bits of each task, flitting from one thing to the next. Then suddenly you find yourself rushing to try and complete everything. More often than not things don’t actually get finished.
Or perhaps you believe in multi-tasking. Things like baking whilst listening to a podcast or making notes at a webinar are fine. The issue arises when you’re baking and trying to make notes whilst listening to something. Or maybe you’re writing, watching a show, playing a game and checking social media.
I think we sometimes underestimate the effect that focusing on one thing at a time can have on our ability to be productive.
In our bid to be productive, feel busy and get lots done we often end up over complicating things.
We’re much better off, slowing down and focusing on one thing at a time
If you’re in a situation that you anticipate could be challenging, you may feel like the best thing to do is back down. That way you no longer have to deal with things or worry about the outcome being far from ideal.
But backing down can also mean that you aren’t willing to stand up for yourself. Sometimes we convince ourselves that backing down is the right thing to do. Other times, we worry that by not backing down, we’re making things difficult for others.
You end up being so considerate of other people that you’re not even willing to stand up for yourself. Backing down is easy and sometimes it might even be the right thing to do. However, if you’re backing down out of fear or your desire to please or appease others then maybe you’ll be better off standing your ground.
Some things are worth waiting for but sometimes you’re better off just calling it quits and moving on to something else.
Just because you can wait, doesnt mean that you should.
What do you do when you’re speaking and nobody is listening?
Do you speak louder and hope that people start to pay attention, do you give up or do you find another way to overcome being ignored?
Being ignored is difficult. It can hurt your feelings, effect your self-esteem and lead you to feel frustrated.
If you’re already being ignored speaking louder might work but it might just lead to more of the same. Giving up sometimes feels like the best option, especially when you’re tired of trying to be heard. But when you decide to give up, the problem you were trying to speak up about still remains.
And then you have the last option, find another way. This might take more time and more effort but in the end it’ll be worth it. When you find a way to overcome a difficult situation it reminds you of your perseverance and ability to overcome challenges.
I think a big reason why we sometimes avoid setting boundaries is because we think don’t know how to do it. However, it turns out the setting boundaries is like everything else, getting good takes practice.
And so like Zig Ziglar said ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well’.
Instead of shying away from setting boundaries because you think you’ll do it badly, embrace where you’re at and in time you’ll get better at it.
Little problems can suddenly become big problems.
It is so important to address things in the moment instead of brushing them off, waiting or saying nothing.
When you do this you’ll find that days, weeks or even months later you’re bringing stuff up that were (according to the other person) not an issue when they happened. And this can then make you seem disingenuous because you pretended that everything was okay instead of raising the issue in the moment.
I think it’s important to be clear about what you do and don’t accept. And then practice voicing that to the people around you so that they are aware of what you’re not okay with.
That way, you never have to let things pile up because that person is already aware. Sometimes we tell ourselves that by saying nothing we are avoiding confrontation or protecting the other persons feelings from getting hurt. However, more often than not we just end up causing ourselves more issues.