Something to prove

Sometimes the only reason we choose to stick at something is because we have something to prove to ourselves.

From the outside it might seem as though we’re wasting time and money because the success isn’t coming. From the inside we’re just not willing to give up yet because we believe that somehow we can find a way to make things work.

People tend to make fun of or be critical of things people do when they don’t consider them to be successful or aren’t making money from it. But the thing you choose to stick at doesn’t have to be something you’re trying to earn a living from.

More importantly, if you have something to prove to yourself, don’t let other people get in the way of that.

All good things must come to an end

When you know that something is coming to an end it can be easy to lose momentum and to lose interest. It can feel pointless to muster vigour and enthusiasm when you know that in a few weeks everything will be over.

But all good things must come to an end, it’s something we’ve all learnt a long time ago. Knowing that the end is near shouldn’t stop you from giving your best and putting in effort. In fact maybe knowing that it’ll be over soon should encourage you to keep showing up and giving your best.

It isn’t worth pretending

When people have an expectation of who they think or want you to be, they have a difficult time I’m accepting when you become something else.

It could be a permanent thing or perhaps you are just going through a phase but either way who you become is your choice. I think we all need to have the space to explore and experiment in order to find ourselves and figure out the kind of person that we want to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes because of the people around you, you end up pushing self-exploration aside. Instead, you’re so focused on what other people think, people pleasing and wanting to feel accepted that you would rather pretend to be someone you’re not.

Being yourself doesn’t even feel like an option.

I think it’s important to remember that being accepted for the person you’re pretending to be isn’t true acceptance. Once you really take that in, you’ll end up realising that it isn’t worth pretending anymore. You may as well just be yourself.

From bad to worse

When your life isn’t exactly what one would describe as good, you may find that you’ve developed a fear of things going from bad to worse.

It is this fear that keeps you stuck, stagnant and stops you growing to potentially start living a life that is better than your current circumstances.

From the outside it might seem frustrating that you don’t take action but for you, the person that is experiencing the situation, doing nothing makes prefect sense.

But the problem with doing nothing is that things have no change of getting better.

Making busy easier

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.

What do you really want to do?

I think sometimes the fear we have of making the wrong choice is really just a sign that our mind is not clear. On the flipside, when you’re mind is not clouded over with stuff you’re able to be more spontaneous and quick thinking with your choices.

More often than we realise we know exactly what to do. However, we allow our thoughts to get carried away and we engage them even when we know it’s not helpful.

Maybe you want to pursue your love of baking but then you let your mind wonder. You start to think about money, what your friends will think, your parents being disappointed, people not getting it, worrying you’ll regret leaving your stressful well paying job, you tell yourself maybe baking is just a hobby or a fantasy career and you wonder if you’re good enough. The thoughts go on until you’ve talked yourself out of making a decision.

You now spend the coming months or even years trying to decide what to do. The truth is you’re just putting off doing exactly what you know you want to do.

Fun, joyful and sweet

If you could choose to shift your perception in order for your life to feel a little more wonderful, would you do it?

Sometimes we’re so bogged down by the challenges we face and the harsh realities of life, we don’t allow ourselves to believe that life can be fun, joyful and sweet.

We see those things as passing moments here and there rather than something that can become our everyday life.

As much as it might seem frustrating a large part of your experience comes from what you choose to focus on. If you’re only focused on the harsh and challenging aspects of life then you’ll end up thinking that there isn’t much else out there. However, we can all choose to see things differently.

It’s not about ignoring the challenges and difficulties but instead remembering that there is so much more to life.

Is it worth fixing?

Before you make the choice to fix something, ask yourself if the thing is worth fixing in the first place.

Nobody wants to spend their time, energy and possibly money on something that could end up being a waste of time. As much as some things are worth sticking at and working on, sometimes the best thing to do is put it aside and start over.

Habit Trackers and finding motivation

Around 5 years ago or whenever it was that bullet journals became all the range, habit trackers were an incredibly popular thing to have. You’d create a list of habits that you wanted to keep track of for the month and then put a cross in the box when you did it and left it blank when you didn’t.

Bullet journaling didn’t actually work that well for me. In theory it was a great tool to stay organized but in reality I couldn’t commit to keeping up with it. However, years later I decided to return to using a habit tracker. I was at a point where i wanted to add some new habits to my daily routine and I thought a habit tracker would help me stay motivated.

I wanted to see if having a chart with what I did and didn’t do each day would make me better at implmenting habits I felt would benefit me. After less than a week I noticed that I was making more of an effort to carry out some of my new habits because I liked the feeling that came with ticking them off. It was also because they were easy to do and didn’t take much time.

On the other hand, the things that were more time consuming were much harder to get into. This is because once you get that ‘good feeling’ for crossing a few things off, you don’t have to do more work in order to feel good. This reminded me that I need to just take action and do the thing instead of using the idea of needed to be motivated in order to get it done.

Keep exploring

There’s something quite wonderful about being a beginner, starting something new with fresh eyes, optimism, excitement and curiosity.

There are probably plenty of things that you’ve been doing for a long time to the point that they’re a regular part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It could be old hobbies from childhood or a job that you’re just so familiar with that the joy has been taken out of it.

It could even be what you want thought was your dream job but because you’re doing it all the time and you’re so used to it doesn’t really feel like a dream anymore. Now it’s actually just your reality.

Sometimes, we get the job that we want and maybe we’re even living in our ideal home in our ideal location. We feel settled in life so we stop exploring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you’re putting aside your curiosity and yearning then maybe something needs to change. The feeling of wanting to explore life probably won’t just go without you tending to it.

The reason we don’t tend to it is often because we allow societal standards and ideas to restrict us. We end up feeling like it’s too late to try something new because we’re a certain age or it feels like it’ll be a step back. It’s no use holding on to those ideas if they just make you unhappy.

The desire to explore could be as small as reading a genre of fiction you wouldn’t usually be open to or joining a local volunteering group. It doesn’t have to be about quitting your job to start a business. selling all your belongings and travelling around Asia for 6 months.