The last hurdle

Sometimes you can spend the whole year learning, growing and developing. It’s gotten to the point where you’ve now changed. You no longer do the unhelpful things you used to do. It may have been saying you’re okay with things that bother you, going out because you feel like you should and not because you want to or avoiding difficult conversations.

Then suddenly, just when you think the new you is fully ingrained, you stumble at the last hurdle. Often it’s because you’ve reverted back to an old environment where you’re unhelpful behaviour felt ‘safe’.

It’s easy to just do what you’re used to doing, what you’ve always done. But this time you have options. Before reacting to a situation, take a moment to remember all that you’ve learnt and choose to do something different.

No instructions, no outcome, just play

Sometimes there is this child-like sense of curiosity or this feeling that you probably had as a child when you just wanted to play.

It’s things like reading a story, having paper and pens to create whatever you like or even a bunch of building blocks. There’s no instructions or a specified outcome that you need to meet and you have nothing to prove.

Once you’re done you can just move on to something else, the outcome doesn’t even really matter. At that age you’re just creating, using your mind and being free. In hindsight you might notice certain things you were good at or enjoyed more but in the moment that wasn’t a priority.

As an adult we’re often focused on the outcome, how good we are (often in comparison to others) and how much money we can make. At times, so much emphasis is put on making money that we’re made to feel like what we do is pointless, worthless and a waste of time if it generates no income.

Room to grow

People, like plants need room to grow.

I think in the same way that plants outgrow their pots, we as people outgrow our environments.

The issue arises when we end up staying in spaces where we don’t have room to be ourselves. You end up stifled and limited. Often, you end up thinking that you need to change, be less of yourself and more of what other people want you to be.

But, no matter what you do, it still doesn’t quite work. It’s easy to underestimate how much of an impact your environment can have on you, especially when the focus tends to be on the inner self.

A change of environment can feel like cheating because sometimes we tell ourselves we need to ‘stick it out’ but maybe a change is exactly what you need.

Anxious

In a recent post I wrote about embracing awkward. Shortly after I realised that what I was referring to was anxiety, specifically social anxiety.

I then got thinking about what being socially anxious looks like. I think when a person becomes aware of their own behaviour, they can end up amplifying it. You’re sitting there doing the thing and instead of catching yourself, stopping and doing something else you just do it more whilst your inner monologue runs wild.

It’s like you’re paralysed unable to do what you know would be helpful. And from the outside you appear awkward like it’s some sort of quirky personality trait which is often easier to accept than anxiety.

Perfect timing

Sometimes with little to no effort things work out perfectly. You know those moments where you think I couldn’t have planned this any better than exactly how it’s worked it. I think these moments are even better when they’ve come as a result of you letting go and not putting so much pressure on how things work out.

I feel like perfect timing happens on accident, it just happens. If you spend ages planning and trying to force things to turn out a certain way, the outcome might be great but it was the result of your hard work.

On the flipside when things just happen to turn out perfectly it can serve as a reminder that you don’t have to keep your nose to the grindstone in order for things to turn out wonderfully.

Reflecting on your 2021 goals

As the year begins comes to a close now is the perfect time to tie up any lose ends so you can start fresh in the new year.

For me that includes going over my goals and reflecting on what I was able to achieve, what I need more time to work on and what I’m no longer interested in doing.

Once that’s done, I’ll move on to thinking about what I’d like to do for the year ahead.

It also important to remember that even if you didn’t manage to do everything on your list, there are plenty of things you did this year that weren’t apart of your goals. To combat this it can also be useful to note down achievements or highlights at the end of each month. That’ll provide a fuller picture of all that you managed to do because it’s easy to forget.

Embracing awkward

For those that consider themselves to be awkward and those that are self conscious of how they appear to others, being yourself can be difficult.

However, it turns out that the only way to overcome it is to embrace yourself with open arms.

Awkwardness is always amplified when you focus on it.

On the flipside, if you just focus on being yourself and provide a soft and gentle space where you let go of this idea of everything being perfect, it makes things easier.

It could be stumbling over your words when you approach someone new, your idea being shutdown in a meeting, being rejected, falling over in public or someone not getting your humour.

Nobody wants those things to happen but they’re not as bad as we make them out to be.

We can get so caught up in how we feel about ourselves and wanting to be seen a certain way that we assume things matter so much more than they do.

Your new idea might get shut down and whilst you’re now letting your inner monologue play out and tell you to never contribute again, someone else is thinking it was great idea or wishes that they’d had the confidence to contribute or even just come up with an idea.

This post is titled embracing awkward but you’re probably better off letting go of the labels and instead just embrace being yourself.

Remember the basics

Sometimes we find the in life we get so swept up in the exciting, fun and challenging aspects of life that we kind of forget about the basics, we end up off track.

I think this happens to everyone every now and then. It’s important to firstly understand what on track looks like for you and then secondly to know what you need to do to get back on track.

For me, being on track means things like having a set morning routine, having slow Sundays where I’m relaxed, eating regular meals and going to bed before I feel sleepy instead of just passing out around midnight.

In terms of getting back on track, I understand that it’s more based around how I’m feeling rather than what I’m doing. In terms of quick things to do when I feel off track, things like my morning mantra, meditation, EFT, tidying my space or writing a to-do list all make great starting points.

I generally find that when I start with one small thing I’m able to then move on and do other things sort of like a domino effect.

What happens when things don’t go as planned?

I think that many people would like to think that they are open to change.

Whether or not this is true can be easily tested. See how they react to things not going how they wanted.

It turns out many of us are actually only open to change within the parameters of getting some version of what we want.

We think this way because we think that we know what the best outcome is. To be open to anything else is the equivalent of wanting bad for yourself.

And that is okay, it’s rare that a person wants things to turn out badly.

But if you shift your mindset, things not going as planned can just be unexpected or challenging situations for you to work through, they don’t need to be bad or even good.

When you do this it makes it much easier to manage when things don’t go to plan.