The feeling of fitting in

When we’re focused on how we appear to others, we can end up doing things that we don’t actually enjoy.

We become so focused on perception that we don’t even consider the importance of prioritising ourselves. It’s worth acknowledging that sometimes we have a need to feel accepted. When your self esteem is low it’s easy to fall into thinking that just being you isn’t enough.

However, the problem is that the feeling of fitting in and being accepted will only ever be temporary when you aren’t truly being yourself.

All ideas welcome

When you’re used to doing things alone, the thought of asking other people for their input, ideas or opinion might not be so appealing.

But often seeking the perspective of an outsider is much more useful than we realise. They’re able to see things from a point of view that is not so easily available to us.

I think sometimes we just want to say that we did things totally and independently, we don’t want other people playing a part or being involved. But if we could only welcome input, ideas and opinions from the right people it could actually be the very thing we need to help us when we get stuck.

How they used to be

The way that things are right now, probably isn’t how they used to be.

I think it’s important to acknowledge when things have changed.

Something that was good 2 years ago might not be so good anymore. And so there is not much use to clinging on to the way that things were because they are that way no longer.

Instead, take things for what they are right now, in the present moment.

Holding yourself back

I think one of the most common things that holds us back and stops us achieving our goals/aspirations is not focusing on the long term.

You’re so focused on every little thing that you have to do right now that you’re missing the bigger picture.

It might seem like it takes a lot of effort to be the type of person that is committed and disciplined, the type of person that you want to be.

But you have to start small. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget the bigger picture.

It’s really just a case of doing things now that you know will benefit you later.

Instead we often end up making excuses because it turns out what we want might actually require more effort than we’re willing to give.

Remembering the dream

Sometimes the life paths we choose end up getting distorted by distractions and we end up making choices to reach goals that we don’t even really aspire to.

You might find that in order to move forwards, you actually need to go back and figure out what you really wanted in the first place.

Many times we end up sacrificing our aspirations because we’re too focused on other peoples opinions. We’re so focused on what everyone else is doing that we fall into thinking our dreams are not enough or it no longer feels possible.

But I think it’s important to remember the dream that you had. When you take the time to think about what you really want, you can start shifting your focus to what actually matters.

Put yourself first

People that are considerate of others, to the point of putting others before themselves often end up feeling let down.

This occurs when they base their expectations of how others should be on themselves. But not everyone is as considerate as you might be. Not everyone thinks about how other people may be impacted. Sometimes people just think about themselves. They think about their own wants, needs and conveniences.

To someone who is used to putting other people first (often to their own detriment), it can be hard to accept when others won’t do the same. But the important thing to remember is that it almost always has nothing to do with you.

You don’t have to put other people first to prove that you care. It’s actually okay to care about yourself enough to put yourself first sometimes.

Better together

Sometimes when you’re so used to being independent and doing things alone, the idea of collaboration and working together is unappealing. After all, your past has shown that you don’t need to work with someone else to get things done, so why should you change that.

However, sometimes from collaborating with others it allows us to focus on our strengths. We’re then able to produce something that is much better than if we were to try and do everything.

For example, lets say that you work in product photography/prop styling.

A job may require someone to source props, someone to come up with a theme and provide creative direction, the stylist who puts the props together and then a photographer to take the photos.

Just because you can do all those jobs yourself, doesn’t mean you should. You may be an amazing prop stylist but if you’re not really a photographer maybe working with one would help you produce better results. And of course you can learn new skills but sometimes trying to split yourself between too many things just reduces your ability to do any one thing well. This then brings brings down the overall quality of the final result.

And so, maybe it’s worth shifting our perspective to realise that sometimes things might be good when we do them alone but they’ll be better if we do them together.

A change of heart

How you feel about something one day, might be totally different to how you feel a few months from now.

It could be about food, a tv show or a hobby.

Maybe you grew up reading a lot of fiction and you were the sort of person who felt like non-fiction wasn’t for you. You may have even felt like it was boring or that you could never be immersed in non-fiction in the same way that fictional stories managed to capture, engage and entertain you.

Then, suddenly somewhere along the way, you have a change of heart. Maybe it just took one good non-fiction book but maybe it happened bit by bit. Either way, you no longer see things the way you used to.

When to hold ’em

…and when to fold ’em.

I know next to nothing about Poker but I love this phrase.

When you have the choice to either stick with something and hope for the best or to bow out and move on, it can be difficult. Sometimes we end up believing that we should stick with things until we’ve ‘fixed’ them. Or we tell ourselves that we should keep going even when it’s clear that things aren’t working well.

We think we’re doing the right thing when really we’re just making ourselves a little bit more miserable as days go by.

In contrast, walking away sounds too much like we’re giving up, that’s the reason we won’t do it.

And like that phrase goes, better the devil you know. There’s always this fear of walking away and ending up in a situation that leaves you worse off than when you started.

But that outlook is so bleak and unhelpful, perhaps it is seen as realism. However, it’s always important to consider that things might not get worse, they might actually get better.

Willing to walk away

When it comes to asking for what you want, if you don’t get it, what do you do next?

Are you willing to walk away?

I think that sometimes problems arise when we aren’t willing to be firm. We say we want something, don’t get it and then just continue on as normal.

But I think that it’s okay to have boundaries. I think that it’s okay to ask for what you and not be willing to settle for less.

It’s a difficult adjustment to make when you’re used to accepting the bare minimum but it’s worth trying.