Sometimes we put off the very thing that we know we need to do because we don’t feel ready.
We make excuses and say things like, I need more time, I’ll do it when xyz or even I don’t think it will go well. The list is endless.
At times, the truth is you’re not ready and you do need more time.
But other times, you’re in need of a push.
The only way you’ll do the thing you’ve been putting off is if someone forces you to.
Perhaps you’re someone that lives in a big city and you want to move away, change your lifestyle and slow down.
In order to do that you need to leave your job but you keep finding reasons why you can’t like needing to save X amount, work on one more big project or wait until things are less busy.
For that scenario the push would be being made redundant because maybe you’d never have left.
The push may initially seem like a catastrophic major life disaster but when you give it a little time you’ll always find that it was for the best
That may come in the form of you losing your job.
A major contributing factor to moving forward in life is being able to let things go.
It could be physical possessions, people or memories and experiences.
An easy example is if you tried something and it didn’t work out. If you can’t let go of the thing that didn’t work you may find that it underlies future situations when you try something new.
Suddenly you’ve become someone that believes that nothing will work out for you, you become closed off to new things and remain stagnant.
That may seem extreme but that’s the reality of life. You won’t realise how much that one situation affected you until you’re randomly pondering life one Sunday afternoon.
I don’t think there’s one specific way to let go, what works for one may not work for another so it’s important to figure it out for yourself.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck between helping someone and fixing things for them.
When you help you teach and offer tools giving the other person a chance to grow, develop and learn to do things for themselves. When you fix things for people they’re likely to become reliant on others to do things for them because that is all they know.
Often when we see people we care about face challenging situations we lend a hand. You think you’re helping but what you’re really doing is fixing the problem for them. And so as time passes and the person faces more challenges they don’t know how to do things for themselves because they haven’t learnt how to overcome.
We do it because we care and we don’t want to see the people we care for suffer. But in doing so we forget that these people have strengths within themselves and that they are also capable of overcoming their own challenges.
And so the lesson lies in finding the balance between helping and fixing. I’ve learnt that support plays a significant and often overlooked role. To look the person you love in the eye and simply say ‘I’m here for you and I’ll support you through this’ may be more powerful and have longer lasting effects than fixing things for them.
‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
It’s hard to balance tense and triggered aspects of self with the softer more malleable bits.
My anxiety makes me tense and rigid but it also deeply influences the way I write. But my softer more malleable side deeply influences my writing too.
It is often through writing that my anxieties subside and I am able to go with the flow, follow the words and not worry about the order or things making perfect sense but to instead stay inflow allowing the words to pour.
To be able to follow the flow no matter how brief or specific is something worth cherishing. When you’re tense and rigid or feeling overwhelmed by life it seems impossible that there’s any other way, but there is.
The flow is always there whether you choose that path or not. You can go back to it at any point because the moment you realise that what you’re doing isn’t working or should be different is the moment the solution becomes available.
In the company of one as in you, yourself and um you, there are many valuable lessons to learn.
A significant one being Who am I?
It’s much easier to gain an understanding of yourself when you’re not having to consider others. I think that the aspects of you in solitude should be the aspects of you that show up when you’re in the company of others.
Things like being able to say what you want, contribute opinions, take the lead and just be you.
For example, when you’re doing things alone you have to make decisions, you can’t rely on others to choose for you.
But for some despite how they are when they’re alone, in the company of others they end up being ‘them but less’, perhaps a little passive or even submissive.
You do it because you want to play the peacemaker or not rock the boat, you don’t think you deserve to be heard or perhaps you’re just scared.
Hiding/playing small is difficult to overcome once it’s ingrained in you as a habitual response.
But change is possible, it just takes practice.
It’s now a full week after New Year’s Day.
How are you goals, resolutions or plans coming along?
You might find that after 7 days you’re still enthusiastic and motivated or you might have found that you’ve lost steam.
If you resonate with the latter then it might be useful to ask yourself why?
Why after such a short period of time are you no longer committed or dedicated to the things that you were overflowing with excitement about less than a dozen days ago.
This could be the perfect time to call yourself out and acknowledge that the new year was not enough to change you into a brand new version of you.
There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I’d say that’s the case for most of us.
Forming new habits or committing to new projects isn’t easy when you’re used to doing things a different way. And so the challenge or the work is to find a way of implementing new habits that works for you.
Or maybe it should be good vs better.
Sometimes better is worse than good but we think that good is enough so we don’t aim for better. The mindset of a Bare Minimum Betty often lies in the good zone.
Because when your bare minimum is good enough why would you do any better.
If you choose to aim for better that could mean a variety of things, a key one being commitment but it’s more than that.
Aiming for better is:
Trying something new that in the words of Seth Godin ‘might not work’
Doing more than you have to
Looking for ways to improve
Offering to help someone else