A simple but useful exercise
Get a piece of paper and split it in 2 (or create a word document or excel spreadsheet). On one side write all your problems, the big, small and in-between.
Then the other side come up with a solution to each one.
In my experience, I’ve found that this lowers the feeling of overwhelm because once your problem has a solution it’s no longer such a big deal.
The problem could be that you’ve been feeling really tired lately. The solution to that could be getting more sleep by going to bed earlier or eating more nourishing food so that you have more energy throughout the day.
Or perhaps you don’t have enough time to work on your side projects. The solution could be to commit to setting 1hr aside every day. And to cut out or reduce other things that are taking up your time that aren’t important like Netflix.
Once you’re done you’ll have an action plan in front of you and if those problems are really bothering you’ll do something about it.
It’s easier said than done.
We grow up having people tell us to be more or less of ourselves.
And for many at a young age you follow the words of those older than you. That’s fine when it comes to things like eating a balanced diet, doing your homework and being kind to people.
But on the flip-side when you’re being told to what career path to pursue or who you should be, I think that’s a problem.
How are you ever going to figure out who you are and be yourself if you’re always listening to other people? Sure this person might mean well and think they’re being helpful but they could also be projecting.
You’ll get told not to pursue something creative because it’s risky, to get a job in a particular sector because it’s more stable, to dress in differently… the list goes on. But often this advice has nothing to do with your happiness or life goals, it’s about conformity, a lack of belief, other peoples discomfort or even control.
And if you listen to all these voices and follow along with what you’re told you slowly start being less and less yourself and therefore less happy.
It’s not much fun living your life as an actor and allowing everyone else to direct.
And so in order to ‘simply’ be yourself you have to let go of all that stuff and be okay with other people being frustrated that you won’t do what they say.
In exchange for that, you get to be you.
A tool I use to sort of re-calibrate so that my intentions are focused on a specific thing.
When I was looking for a job in the past I did daily mantras for at least a month then I ended up getting 3 job offers within the space of a few weeks.
I get that some people don’t believe in the power of mantras but I’m not saying it’s a magic fix. It’s more a case of what you focus on grows, it sort of becomes in sociological terms a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m a big believer that if you don’t think it’ll work then it probably won’t.
And if you don’t trust me trust Henry Ford who said ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’
It’s been life changing for me because the things I’ve declared have come to pass. I try and focusing on bringing more of the good stuff in and letting the stuff no longer serving me fall away and mantras help with that.
Have you ever had someone tell you what to do or what you need to work on and instantly put resistance to it, even when it’s something you planned to do or know you need to work on?
I have and I can take a wild guess that some of you have too. I recently found myself wondering what exactly this resistance is that comes up and more importantly why it happens.
I think it’s a mix of ego and the fact that sometimes being told what to do is annoying.
But since it’s impossible to avoid someone telling you what to do whether it’s a sibling, parent, manager, teacher stranger etc. The best thing to do is figure out how to overcome that feeling instead of being stubborn about it.
However if that has no benefit, it might be worth just doing what you’re told.
Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone that tells you what to do. But when you know that you need to be more focused and someone points it out, if you give into stubbornness and double down on your lack of focus it’s not going to help and it probably won’t feel good.
Often when we talk about difficult things we get so caught up in the story that we end up dwelling on it.
Sometimes to the point where we end up reliving it and our bodies remember exactly how it felt.
It could be a time you felt rejected, overwhelmed or ignored.
It’s not difficult to understand that those are things you might want to speak about. But it is important that you’re not just talking about it for the sake of it.
Talking is an amazing tool that you can use to help get past or overcome challenges but also just to get things off your chest.
However, if every few days you’re having conversations telling the same story about a situation that didn’t feel good, that’s just dwelling and it’s probably not going to benefit you in any way either.
It’s like that popular quote says:
Where attention goes energy flows
If you catch yourself telling the same stories over and over stop and ask, why?
It could be because you’re not over it and you still have strong emotions attached to whatever happened. If it’s something you want to get past, start with learning how to let go.
One of the easiest ways to gain trust is by doing exactly what you tell others to do.
People are much less likely to listen to what you say if it’s not what you do.
And that’s why I’m careful about the advice I give and the words I share, the truth is I’m still working on all of it.
But I’ve tried it which is why I’m comfortable telling you to try it.
But people that sit around dishing out advice that they themselves don’t practice, those people might not be worth taking seriously because if they don’t even take the advice they give, why should you.