Privilege is a complex thing.
I think the reason that so many people have a hard time accepting their privilege is because they feel like it negates their hard work. They’re not comfortable with the realisation that if it wasn’t for certain things about them, they would have experienced life very differently. More often than not having more hurdles to overcome.
Privilege comes in many forms: financial, gender, race, sexuality and religion for a start but there is so much more.
And so if you come under the categories of Middle class, Male, White, Straight and Christian there is evidence to show that you face less barriers. Furthermore, the categories you fit into don’t disadvantage you, for the most part.
It can be challenging for people that feel like they have worked hard to be told that they’re privileged. They’re often the ones that believe in meritocracy and feel like anyone who can’t achieve the same as them must not be working hard enough.
Ironically, it’s often that everyone else has had to work harder.
I think the easiest way to understand this whole thing of privilege is to meet more people that are not like you. That way you actually get to see the what it’s like for other people.
Whether that is not continuing education because they can’t afford it, worrying that their natural hair will be a barrier to employment or even constantly having negative assumptions thrown at them because of their religions beliefs.
The point of all this is not for you to feel bad, the point is to gain understanding and awareness.
Your privilege doesn’t negate your hard work but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
They might seem the same but they’re not.
An anxious person will grow to become familiar with the feeling of anxiety and how it manifests in they’re day to day life.
And over time they may find that they knowing doing certain things will trigger there anxiety so they won’t do it.
But not because it’s dangerous or unsafe but because they’re afraid. And the thing with fear is that it’s a feeling and so even when in your mind you know it’s fine your body is sending signals that it’s not.
So just because you know yourself when you’re afraid it’s not the same as knowing yourself because you’re more than your fears.
Chances are there’s so many aspects of you that you’ve not given yourself space to explore.
If the service you offer doesn’t require you to be there in person then there’s a chance you can get more for doing less.
Take a coaching service for example.
Say you have 8 clients who all have a total of 4 one hour sessions a month costing £55.
That’s 32 hours a month earning £1760
But what if you batch your sessions and make them online with 2 groups of 4 but each session now lasts 1.5 hours and now costs £50
That’s 12 hours a month earning £1600
But now lets see one group of 8 with a weekly 2 hour session at £55.
That’s 8 hours a month earning £1760.
Imagine working a quarter of the time but earning the same amount, if not more.
It’s not about being money hungry but simply having an awareness that the amount you earn isn’t dependent on how much time you spend working.
Through discovering the kind of person that I want to become I’ve learnt a lot about who I am.
It’s interesting to observe yourself and how you interact with others. Are you kind to yourself, what are your relationships like, how do you show up in different situations.
When you uncover the things you need to work on it can be hard to accept them in a loving way and not get frustrated at how much work you have to do.
But that awareness is important. Being able to see yourself as you are is important and even though you might feel like the work is too much or overwhelming you don’t have to do it all right now.
You just have to start.
Then work your way through it bit by bit, until eventually you’ll be transformed.
I’m posing the question of why we sometimes end up saying yes instead of no, or no instead of yes.
It’s related to fear, the root of a whole lotta life hassles.
You say yes to something you don’t want to do because you’re a people pleaser, you don’t want to disappoint the person and you want them to like.
You say no to something you want to do because you’re scared you won’t be good at it, it comes with uncertainty and you’re worried about what other people will think.
Or, perhaps you can’t relate as each decision you make is so in line with your core self that you know how to voice what it is you really want (or don’t want).
If you feel that you align with the former, all is not lost, your awareness means change is possible.
It’ll just take some practice.
I think it’s important to get to know yourself. Not just on a surface level but right down deep to the core.
Not just your likes and dislikes but your beliefs and why you do the things you do.
Something I’ve always focused on is behaviour. When you find yourself doing and saying things or feeling like you are making a choice to act a certain way, if you take a step back you might come to realise that you’ve just been falling into a familiar habit loop over and over again.
That you’ve become so accustomed to your past behaviour that you turn to it whenever similar situations occur without actually considering if it’s the best way to respond.
So next time you’re about to get riled up or raise your voice ask yourself ‘Is this something I want to do or am I just doing it because it’s familiar?’
The answer might surprise you.
There’s a story many of us tell ourselves about what is risky. Often there is no real risk attached to the situation but the story comes from the part of the brain in charge of survival.
It’s like the siren goes off signalling a potential threat but it’s not much use when it happens in a situation like voicing your opinion in a group because you’re not going to die from saying what you think.
Being aware when the *survival brain* is signalling fictional risk gives you the opportunity to overcome situations where you feel anxious.
You might not believe it if you’re caught in feelings of anxiousness or you take your inner monologue as gospel but there are studies on it and for the least I can say it’s worked for me.
A little exercise that’ll be beneficial is to note down something that makes you anxious, the worst case outcome and how you can overcome that.
You might find that many of the worst case outcomes are you feeling bad and all you really have to do to overcome that is remind yourself that it’s okay and maybe try EFT to neutralise feelings of overwhelm.
When you’re life is going down a certain path it’s easy to believe that you have no other options, that forward is the only direction you can travel.
Sometimes you know we can reverse but you get that ‘I’ve come come too far to turn back now’ feeling so you keep going in spite of how you truly feel.
Wherever you’re at in life and whatever challenges you may be facing , there is a different kind of way. One that is more helpful, enjoyable and inflow.
You don’t have to carry on living a joyless life or a life of limited joy just because that’s all you’ve experiences thus far
If you’re open to the possibility of something then it’s possible, that’s the belief I like to hold anyway.
Life isn’t as rigid as you might think. You can stop, reverse, turn around and turn left or right. It doesn’t matter how far you’ve come or what other people will think
What matters is your experience and how you feel about it , within yourself.
Just because you’re used yo doing things one way, doesn’t mean you can’t do things a different way.
It’s as simple as assessing how you spend your time and prioritising what matters.
YouTube, twitter, Instagram, Netflix, Amazon prime or maybe even tv are all leeches of time. There’s nothing wrong with them in moderation but how many times have you opened Instagram and found yourself scrolling 30 minutes later with no real recollection of where the times gone.
It sucked away your time and you weren’t even conscious of it happening!
The 2 ways I make more time are
– dedicate a set amount of time each day or week for your project/thing and prioritise it.
– set a limit on how much time you spend watching shows or scrolling media then use all the other time for your project or thing.
Tada, there you have it, more time!
Sometimes the problem is not that their is no one like us but that we’re not aware.
Many of us will go around thinking ‘there is no one like me’ whilst hiding ourselves away from the world. If that’s what we’re all doing, how are we supposed to find each other.
With age you’ll find that there are others in your city, country, continent and across the earth that are like you in whatever way you feel you are different.
But you’ll never find them if you aren’t willing to show that part of yourself.
You might be scared but it’ll always be worth it in the long run.