Identifying barriers

If you had £10million what would you do differently?

We otfen think that money is the biggets barrier to us being able to achcive our dreams. However, that is rarely the case because where there is a will there is a way.

The real barrier is a little more challenging to overcome.

The real barrier is fear, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, the list could go on.

If you’re scared to pursue your dreams without money you’ll still have some of that fear leftover when money is no longer an issue.

So work out what you’re afraid of and overcome it so that it’ll no longer hold you back.

Figuring out what you want

We often get caught up in expectations of the way things should be. But in many cases we’re simply taking on the expectations of others.

When you’re surrounded by people living a certain type of way, you’re less likely to trust a path that leads to a different life. The reason for this is nobody wants to be separate or other.

You might even convince yourself that what you want is no more than a daydream. Furthermore, when others don’t see the vison for the path you’re carving out you’re likely to encounter backlash.

The backlash can be so challenging that you might end up thinking that it’s easier to push your wants aside. Nobody wants to be criticised for being themselves.

We often measure up how well we are doing in life against societies expectations of what we should be doing at certain points of life. However, these expectations leave very little room to experiment and wonder which are the very things you need to do in order to figure out what you want.

What do you gain when working from home?

For a large group of people they’ve spent most at least 4 months of the year working from home. They’ve had to adjust and adapt to a new environment whilst still maintaining the same work output that would be delivered in the office.

Despite the difficulties I think everyone gains something working from home. For some people those gains actually outweigh the losses.

The main thing is that you have more control over how you spend your time.

It could be starting early and finishing early or starting and finishing late.

Spending your morning working on personal projects.

Organising your work time to give you a few hours of leisure in the late morning to early afternoon.

Perhaps it’s being able to dress however you want and cook meals instead of just buying something or heating something up in the microwave.

Maybe, you’ve gained more time to spend with the people you love because you no longer have to commute.

As much as it might be difficult, challenging and inconvenient to work from home, it’s worth acknowledging the good bits.

How to know when you’ve made the right decision

It’s all in how it feels.

When you find yourself with a choice to make between A and B, the main challenge will be wanting to make the right decision.

You don’t want to pick an option that you might later regret. But the truth is most of the time, you never really know how you’ll feel a month or a year down the line.

And as much as you can go back and forth, at the end of the day you have to choose.

I find that that it helps to put as little pressure on the decision as possible. Sometimes even make a game of it, put your options into an online hat that will pick for you or pick flower petals.

Whatever you end up choosing if you feel calm and at peace granted part of that will come from no longer having the burden of deciding on your shoulders but the feeling of peace will also be from having made the right choice for you.

When it happens again

If you find yourself experiencing a difficult situation, similar to something you have faced in your past you have the opportunity to handle it differently and with new knowledge and experience.

Don’t just caught up in the thought of ‘why is this happening to me again?’. Instead thing about what you can do to get the outcome you desire.

Answer the questions:

What did you do last time?

What did you want to happen?

What was the outcome?

What can you do differently this time?

Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, it’ll feel good to know that you handled things better than you did in the past

Daily blogging for the reader

I think it’s fair to say that more often than not, a daily blog is for the writer.

The reason behind this is almost nobody reads a daily blog every single day.

There are occasional readers and regular readers but it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t miss a post.

Posting so often allows me to not put so much pressure on each thing I share, it also forces me to challenge myself.

I have posts that have never been read, perhaps the title wasn’t interesting enough or maybe you just weren’t interested. But from a totally different perspective, I posted another day and kept up my writing practice.

That matters to me more than trying to please the reader.

Does privilege negate hard work?

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.

Feeling difficult feelings

When you feel low or sad about something it can be difficult to know what t do with the feeling. After all you don’t want to feel it, you’d much rather the sadness just left you alone.

But the thing with difficult feelings and feelings in general is that they don’t leave if you don’t allow yourself to feel them.

And then there is the question of how do you feel your feelings.

I don’t think there is a set answer of how but I’ll share what works for me.

Writing is incredibly therapeutic, I do it everyday.

Writing allows you to explore yourself freely and can be used as a tool to express how you feel. If you’re feeling hurt you can write about it. But you can also ask yourself questions like ‘why does this bother me?’ or ‘what would make me feel better right now?’ and then write until you have some kind of answer or at least until your mood has shifted.

And on the 7th day…

The creator of the habit loop determined that in order to change a habit you needed to change your routine. For example, drinking a glass of water when you crave a cigarette.

For the past 7 days I’ve been working to undo a habit. I didn’t consciously replace it with anything but I suppose I could say I’ve been writing instead.

By the time I got to the 7th day I found I had little interest in carrying out the habit I’d been trying to undo.

It served as a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in doing things that we believe we’re stuck or that it will be a hard habit to break.

Granted this doesn’t apply to everything but I think it’s fair to say that not all habits are difficult to break.

Creating a safe space

When it comes to opening up, do you know what you need in order to feel safe?

A starting point is to ask yourself ‘Will what I am about to say be handled with care?’

I’ve learnt that people often hold their challenges dear. Even if it’s not deeply affecting them now they still require a level of care when it’s being discussed.

For example, you probably want more than just ‘oh wow, glad you’re okay’ when opening up about a past period of depression.

Another question to ask is ‘What do I want from this situation?’

Many times when we open up to people, we want something particular from them in return. But often we don’t realise until it’s too late.

A common example is discussing an issue you’re having and getting annoyed when the other person tries to offer advice or tell you what to do. Turns out you just wanted someone to listen.

And so overall, creating a safe space is a combination of knowing what makes you feel safe, voicing what you need and (as always) picking the right people.