I have this belief about the people that we meet.
I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.
Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.
Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .
I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.
It could be difficult, challenging and uncomfortable. But it also serves as an opportunity to learn and grow, if you’re willing to be open.
If you’re a regular reader then growth points is a term you’ll have seen me use every now and then in posts such as Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes, Day 183, It’s okay to be you and Unexpected and interesting.
However, I recently realised that I’ve never really explained the term or idea in great detail. I made the term up for myself and to be honest it’s just an alternative to the word challenge. However, the focus is on growth and overcoming rather than the difficulty of the situation.
When you face a situation that perhaps in the moment you wish wasn’t happening, it’s easy to just think that ‘it’s the most terrible thing in the world’. You then might find yourself getting caught in a downward spiral of unhelpful thoughts that leave you feeling stuck.
That mindset or perspective that you find yourself in never leads to growth. You have to find a way to get through it and see things differently.
I think the getting through it part is most challenging because it can be easy to stay stuck. A moment of sadness can turn into hours or days of wallowing.
One thing that helps is to be very conscious in how you think about the situations that come up in your life instead if just getting caught up. Acknowledge it as a challenging situation rather than blowing it out of proportion and allowing one situation to become your entire life.
And from that perspective you can begin to think about how you can grow from it. The great thing is that once you grow from it, you can now take that lesson forward with you for as long as it serves you well. Then next time something happens you can fall back that all that you’ve previously experienced, learnt and grown from.
It is so important to be willing to let things go.
Often in order to make room for the new we have to rid our lives of all that does not serve us. But even when we know what we need to do, we end up hesitating and putting off what needs to be done.
And in doing so we delay the new. Then we wonder why our lives aren’t changing or why good things arent happening.
The reason we end up holding on instead of letting go is because we’re scared to be without. We’d rather the comfort of what we know (even if it doesn’t benefit us) than have nothing whilst we wait for change to come.
That mindset comes from a place of lack and I think the best way to overcome that is to force yourself to be uncomfortable. Let go of the things that you no longer need in your life. It may be difficult to trust that better things will follow but the least can you for yourself is to stop holding on to all the that you no longer need in your life.
Sometimes your life may take an unanticipated shift.
The easiest thing to do is resist but this only ever makes things worse.
It might seem strange to be told that accepting something that is difficult, challenging or unwanted will be better than trying to avoid it but it’s true.
This shift could be related to health, career, personal style, home, friendship or a romantic relationship.
More often than not you’re simply not ready for the change and so you try and put it off until you are.
But, you can’t control it, no matter how hard you control.
You’re much better off going with the flow of change than resisting or pushing against it.
Sometimes difficult things are only difficult because we choose to perceive them to be.
But if it works one way then maybe it can work the other way.
Maybe, difficult things will become a little less challenging if we choose to perceive them to be easier to overcome.
When doing something new, if you don’t do it well or you face challenges along the way, you might find yourself feeling frustrated.
Sometimes, that feeling you get will determine your willingness to do the thing again and effect how much effort you put in.
Finding it difficult in the beginning might even cause you to believe that you’ll never get it.
However, often the case is that you just need to do it a few more times until it becomes more familiar.
Then in time it’ll become easier.
Sometimes in a bid to grow, develop and push ourselves we end up taking on more than we can manage.
You think the challenge is what you need, you think you need to be pushed and you want to prove yo yourself that you can manage.
But often you just end up stressed and overwhelmed, wishing that you had said no instead of yes. Often the end result is far from what you intended because the stress and overwhelm didn’t give you the adrenaline to produce something great, it left you feeling burnt-out and exhausted.
And so it is important to find the balance between pushing yourself and pushing yourself overboard.
Some days will be more challenging than others.
There will be difficult days and then there will be better days.
It’s easy to forget when things are challenging and difficult that they won’t be that way forever.
It’s easy to focus on the thing that is not going to plan and you can end up doing it so much that you lose the ability to see past it.
But just because today is difficult, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Maybe tomorrow (or the next day) will be better.
It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:
‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact email@example.com in my absence.’
However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.
And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.
There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.
It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.
When you don’t feel good it’s easy to avoid doing the things that require effort, even when you know they are likely to make you feel better. And so you you choose to sit and do nothing.
Perhaps you wallow in self pity over how terrible you feel.
I think it can be helpful to honour this feeling for a short while. It’s perfectly okay not to feel good and not feel like taking action.
However, if you indulge for too long it could become a problem and at the end of the day when you’ve gotten nothing done you’ll only feel worse.
So, sometimes if you don’t feel like it, get up and do something anyway. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly challenging, it could be as simple as going for a walk.
And maybe once you’ve done that, you’ll feel like doing something else.