I am a firm believer that in almost every moment, you know exactly what you need to do and exactly what decisions you want to make.
So often we see advice from others because we feel stuck or get overwhelmed by possibility and uncertainty. However, what I’ve learnt even is that when you allow yourself to get swept up in the situation it becomes difficult to navigate.
Think of a boat out at sea, once it gets swept up in the waves the boat has very little control.
Or lets take it back to a previous analogy of a boat with no oars, that was the idea of how little control you have without a sense of direction. In this case it’s more about settling your mind and letting the answers come to you instead of seeking them out.
In my experience, in quiet moments I am able to gain answers or clarification on situations where I previously felt like I didn’t know what to do.
It’s something that you have access to if you want to use it but you have to trust that you are capable of figuring out the situations you encounter.
Most of us have some idea of where we’d like to be in 5, 10 maybe even 20 years time.
But sometimes the gap between now and then, is pretty hazy.
You know what you want but you’re not quite sure how you’ll get there.
And sometimes long-term plans change.
Maybe you happened to find something you care for more than what you’re currently trying to pursue. Maybe you realised that you don’t really want the thing you were working for. Or maybe you just feel like like doing something new.
For many people they actually end up having a better sense of direction when they change their plans. The gap becomes a little less hazy.
The reason for this is changing plans is a risk and they want it to be worth it.
Taking space is something we’re often reluctant to do.
It could be space from a person, a habit or even just social media.
For me the purpose of space is to gain clarity.
It’s difficult to get that when you’re in the situation which is why it is necessary to remove yourself.
At first you always miss the thing that you’re taking space from because you’re so used to it being part of your day to day life but then you feel refreshed and wonder why you clung to that thing so much in the first place. Then after that comes the sense of knowing that without this thing in your life you’ll still be totally fine.
I don’t think we always anticipate that that last realisation will come which is why we can be reluctant to give things up.
I think we quite often think the opposite which is that we’ll feel as though we can’t live without the thing or come to crave it even more than before.
It could be something like snacking on sugary foods, a person you believe yourself to be so totally in love with or maybe it’s Instagram.
Whatever it is in your life, don’t be too afraid to take space from it.
You might even find that you no longer want the thing in your life and if that’s the case, be willing to let it go.
Not everything is meant to last.
It’s really easy to say, ‘That’s just how I am’.
Some people even use that as a way to justify continually being unkind to others or even themselves.
But the beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to change and overcome.
I recently wrote about not feeling good enough, something I struggled with for years.
As a result of feeling that way I created a life that I was unhappy with and I became someone who self-sabotaged, had little self-belief and would constantly settle for less. Furthermore, I struggled to stand up for myself.
Once I stopped passively accepting those parts of me as just the way things are, I realised that things could be different, things could be better. I also realised that I was capable of changing my own life.
At the time I didn’t feel capable and it was hard to imagine what things would be like if they were different but I started to believe it was possible.
My personal development and growth was an active change that I worked for and continue to work on.
This sort of thing is really at the crux of the message I want to share on this site. What I want for you to take away from this is you that don’t have to accept the way things are.
I used to be the kind of person that would internalise everything.
For example, if I didn’t get the job I applied for it was because I wasn’t good enough and not that they had 7 excellent candidates and only one role to fill so not everyone could be a winner.
I could give countless other examples but me internalising those experiences all came from the same place, this feeling of not being good enough. It’s a strange realisation when you start to understand that the way you see yourself contributes to the way you experience life.
Once I started working on how I saw myself, my entire outlook on life changed.
I recently had this experience where someone was intentionally inconsiderate. In the past I’d have kept quiet, felt bad, got upset and allowed that one moment to ruin the rest of my day.
Instead, I responded by simply asking why this person chose to be inconsiderate.
I understand why some people might up being that way but it doesn’t mean they can’t change, if they want to.
That was the prompt in a self-help book I read around 6 or 7 years ago.
It was followed by questions like:
- How would you behave?
- How would your relationships change?
- What would it allow you to do?
I think it’s a helpful set of words to get you thinking about how you might be limiting yourself.
As human beings we often fall into thinking that we have to wait until we’re confident to live our lives the way we want. But actually it’s the other way round.
You have to start living your life first and then the confidence will follow.
If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.
It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.
It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.
I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?
Everybody daydreams whether it’s a few seconds or dedicated moments in your week. Sometimes we daydream about everyday thing then other times our minds wander to things far out of reach.
It could be something like winning an award, moving to a new city or even meeting the love of your life.
But what do you do when that thing you used to dream about has now become your reality. One of the first things that might come up is a sense of familiarity because your mind has experienced it before.
However, what you might also find is that you’re not ready or prepared for your daydreams to become your reality. For example, let’s say you spent months daydreaming about moving to a new city. When the opportunity comes up instead of jumping at the chance you might end up passing it up because ‘now is not the right time’.
That might mean you never wanted it in the first place or maybe you’re just afraid of change.
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.
When it comes to the things we do in our day to day life, I think it’s important to make it as easy as possible.
If you want to read more, have a book on your bedside table instead of tighly slotted into your bookshelf.
If you want to spend more time with friends, make plans in advance instead of getting frustrated that they aren’t available with short notice.
If you want to drink more water, fill up a water bottle and keep it with you wherever you go instead of waiting until you’re thirsty.
A big part of changing your habits and the way you live your life comes from making a conscious effort not simply wishing you could be different.