Letting things pile up

Little problems can suddenly become big problems.

It is so important to address things in the moment instead of brushing them off, waiting or saying nothing.

When you do this you’ll find that days, weeks or even months later you’re bringing stuff up that were (according to the other person) not an issue when they happened. And this can then make you seem disingenuous because you pretended that everything was okay instead of raising the issue in the moment.

I think it’s important to be clear about what you do and don’t accept. And then practice voicing that to the people around you so that they are aware of what you’re not okay with.

That way, you never have to let things pile up because that person is already aware. Sometimes we tell ourselves that by saying nothing we are avoiding confrontation or protecting the other persons feelings from getting hurt. However, more often than not we just end up causing ourselves more issues.

Random passing thought

Sometimes all it takes is to tune into a random passing thought.

Perhaps there is something that has been on your mind for a while or maybe it’s something that you’d totally forgotten about. Either way, you’ll get a thought that serves as a call to action that gives you an idea of what to do next or how to progress with something.

Often, when we feel stuck or we’re not sure what changes we need to make, we think we need to brainstorm, plan and come up with ideas.

We unknowingly try to force something because we feel like we need to know now and that to wait is to waste time.

But your mind is rarely clear when you’re trying to rush something, it’s actually more beneficial to slow down and patient.

Then all of a sudden, something will come to you and you’ll know exactly what you need to do next.

Declutter your life

The easiest way to transform a space is to take everything out, make a plan for how you want things to look and then bring things back in accordingly. By doing things this way you’ll be very intentional about what you bring in as you want the room to look as good as possible.

On the flipside, if you start with the room as it is and decide to remove the things you don’t want, you’re much more likely to keep things that you don’t use or need because there is already a place for them.

This idea of decluttering applies to other aspects of life too. Removing everything brings clarity because it enables you to start over again.

And when you’re starting from scratch, it’s much easier to be clearer about what you do and don’t want in your life.

The problem with letting things slide

If you get someone used to treating you a certain way or acting in a particular way towards you, the person will come to expect you to allow it.

Sometimes you allow things that you aren’t okay with because you don’t want to rock the boat, hurt the persons feelings or you’ve told yourself that being clear about what you’re not okay with is confrontational. And so instead of saying, ‘I’m not okay with you doing that’ you say, ‘No worries’ or ‘It’s okay’.

Doing this teaches the other person that you’re okay with what they’re doing. We often fall into the idealism of thinking people will automatically know what we’re thinking or feeling but it’s not true. We shouldn’t expect people to read our minds when we can use our voices.

I’m not sure who said it but there’s a quote or perhaps a tweet that goes something like ‘You have to teach people how to treat you’. Yet, we’re taught to almost just accept how we’re treated as long as a person doesn’t have bad intentions.

I find that the relationships where I am very clear, where I call things out instead of letting them slide, are the ones that I feel most comfortable in. When you put pressure on yourself to always be fine with everything even when you’re not it builds up feelings of resentment, anger or frustration and that energy has to go somewhere.

It either leads to an outburst towards the person you should have been clear with from the start or an outburst at someone totally unrelated to the situation.

Minimising uncertainty

One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.

It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.

This can be done by asking more questions.

Questions like:

When would you like me to complete this?

What time do you want to meet?

How do you feel about this situation?

You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.

Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.

The power of taking space

It might feel easier to hold on but maybe what you really need to do is let go.

Taking space is a powerful thing. When you spend time away from something you have developed an attachment to it gives you room to find clarity and to come back to yourself. So often you may find ourselves getting caught up in other people and trying to please or appease them that you forget yourself and your own values or ideas.

And sometimes when you’re not ready to let go you convince yourself that there is something for us in the attachment, something that we need. But even if it is true that the attachment offers us something it can’t possibly be placed above that which we can offer ourselves.

So go forth and take space, then when you’re ready you can return and figure out how you really feel without attachment cloud your judgement.

Pace, pace, Lead

Something I read in a book about NLP.

Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to embrace every aspect of NLP because using methods to influence people in your favour is potentially unethical or at least comes across as manipulative.

But other times I find that NLP can provide a useful guide on how to word things when you want your intentions to be clear.

When asking for what you want just blurting it out can sometimes be too aggressive. You need to approach things gently. You need to pace, pace, lead.

Check out changing minds for more information on exactly how it’s done.

How certain is probably?

The idea of language, the way we speak and what we choose to say is fascinating.

There are words you may use without really understanding exactly what they mean or how they could be interpreted.

I recently received a message that included the word probably. My first thought was how far from definite it was.

I found myself asking google ‘How certain is probably?’. The answer I got, is that it’s more likely a yes than no. However, that no is not a no without a shadow of a doubt, it’s more like a no with a shadow of doubt.

For example, if you asked someone of they would help you with something later in the day and they responded with ‘probably’, you haven’t really gained any clarity from the answer.

When you’re looking to someone for some form of clarity, you’ll want responses like yes, no or certainly, you want an answer that you can rely on.

Two steps back

When you feel like you’re making progress having to then take a step back is a big deal. It feels like you’ve wasted your efforts but more importantly time that you can’t get back.

But if you change your perspective, those steps back could actually be a good thing.

Perhaps you were heading down an unhelpful path and now gain clarity.

I think the main thing is to understand that a setback doesn’t stop you from reaching your end goal it just changes the path you take to get there.