The most important thing

Often in life the thing causing the most anxiety and frustration is not particularly important in the long term. If you were to assess it in the grand scheme of life and death you’ll probably find that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

We tend to get swept up in how other people feel and what other people will think (in general but mainly towards us). We do this because we are eager to please, want to be liked and we convince ourselves that if we just try hard enough we can control what other people think and feel towards us.

But instead of getting swept up in other people, think about yourself. Have you even considered that what you feel and think is important too?

More to the point, maybe how you think and feel is actually the most important thing.

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.

Dealing with the unexpected

No matter how much you plan and prepare you always encounter unexpected situations.

In the moment it can be easy to end up feeling overwhelmed after all this is not what you wanted, it’s not what you planned for.

And so you have two choices. The first is to get caught up in the unexpected and the feeling of things being out of your control. The second is to take a moment to check in and ask yourself whether this unexpected situation poses any real risk. Most of the time the answer is no, in fact you have something to gain.

Unexpected situations can serve as an opportunity to learn how to be more adaptable which is a pretty valuable thing.

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.

Keeping up with strangers

Social media makes it really easy to keep up with everything going on in the world around us. From crises happening across the globe to personal details about people we’ve never met.

And on an average day for many, I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming that little thought goes into it.

How often do you find yourself questioning whether you need to know all this information you’re consuming?

I’m guilty of clicking on trending topics out of curiosity but on reflection I know that this information isn’t something I need to know.

The goings on of celebrities (and even just people we’ve never met) has always been a popular form of entertainment which is why gossip magazines were so popular. I guess those magazines have now changed to social media, something that is free and consumed by even more people.

And as much as you control who you follow, you can’t control what they post, tweet, re-tweet, like or share on their stories.

But what you do have control over is your active consumption. As much as knowing certain things might tickle your fancy, upon reflection would you really choose knowing details about a strangers personal life over reading a book, working on your craft, writing, planning ahead etc.

Of course you can make time for both (if you so wish) but this is more about being intentional with what you consume rather than getting swept up in it all.

If you leave the twitter thread, video or post feeling fine that’s great but if you feel like you’ve wasted time then maybe you need to start making some changes.

Something to look forward to

This is one of the easiest ways to feel better about life.

Instead of gazing into the abyss of nothingness wondering what the future will hold, you can set yourself up with something to look forward to.

It could be a catch up with a friend in a few days time or a holiday a year from now. But it could also be you making time for a hobby you enjoy one evening after work.

I think the reason having something to look forward to can help us feel better is because it gives us some indication of how the future will be. Granted we can’t predict everything but if we can set one or even a few things in stone then suddenly the future isn’t so frightening.

It’s common to fear the unknown and so if you can in some way bring some sense of knowing or stability, it helps make things easier.

Figuring it out as you go

So often we think that we have to have everything worked out.

We convince ourselves that an idea is not enough that we have to have everything mapped out from A to Z and all the steps in between.

But life will never go exactly as you plan, no matter how hard you try to control things.

I’ve learnt that the more you try to control things the less prepared you are for the unexpected. Granted it’s good to have some kind of plan and not just be like a boat with no oars. But you have no control over the flow of the waves.

The optimum circumstance is to be adaptable and often that means being able to figure things out as you go because you can’t plan for every possibility.

 

Changing the rules

In day to day life you might be surprised at how many rules you follow. Things that you are or aren’t supposed to do or say?

Some of them are necessary and help us function well as a society whilst others just restrict us. Some are inflicted by others but some we force upon ourselves.

You make up unhelpful rules that get you off the hook because you cant, you’re not allowed, people don’t do that.

But maybe if something isn’t working out you could take control.

Make the decision to change rules and do something differently.

Small-scale spontaneity

So often we run from spontaneity because it doesn’t allow us to have as much control as we’d like.

We tell ourselves that it’s the wrong decision or that we need to give it more thought or maybe just say no instead of yes.

But the beauty of spontaneity is that it opens us up to other options that we could never even imagine. And so when you say no instead of yes out of trying to be in control you miss out and you don’t even realise it.

I recently did something spontaneous, it wasn’t grand in fact it was very small-scale. But it taught me that there are more benefits saying yes and being spontaneous then I had realised

The Monthly Manifesto

For the last few months of 2019 I’ve been creating a manifesto for each month that I read every morning.

It’s sort of like a list of affirmations around a specific theme like opening up more, speaking my truth or letting go. I don’t remember what sparked this idea but it’s something that I’d recommend.

In some ways it’s also like a love letter to myself full of encouragement and self-belief.

The purpose is to give yourself control over how you begin your day and re-affirm the intentions you have for not only the day but your life overall.

When I write my manifesto I ensure that I’m open and in-flow, I think about what I want to focus on for the coming month, what I need to work on or be reminded of and then I just write.

Each manifesto so far has started with the same 2 sentences that sort of set the scene and open up my mind to fully receive the words that follow.

It isn’t any form of magic but I’ve found that when I start my mornings declaring that ‘I am letting go of what no longer serves me and embracing joy’ it becomes embedded into my subconscious. All of a sudden I’m having moments where I’m questioning why I allow certain things in my life and if they are serving me.

I’m an advocate for having practices that help and this is just one of many things that works for me.

The basis of this particular practice is to begin each day by reminding yourself that change is possible.