When your life isn’t quite going how you anticipated. You might have the thought to start over. Often this takes a while to actually begin.
Starting over goes from being something scary that you choose to avoid (because you’d rather be unhappy with what you know than risk things being any worse if you try something new) to being something that is worth the risk.
The mindset goes from I’d rather stick with what I know and be miserable than venture out into the unknown to I’d rather venture out into the unknown than stick with what I know and be miserable.
As time passes, the value we place on familiarity in situations when we’re unhappy often decreases. It’s no longer considered worth it to stay in your current circumstances because if you’re unhappy now, the worst case scenario is starting over and still being unhappy. However, often things turn out significantly better.
I think one of the main reasons that old habits are hard to break is because we’re used to them. When you’ve been doing something for a long time whether it’s beneficial to your life or not, it can be difficult to just let it go.
Even if you know it’s not good for you, you get sucked into the feeling of familiarity and allow the habit to continue.
But, what if you forced yourself to change, what if you made a choice to do something different and uncomfortable? Doing that allows you to open yourself to the possibility of a new life where you do thing that align with the kind of person that you want to be, rather than contradict it.
Overcoming a habit that is hard to break is joyous because you know it wasn’t easy but you did it anyway.
I think it could be said that one of the biggest things that holds us back is that we try to hard to be a specific type of way or create a certain kind of thing. Often our efforts go into emulating what we have already seen done and the way that we think or have been told that things should be.
When this occurs instead of just doing our work and creating, we put limits on ourselves.
Suddenly, the ideas you have end up being tweaked and altered because you haven’t seen things done that way and you’d rather go with what’s been seen to work.
I think a reason we do this is because we don’t have enough self belief to really do things the way we want plus, we want things to work out.
When you’re someone that creates, you never want to put your heart and soul into something and it not be well received. People not taking to your work feels personal because it came from you and often we end up internalising that feeling and coming up with stories like ‘I’m not good enough…’.
The way to avoid all this is to just be, just create. The more you create, the more you find your own flow and no longer feel like you need to mimic others. The work you do will become so much more gratifying.
The more you create, the more you lower the stakes. The first time you create something that comes from you might be scary but over time once it becomes more familiar, it will get easier.
The familiarity of what you know might be the thing that keeps you from exploring other ideas or options.
Let’s take the example of food.
Imagine you go to a restaurant and order the duck. Now imagine the duck is incredibly delicious and so each time you go back, you order the same thing.
You find yourself sticking with what you know because you know you’ll like it. But there are many other options available to you that are worth exploring. It’s not that you’ll like them more but instead a reminder of the important of taking advantage of what is available. I think sometimes in life we take our options for granted.
As much as there are so many other options available for you to experience, you turn them down because you’d rather play it safe with wat you know than venture out into the unknown.
But what you end up forgetting is that the very thing you’re clinging to because of familiarity was also once unfamiliar, you just got used to it over time.
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.
When it comes to change, big change in particular you might not ever feel ready.
However, that doesn’t mean you should simply stick with what you know.
The reason you don’t feel ready is because change means unfamiliar territory, something we often shy away from.
We scare ourselves with 101 ‘what ifs’ instead of believing that things might actually turn out alright. We become so consumed by the fear that we convince ourselves it’s better to stick with what we know than to try something new.
But once you teach yourself that it’s okay to be a little afraid and that you don’t need to wait until you feel ‘ready’, changing your life might become much easier.
It’s easy to talk about the weather, your favourite TV show, what you had for dinner and what you got up to at the weekend.
But often when it comes to topics like mental health, fears and struggles suddenly talking becomes difficult.
Part of why it’s so difficult is because we don’t do it enough. What if having difficult conversations could be made easier with practice?
Talking when it’s difficult often requires you to venture out into new territory even if it is with someone you’re familiar with. But what you gain from having difficult conversations is what makes it worth doing.
If you had to pick between the 2, which one would you go for.
When you think about word association exciting is probably associated with words like fun but also maybe risk.
Comforting on the other hand is probably associated with familiarity and being boring.
Despite what you might think you’d choose, if you look back on your past choices many people find that they choose comfort, over and over again.
I think the reason for this is that even if we can’t admit it, we’d much rather stick with what we know and be bored than take a risk and potentially have it go wrong.
And so the real choice we give ourselves is risk or relief.
When it comes to the exciting possibilities of life, how often do you allow yourself to experience them.
Often we end up looking from afar and think about how great it would be if it happened to us. The truth is in many cases we’re actually not ready for the good stuff to happen.
It’s much easier to stick with what you know.
The thing is even if what you know is great, it doesn’t mean that their isn’t more great stuff out there for you to experience.
There isn’t a cap on how much excitement you can have in your life, you just have to be open to it.
I think it’s fair to say that most people are enticed by new things. A new habit, a new opportunity even a new person. As much as we can fear the new there are many instances when it actually excites us.
Yet, in many cases instead of going towards the new thing, we look back.
We look back with this cosy feeling of nostalgia for what once was or what it’s time to move on from and all of a sudden we begin to hesitate.
That’s when the fear and ‘what ifs’ kicks in.
What if things don’t work out?
What if this new thing isn’t better than what I’ve left behind?
What if I have to start over again?
The what if questions we ask are rarely framed in a helpful way and only serve to amplify the fear.
The alternative to looking back is to focus on the possibilities that will come from embracing the new and learning to trust that you’ll be fine.