I’d prefer the opposite

I’m posing the question of why we sometimes end up saying yes instead of no, or no instead of yes.

It’s related to fear, the root of a whole lotta life hassles.

You say yes to something you don’t want to do because you’re a people pleaser, you don’t want to disappoint the person and you want them to like.

You say no to something you want to do because you’re scared you won’t be good at it, it comes with uncertainty and you’re worried about what other people will think.

Or, perhaps you can’t relate as each decision you make is so in line with your core self that you know how to voice what it is you really want (or don’t want).

If you feel that you align with the former, all is not lost, your awareness means change is possible.

It’ll just take some practice.

Dancing with fear

I could probably write a book on things I’ve learnt from Seth Godin.

Seth taught me that maybe this fear is something I can work with instead of work for. As in, I can do everything I want to do and still have fear, instead letting the fear dictate what I do (which always ends up with me not doing what I actually want to do).

Learning to dance with fear is often uncomfortable (because it’s new) but it’s taught me valuable lessons about moving through life.

The best place to start is somewhere small because it’s like a form of immersion therapy. Imagine if you’re learning to swim, diving in at the deep end with no arm bands is probably a silly idea. You might end up panicking, swallowing water and needing to be rescued.

If that happens you’re unlikely to dust yourself off and try again. You almost died, it’s too dangerous, how could you even think it was a good idea. And your body will do it’s thing in letting you know it was dangerous and that you need to protect yourself. At that point even the shallow end will seem too risky.

But if you start at the shallow end and do the smallest uncomfortable thing that doesn’t feel too risky you might be willing to do something slightly bigger bit by bit overtime.

And then eventually diving in at the deep end won’t seem so risky. Because you’ve done everything else before that and it’s turned out okay. You’ll be at a point where you know what to do if you feel overwhelmed and even if you need a little help or support it you won’t feel like a failure.

Then once you’re out the deep end you’ll be okay to go back in again.

Turns out it wasn’t so scary after all.

Making a breakthrough

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, talking helps.

When used correctly it’s an excellent tool for self exploration where you can walk away from conversations and gain insight into aspects of yourself you hadn’t yet uncovered.

The beauty of it is that you don’t have to even need talking about the thing. However, you do have to be open and vulnerable to allow things to rise to the surface.

Yes, it might feel scary or uncomfortable but you don’t have to hold onto those feelings.

Do it, because you believe that by exploring your mind it’ll help you figure some things out and that might lead to a breakthrough.

What happens when we remove worry from the equation of self?

Just as ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry’ is the same way you’re not you when you’re worried.

A person that worries chronically may end up having sleep problems, self-harming and developing fidget habits like pulling at their hair.

Those kinds of behaviours often end up overshadowing a persons core self and then others fall into thinking that those things are who they are.

But when you remove worry from the equation you feel a sense of freedom. You have room to maneuver, you have room to be.

You’ll feel like a whole new you and begin experience life in a way that is so far from what you’re familiar with.

Life will feel easier or at least much more manageable but it’s not that you’ll never worry again. It’s that the worry will come and pass like the flow of water rather than being something that stays with you long term and ends up being debilitating and reducing your quality of life.

If you have a worry habit, the idea of being without it probably sounds like bliss (with a hint of fear because you’re so familiar with worrying it seems strange to think about being without it.

It might be hard to believe but it is possible to significantly reduce worry and not have it as such a dominant part of your identity, you just have to figure out how.

Fictional risk

There’s a story many of us tell ourselves about what is risky. Often there is no real risk attached to the situation but the story comes from the part of the brain in charge of survival.

It’s like the siren goes off signalling a potential threat but it’s not much use when it happens in a situation like voicing your opinion in a group because you’re not going to die from saying what you think.

Being aware when the *survival brain* is signalling fictional risk gives you the opportunity to overcome situations where you feel anxious.

You might not believe it if you’re caught in feelings of anxiousness or you take your inner monologue as gospel but there are studies on it and for the least I can say it’s worked for me.

A little exercise that’ll be beneficial is to note down something that makes you anxious, the worst case outcome and how you can overcome that.

You might find that many of the worst case outcomes are you feeling bad and all you really have to do to overcome that is remind yourself that it’s okay and maybe try EFT to neutralise feelings of overwhelm.

Talking helps

On how sometimes the seemingly simple across of speaking up can transform your whole life.

Talking helps when you allow yourself to be open, honest and vulnerable with the right people.

This could be family, friends, your manager at work, your gp or perhaps a therapist.

We so often get caught in our own stuff that we build it up to be so much more than it really is but when you talk about it, often that other person can help you start to see things differently.

When you don’t say things and you keep everything inside it becomes much bigger, scarier and potentially life threatening.

I think the hardest part is taking the first step in saying this is happening in my life and I’m going to talk about it.

When you don’t get what you thought you wanted

My childhood perception of my twenties was that I’d be married or at least engaged, living in my own home and possibly have a kid on the way. But once I got to my twenties I realised that I used those things to escape from actually thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.

I don’t feel like an actual proper adult and I’m not sure I ever will but I also have no idea what that’s meant to feel like. However, I have had lots of experiences that have taught me useful things and allowed me to develop and grow.

Even though those things were challenging, they’re a big reason of why I can so confidently show up here on this site and write about overcoming things, offering tips or advice and writing about the dream-life.

My life isn’t what kid me thought it would be but I can count on 2 hands some of the things I’m grateful for. In not having the life I thought I would in my early twenties it’s forced me to confront the very things I was running from.

And because of that my life is much more interesting (or at least that’s the story I tell myself).