Exposed

How do you feel when you try something that doesn’t work?

One of the things that limits people from trying new things or just being themselves is not the thing itself but the feeling that comes afterwards.

That feeling of being exposed. Of all eyes on you and nothing to show for yourself. The thought of people knowing you tried and failed.

Especially when you already feel your own disappointment.

So, how about if instead of focusing on how bad it feels you focus on being kinder to yourself.

After all it might be worth acknowledging that you had the courage to try in the first place.

300 and something

Time flies when you’re daily blogging.

I’ve written over 300 posts for this site and I’ve manged to not run out of ideas.

If you’d have asked me 300 days ago what I’d be writing about towards the end of 2019 I’d have said ‘I’m not sure’. But something I’ve realised is that each blog post is simply the expansion of a thought and humans have tens of thousands of thoughts a day so I’ll never need to worry about running out of ideas.

And I find that the more I experience, grow and explore the more my perspective shifts and I’m able to expand on things I wrote previously or write them with a more developed mindset.

I also find that because I write each day I’m not so focused on the stats. However, what I do notice is familiar usernames that regularly read my posts and that is something I truly appreciate.

Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk, personal growth and trying new things.

When you do something that challenged you it’s only normal that you would want the risk to pay off.

And when things work out it’s great. You feel good inside because you were brave and it payed off. You’ll probably do that thing again because the good outcome taught you that there was nothing to be afraid of.

But what about when the outcome is not what you wanted. You muster the courage to speak up in the meeting and your points are dismissed.

What do you do?

Do you speak again?

The part of the brain that deals with fear and survival will set off the safety alarm and maybe even go into shut down mode.

When you do something and it doesn’t work, it’s not considered a ‘safe’ option which is why you often end up retreating.

But what I’ve learnt is that the act of being brave is where the focus should be. When you place too much importance on the outcome you don’t acknowledge what it took to do the thing you were afraid of in the first place.

Things can’t work out the way you want all the time, perfection is a falsehood.

What it means to be a good person

Let’s start with the letter S for self sacrifice.

When you live your life trying to be a good person you’ll find yourself pulled in every which way.

Often what people judge a persons goodness by is how much you do for them.

And in a bid to keep the title of the most good of all. You might find yourself bending, doing the most and going above and beyond to please people.

But as much as it’s great to go above and beyond (for the things that matter), it’s impossible to please everyone. It’s a losing game.

So it might be much more useful to focus on being generous, kind and thoughtful but don’t do it for other people. Do it for you because it feels good and maybe because you’ve decided that that’s the kind of person you want to be.

Life changing habits: Daily mantras

A tool I use to sort of re-calibrate so that my intentions are focused on a specific thing.

When I was looking for a job in the past I did daily mantras for at least a month then I ended up getting 3 job offers within the space of a few weeks.

I get that some people don’t believe in the power of mantras but I’m not saying it’s a magic fix. It’s more a case of what you focus on grows, it sort of becomes in sociological terms a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m a big believer that if you don’t think it’ll work then it probably won’t.

And if you don’t trust me trust Henry Ford who said ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’

It’s been life changing for me because the things I’ve declared have come to pass. I try and focusing on bringing more of the good stuff in and letting the stuff no longer serving me fall away and mantras help with that.

Life changing habits: Focus on yourself

Probably the most obvious life changing habit of all, yet in this society with the prominence of social media in our everyday lives it can feel almost impossible.

How do you engage with the content of strangers without getting sucked in and forgetting about you?

I find that disconnecting is key, as in closing the app or logging out.

But it is also useful to make time to ask yourself the important questions like: How does this make me feel? Or is this a valuable use of my time?

The balance between focusing on yourself and what others are doing should always heavily be tipped in your favour.

I feel much better doing hand embroidery, going for a walk or drawing than I do focusing on the lives of strangers.

It doesn’t better my life to know that you had poached eggs on avo toast for breakfast or that you just bought another pair of Manolo Blahniks.

But don’t get me wrong I enjoy that kind of content a lot but I shouldn’t be focusing on others more than myself.

The same way you could with great ease spend an hour watching YouTube videos or 30 minutes scrolling Instagram should be the same way you spend time on yourself.

Habits of your future self

If you’re not doing anything to bridge the gap between your present and future self, ask yourself ‘how do I expect to get there?’

Maybe you want to read more, wake up earlier, be more productive, write a book, start a podcast it could be anything.

But let’s take be more productive. How do you go from unproductive to productive?

I’d start with identifying the gap.

Is it procrastination, lack of commitment or focus?
What can you do to overcome that?

Trying the ‘do it now approach‘ for a month or so is a great way to combat a variety of issues. It reduces procrastination, encourages commitment and overtime will probably make you more productive.

If you don’t know about the do it now approach its fairly self explanatory but it’s origin lies in the desire to get things done instead of putting things off.

It’s replying to emails instead of flagging them, doing small tasks when they come up instead of adding them to your to do list.

If that sounds like the kind of person you want to be then challenge yourself and give it a go.