If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.
It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.
It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.
I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?
So often, we’re afraid to be vulnerable and let people know where we’re at. In doing that you miss out on the opportunity to be supported by people that care.
What often ends up happening is you feel frustrated that there is no one to support you, not realising that you haven’t even given them a chance.
The best way to break this habit is to be more open when talking to the people that you know you can trust. Instead of having those Hey, how’s it going? Yeah, good thanks, you? types of conversations make the effort to be a little more vulnerable.
It might feel strange at first but when you talk to the right people they’ll listen to you and show support which is sometimes all you need. Your act of bravery might have a knock on effect because often you find that the other person will start to open up more too.
You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.
In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.
So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.
What do you do?
It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.
First up, ask for what you want/need?
Ask confidently, ask a second time.
Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.
If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.
Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.
Lastly don’t expect too much from people.
Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship, they have their own stuff to do too.
I recently had an unexpected conversation that I didn’t expect to have yet at the same time it was exactly what I needed.
It can be difficult to let people know that you need a little bit of reassurance once in a while. However, sometimes maybe it’s not even really reassurance but instead just to talk about your vulnerabilities and the things that scare you. It turned out that my situation I was discussing in conversation wasn’t as unique as I thought but that’s a good thing.
It made me understand that the challenges I was facing and the things I was struggling with we’re just life. That’s not to say that life is about challenges and struggles though.
I realised that in thinking my current circumstances were not the way things were supposed to be, I was pushing against them and filling my mind with fear when really what I needed to do was embrace them.
And after that conversation, the challenges and struggles didn’t seem so bad at all. I guess it’s like I always say, talking helps.
A few words on self acceptance.
As you take the time to explore yourself you’re likely to discover all kinds of things: the good the bad and the ugly.
You might find that there are some things about yourself that have put you at a disadvantage and they’re not always easy to accept.
The things that make you different, the things that have to be explained in order for people to understand you, the things that make you uncomfortable and maybe it’s things you wish you could just bypass.
But these challenges, the things you find difficult are probably great learning opportunities or what I like to call growth points.
Of course that doesn’t make them any easier but what I’ve learnt is that the more you push back and resist the more challenging things become. Whereas, if you’re more open, willing to accept your circumstances and explain things to the right person (or people), the situation softens.
And once it softens it becomes more malleable and in turn more manageable until eventually you overcome it or learn to handle it better.
A question worth asking when you’re trying to overcome feeling discontent or stuck.
So let’s say you’re feeling unsatisfied with where you’re at. What are you doing about it?
What are you doing to get past where you’re at and more importantly is what you’re doing helping?
For example if you’re feeling uninspired to create, what are you doing?
Scrolling social media, taking a walk, watching Netflix or youtube, trying to create in spite of the ‘block’, avoiding creating until the feeling passes etc.
Whatever it may be ask yourself ‘is this helping?’
Social media could inspire you or overwhelm you because you already don’t feel great and now you’re filling your mind with other people’s stuff.
But maybe that walk refreshes you or creating when you don’t feel like it allows you to get past the not so good stuff and onto the stuff that’s great.
However, if it’s not helping do something else.
When our dreams are greater than our present circumstances it can be easy to feel like it’s us against life as though we’re pushing back.
You might think you’re the only one with big dreams as everyone else just seems to get on with things without dragging their heels.
But if you take the time to speak to the people around you, you might find that they have dreams too. Talking to the right people will always be helpful and realising you’re not alone is a bonus.
Finding out that someone else in a similar position to you has dreams too is something you might not have even considered. That’s just one of many reasons to not make assumptions.
When we give to others generously and it isn’t received in the way we expected or would have preferred the first instinct might be to find fault in the receiver.
But often what is actually happening is we’re projecting. In many cases we give to others what we wish we had or could receive rather than assessing this persons needs as an individual.
Perhaps it’s in the form of constantly checking in or offering advice because you wished someone had checked in with you and gave you guidance.
But then the receiver might reject all the advice you give and not open up when you check in which could leave you frustrated.
You’ll find yourself wondering why this person isn’t grateful for your generosity, after all you didn’t have anyone do this for you.
It’s at that point that you might want to reflect on why this person might be responding the way they do.
If you really want to help someone ask them what they need rather than just putting yourself in there position.
There’s a thing in NLP about how we do things based on our own experience but when you offer to help someone else, it shouldn’t be about you.