Good things take time.
When you start something new you’re likely to be unpolished to begin with, you’re still learning afterall.
But that initial stage is what puts many people off. They get caught up in the idea that they’re not good enough. They play the comparison game, often looking at people with much more practice and experience.
The reality is that it takes time to find your rhythm. After a couple of weeks you can’t expect to be perfectly polished. That’s not even reasonable.
It’s so helpful and a much more enjoyable process, when you put the focus on doing the work instead of the end result.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.
If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.
It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.
One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.
When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.
And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.
I think I’ve used the phrase talking helps at least half a dozen times on this site (turns out I was exactly spot on as shown below).
Making a breakthrough
Worth seeking advice from
Managing stress and deadlines
When you don’t have anyone to talk to
Unexpected but needed
I say it because that’s what has works for me and like everything I share here it comes from my experience. If this was around 3 or 4 years ago things would have been very different. Back then, I wasn’t talking about the challenges that I was facing or things that I struggled with because I didn’t know how.
Plus, at the time I didn’t think that talking would help.
But I also think a lot of people forget to mention that it’s more than just talking to anyone.
For example, the person that is feeling suicidal might not to find much solace in talking to their friends. Their friends aren’t equipped or trained to help in that kind of situation. Friends not knowing what to say doesn’t make them bad people.
Instead they might find it more helpful to talk to a professional, someone with training or someone who can relate to their experience.
Further to that, think about you want the outcome from talking to be. Of course there’s no magic fix but if you just want someone to listen and leave you feeling hopeful, talking to the person that will just dismiss your issues probably isn’t the best idea.
And if you don’t have anyone to talk to, that’s okay too.
If you live in the UK or Ireland call Samaritans on 116 123.
For anyone else the country you live in probably has a helpline you can call too.
I have this idea that sometimes there is comfort in moments of pessimism, in thinking about and accepting the possibility of the worst case scenario coming to life.
It’s not so that you can dwell but instead so that you can understand life sometimes turns out differently to how you expected.
You just have to learn to be okay with it which might be a hard pill to swallow.
Of course there is always a place for optimism but sometimes it isn’t helpful. Sometimes what you need is to accept that a situation isn’t going to turn out well.
And once you do that, things get a little bit easier.
Things that take a small amount of effort in the short term can end up providing great results long term.
And in the moment when we make the choice to give more, it can be easy to question whether or not it’s worth it.
Ironing your clothes for the week ahead
Making your lunch the night before
Answering an email the day you receive it
Having a night routine
When you don’t feel like doing something it’s always useful to think about how good you’ll feel in the future. You’ll feel more relaxed, prepared and organised.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Right now is a difficult time for a lot of people.
One of the easiest things you can do is read every article, keep up with live news updates online or on TV, scroll social media and panic.
But the chances are those things aren’t actually helping. Knowing the ever’changing stats of cases in countries across the globe is probably not going to bring you comfort or put your mind at ease.
Most people use social media in excess on a normal day but it’s likely that things have been ramped up even further recently.
Seeing people tell you what they think you should think or how they think you should feel might only add to your frustrations, not soothe them.
And so right now it’s worth being a little more intentional about what you’re consuming.
You don’t need to keep up with everything.
Only a small percentage of the population wear surgical masks (or any mask in general) on a regular basis. For everyone else it’s a new thing being done as a prevention method.
But turns out it could be totally useless.
In a recent conversation, someone mentioned they’d spotted a person with their mask upside down.
In a recent article I read it mentioned people putting their masks on unclean surfaces, not changing them regularly, not putting them on correctly and potentially getting droplets of the virus on the inside so the person is now directly breathing in the virus.
Another article stated that normal surgical masks will not protect you against the virus but can help those contaminated not spread it whilst an N95 respirator will (although they are not recommended for public use).
It is also advised to not purchase N95 respirator masks or surgical masks as they’re most needed by people that are sick and healthcare workers.
Turns out, some of us are so caught up in the idea of prevention that we haven’t considered whether what we’re doing is really helping.
Through this blog you may have read the phrase ‘talking helps’ at least once or twice.
I’m an advocate for talking because it is something that has changed my life and I think it’s something that at time is overlooked.
As much as I can advocate for people to talk more, the truth is not everyone has someone they can talk to.
Perhaps you don’t have any friends, you’re scared to open up to a family member, you can’t afford a therapist/counselling or you’re on a GP waiting list that could take over 6 months.
Talking might not solve the issue but being able to get things off your chest can work wonders for your well-being.
There’s a free service called Samaritans that you can use to call, email, write a letter or even visit in person to talk face to face. They’re available in various countries around the world including America, UK and Australia
Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide…
You don’t have to wait until you’re on the edge and life is getting to be too much, in fact you shouldn’t. Personally over the past year in particular I’ve found that talking about things more in general stops things becoming so overwhelming.
I think it’s lovely that these kinds of free services exist and I wanted to share it with you because it might be helpful for you or to pass on to someone you know.
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.
You can’t always have both.
So it turns out that the thing that brings you the most comfort might also be incredibly unhelpful to your personal development. It could even be the main thing holding you back from living your dream life, a life of bliss.
But you get so caught up in the comfort of this habit that has grown on you and with you that you can’t even see how it is hindering your progress.
On the flip-side of this is helpful habits and actions. If you’ve never done them before they probably feel a little uncomfortable but that is to be expected. Despite, how these things may feel they’re actually good for you and following though with them will lead you to your dream life, a life of bliss.
And so it’s a choice between short term discomfort for long-term joy or long-term comfort for long-term dissatisfaction.
The choice is yours.