If you had to choose between pushing on with something in the hopes that it will work out or choosing to quit and starting over, which would you choose?
We’re regularly encouraged to keep going, to try and try and again but what if things just aren’t working out.
Often, the reason we choose to carry on is because we’ve invested time and money and we aren’t willing to accept that our idea won’t be a success. Even when we are aware that our continued efforts will be fruitless, it somehow feels easier to continue down what is likely to be a dead end.
Of course, in time perhaps things will be a success, but maybe we’d actually just be better off quitting and trying something else.
Where you are right now might not be where you wish you were.
But it’s important to accept it.
You may have a detailed dream life that feels a million miles from you’re current life. And so you focus on the future to distract yourself from your current circumstances.
Perhaps there are feelings of embarrassment, shame, low self-esteem, not feeling good enough or fear associated with where your life is at. By choosing not to accept the present you amplify all those feelings which of course makes you feel worse.
Instead of trying to distance yourself from your current life, try to accept it. It’s okay to not be where you want to be in life.
That doesn’t mean you don’t make an effort to change things and work towards where you want to be. It just means that you don’t bypass the present.
We might not like them but we have to have them.
We put off difficult conversations because they make us nervous.
We’re worried about how our words will come out, how our words will be perceived, how the person on the receiving end will feel, we’re scared of being vulnerable and we worry that we might regret it.
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, no matter how you might feel, the conversation still needs to be had. You can have it now or you can have it later.
As much as it is difficult it is also important. I think that’s the bit worth focusing on and is much more of an incentive to get yourself talking. Don’t focus on the nerves or hoping you can control how the other person will react. Just remind yourself that the conversation is important and worth having.
Lockdown allowed us to fantasise about the possibilities of life.
The way that things were was no longer seen as the way that things had to be.
The longer we were inside the more we began to speak of the new normal. We were able to imagine changes on scales small and large. I think this gave a lot of people hope, that this pandemic would not be for nothing if once it was over there would be change for the better.
But, somewhere along the way, there was a shift. Instead of speaking of the new way of life we had once hoped for, we began to long over the old ways.
Suddenly, it was the old normal that we were dreaming of, not something new.
I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.
We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.
But what if you could enjoy life right now.
Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.
But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?
So, today I tried something new in the kitchen that involved shortcrust pastry.
My hopes were high but unfortunately the end result was pretty terrible.
I tried to rectify it but to no avail.
I found myself feeling a little frustrated because it wasn’t a complicated dish and I thought it was going well, until it wasn’t.
But once I got thinking I realised that it wasn’t so bad. I was lucky enough that there was plenty of other food in my house so I didn’t have to go hungry.
And then I moved on to thinking about what went wrong and what I could do differently next time in order to improve the outcome. I could roll the pastry thinner, I could cook the pastry for longer, I could use less egg for the filling or I could follow a recipe properly rather than just for the amount of butter and flour for the pastry.
The bottom line is that I tried something new and it didn’t work out how I had hoped. That’s something that happens a lot in life and I think the issue is that we consider it to be a bad thing when in fact it’s a normal thing.
It’s normal for things to not work out sometimes especially when it’s something you’re doing for the first time. It’s all just part of the learning process. And if you’re willing to try again, then there’s a possibility that things can get better.
Often we look at situations and systems that are in place and we hope for better.
We are able to identify there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be.
And even if you have no idea how to bridge the gap, identifying it is the perfect place to begin.
You can then start thinking about how things could be better and what sort of changes should be implemented.
You can start asking useful questions like why certain things are the way they are and what can be done to change them.
Of course it is not solely up to you to make change as it would be impossible for one person to do it all. However, I think a bunch of individuals that are willing to hope for better than what we currently have is exactly what we need.
We need people that are willing to ask the right questions, people that are willing to say maybe we should try something different and most of all people that are willing to act even if they don’t directly benefit.
There are stats to prove that when it comes to job applications women are less likely to apply than men, if they don’t meet all the requirements.
The interesting thing about this is that if you don’t get the job you don’t really lose out because nothing changes. So if you apply yo a job where you only meet 75% of what they are asking for, there’s no real risk at all, in fact you should probably do it more often.
The things you can’t yet do or don’t have much experience of are probably things that can be learnt on the job.
Of course, if what they’re asking for is experience in a specialised software that you’ve never even heard of it’s probably not worth going for. However, if the application asks for someone who has used a particular software and you have, don’t let not being an expert stop you from applying.
When you don’t perfectly meet all the criteria for a job application perhaps you feel like you won’t be able to do a good, you’re worried about your weaknesses (the things you’re not as experienced in) being exposed or maybe you don’t think you’ll get an interview.
All that stuff is just guesswork. You can apply to a job you’re perfectly qualified for and not get it, you can apply to a job you’re 75% qualified for and get it.
The risk of applying is minimal, I think the real risk is in getting your hopes up.
But the purpose of taking a risk is knowing there’s a chance it might not work and doing it anyway.
It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.
Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.
It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.
But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.
Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.
But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.
One thing I’ve notice is how busy we all seem to be. We’re constantly going from one thing to the next and wishing for more hours in the day.
But how often do you consider that it’s a choice?
Do you ever consider that you can stop, slow down and do less?
We fill our days with meetings, social media, main projects, side projects, shows, music, YouTube, socialising and so on.
But what if instead you decided to be a little more intentional about how you spend your time.
Instead of filling up your day with a bunch of stuff, why not be more selective? Why not pick and choose what is actually worth doing?
Furthermore, you could even block out time each day or week to do specific things or even just time to do nothing.