The wrong perception

How you view yourself impacts how you act. How you act, influences how you are perceived.

If you don’t think much of yourself, it’ll show up in your posture the way you speak and the kinds of things that you say.

And in turn you may be perceived as quiet, shy, uninterested, someone who doesn’t care. But maybe you have low self-esteem and maybe nobody taught you to think good of yourself.

Perhaps, even though you haven’t yet learnt how to say it or even show it, you actually care quite a lot.

Learned behaviour

I’m really into self-observation and learning about why we are the way we are.

I find behaviour to be quite fascinating. I’ve learnt that often how we act is down to the people we surround ourselves with and the people we allow ourselves to be influenced by rather than just something ingrained within.

It might be easy to blame external factors for why you are the way you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change.

The same way you learned to be one way you can choose to learn to be different (and hopefully better).

Putting pressure on the outcome

In periods of uncertainty we often put an excessive amount of pressure on a particular outcome.

You tell yourself you’ll be be happy if things turn out one way and that the other outcome will be a disaster.

And of course, in life often one option is much better than the other. However, too much attachment to something you have no control over can have unhelpful impacts.

What happens when things don’t turn out the way you wanted?

I’ve learnt that it is much more helpful to focus on yourself and your own well being and not be so dictated by external influences. That way even when things don’t turn out the way you’d have liked, you’ll still be totally fine.

How to figure out what you want?

This is a topic that has been on many peoples minds mainly because we’ve all had much more time to think about our lives over the past few months.

For a lot of people what they want is actually what they think they want because it comes from other people. When you’re constantly being told what you should want and what you should do with your life it’s no wonder you don’t know your own mind.

It’s in the quiet moments where external influences have fallen away that you’ll figure out what you want. It’s like when people say they get their best ideas in the shower. When you’re alone with little distraction, your mind can finally relax and peacefully wander.

One of the biggest distractions in this day and age is social media. You can spend a few hours online and come away thinking you want to create fashion content, be a painter, start a podcast, work in marketing, start a project for your local community, be a graphic designer, start a youtube channel, make music, be a makeup artist, be a textile artist, start a band, be a poet, be an artist and so much more.

Granted you could be interested but when you constantly surround yourself with other peoples stuff it makes it harder to figure out what you want for yourself.

I’ve found that trying new things is invaluable, to be able to say I tried painting and it wasn’t for me but I really like sculpting. So often we try one thing and then get frustrated if it doesn’t work out as though their aren’t over 101 other options for things to try. How are you meant to know what you want if you haven’t tried anything.

Secondly switching off and embracing quite moments is the perfect way to get more in tune with yourself. I’ve found myself most inspired when I’m gazing at the sunset, taking a walk or crafting whilst the sounds of Litany, Montaigne and Hayley Mary drift through the air.

Lastly, give it time.

The problem with pedestaling

Disclaimer: By pedestaling, I just means to put someone on a pedestal.

I’ve noticed quite a lot recently that people put celebrities, popular people, well known people, people they follow online and overall people that they don’t know much about on a pedestal.

They see someone that sings great songs, dresses well, posts pretty pictures, is good looking, writes captivating articles, shares relatable tweets or has some other positive or good quality and then they fill in the blanks convincing themselves they know the person.

They fill in the blanks with ideas of the person being perfect, amazing at everything and faultless. In some cases it’s to the point of idolising them.

So, when this person does something they don’t like, makes a mistake or even doesn’t show up online in the way they think they should, they end up taking it personally and feeling hurt.

But the truth is you didn’t know this person in the first place, you just created this fantasy of who they are in your mind.

What next?

When leading a movement or if you put yourself in a position to be a voice for change, a question to regularly ask is, what next?

What next, when things don’t go to plan?

What next, when people lose motivation?

What next, when you complete one of the things you were working towards?

The road to your destination will be paved with what next over and over again.

If you’re not ready to ask yourself (or be asked) that question and start figuring out an answer, then perhaps you’re not ready to lead.

To lead takes innovation, a strong sense of self, dedication and commitment.

Not everybody is able to hold out their hand and say come this way.

Disrupting the plan

Most people have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just a loose idea of how they would like things to be.

You carry it around with you wherever you go, it influences the choices you make.

You say yes to doing that thing that will help you progress and hopefully make things easier in the long run. You say no to things that are fun, exciting and interesting because you consider them a distraction.

But then sometimes something or someone comes along and disrupts the plans you made.

It could be someone that makes you realise that you’re settling, a listing for an amazing kind of job that you didn’t even know existed or meeting someone that went down a non-traditional route and has managed to make a great life for themselves.

Your eyes become open to the possibilities of life. You realise that the plan you made was created to give you a safe and stable life rather than being something you were truly passionate about.

Consumption and influence

You might be under the impression that the media you consume has no influence over you.

But one day you might find yourself saying, doing or buying something that doesn’t quite feel like you.

For example, on a podcast a woman spoke about how she noticed that when watching a particular reality tv show she was more argumentative.

I think it’s impossible to not be influenced whatsoever and it’s important to be aware of how you’re influenced by the things you consume.

Some examples of the things we consume are: YouTube, blogs, TV, music and social media.

Consumption of those things can influence your career choice, how you spend your money, what you value, your self esteem, how you communicate, the way you view life and so on.

I can openly admit that I’m aware of how I’m influenced by things. An easy example is music because I have playlists for when I’m feeling blue and for when I need a pick me up.

Something I unconsciously started doing from a young age is thinking about the way I want to feel or the kind of person I want to be and consuming things that align with that.

If that’s not something you already do, I think it’s worth a try.

Go with the flow

It’s hard to balance tense and triggered aspects of self with the softer more malleable bits.

My anxiety makes me tense and rigid but it also deeply influences the way I write. But my softer more malleable side deeply influences my writing too.

It is often through writing that my anxieties subside and I am able to go with the flow, follow the words and not worry about the order or things making perfect sense but to instead stay inflow allowing the words to pour.

To be able to follow the flow no matter how brief or specific is something worth cherishing. When you’re tense and rigid or feeling overwhelmed by life it seems impossible that there’s any other way, but there is.

The flow is always there whether you choose that path or not. You can go back to it at any point because the moment you realise that what you’re doing isn’t working or should be different is the moment the solution becomes available.

Things worth passing on

Like books, podcasts, talks etc

If someone asks for a recommendation when your interests aren’t mainstream, it’s easy to hold back. It’s easy to be reluctant to share that local band who are heavily influenced by 80s synth pop.

You might skip over that book you read a while back by a neurologist purely out of curiosity.

That podcast with a spiritual/holistic focus won’t even get a mention.

But I think those things are worth passing on. If you were lucky enough to find something you enjoy that people you’re around might not be aware of, why not tell them about it?

It’s easy to be put off by the thought of blank or uninterested faces.

But at least you were willing to share something about yourself.

Plus, you might even find someone else who is interested in the same things as you.