If you have to ask…

…you probably already know the answer.

Sometimes when you ask questions, you’re not looking for an answer, you’re looking for confirmation on what you’ve already decided or you want someone to tell you what you want to hear. This is why you end up frustrated with how the person responds, you didn’t get the answer that you wanted.

For the person on the other end they’re simply being honest. As much as you may favour a particular response, there’s not much point in asking a question if you’ll only be satisfied when things go your way.

You have to learn to ask the question and accept that things could go either way. You can begin implementing this by learning to give people the space to be open without judgement and then placing honesty above things going your way.

The power of taking space

It might feel easier to hold on but maybe what you really need to do is let go.

Taking space is a powerful thing. When you spend time away from something you have developed an attachment to it gives you room to find clarity and to come back to yourself. So often you may find ourselves getting caught up in other people and trying to please or appease them that you forget yourself and your own values or ideas.

And sometimes when you’re not ready to let go you convince yourself that there is something for us in the attachment, something that we need. But even if it is true that the attachment offers us something it can’t possibly be placed above that which we can offer ourselves.

So go forth and take space, then when you’re ready you can return and figure out how you really feel without attachment cloud your judgement.

Changing your mind

When you’re vocal about your beliefs and the things you want to do in your life, it can be difficult when you change your mind.

If you openly displayed yourself to the world in a particular way, major change (especially if it contradicts with your existing aims) will come with judgement.

It will come from strangers and people around you but it will also come from yourself. You judge yourself because you have difficulty comprehending and accepting that a person can hold a set of beliefs and then months or years later decide to reject them in favour of something else.

That internal judgement matters more than the judgement we receive from others because if you can’t understand yourself and the choices you’re making, what does that say about who you are?

You need to do better

Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?

When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.

But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.

Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.

Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Assumptions and understanding

In the past couple of weeks you’ve probably seen things happen that you would have once considered bad. Yet the way these events have unfolded, these acts are almost worthy of praise.

When you look at an incident in isolation, it’s easy to make a judgement about what is wrong or right, what should or shouldn’t happen and if something is good or bad. It’s something we do quite often.

We go around making assumptions based on limited information ignoring the fact that we don’t know the full story because it’s fun to fill in the gaps. But also because sometimes the full story takes more time and effort than we are willing to give.

It’s much easier to assume that someone is wrong than it is to consider the why behind their actions. This may not have any real impact in the moment however, in the long run simply choosing the easiest thought path can have negative results.

So, it might be worth slowing down, looking at the bigger picture, getting informed and then making a judgment based on much more than surface level understanding.

If I was you…

It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.

‘If I was you I’d have…’

‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’

But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.

Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.

Can I do better?

A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?

It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.

You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.

That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.

When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.

When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.

Pushing the boundary

Many people have an unspoken set of boundaries for what they do and don’t do or a set of rules that govern the choices they make.

And sometimes the boundaries that you give yourself become limitations.

Suddenly you find that you’re not doing the things that you want to do because your boundaries go against it.

However the thing about boundaries, though they have there benefits they can also be a hindrance.

The more you try to force yourself to adhere to them the harder you judge yourself when you stray.

But, it’s perfectly okay to move away from the person that you thought you’d be.

An act of spontaneity (don’t overthink it)

Around 8 months ago I went to see one of my favourite singers in a city a couple hours north from where I live.

I booked my ticket 6 months in advance because I didn’t want to miss out and knew the opportunity may not come around for a while.

But I also didn’t have anyone to go with which was caused some initial hesitation.

In the end, I went alone had a great time and bought a t-shirt from the merch stand.

Looking back it really was an act of spontaneity (albeit a pretty small-scale act one all the same).

I’m glad I didn’t get stuck overthinking, I’m glad I didn’t miss out and I’m glad I went alone.

There’s often a lot of judgement (both internally and externally) when it comes to doing things alone but when the alternative is missing out, ask yourself ‘Are those voices worth listening to?’.

Sonder, struggles and stuff

We’re all just doing our best which is something that we often forget and it might be the reason why we’re often so quick to judge others.

We so easily get caught up in our own world, our own challenges, experiences and struggles that we don’t consider everyone else is going through things too.

You might be struggling with anxiety but someone else may have financial issues and be struggling to pay their bills. People don’t often share what they’re going through (especially not with strangers) so all we know is our own personal stuff that we’re carrying around with us.

But, I think it would be naive to say let’s all share our struggles and challenges.

However, when you’re going through things I think it’s important to remember that everyone else goes through things too.

Not as a way to invalidate your own experiences but to help you realise that it’s totally normal to have challenges and difficult experiences in life.

And once you truly realise that for yourself, extend that to everyone you meet.