People often complain about their life circumstances and how if only they weren’t working class, their parents were born in the western world, they grew up in a better area etc.
In some ways they envy the opportunities that more ‘privileged’ people have had in life. They may think it’s not fair that others have had the upper hand from the moment they were born where as they’ve had to ‘try and try , try and try’ (from the song You can get it if you really want by Jimmy Cliff).
But the thing is as much as they may think and feel this way, it’s also what they aspire to. To raise families more well off than they were. To have the money to live somewhere bigger and safer. To be a able to give the people around them opportunities because they’re well connected.
Essentially they aspire to become the people that are ahead of the majority, more privileged and people with the upper hand.
It’s hard to make comparisons about who has it harder but that’s not something worth competing over. I think we can all agree we’d like to have things better than they were or currently are.
And who knows down the line your family could be the privileged ones with countless opportunities compared to others.
But from someone else’s perspective, you might be considered pretty privileged right now.
I recently got some news and my immediate reaction was to conclusions of the worst case scenario.
It’s funny that we do that so often yet we rarely have the full picture or even half the picture.
Why is it that we give in to the inner pessimist and think the worst but never take the path of optimism?
Something that can help change your mindset is consciously thinking about things from a more useful perspective.
The assumptions we make often put us in the role of a victim and so we end up feeling helpless. But the optimistic path puts you in a position of power.
And a person that feels powerful believes in themselves which will totally transform their experience of life.
The art of learning to laugh, at yourself.
Imagine you’re at a comedy show and the comedian is making a joke about someone in the crowd, you’d probably laugh along with everyone else (granted it was funny).
But what if the joke was on you, would you squirm or would you laugh.
So often many of us are unable to find the humour in our lives. It was something I used to struggle with but I’ve found that life is a lot smoother when you’re not so serious.
Even the other day I found myself laughing at something in my life that I’d have been really serious and furrow browed about 5 years ago.
And I could choose to remain furrow browed but it’s not as fun. I don’t think life should be taken so seriously to the point where you’re wound up like a super tight spirally thing.
I’ve tried it and it was terrible. That’s why I had to find another way.
If your skeptical, try it once and see how it feels.
Plus laughing releases endorphins, the brain chemical that makes you feel good.
When you’re a kid you think that 21 is grown up. You think that by that age you’ll have everything figured out, that you’ll have met your life partner and that you’ll suddenly be this proper adult with a career…
But then you get to that age and you don’t quite feel how you thought you would.
Is this what its like to be an adult?
That’s the kind of question you ponder regularly. You might even have a professional job in a fancy office but you still feel like a kid in a classroom. But you have colleagues, deadlines, meetings, projects, clients and a work phone with a company branded case. You have all that yet you still feel like you’re playing dress-up and pretending to be professional.
Perhaps some would refer to this as imposter syndrome but you can call it whatever you want really. Often the only way to cure this feeling/mindset is to tell yourself that it will go once you achieve a particular goal. Once you gain accreditation in your field or lead a project.
But moving the benchmark probably won’t work because it’s a mind thing not a physical thing. It’s about how you feel about yourself and your ability.
My advice would be (to quote Sinek) start with why. Why do you feel that way about yourself? Once you understand that, it’s just a case of implementing a new mindset.
There’s space between all or nothing but sometimes we forget.
Which is how something like failing can feel like the end of the world.
I think the all or nothing mentality is what causes anxiety in some people.
It’s an over simplification of reality that holds little benefit.
Turns out this is a real word, not one that I made up!
It’s pretty self-explanatory:
a person’s ability to bounce back from a challenging situation
For example, you attend an interview and don’t get the job.
Do you wallow and internalise it? Convince yourself that you’re not good enough, that you’ll never get a job because if this job didn’t want you then there’s no hope left in the world and you might as well end it all now
Or on the flip-side do you think ‘ Oh, that’s a shame, I’ll just find something else’ and continue your search.
The first reaction could take days for you to bounce back from whilst the second reaction shows minimal straying from your usual self.
The first reaction is pretty dramatic, but I’ve been there. A few years ago, I was anxious, depressed and unemployed convinced that my circumstances would never change.
My ability to bounce back was poor. However, I can now say that my bouncebackability has improved tenfold. If I found myself unemployed tomorrow it’d be a totally different experience.
It’s a mental thing really, you have to change the way you process things.
Just stick with what you know and don’t explore anything new.
That is the voice of my anxious self which sometimes dominates as my inner monologue.
I’ve learnt to not listen to that terrible advice anymore because when I did, I was miserable. It’s quite fascinating when the thing that you feel you need to do in order to feel ‘safe’ also causes you a lot of problems.
I remember thinking how strange it was that despite doing everything ‘right’ things weren’t going so well.
Then I discovered the thought/idea that I could change myself internally which would ripple outwards and cause my life to change. I remember thinking that it must have been a sort of magic that that was possible and sometimes I still refer to it in that way for fun but also because I don’t actually have a strong knowledge of how the mind or neurology (along with all the other ologies) work so it may as well be magic.
Fear of the new is something that still effects the way I live but it’s different now. I don’t give the voice of my anxieties centre stage as often and I practise little methods that work for me.
It’s like feel the fear and do it anyway for people that fear the little things.