Ahead of their time

Often the key indicators of someone being ahead of their time is that years later other people are doing what they did with less pushback and other people are gaining more success.

Another indicator is if the person were to do what they did 5 years ago today, how would it be received.

A few years ago I started listening to a podcast that began a few years prior so I had hundreds of episodes to catch up on.

From the very first episode I listened to, I was hooked. I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through.

The podcast ended around a year after I started listening and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-listened.

When I think about that podcast I honestly believe it was ahead of it’s time.

I’ve come across other people that are doing similar podcasts and I’ve come across people who started later and have had more ‘success’. Lastly, if the podcast I enjoyed started 5 years later than it did or even if it started today I’m certain I’d have liked it just as much if not more.

And so, I think it’s fair to say that the podcast was ahead of it’s time.

Procrastination and relying on stress

Anyone who regularly procrastinates will tell you that they want to do the thing but they just keep putting it off. Often when we procrastinate we justify it to ourselves by prioriting things with low urgency that still give us that good feeling of that comes from getting things done.

We tell ourselves we’ll start later or tomorrow and we convince ourselves that that we still have enough time to get it done.

But what tends to happen is we just continue to put things off more and more. We do this until our stress levels start to increase and we reach the point where if we don’t start now we’ll miss the deadline.

And so you finally begin.

I had a recent experience with procrastination and once the work was complete I ended up reflecting on my behaviour.

When you get into the habit of choosing to procrastinate until the last possible moment, you train yourself to rely on stress to get things done. And so the next time you have a deadline you’re unable to find the motivation because you’re waiting for the adrenaline to kick in.

I think there are 2 main ways to stop procrastinating.

The first way is to experience things going wrong as a result of your procrastination. When our habits have negative implications this encourages a change in behaviour. It might start with you giving yourself 5 days for something instead of two and slowly build up until you become someone who always makes sure they have enough time.

The second is to just start straight away next time. We tell ourselves it’s difficult to start and just decide that it’s true when it’s not at all. Starting takes a little effort and commitment but it’s not as challenging as you tell yourself.

It’ll probably help to remind yourself of the benefits of starting straight away like being able to work at a steady pace instead of having to cram everything into a short period of time.

If you’re someone with a habit of procrastinating, it might not seem easy to change but it’s definitely possible.

Caught in the act

Noticing your unhelpful habits as soon as they start to emerge is a skill worth learning. Instead of getting carried away and indulging in behaviour you’re likely to regret, stop.

Realise what you’re doing, realise why and make the conscious choice not too continue.

Before you get to that point you might find that you regularly have situations where you don’t show up as your best self, you don’t put in much effort or you’re not treating people how you want to be treated.

But those things aren’t helpful. It doesn’t benefit you to be half-hearted with your efforts or unkind to other people.

As soon you realise that, the more likely you are to catch yourself in the act the next time it happens until eventually you’re no longer giving in to your unhelpful habit.

The inconvenience of a tennis ball

When something is on your mind and you choose not to say it, the result is often unideal.

Let’s think of the thing you choose to hold in as a tennis ball. If you say it, you can drop the ball but if you don’t say it, you have to carry the ball around with you.

At first, it doesn’t really bother you because a tennis ball isn’t particularly big and you can carry it in one hand with no issue.

But after a few hours, days or weeks it starts to become an inconvenience.

We sometimes kid ourselves that things don’t bother us but then a few weeks later it’s still on our mind, the tennis ball is still in your hand.

And like with the tennis ball concept, we end up telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter because it’s small or easy to carry. But if you apply this mentality, you’ll find yourself carrying several tennis balls.

The point is that you don’t have to.

When you allow yourself to hold on to lots of little things, they eventually become a great burden instead of a potentially short conversation that you can move on from.

Enjoy the moment

If you’re someone that writes you might find that you rarely allow yourself to just be in the moment. The most wonderful thing could be happening but your mind is already looking back on it or thinking about how best to capture it.

Instead of just being in the moment, you’re observing it so that when it comes to writing about it you have all the details.

In some ways it could be considered a good thing.

But when you’re in an experience and you have the intentions of writing about it, you might find that you change your behaviour.

You end up saying or doing things to suit the narrative of what you want to write.

In turn you don’t allow yourself to be fully immersed in the experience.

Sometimes you need to decide to put the writing aside and just enjoy the moment.

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?

Making things happen

It’s easy to make excuses for why things didn’t work out.

But often the reason is simply because you didn’t believe it was possible.

When you have self belief you approach life differently.

You walk with your head held high, you don’t second guess yourself and your actions flow.

When you don’t have self belief, you struggle to make decisions with certainty, your confidence is low and and you’re less likely to think the life you want can become a reality.

And so when it comes to making things happen self belief is essential.

Identifying barriers

If you had £10million what would you do differently?

We otfen think that money is the biggets barrier to us being able to achcive our dreams. However, that is rarely the case because where there is a will there is a way.

The real barrier is a little more challenging to overcome.

The real barrier is fear, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, the list could go on.

If you’re scared to pursue your dreams without money you’ll still have some of that fear leftover when money is no longer an issue.

So work out what you’re afraid of and overcome it so that it’ll no longer hold you back.

Yes or no questions

All decisions about whether or not you should do something come down to yes or no questions.

Should I move to another city?

Should I cut my hair short?

Should I ask him out to dinner?

The questions on their own are simple but when we add in context, feelings and fears we make it much more complicated. Granted, context can be helpful because if the person you’re considering asking to dinner is in a relationship, it’s probably best not to bother.

However, the added information can also be unhelpful.

Take moving to another city, you might be super excited but also kind of scared because of the uncertainty, even though you feel like you need a change.

When you allow feelings related to fear to be at the forefront of your mind, it can often hinder your ability to make decisions.

So sometimes it’s best to remove all the details and ask yourself a simple question. Answer yes or no, stick with it and move forward.

Doing what helps

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.