When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.
Take some time and really think about it.
Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.
You could also ask yourself questions like:
Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?
I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.
In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.
I think it’s fair to say that most people are enticed by new things. A new habit, a new opportunity even a new person. As much as we can fear the new there are many instances when it actually excites us.
Yet, in many cases instead of going towards the new thing, we look back.
We look back with this cosy feeling of nostalgia for what once was or what it’s time to move on from and all of a sudden we begin to hesitate.
That’s when the fear and what ifs kicks in.
What if things don’t work out?
What if this new thing isn’t better than what I’ve left behind?
What if I have to start over again?
The what if questions we ask are rarely framed in a helpful way and only serve to amplify the fear.
The alternative to looking back is to focus on the possibilities that will come from embracing the new and learn to trust that you’ll be fine.
So often we cling to the familiarity of what we know. We cling so hard that we’re unable to see any other option as viable.
Even when what we know is no longer working, we resist change because that means we have to learn a new way of doing things and maybe change our perspective.
And so we defend what we know, we say things like ‘that’s just the way things are’ or ‘that’s what I’ve always done’, often full of pride.
But what you’re actually doing is stunting your growth and development, closing yourself off from the opportnuty to explore a different way.
So next time you think something isn’t working, don’t just stick with it, take it as an opportunity to try something new.
Have you ever found yourself wishing that you had more time? If so, what circumstance did you think would arise to give you more time?
Was it quitting your job, winning the lottery or an inheritance from a great aunt?
Now that you have more free time than you used to, are you doing all the things you said you would do if you had more time?
Granted a pandemic is not the ideal scenario but there is no denying that you now have the time you once wished for.
In a few months or years things will be back to some kind of normal and you’ll have less free time to be bored. You might even look back on this time and wish you’d taken advantage of the opportunity to do the things you’d been putting off.
When you take the time to look back on your life, do you think there is anything you missed out on?
The job you turned down, the work you were too afraid to put yourself forward for, the project you never launched…
There are so many things that we all could have done with our lives. And often we get caught up in the fantasy that our lives would be better if only I took that job.
But the truth is you don’t really know how things would have turned out. You might have taken that job and been miserable. But maybe you’d have ended up roughly exactly where you are right now.
When you’re not happy with where you’re at it’s easy to tell yourself a story about how your life could have been something spectacular.
In reality it’s probably much more helpful just to think about what you can do right now based on your current circumstances and then do it.
Right now things might feel strange, they certainly don’t feel normal.
When we experience difficult or challenging situations so often we end up craving the way things were.
You might find yourself longing for the simple everyday things you used to do like working in an office building, travelling by train and seeing full shelves in the supermarket.
Once the situation passes you have to establish a new normal because challenges change you. It will be almost impossible to go back to the way things were because what you’re experiencing right now is significant.
We all have the opportunity to let this situation change us for the better. To become more resilient, self-aware and perhaps a little kinder or more thoughtful.
The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.
Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.
It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.
When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.
Turns out that the 9-5 isn’t as necessary as it once was.
With everything going on in the world meetings are becoming emails or being done by video, travel has come to a halt and working from home may become the non-optional office alternative.
Despite the unfortunate situation that has caused things to change, I can’t help but notice that there is something to learn.
As someone that works in an office less than 50% of what I do requires me to be in the building or to interact with my co-workers.
But I can imagine a time when people used typewriters or even computers that you couldn’t physically take home. Back then, being in your office was necessary to undertake your work.
These days all you need is a laptop and you can use that anywhere.
I’m not championing no longer having an office at all. However, I do think it is worth exploring how often you actually need to be in the company office and the purpose that it serves.
For many it’s the social aspect of going to the kitchen for tea and a catch up with a work pal, it’s meeting people when you’re new to the city, it’s having a space to work for those with limited room at home or those wanting to maintain separation between work and life.
Having an office to go to isn’t necessary for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week but it does come with benefits.
It introduces us to new people, gives us a routine and gives us the opportunity to be part of a culture.
If you’ve got something to say, then say it.
And if there’s something you want to do, you may as well do it.
You only have to look at the current events whether on social media or on the TV to be reminded that sometimes you won’t get the chance to do the thing you’ve been putting off.
It really is true what they say, tomorrow isn’t promised.
If that’s not enough to get the ball rolling, then maybe you’re okay with missing out.
There I was on a Tuesday morning on my usual commute to work engrossed in my phone, writing a blog post with my headphones in.
That’s how I often spend my journey to and from work engrossed in my thoughts, my phone or looking out of the window.
But one day a man’s hat fell out of his bag or his pocket as he headed down the ailse to get off the bus. I appeared to be the only one that noticed so I took the opportunity to hand it back to him. Granted this was a small thing but I’d stepped out of my own bubble.
I could’ve taken the do nothing approach.