If you find yourself experiencing a difficult situation, similar to something you have faced in your past you have the opportunity to handle it differently and with new knowledge and experience.
Don’t just caught up in the thought of ‘why is this happening to me again?’. Instead thing about what you can do to get the outcome you desire.
Answer the questions:
What did you do last time?
What did you want to happen?
What was the outcome?
What can you do differently this time?
Even if things don’t turn out perfectly, it’ll feel good to know that you handled things better than you did in the past
When you hold yourself to certain expectations it’s likely you’ll end up disappointed if you can’t meet them.
That tends to happen when you put too much pressure on yourself.
Furthermore, how you feel toward yourself will override how anyone else may feel about you falling short.
You could be told that ‘it’s alright, you did your best’, or even ‘it was good, you have nothing to worry about’. But the thing is when you hold yourself to a standard of ‘nothing less than perfection’ it becomes difficult to be comforted by the reassurance of other.
It’s hard disappointing yourself, feeling let down and having no one else to blame. But it gives you a great opportunity to think about what can do better next time.
One of the easiest things you can do is to be kind.
It can come in many forms but I think it is often the smallest things that have the most impact.
It can be easy to think that you need to go above and beyond and make some kind of grand gesture but that’s not the case.
Kind is described as ‘having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature’.
It could come in the form of something small like smiling at a stranger, offering to help someone or even just listening.
You don’t need to be kind because you want something in return, do it because you like the type of world that kindness creates, lead by example.
Everybody daydreams whether it’s a few seconds or dedicated moments in your week. Sometimes we daydream about everyday thing then other times our minds wander to things far out of reach.
It could be something like winning an award, moving to a new city or even meeting the love of your life.
But what do you do when that thing you used to dream about has now become your reality. One of the first things that might come up is a sense of familiarity because your mind has experienced it before.
However, what you might also find is that you’re not ready or prepared for your daydreams to become your reality. For example, let’s say you spent months daydreaming about moving to a new city. When the opportunity comes up instead of jumping at the chance you might end up passing it up because ‘now is not the right time’.
That might mean you never wanted it in the first place or maybe you’re just afraid of change.
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 learning 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.