In challenging times it can be difficult to look to the future and think about all the possibilities. Your mind will be going round in circles and you’ll be asking yourself questions like:
How can I get there when there is all this stuff going on right now?
When you’re caught up in a challenging situation it can be hard to see past it, especially when you have no idea how you’ll overcome it.
But, if you start with believing you can figure things out and then try and work towards a solution, you might find that you’re more capable than you thought.
I think I’ve used the phrase talking helps at least half a dozen times on this site (turns out I was exactly spot on as shown below).
Making a breakthrough
Worth seeking advice from
Managing stress and deadlines
When you don’t have anyone to talk to
Unexpected but needed
I say it because that’s what has works for me and like everything I share here it comes from my experience. If this was around 3 or 4 years ago things would have been very different. Back then, I wasn’t talking about the challenges that I was facing or things that I struggled with because I didn’t know how.
Plus, at the time I didn’t think that talking would help.
But I also think a lot of people forget to mention that it’s more than just talking to anyone.
For example, the person that is feeling suicidal might not to find much solace in talking to their friends. Their friends aren’t equipped or trained to help in that kind of situation. Friends not knowing what to say doesn’t make them bad people.
Instead they might find it more helpful to talk to a professional, someone with training or someone who can relate to their experience.
Further to that, think about you want the outcome from talking to be. Of course there’s no magic fix but if you just want someone to listen and leave you feeling hopeful, talking to the person that will just dismiss your issues probably isn’t the best idea.
And if you don’t have anyone to talk to, that’s okay too.
If you live in the UK or Ireland call Samaritans on 116 123.
For anyone else the country you live in probably has a helpline you can call too.
The plans you made a year ago, 6 months ago or even a few weeks ago may now be obsolete. You can time planning far in advance but when it comes to putting those plans into action, you never really know how things will go until you see the results.
Sometimes the results are as expected or better and other times the results are a learning curve, a growth point an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.
It can be disappointing when things don’t turn out as well as you’d hoped, you might feel like the time and effort you put in was wasted. In times like this it’s so important to not to dwell on what went wrong but instead to think about how you can move forward.
How can you improve?
How can you do things better?
What can you do differently?
Of course, going back to the drawing board is never part of the plan but if you use it as an opportunity to grow, experiment and explore, suddenly it might not seem so bad.
I recently had a conversation where I was explaining my neutral feelings towards a topic. As the words poured out I thought I was almost on a bit of a high horse.
But as the conversation went on I realised that my neutral feelings were just a defense mechanism or a coping strategy. Turns out the topic did bother me after all.
However, instead of working to overcome my feelings I’d masked them in neutrality. I think sometimes it helps to be neutral instead of negative but you can take it one step further and have more positive or uplifting feelings.
It really surprised me to find out that I’m not quite there yet but now that I’ve realised, I think it’s something I want to work on.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck between helping someone and fixing things for them.
When you help you teach and offer tools giving the other person a chance to grow, develop and learn to do things for themselves. When you fix things for people they’re likely to become reliant on others to do things for them because that is all they know.
Often when we see people we care about face challenging situations we lend a hand. You think you’re helping but what you’re really doing is fixing the problem for them. And so as time passes and the person faces more challenges they don’t know how to do things for themselves because they haven’t learnt how to overcome.
We do it because we care and we don’t want to see the people we care for suffer. But in doing so we forget that these people have strengths within themselves and that they are also capable of overcoming their own challenges.
And so the lesson lies in finding the balance between helping and fixing. I’ve learnt that support plays a significant and often overlooked role. To look the person you love in the eye and simply say ‘I’m here for you and I’ll support you through this’ may be more powerful and have longer lasting effects than fixing things for them.
‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
Sometimes I find myself caught up in trying to be a blogger instead of simply just being myself. And in the process I find myself being drawn to creating content that I don’t love as much as I could.
When I first started blogging 8 years ago I was just sharing stuff that I was interested in which mostly included fashion and personal style. But over time instead of following my own flow of creativity I started trying to be a blogger. I ended up falling out of love with creating stuff to share online because I’d sacrificed my sense of self in order to try and fit it and do things ‘the right way’.
I didn’t realise it at the time but I lost my creativity. Not to the extent that I was unable to create because I haven’t really stopped blogging since I started. However, what my content lacked was passion, consistency and quality.
For the past few years I’ve ticked along in the lifestyle blogging space not improving, sharing, connecting, experimenting or expanding as much as I could have.
But starting this blog almost a year ago (can you believe it!) helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Despite not having designed a fancy header or logo and the fact that this site contains no pictures, I feel more creative here than I’ve felt on wordsbygemm for the majority of the year.
On The Daily Gemm, I don’t get to hide behind content that has been done 101 timed before. As a result I’ve made up characters like Betty and Debbies brother, I’ve explored my feelings, wrote about my work life, shared my experiences with having anxiety, shared things that I’ve learnt and even written about current events like fires, abortion laws and politics.
The year is not over yet but I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to share so far and thankful to you for reading.
This isn’t about a movement for equality, it’s something personal.
Liberation is a beautiful thing.
I recently realised that I’m experiencing a period of liberation in my life and it feels amazing.
The best part is I liberated myself. It wasn’t from any single action but instead a collection of things like daily gratitude, monthly morning manifestos, having open conversations about how I feel and allowing myself to be vulnerable.
The liberation has only just begun but so far it has shown up as me just being myself. In the past, I’ve had a lot of situations where the worry and fear overpowered my ability to do the things I wanted to do and so I would hold back.
The art of being yourself should be like free flowing water, it doesn’t require worry, going back and forth until you’re mentally exhausted and leaving situations wishing that you’d allowed yourself to be seen.
I feel as though I am entering a new stage in my life which is quite fitting as 2019 is coming to a close and the new decade is on the horizon.
I’m sharing this major growth point in my life with you because it is exactly what this blog is about. You have the opportunity to overcome the challenges you face and explore the joy of life.