When you don’t have anyone to talk to

Through this blog you may have read the phrase ‘talking helps’ at least once or twice.

I’m an advocate for talking because it is something that has changed my life and I think it’s something that at time is overlooked.

As much as I can advocate for people to talk more, the truth is not everyone has someone they can talk to.

Perhaps you don’t have any friends, you’re scared to open up to a family member, you can’t afford a therapist/counselling or you’re on a GP waiting list that could take over 6 months.

Talking might not solve the issue but being able to get things off your chest can work wonders for your well-being.

There’s a free service called Samaritans that you can use to call, email, write a letter or even visit in person to talk face to face. They’re available in various countries around the world including America, UK and Australia

Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide…

You don’t have to wait until you’re on the edge and life is getting to be too much, in fact you shouldn’t. Personally over the past year in particular I’ve found that talking about things more in general stops things becoming so overwhelming.

I think it’s lovely that these kinds of free services exist and I wanted to share it with you because it might be helpful for you or to pass on to someone you know.

 

The difference between helping and fixing

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.’

 

Someone to polish your glasses

On learning to see things more clearly.

In situations where your perspective is hazy you might need someone to polish your glasses.

Not in the literal sense but in the form of sharing words, interacting and connecting.

When you’re so used to your own way of thinking you might find that you’ve become rigid and closed minded.

And unless you make a conscious effort to open your mind, your way of seeing things is not likely to change.

That’s why it’ll take someone else to shift your way of seeing things. Someone that’ll come into your life with polish and one one of those microfiber dust free cloths to give your glasses a little polish.

And it’ll rarely be explicit instead it’ll be so subtle that you don’t notice until it’s already done.

I think that’s the purpose some people serve in our lives. They could be in your life for multiple years or a mere moment but they spark change.

A labour of love

That thing you’ve been working on could be the reason you end up quitting your job or it could just be a labour of love.

That word just has a way of diminishing the words that follow. It makes it seem as though a labour of love is a bad thing but it’s not, at least not to me anyway.

Not every project or thing you work on is supposed to be how you earn a living or even make you money. And it’s not about promoting the idea of the struggling artist who puts their heart and passion into all that they do but can’t make ends meet.

It’s about the person that works as a receptionist but leads a conservation volunteer group on the weekends or the Math teacher that also paints.

The significance, importance or worthiness of what you do should not be based on how much money you make or even how popular you are.

I think creativity, vulnerability, connection, generosity and joy matter so much more.

I want the world…

We all have our Veruca Salt moments every once in a while.

Can you think of a time when you got annoyed/angry when you didn’t get what you want?

Maybe you had an idea of what you wanted in your mind but found that the other people in your life didn’t comply with that vision.

Granted you might not have shouted and your wants may not have been expensive things for others to pay for but the idea behind it is the same.

The basis of Veruca Salt is someone who is selfish, inconsiderate and greedy.

Yet she was also someone that knows what they want, was determined and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

We all have moments when we put our wants, needs and desires above all else. In truth it’s not always a bad thing as long as you don’t put yourself in danger or treat others poorly in the process.

Lessons in leadership

If I’m ever looking for how to be better at leading, Sinek is the first person I would turn to.

I’ve never read his book ‘Leaders eat last’ but I have heard him talk about leadership and read his daily quotes on leadership. He says and writes some really useful stuff that get you thinking about how you can be better at what you’re aiming to do or how you can do things differently.

but aside from Simon Sinek who is an author and TEDx-er, I also know quite a few people in my personal life that are leaders. By watching them I’ve been able to pick up a lot.

Sometimes we think we need the famous or popular person to teach us how to do things because we fall into putting them on pedestals.

But if you spend time with different people you’ll find you’re surrounded by people you can learn from.

An easy way to be misunderstood

Hiding who you are is an easy way to find yourself misunderstood.

If you focus on only being  a small fragment of your true self then that is what people will take you as.

That small fragment could be serious and hardworking but deep down you have a silly side.

Maybe you’re embarrassed about the silly side or worried about judged so you hold back.

You don’t join in with certain conversations even when you have something to contribute, as though you’re not allowed to speak.

Yet you walk around feeling misunderstood totally unaware that you’re in a web of your own making.

Reflecting on the part you play in your own life circumstances is a useful exercise.