Often in life the thing causing the most anxiety and frustration is not particularly important in the long term. If you were to assess it in the grand scheme of life and death you’ll probably find that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
We tend to get swept up in how other people feel and what other people will think (in general but mainly towards us). We do this because we are eager to please, want to be liked and we convince ourselves that if we just try hard enough we can control what other people think and feel towards us.
But instead of getting swept up in other people, think about yourself. Have you even considered that what you feel and think is important too?
More to the point, maybe how you think and feel is actually the most important thing.
How you view yourself impacts how you act. How you act, influences how you are perceived.
If you don’t think much of yourself, it’ll show up in your posture the way you speak and the kinds of things that you say.
And in turn you may be perceived as quiet, shy, uninterested, someone who doesn’t care. But maybe you have low self-esteem and maybe nobody taught you to think good of yourself.
Perhaps, even though you haven’t yet learnt how to say it or even show it, you actually care quite a lot.
If you had to leave your home and could only take 10 things with you, what would you take?
Turns out the things we value in our day to day lives aren’t the same things we value in an emergency.
In our day to day life we’re more materialistic, we care more about perception. It’s not that we don’t value the things we need to survive but that they are a given rather than something we need to think about.
In an emergency we place value on safety and survival. There’s not much point valuing your green faux croc handbag when you are without food and water.
And sometimes people choose to live their day to day lives valuing only the essentials even when they don’t have to.
I’m really into self-observation and learning about why we are the way we are.
I find behaviour to be quite fascinating. I’ve learnt that often how we act is down to the people we surround ourselves with and the people we allow ourselves to be influenced by rather than just something ingrained within.
It might be easy to blame external factors for why you are the way you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change.
The same way you learned to be one way you can choose to learn to be different (and hopefully better).
When you tell yourself that you will do something, it’s quite easy to just not commit. Afterall, there is nobody else that knows and nobody to hold you to it.
On the other hand if you share your aims or goals with others, you have to be willing to accept being called out of if you don’t follow through with your words.
If you write a daily blog, you don’t have to declare that it’s a daily blog, you can simply hold yourself to it. Make a promise or commitment to yourself that you will publish one post, every single day.
But maybe you think it is better to tell people, maybe you need others to hold you to your words and struggle to do it yourself. I don’t think thats a bad thing and in some cases a group of people that hold each other accountable is a great thing.
However, when it comes to some things, you shouldn’t become reliant on other people reminding you of the commitments you made in order to get things done.
It’s easy to talk about the weather, your favourite TV show, what you had for dinner and what you got up to at the weekend.
But often when it comes to topics like mental health, fears and struggles suddenly talking becomes difficult.
Part of why it’s so difficult is because we don’t do it enough. What if having difficult conversations could be made easier with practice?
Talking when it’s difficult often requires you to venture out into new territory even if it is with someone you’re familiar with. But what you gain from having difficult conversations is what makes it worth doing.
Most people that you choose to have in your life are chosen because your lives or you as people align in some way.
It could be a similar taste in music, studying (or have studied) the same subjects, enjoying the same leisure activities, similar mindsets and worldviews or maybe you share the same aspirations.
Whatever it may be, when the base of your connection shifts it is likely that you may change your mind about having the person in your life.
Granted you will have built up a connection based on other things over time but when the core bits of you and a person no longer align, the relationship may no longer make sense.
This sort of thing quite commonly occurs once you begin to really figure out who you are and what you want in life. Perhaps the people you used to party with don’t really fit with the life you’re creating. Maybe your corporate aspirations clash with the aspirations of people around you to the point of causing disagreements.
Despite how it may feel, it’s a natural thing for relationships to change. It’s much better to allow things to be than to restrict your development or the development of someone else because you’d rather hold on to something that was never meant to last.
When it comes to labels, they can help people feel like they fit in and belong. Giving something a name can help a person feel more accepted and feel like they understand themselves better.
On the other hand labels can also be limiting. As soon as you declare yourself to be X it comes with preconceived notions and expectations. You then end up grouped in with other people that also label themselves X even though you may be nothing like them.
I recently came across a quote by someone I’d never heard of called Adyashanti:
‘All of these are labels. All of them are fine. There is nothing wrong with any one of them, until you actually believe they’re true. As soon as you believe that a label you’ve put on yourself is true, you’ve limited something that is literally limitless, you’ve limited who you are into nothing more than a thought.‘
It reminded me that labels are totally fine, as long as we don’t give them too much significance.
The idea that what you are doing might not be good enough can be difficult to accept. Especially when that might be the reason why people aren’t supporting your work.
It’s much easier to hide behind the excuse that people just aren’t supporting you because you’re not popular but if it was *insert name of celebrity*, they’d be all over it.
That could be true for some situations but it isn’t always the case.
On the flipside, instead of playing the blame game you could accept that maybe your work needs work.
Instead of feeling frustrated that you aren’t getting enough support take some time out hone your craft, learn something new and improve. Then put your work out again.
If it’s better received great but if not then maybe you need to change the people you’re sharing it with.
Do you really know what you want?
Often we go around telling people what we do want and even what we don’t want. Doing so can help you feel like you know and understand yourself because you’re able to articulate your needs.
What can end up happening is, when the needs you voiced are met, you come to find that it’s not what you really wanted at all.
Suddenly, you find yourself going back on your previous statement or displaying emotions like frustration or annoyance at the person who has done what you asked.
For example, you may say that you want to be left alone. However, when everyone leaves you end up getting upset.
The truth of that matter is that you didn’t really want to be left alone. Perhaps, it’s that you felt misunderstood, wanted someone to sit with you and listen or just wanted comfort. However, voicing these kinds of needs isn’t always easy because they show your vulnerable side.
It’s much easier to just say that you want to be alone, particularly when you’re not sure if the people around you are capable of meeting your real needs.
But, if you give the people around you some credit and allow yourself to be vulnerable for just a moment, you might find that you’re able to get exactly what you need.