Advice from your past self

Do you remember when you were your most confident self?

Common advice in challenging situations when we’re afraid is to ask ‘what would [insert name of inspirational person] do?’

I think that’s a really helpful tool but it can also just emphasise the gap between where you’re at and where you want to be instead of bridging it.

So, what if you consult your past self at peak confidence instead. If you were confidence once you can be confident again.

When you find yourself facing a challenge think of a time you were confident or did something difficult in the past. Close your eyes, visualise it, feel that feeling and keep it with you for when you need it.

Maybe it’s the memory of the solo you did in a school play that you can apply to leading your first client meeting.

When you’re caught in fear or your confidence is low it can be easy to forget that you once felt otherwise and that it’s possible to overcome that thing that scares you and feel confident again.

Negative indulgence

Thoughts on how we sometimes make ourselves feel worse.

In a recent moment I found myself choosing to do something that wasn’t making me feel good.

Now the details aren’t important but the lesson I learnt in the moment is.

Imagine you’re doing something and you it doesn’t feel good. On one hand you can stop, let go of the feeling and focus on yourself.

But on the other hand you can negatively indulge and allow yourself to feel bad.

It might seem strange that someone would choose to feel bad. But something I’ve learnt is that when someone has an internal belief they’ll be drawn to things that support that notion.

Take not feeling good enough as an example. If you heard people talking about you saying unkind things and you already feel bad about yourself those words only reaffirm your existing feelings.

But I think if you do feel good enough you’re less likely to give attention to something that goes against how you feel because that isn’t beneficial.

So the next time you find yourself indulging, ask yourself how it’s making you feel.

Everything must go!

There’s a lesson in almost everything.

How much stuff are you holding onto that doesn’t feel good.

Think about who or what you’re following on social media, what are you subscribed to, the contents of your closet or home space.

How does it make you feel?

If it doesn’t feel good, why not?

Furthermore, why are you still holding onto it?

A think a bi-annual (if not seasonal) life cull is a useful way to ensure that you’re only letting the good stuff stay. It’s important to be strict when you cull or else you end up keeping things for no real reason, you have to be honest with yourself about what you actually want or need in your life.

Do you need those slingbacks from 6 years ago that you’ve only worn once?

Do you need to keep following that stranger who is friends with that super hardworking, inspiring and stylish woman (who is also a stranger)?

Or how about that book you know you’ll never read or those old bedsheets that are just taking up space?

If it’s not something you use, know you will use or doesn’t serve any purpose in your life aside from being clutter then there’s not much use holding onto it.

When you’re going on a journey, you can’t take everything with you.

1000 and something days ago

Can you remember where you were at in life 3 years ago?

Did you have a job?

Where did you work?

Were you happy?

How were you spending your free time?

Where did you live?

What were you reading?

What were your life goals?

Who were your friends?

Who were you dating?

A lot can change in 1000 and something days and in a ‘Go, go, go!’ society it can be easy to overlook just how far you’ve come.

Maybe you went from working part-time in a cafe, pretty happy with life, reading sci-fi and dating a dreamy guy who took you on picnics and twirled you to beautiful music.

But now you work full-time in HR, you’re not particularly happy, you have live in an expensive apartment in the city and don’t make time for the things you enjoy.

Things could be better, worse or maybe just different.

And if looking back makes you realise you’re not happy with where you’re at, why not do something about it.

I’d prefer the opposite

I’m posing the question of why we sometimes end up saying yes instead of no, or no instead of yes.

It’s related to fear, the root of a whole lotta life hassles.

You say yes to something you don’t want to do because you’re a people pleaser, you don’t want to disappoint the person and you want them to like.

You say no to something you want to do because you’re scared you won’t be good at it, it comes with uncertainty and you’re worried about what other people will think.

Or, perhaps you can’t relate as each decision you make is so in line with your core self that you know how to voice what it is you really want (or don’t want).

If you feel that you align with the former, all is not lost, your awareness means change is possible.

It’ll just take some practice.

Getting to know you

How exactly does one discover themselves?

Through exploration, experimentation and being open to the unknown.

If you live your life in the box of what you know, you may think that you know yourself. But actually, there is so much more of you to explore outside of that box.

As much as there is ‘the me I know’ inside of the box, there is also ‘the me I don’t know’ outside of it.

Granted you can’t experience every single thing in life but you can try things that are outside of your usual routine.

It can be big or it can be small.

Things like:

  • Journaling
  • Visiting a new city
  • Joining a group or class
  • Doing the thing you’ve always thought about doing but kept putting off
  • Volunteering
  • Meditation
  • Going for a walk

You might think you know yourself or that you’re content with your life. But when you do a journal prompt like ‘Describe your dream life’ you might find you’re nowhere near where you want to be. Maybe you settled for an unfulfilling ‘stable’ job and you never even took the time to figure out what you truly wanted to do for a living.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

– Rumi

The right time to quit

Perhaps there is no right time.

It’s easy to quit in the early stages but gets harder over time. After 3 years once you’ve  invested time effort and energy quitting, even if it’s for the best feels like giving up.

And so, it’s hard to know the right time to quit. If you’ve been working on something for a while and that could just be a few months  (it depends on how much you’re putting into it), if you’re thinking of quitting don’t make what you’ve put into it so far be the only reason to keep going.

But some questions to ask and things to consider are:
Do you still believe in what you’re doing?
If you knew what you now know, would you still start today?
Are you doing this for yourself or because you feel you have something to prove?
Do you enjoy doing the work?
Will the end result bring you joy?