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?

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?

What do you know about you?

I think it’s important to get to know yourself. Not just on a surface level but right down deep to the core.

Not just your likes and dislikes but your beliefs and why you do the things you do.

Something I’ve always focused on is behaviour. When you find yourself doing and saying things or feeling like you are making a choice to act a certain way, if you take a step back you might come to realise that you’ve just been falling into a familiar habit loop over and over again.

That you’ve become so accustomed to your past behaviour that you turn to it whenever similar situations occur without actually considering if it’s the best way to respond.

So next time you’re about to get riled up or raise your voice ask yourself ‘Is this something I want to do or am I just doing it because it’s familiar?’

The answer might surprise you.

If your life is in a rut…

I think sometimes it’s easy for life to become a bit if a rut. Up at 0630, out by 0730, start work at 0830 finish at 1700, get home for 1800.

Then eat, do a few house things like washing the dishes or laundry followed by things like reading, browsing online or watching a bit of telly. Before you know it it’s time to shower and get ready for bed just to do it all over again in the morning.

When this is how your life goes it’s easy to stop thinking about what you really want from life, what makes you happy or what you want to do more of.

So, when you start to notice a rut in your day to day life make a conscious effort to stop and ask yourself those important questions.

You might find that you’re happy and content with your current life and routine but on the other hand you may find that you feel stuck with where you’re at. Perhaps you’re now 3 years deep into a job that was supposed to a temporary thing whilst you figured out what you really wanted and you might realise that you settled.

If that’s the case I come bearing good news, your life can change for the better if you’re willing to do something about it.

What do these likes mean to me?

It doesn’t feel particularly good when you upload a picture on Instagram and it gets significantly lower likes than usual. You didn’t post it for the likes but you hoped it would perform as good as usual or at least only slightly lower.

But when your image gets 40% of your average likes, you can’t help but start to question things.

Why is nobody liking my picture?

Did I post at the wrong time?

Was my picture really that bad?

Maybe if I come off Instagram for a little while the likes will be there when I go back to it.

As humans many of us have this habit of attaching meaning and feelings to situations that could be totally neutral. Share a picture because you want to share it and leave it at that.

If you feel some type of way about the numbers of likes you’ve gotten ask yourself ‘What do these likes mean to me?

Often the answer is some form of validation, that what you’ve shared is good enough. Many of us take it one step further and attach that validation to our sense of self.