For many people, how they value themselves comes from other people.
This can be great when people are treating you well but when not so much when you’re treated poorly. You go from feeling good about yourself to not feeling good enough and because you’ve become reliant on other people to determine your value.
It may even get to the point where you almost feel lost and are unable to truly establish how you feel about yourself without it coming from other people. And so, you feel down and worthless whilst also blaming other people for how you feel.
I think that stage of blaming others continues until you’re able to realise that nobody else should be in control of how you feel about yourself. That’s not a solid foundation.
Just because you try something new doesn’t mean you have to adopt it as a long term thing or even do it more than once.
This applies to so many things work, relationships, hobbies, habits, diet and fitness.
Trying new things is about being open to something you’ve not experienced before, it doesn’t require permanent change.
We so often advocate for change and for not sticking with the way things are. However, sometimes trying something new one time is enough to make you realise that you don’t actually need to change.
There’s nothing wrong with trying something and then deciding that it’s not for you. In the short run it might feel like a step back, in the long run you’re simply doing what feels best for you.
Often when when we face a new situation that involves uncertainty, we automatically assume the worst. We make up a story about how bad it’ll be, how everything will go wrong and how maybe we’d have been better off if things stayed the way they were.
But, change is inevitable and so you have to learn to get used it.
The funny thing about these situations is that, we prepare ourselves for the worst but things never turn out as bad as we think they might.
In fact, things often turn out much better.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is, do things that need to be done, instead of putting them off.
Our lives would be so much easier and our stress levels would be significantly lower if only we didn’t wait to get things done.
Often these things to be done are small and don’t take much time at all but the longer we wait the more the urgency builds or the problem grows. Then, all of a sudden we begin to feel overwhelmed by something we could have resolved and moved on from, weeks or even months ago.
Lockdown allowed us to fantasise about the possibilities of life.
The way that things were was no longer seen as the way that things had to be.
The longer we were inside the more we began to speak of the new normal. We were able to imagine changes on scales small and large. I think this gave a lot of people hope, that this pandemic would not be for nothing if once it was over there would be change for the better.
But, somewhere along the way, there was a shift. Instead of speaking of the new way of life we had once hoped for, we began to long over the old ways.
Suddenly, it was the old normal that we were dreaming of, not something new.
Looking through drafts is a great way to observe your growth as a writer. Many time you come across things your current self would never write and so you press delete. Other times you come across good ideas that are poorly written out and you then have the option to just delete them and start over or to tend to them with a fresh perspective.
I believe that most writers drafts or deleted content far outweighs what they’re shared and put out into the world.
It’s quite obvious that the things that get deleted aren’t considered worth sharing. Perhaps, it had been in your drafts for a few months or even years but every time you went back to it, you didn’t really like it enough to work on it a little more and complete it. Maybe it just wasn’t a good idea, it happens and it’s perfectly okay.
Then, there are the drafts.
There are days when you write, write and write some more. This results in an influx of ideas and some of these ideas are ‘microwavable’ whilst others are more like seeds.
The ‘microwave’ ideas don’t take much time to be brought to life. They’re not necessarily instant but if you set a little time to work on them you can finish them fairly easily. They don’t stay drafts for long.
Then there are the ideas that are like seedlings, these ones require time, care and attention. They can’t be rushed and if if you ever try to hurry them along, you’ll never be happy with the result. But if you’re willing to have patience these ideas will flourish when they finally come alive in all their glory.
We often end up pushing what we really want to the side in favour of something considered more realistic.
The point in having a dream life is being able to acknowledge and accept that where you are may not be where you want to be, then finding ways to bridge that gap.
It’s not about telling yourself, I’ll be happy when…
It’s not about spending all day fantasizing about the life you want as a form of escapism from your real life where you’re miserable.
It’s not about pining after a life where you’re rich and famous.
Often when we make plans for the future we come up with things like stable job, nice house, a few holidays a year and be comfortable financially.
That’s not a dream, that’s something we say because we’re scared of uncertainty. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that life or that you wouldn’t be happy living it.
But try digging a little deeper, get lost in thought and see what comes up. Slowly, overtime your daydreams will come together to form a dream life and it’ll be full and specific.
Once you have that, the next step is bringing it to life which first requires you to believe it’s possible.
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
I recently realised that I enjoy writing about current events.
One of my most read posts is about Instagram guides, I think I published it a day after guides became available to everyone, it was a hot topic.
If I’d written the post a few days or even weeks later it would have no longer been relevant. Of course the post can be read at any time but it was written for a particular moment in time.
Yesterday, I published a post about Clubhouse. I first drafted the post over 2 months ago and at the time it was over 1500 words, significantly longer than what I would usually post. For various it took a while to make time to edit the post to something I was happy to share.
But, what I noticed was that each time I went through the post, things had changed. Things like the number of users and the other apps that had added an audio feature. I regret not publishing the post sooner as with any hot topic, sooner is always better than later.
I think it’s fair to say that Clubhouse is still very relevant and will continue to be for the months to come. However, the post I published yesterday is very much of the time. That’s the issue you face when writing about hot topics, they don’t always last.
In contrast, the posts I’ve written that focus more around life lessons, career and self-help are what I would consider evergreen. They will be just as relevant today as they will be 12 months from now.
It could be Jimi Hendrix or it could be Jesus .
As much as I am a champion for being yourself and searching within to find your own way, I think having someone that inspires you can be incredibly helpful.
It can helpful when you’re just starting out and haven’t quite found your own flow yet but it can also be helpful as a reminder no matter where you are on your journey.
I think issues can arise when you’re trying to be like another person so I think it’s important to be very conscious of how you use this tool/technique.
If you’re trying to become like the other person doing the same things that they’ve done or changing your appearance to look like them, you’re not quite heading down the right path. A healthy way to do it is to identify the qualities of the person that cause you to look up to or be inspired by them and know that those qualities are also within you.
And so when you ask yourself ‘What would Jimi Hendrix do?‘ what you’re actually asking is something like ‘In this moment, how can be more creative?’.