There’s a choice to be made that sometimes ends up being a sacrifice.
It’s possible to have security and happiness but people often make choices that prioritise one over the other.
They do this for reasons such as fear, a lack of self belief or because they have people relying on them.
It becomes difficult to choose to pursue something creative where you know you’ll go through a period of low finances and you have people to support. In cases like the choice is security because if you pick happiness the people that need you are now at risk.
Sometimes in life you do have to do things you might not want to do but it’s important that you do it for the right reasons. Choosing a path based on security because you have children to care for is very different from choosing security because you’re trying to appease your parents or impress other people.
Getting back on track often requires you to put in the work to make up for the fact that you’ve fallen behind.
You may start off slow then build up momentum until suddenly you’re working twice as hard.
And this hard work is required because you’ve made a commitment, you’ve made a choice about what you’d like to achieve and you believe that you can do it.
But it’s important to remember that this extra effort is only to get back on track, it should never become your norm.
You refuse to put yourself out there because you’re afraid of being rejected. Meanwhile, you’re also not allowing people to accept the real you.
Rejection is a part of life, you’re not for everyone it’s okay, it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Don’t get so caught up in the people that don’t want you, they’re not your people. Give the others a chance. How do you expect to find your people if you aren’t even willing to show them who you really are?
The way that you show up in the world is likely to be imapcted by your confidence and self esteem.
Perhaps you play small and avoid doing things that will draw any attention even though you have ideas and opinions to share.
But the reason you don’t share your ideas is because you don’t value your voice and you don’t believe that anyone else will either. You tell yourself speaking up is for other people.
It’s for people that are better than you. They’re better because they’re older, more experienced, more confident, have higher qualifications, are better dressed and have nicer hair. Sometimes our reasoning makes sense and other times we make excuses.
And so next time you want to say or do something, go ahead even if it feels a little uncomfortable. You don’t need to be ‘better’ than everyone else, you don’t need to be older or more experienced either. All you have to do is say something.
There are good arguments to support both sides.
On one hand perhaps you should lower your expectations because they’re too high. Examples of this could be expecting to earn £50,000 as a graduate with no experience or expecting a friend to reduce their rates even though you know the quality of their work will be more than worth it.
Then on the other hand, a reason not to lower your expectations is because you don’t want to get into the habit of settling. I think there’s a fine line between knowing what you want and expecting too much. Knowing what you want is great. Believing that it is possible to have more than you have right now even though it might take time is a pretty fantastic thing.
One of the most common reasons that people lower their expectations is because they allow the thoughts and opinions of others to convince them that what they want is unrealistic.
If that is the case, it might be worth being more selective about who you get advice from and who you choose to listen to.
Most of us start out with big dreams of what we want to do with our lives. Then slowly, bit by bit, as the years go on we start to settle.
We settle from setbacks that lower our self-belief until you’ve convinced yourself that they were unrealistic anyway.
Other times you have people tell you that your dreams are too big, that they won’t work and that you need to be realistic.
Sometimes you’re aware of it but other times you have no idea until years have gone by and you’re wondering what happened to those dreams you used to have.
It’s really easy to say, ‘That’s just how I am’.
Some people even use that as a way to justify continually being unkind to others or even themselves.
But the beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to change and overcome.
I recently wrote about not feeling good enough, something I struggled with for years.
As a result of feeling that way I created a life that I was unhappy with and I became someone who self-sabotaged, had little self-belief and would constantly settle for less. Furthermore, I struggled to stand up for myself.
Once I stopped passively accepting those parts of me as just the way things are, I realised that things could be different, things could be better. I also realised that I was capable of changing my own life.
At the time I didn’t feel capable and it was hard to imagine what things would be like if they were different but I started to believe it was possible.
My personal development and growth was an active change that I worked for and continue to work on.
This sort of thing is really at the crux of the message I want to share on this site. What I want for you to take away from this is you that don’t have to accept the way things are.
In challenging times it can be difficult to look to the future and think about all the possibilities. Your mind will be going round in circles and you’ll be asking yourself questions like:
How can I get there when there is all this stuff going on right now?
When you’re caught up in a challenging situation it can be hard to see past it, especially when you have no idea how you’ll overcome it.
But, if you start with believing you can figure things out and then try and work towards a solution, you might find that you’re more capable than you thought.
Perhaps when you were young, someone taught you that when you feel overwhelmed, step away and give yourself a moment.
Maybe you grew up practising that and maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t you might find that as an adult when you feel overwhelmed you don’t quite know how to handle it.
The feeling might end up growing and growing to the point where it’s now unbearable. Then all of a sudden you remember that in the past it helped to give yourself a moment.
Even though you know it could help, you don’t do it straight away because you’re almost skeptical. It might not work, you might end up feeling exactly the same.
But then you do it, you step away, get some fresh air and take a few deep breaths.
You feel calmer afterwards.
In that moment you remember that (even though you forget time and time again), you’re capable of supporting yourself in difficult or uncomfortable situations.
We often underestimate the role that belief plays in our development. But the truth is you could be so much more if only you believed.
Take something as seemingly insignificant as walking across a balancing beam. The people that make it from one side to the other will be the ones that believe they can get across.
Sure they might fall off a few times but because they already believe it’s possible they’ll have the determination to keep trying.
On the other hand, the ones who don’t believe, well they’re more likely to fall off and less likely to keep trying.
Or they won’t even try at all.