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.
One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.
It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.
This can be done by asking more questions.
When would you like me to complete this?
What time do you want to meet?
How do you feel about this situation?
You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.
Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.
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.
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?’.
Getting feedback can be terrifying.
Even if you have confidence in what you do the last thing you want is for someone else to come along and tell you that actually what you’re doing isn’t as good as you think it is.
I think feedback is difficult to take in because we act as if it’s personal.
And if you’ve done something creative like a poem or a painting in some ways it is personal. But it’s also subjective so if someone thinks your painting could be improved by having a richer colour palette, doesnt mean someone else won’t love it just the way it is.
But the other kind of thing we get feedback on is the stuff that’s more rigid and regulated like what you might do at work. If you’re a construction worker, there isn’t really much room for perception. The feedback you would get isn’t personal, it’s a more a case of this is is how it’s done and here’s where you need to improve in order to do it the way it needs to done.
And of course there may be things that lie somewhere in between.
But either way the main thing to remember about feedback (when it’s from the right people) is that it’ll benefit you in the long run. And if you keep that in mind instead of focusing on the fact that there are people who don’t like what you create or that you didn’t do something perfectly, receiving feedback might get a little bit easier.
A while back I came to the realisation that unless your basic needs like food, air and shelter etc. are at risk then any mistake you make or growth point you encounter is not ‘the end of the world’.
You can bounceback and get on with life. And that’s it. Life is as life does and like someone once said ‘it doesn’t stop till you’re dead’.
If you’re going into survival mode over small things that are just part of life that have no significant impact to your basic needs, you’ll undoubtedly struggle in life.
I think a useful thing to do is acknowledge you may have fears/triggers for your survival mode/panic button to go off but to check in and ask does it make sense to have the same reaction as though your life is at risk?
Survival mode is draining, our lives aren’t at risk in the way they used to be.
There could be habits you have that you have carried with you thorough your life for so long that you aren’t even aware the impact they have on your life.
Perhaps, you assume that those habits are ‘just the way you are’ rather than them being something you could change.
Sticking with what you know is easy, comfortable and familiar even when it negatively impacts your life.
And so you do nothing.
That’s why I’m such an advocate for regular reflection. In doing so you’re able to identify the habits you currently have and understand how they impact your life. It could be something like you always wanting to be right because you believe that you know more than most.
This may result in people not wanting to engage in conversations with you because you’re now seen as closed minded, someone that is not open to other points of view. In turn maybe you’re unable to develop close relationships because your desire to always be right pushes people away as they don’t feel respected and they find you frustrating.
Identifying that bad habit and deciding to let it go could be the catalyst to solve many of the problems that you regularly encounter.
Of course, it rarely feels good to know that you’re the problem as it forces you to take responsibility instead of the playing the blame game. But in the grand scheme of things perhaps it is much better to know that the problem begins with you and your bad habits because that way you know that the problems can end with you too.
If you know what the issue is, do something about it.
You might be nervous or feel like you don’t have the confidence but the issue will only persist if you don’t take action.
And don’t be half-hearted, tackle it with full gusto.
Have the conversations that need to be had and do the things that need to be done.
And most importantly, trust that you are capable.
If you find yourself regularly having conversations that don’t go as planned, in the sense that the outcome you intended wasn’t achieved (or you just end up getting frustrated) it’s worth taking the time to figure out where things went wrong.
Sometimes, it is a simple case of two people with different perspectives not being willing to listen to each other.
Other times it could be that before you get into the meat of the conversation you need to establish what the purpose is, to avoid going off track.
So often it’s easy to blame the other person, to say that the issue is that they weren’t listening. But, maybe there are things that you can do differently even if it is simply walking away from the conversation earlier and choosing to not engage with the person.
You don’t want to find yourself in a cycle of getting swept up in a conversation you don’t actually want to be in.
And, maybe you simply picked the wrong person to have a conversation with.
If that’s the case, use your past experience as a learning point to realise that you need to have this conversation with someone else next time.
Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?
And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.
You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.