I am a firm believer that in almost every moment, you know exactly what you need to do and exactly what decisions you want to make.
So often we see advice from others because we feel stuck or get overwhelmed by possibility and uncertainty. However, what I’ve learnt even is that when you allow yourself to get swept up in the situation it becomes difficult to navigate.
Think of a boat out at sea, once it gets swept up in the waves the boat has very little control.
Or lets take it back to a previous analogy of a boat with no oars, that was the idea of how little control you have without a sense of direction. In this case it’s more about settling your mind and letting the answers come to you instead of seeking them out.
In my experience, in quiet moments I am able to gain answers or clarification on situations where I previously felt like I didn’t know what to do.
It’s something that you have access to if you want to use it but you have to trust that you are capable of figuring out the situations you encounter.
In some situations you might find that that there is a discord between what you want and the outcome you get.
If you’re unsure if this applies to you, think about some of your recent encounters with people.
What did you want?
What was the outcome?
Were you happy with the way things turned out?
It’s worth noting that what you want and the outcome don’t have to align completely. Sometimes you end up happy with the way things turn out even when it’s different to what you originally wanted.
But when you find yourself discontent with the outcome, the reason more often than you might think is your choice of words.
People often talk about how it’s good to open up, to let people know how you feel and be vulnerable.
However, it’s important to add if you don’t take the time to word things thoughtfully the outcome can be just as unhelpful as it would be if you say nothing at all.
I think regular reflection is necessary.
Take a little while to reflect on your life and think about what you have that you don’t need. It could be a physical possession but take the time to think a little deeper and find if their is any beliefs you hold that you don’t need in your life.
If you’re not actively thinking about the life you create for yourself, you’re much more likely to end up with something that you don’t want.
Our possessions and beliefs play a big part in that.
The way you think and the things you buy or own should reflect the life you want.
If you want a less is more kind of life that is chilled out, relaxing and calm but your home is cluttered and you believe your happiness will come from the things you buy, there’s a discord.
That’s a pretty clear example but it’s not always that obvious. That’s why it’s so useful to check in, reflect and take stock.
Taking space is something we’re often reluctant to do.
It could be space from a person, a habit or even just social media.
For me the purpose of space is to gain clarity.
It’s difficult to get that when you’re in the situation which is why it is necessary to remove yourself.
At first you always miss the thing that you’re taking space from because you’re so used to it being part of your day to day life but then you feel refreshed and wonder why you clung to that thing so much in the first place. Then after that comes the sense of knowing that without this thing in your life you’ll still be totally fine.
I don’t think we always anticipate that that last realisation will come which is why we can be reluctant to give things up.
I think we quite often think the opposite which is that we’ll feel as though we can’t live without the thing or come to crave it even more than before.
It could be something like snacking on sugary foods, a person you believe yourself to be so totally in love with or maybe it’s Instagram.
Whatever it is in your life, don’t be too afraid to take space from it.
You might even find that you no longer want the thing in your life and if that’s the case, be willing to let it go.
Not everything is meant to last.
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.
I used to be the kind of person that would internalise everything.
For example, if I didn’t get the job I applied for it was because I wasn’t good enough and not that they had 7 excellent candidates and only one role to fill so not everyone could be a winner.
I could give countless other examples but me internalising those experiences all came from the same place, this feeling of not being good enough. It’s a strange realisation when you start to understand that the way you see yourself contributes to the way you experience life.
Once I started working on how I saw myself, my entire outlook on life changed.
I recently had this experience where someone was intentionally inconsiderate. In the past I’d have kept quiet, felt bad, got upset and allowed that one moment to ruin the rest of my day.
Instead, I responded by simply asking why this person chose to be inconsiderate.
I understand why some people might up being that way but it doesn’t mean they can’t change, if they want to.
If you go through a period of stress or anxiety, something that can work wonders is taking a break.
It might seem counter productive and you might feel like the better thing to do is pull yourself deeper into what ever has gotten you off balance.
But further exposing yourself to thing that isn’t making you feel good is probably not going to make you feel any better.
What you might need is to take a break.
In this day and age, in our go, go, go society it can be challenging to really take a break from your day to day life.
And so I think it’s important to figure out what helps you rest, reset and refresh your mind.
It could be a walk in nature where you’re away from buildings and cars but surrounded by greenery and wild flowers.
It could be a massage, something that forces you have to stay still and you have to put your phone away.
And once you’re done you’ll know that it worked when you can go back to thing that had you feeling stressed but you now feel calm and at peace.
What do you do when the worst possible thing happens.
And by worst possible thing I mean something unanticipated, something that you didn’t plan for that throws you off course.
The common and perhaps most easiest way to react is panic.
Like a sort of ‘Oh my goodness, what I am I gonna do, everything is going wrong, this has gotta be liek the worst possible thing, what am I gonna do now?’
Turns out the popular and easy reaction isn’t particularly helpful.
Instead my experience has taught me that the much more useful thing to is think. Go through the possible scenarios and come up with a solution. Once you’re able to remove some of uncertainty suddenly the worst possible thing isn’t so bad.
Granted you can’t control how things will turn out. However, what you can do is remind yourself that you are capable of overcoming the unexpected.
When you feel low or sad about something it can be difficult to know what t do with the feeling. After all you don’t want to feel it, you’d much rather the sadness just left you alone.
But the thing with difficult feelings and feelings in general is that they don’t leave if you don’t allow yourself to feel them.
And then there is the question of how do you feel your feelings.
I don’t think there is a set answer of how but I’ll share what works for me.
Writing is incredibly therapeutic, I do it everyday.
Writing allows you to explore yourself freely and can be used as a tool to express how you feel. If you’re feeling hurt you can write about it. But you can also ask yourself questions like ‘why does this bother me?’ or ‘what would make me feel better right now?’ and then write until you have some kind of answer or at least until your mood has shifted.
I think it’s fair to say that most people are enticed by new things. A new habit, a new opportunity even a new person. As much as we can fear the new there are many instances when it actually excites us.
Yet, in many cases instead of going towards the new thing, we look back.
We look back with this cosy feeling of nostalgia for what once was or what it’s time to move on from and all of a sudden we begin to hesitate.
That’s when the fear and what ifs kicks in.
What if things don’t work out?
What if this new thing isn’t better than what I’ve left behind?
What if I have to start over again?
The what if questions we ask are rarely framed in a helpful way and only serve to amplify the fear.
The alternative to looking back is to focus on the possibilities that will come from embracing the new and learn to trust that you’ll be fine.