What if things could be easier?

I have this belief about the people that we meet.

I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.

Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.

Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .

I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.

Growth points

It could be difficult, challenging and uncomfortable. But it also serves as an opportunity to learn and grow, if you’re willing to be open.

If you’re a regular reader then growth points is a term you’ll have seen me use every now and then in posts such as Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes, Day 183, It’s okay to be you and Unexpected and interesting.

However, I recently realised that I’ve never really explained the term or idea in great detail. I made the term up for myself and to be honest it’s just an alternative to the word challenge. However, the focus is on growth and overcoming rather than the difficulty of the situation.

When you face a situation that perhaps in the moment you wish wasn’t happening, it’s easy to just think that ‘it’s the most terrible thing in the world’. You then might find yourself getting caught in a downward spiral of unhelpful thoughts that leave you feeling stuck.

That mindset or perspective that you find yourself in never leads to growth. You have to find a way to get through it and see things differently.

I think the getting through it part is most challenging because it can be easy to stay stuck. A moment of sadness can turn into hours or days of wallowing.

One thing that helps is to be very conscious in how you think about the situations that come up in your life instead if just getting caught up. Acknowledge it as a challenging situation rather than blowing it out of proportion and allowing one situation to become your entire life.

And from that perspective you can begin to think about how you can grow from it. The great thing is that once you grow from it, you can now take that lesson forward with you for as long as it serves you well. Then next time something happens you can fall back that all that you’ve previously experienced, learnt and grown from.

Coming back to you

When it’s just you yourself and you, how do you live?

How do you spend your time? And the times when you feel most like yourself, what are you doing?

For me it’s journaling, walking in green spaces, listening to my favourite music (The jezabels, Funkadelic/Parliament and The Stone Roses), creating with my hands, getting lost in a good book, writing blog posts and just writing in general.

In the midst of life, these things can be easy to forget and sometimes we go so far as to even forget ourselves. Then we end up feeling lost and unsure of what to do next.

We often feel most like ourselves when we return to childhood things. Things we did when we were young without a care in the world. You weren’t focused on competing or what other people would think, you were simply just being you.

Give it a week

Before you say or do something you might regret, give yourself time.

Perhaps, your instinct is to react straight away especially if you’re angry, upset or frustrated. And, sometimes that might be exactly what you need to do. But other times there is value in being patient and in having patience.

It takes patience to not to react, to take the time to hold and work through the feeling, to calm yourself enough so that you’re able to then respond from a more rational or settled frame of mind.

Do nothing until you’re able to get yourself from a space of reacting to a space of responding. It could be hours, days or even a week.

The easiest way to boost your mood

Sometimes the easiest way to boost your mood, shift your perspective brighten your day is to make a conscious choice.

Wake up in the morning and decide that today will be a good day. Decide that you won’t allow the little things to knock your mood.

Perhaps it is easier said than done but it’s worth a try. And you can use tools to such as EFT, meditation or even a solo dance party to aide the mood shift. The practice of shifting your own mood will help you understand that how you feel isn’t as rigid as you thought.

I’m doing my best

Sometimes you have to accept that your best isn’t good enough. Perhaps you’re losing clients, not meeting targets or not making enough to meet your basic needs like food and shelter.

But other times the case is that you aren’t actually offering your best, you’re giving half-heartedly.

This often happens when we don’t actually believe in ourselves. We give in a bare minimum sort of way and then tell ourselves that it’s not working out because we’re not good enough.

It’s really just an excuse for fear of trying and fear of failing. But it’s okay, in fact it’s probably a good thing to admit that you’re afraid because once you do, you can work through it and get past it.

Can’t keep up

It can be incredibly frustrating when you find yourself falling behind and struggling to keep up.

You end up feeling like there’s something wrong with you and you might even begin to question yourself in order to figure out why you can’t keep up.

And sometimes it leads to wondering whether you’re good enough or wondering if you should quit.

In these moments, think it’s useful to offer yourself a little bit of kindness. If you can’t keep up, berating yourself won’t help or make it any easier to catch up.

Perhaps it would be much more useful to offer yourself some kindness instead.

Managing high hopes

High hopes can lead to disappointment.

We all have things that we want in life whether it be physical items, titles or things from other people.

I think it’s perfectly okay to want things but it’s important to also remember that you might not get them or certain things won’t quite work out as you expected.

And when you carry around great expectations, it can be difficult to adjust when things turn out any other way.

So, it’s important to know (or create the belief for yourself) that you don’t have to rely on one specific outcome in order for things to turn out okay.

3 things to to before you get carried away

Move

Whether it be taking a walk, doing a workout or having a solo dance party. Moving your body enables you to let go of the energy that is weighing you down, overwhelming you and will eventually lead you to getting carried away

Write

Just start writing something about how you feel and see where it goes. Don’t focus on it being good, write for yourself and be honest. You might find that you thought you were upset about one thing but really you were upset because it reminded you of something from the past.

Rest

Slow down, stop and take a rest. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and with a much clearer head rather than indulging in thoughts that only make you feel worse.

The importance of introspection

Sometimes taking the time to understand yourself can help you start to understand others.

In particular when it comes to interactions and exchanges not turning out how you’d hoped or think they should. The disclaimer for what is to follow is that of course you don’t need to internalise and understand someone treating you poorly. This is more about having unrealistic expectations based on a false perception of reality.

If you find yourself caught up in thinking about the way a person should have acted in a situation or what they should have said, question it, where are the expectations coming from.

You may find that you’re so focused on the way that things should be, that you’re missing on what is actually happening.

An example could be that someone didn’t ask for your advice on something you had spoken to them about. Your initial reaction may be to feel hurt or annoyed because you feel like they should have spoken to you. But as important as it is to acknowledge your feelings, it’s important to acknowledge the feelings of others.

Ask yourself, why would this person not come to me? It could simply be that they went to someone else instead but you have a habit of berating their choices or trying to make them do what you think is best rather than trust their own judgment.

It’s so easy to just look at things on the surface and get annoyed at the other person but making a little time for introspection might help you see things differently.

Then you can decide how or if you want to change. For example, you could decide to work on telling people what you think is best without pressuring them to do what you think is right.

On the other hand, you could decide to do nothing at all, to stay just as you are. But you can’t continue to get annoyed at people when the problem is you.

And it’s not about getting caught in a spiral of blame, it’s about being aware of your interactions with other people and then figuring out how you can improve them.