The problem with letting things slide

If you get someone used to treating you a certain way or acting in a particular way towards you, the person will come to expect you to allow it.

Sometimes you allow things that you aren’t okay with because you don’t want to rock the boat, hurt the persons feelings or you’ve told yourself that being clear about what you’re not okay with is confrontational. And so instead of saying, ‘I’m not okay with you doing that’ you say, ‘No worries’ or ‘It’s okay’.

Doing this teaches the other person that you’re okay with what they’re doing. We often fall into the idealism of thinking people will automatically know what we’re thinking or feeling but it’s not true. We shouldn’t expect people to read our minds when we can use our voices.

I’m not sure who said it but there’s a quote or perhaps a tweet that goes something like ‘You have to teach people how to treat you’. Yet, we’re taught to almost just accept how we’re treated as long as a person doesn’t have bad intentions.

I find that the relationships where I am very clear, where I call things out instead of letting them slide, are the ones that I feel most comfortable in. When you put pressure on yourself to always be fine with everything even when you’re not it builds up feelings of resentment, anger or frustration and that energy has to go somewhere.

It either leads to an outburst towards the person you should have been clear with from the start or an outburst at someone totally unrelated to the situation.

I wrote this for you

You know the feeling you get when you read something that resonates. You feel seen, you feel heard and you feel connected, often to a complete stranger.

But this person was able to form something that encapsulates a feeling or a moment from your life. It can often serve as a reminder that we’re not so different or as separate from each other as we sometimes end up believing.

If you can be moved by words written 200 years ago then our problems, challenges and experiences aren’t so unique to us, there are plenty of other people that know what it’s like. In my teenage years I liked to beelive that somehow the author knew that I’d need to read their words, almost as if they wrote them just for me. Of course that wasn’t the case but it was a nice thought at the time.

I’ve held on to that idea but allowed it to evolve a little. As someone who writes and shares their words, I never write with a particular person in mind but I know that people are often drawn to read about things they can relate to.

I’ve read great words that have moved me and so I hope to do the same. I guess it’s sort of like taking one and passing it on.

‘I wrote this for you because of what they wrote for me.’

Let your life change

Sometimes in order to gain the change you are seeking you have to let go.

You have to allow life to happen in whatever way that is meant to be and trust that things will be alright. You have to let go of the idea that you can control the way that things will turn out. Not may many people would admit or perhaps are even aware that they’re doing too much to control the outcome.

The trick is that no matter how hard you try even if you appear to be successful in controlling things, there will always be a time when things don’t work out the way you wanted. It can be difficult when you want your life to change and maybe you’re tired of being patient so it feels easier to try and force things to go your way.

However, more often than not, the kind of change you’re seeking comes from slowing down and allowing life to flow rather than trying to make things go your way.

Enjoy your life

It could be considered strange that we know that life is finite yet we choose to focus so much on the things that bring us the least joy.

We spend our time doing things that take us further and further from our core selves and then wonder why there is so much emptiness within.

Often we choose to try and enjoy life from the perception of outsiders. We focus on doing things that will look good to other people rather than simply trying to please ourselves. And it’s not that you do things that make you miserable but that you place the perception of others above your own joy.

It could be choosing to do something because you know that other people will be impressed or even jealous. Meanwhile you’d have been much happier doing something else.

But all that stuff about other people doesn’t matter as much you might think it does. It feels important because you choose to make it so. When it comes to enjoying your life focus on you, the things that you like and the things that bring you joy.

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.