Looking to the future

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.

Unlearning panic

Sometimes you just need to against the easy option.

Panic is really easy to do. A moment of stress or overwhelm often ends in panic when you don’t know how to handle the situation.

If you find yourself panicking in these situations often, it’ll eventually become a habit. Even when you can handle the situation if you give yourself patience, once you get used to going into panic mode it’ll end up happening at any opportunity.

So, you have to teach yourself not to panic.

It mainly takes patience but you also have to be able to catch yourself in the moment before you start to freak out.

You have to remind yourself that the situation isn’t too much for you and that you’re capable of coming up with a solution.

Difficult to solve

Some things in life are difficult to solve.

There are lots of factors to consider, plus you have to find something that works for people that don’t think the same way.

What works for one won’t necessarily for everyone else. The great idea you had might not work.

And that is not just my opinion but instead some thoughts relating to some of the challenges we face as a society.

The solution isn’t to try and please everyone. I think the solution would be to do what feels right and focus on how you can make a positive impact.

A different approach

When you’re trying to find a solution it can be easy to get stuck on one particular path. You want to believe that you can work things out so you trudge on hoping for the best.

Maybe you tell yourself that if things aren’t working out then you’re not working hard enough.

But sometimes the truth is you need a different approach to the situation.

It can be difficult to open up to a new way of doing things, especially when you’ve been trying one set way for so long.

However, if you’re willing to do something different even if it doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll probably find yourself closer to the solution.

Understanding what it really means to be bare minimum

There is power in the meaning we attach to words.

The Bare Minimum Betty concept is something I came up with because I enjoy playing around with ideas and creating characters. But it’s about more than just a made up character that doesn’t go above and beyond.

What started as just part of my writing practice resulted in me reflecting on my own behaviour.

I began identifying moments in my life where I was being bare minimum, not in a critical way but in a gentle way. Like ‘oh, I could put in more effort here’ or ‘I can feel myself holding back’.

And in these moments of reflection I began to understand what it really means to be bare minimum.

It’s complaining or being frustrated with where you’re at because you’re not putting much effort in and not getting much back.

It’s going through life without letting your core self be seen.

It’s following instructions and not being willing to ask questions.

It’s being tossed about by the waves of life because you aren’t willing to pick up an oar.

It’s noticing a problem but waiting for someone else to offer a solution.

That’s not the kind of person I want to be, yet I like many others sometimes fall into being a bare minimum Betty.

But in recognising those things in myself I’m able to push past them. So, when I notice I’m holding back, I’ll push past those feelings and speak up.

On the flipside I’m also aware that some people are totally satisfied with being good enough or bare minimum that is totally okay as long as you don’t pretend you’re offering your best.

2 kinds of complainers

Which one are you?

The first kind is the one we all know and love (or perhaps just tolerate through excessive eye rolls). This person is problem focused. They find a problem with anything and everything.

What’s worse is if you offer a potential solution they’ll probably find a problem with that too.

The second person is solution focused. They’ll complain as a way to vent their frustrations but then they’ll move on and do something about it.

The first person never manages to progress nearly as much as the second.

Problems and solutions

A simple but useful exercise

Get a piece of paper and split it in 2 (or create a word document or excel spreadsheet). On one side write all your problems, the big, small and in-between.

Then the other side come up with a solution to each one.

In my experience, I’ve found that this lowers the feeling of overwhelm because once your problem has a solution it’s no longer such a big deal.

The problem could be that you’ve been feeling really tired lately. The solution to that could be getting more sleep by going to bed earlier or eating more nourishing food so that you have more energy throughout the day.

Or perhaps you don’t have enough time to work on your side projects. The solution could be to commit to setting 1hr aside every day. And to cut out or reduce other things that are taking up your time that aren’t important like Netflix.

Once you’re done you’ll have an action plan in front of you and if those problems are really bothering you’ll do something about it.