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.
Last year there were lots of discussions, tweets and conversations about how we’re in a pandemic, you don’t need to do xyz it’s totally okay if all you did was survive.
The thing is, of course you don’t need to do anything new or different with your time. That statement has always been true. But if you want to and if you feel like you can, why not choose to do something new?
And even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re anxious and overwhelmed maybe trying 10 minutes of aerobics or a breath work exercise might actually help.
I think learning or doing something new during a period where you have more free time than usual is a great idea.
The reason for this is whether you sit around passively watching YouTube all day or try out a couple of new recipes every week, the same amount of time has still gone by.
You don’t need to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, pick something that you will enjoy.
And you don’t need to use up all your free time, it could be 20 minutes of meditation each day or a few hours a week doing an online course.
You don’t need to post about it online and it doesn’t make you better than others because you’ve now started a successful business or have perfected the crème brûlée.
The focus should be on how you feel about the way that you’re choosing to live and the way that you’re spending your time.
If you had to leave your home and could only take 10 things with you, what would you take?
Turns out the things we value in our day to day lives aren’t the same things we value in an emergency.
In our day to day life we’re more materialistic, we care more about perception. It’s not that we don’t value the things we need to survive but that they are a given rather than something we need to think about.
In an emergency we place value on safety and survival. There’s not much point valuing your green faux croc handbag when you are without food and water.
And sometimes people choose to live their day to day lives valuing only the essentials even when they don’t have to.
I think that in searching for stability you don’t give yourself enough room to explore and take risks. You align yourself in things that feel safe and reliable then convince yourself that it’s what you truly desire.
The pursuit of stability is often about fear and control. As human beings one of our core needs is survival which is linked to staying safe.
But in pursing something that doesn’t have outcome certainty it brings up risk of jeopardising safety and therefore survival.
Perhaps you wanted to make art for a living, but you chose to be a HR assistant instead. The idea of making and selling your work for a living has risk because it might not work. What if you don’t make enough money, you can’t pay your bills, you have to move back with your parents or move with friends, you get evicted, you have to sell all your possessions blah, blah blah
The inner monologue is amazing at getting carried away. You can go from one small inconvenience to thinking your entire life is over. And I think that there is a string need for an awareness for that so that we don’t end up listening to that voice.
You don’t want to end up wishing you’d taken a chance in your twenties, thirties or forties because you decided to live your life in search of stability.
But you don’t have to go in the opposite direction either. Go for what brings you joy, what you care about or what interests you.