Sometimes you don’t need advice

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.

The worst possible thing

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.

Putting more thought into branding

As much as you might want to focus on other stuff, it will always be worth putting some time into branding. It’s important to think about how things look to an outside eye and understand if you’re able to deliver your intended message.

I’ve always wanted The Daily Gemm (TDG) to be a space with writing and simplicity at the forefront and that’s what I focused on when I started posting to the Instagram account a few months ago.  However, I’ve realised that although the simplicity element works well on the blog, it doesn’t translate the same way on Instagram. I realised that I might need to do start doing things differently.

After giving it things more thought and thinking about the grand scheme and my future plans and aspirations, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the TDG Instagram account to represent my long-term plans as a brand, rather than just to represent this blog.

And so over the past week or so I’ve been coming up with ideas for how I could do things differently in a way that works for me.

One the first things that came to mind was more visual content and more colour. Currently the TDG feed is full of quotes from my blog posts in black and white. But it turns out the ‘just words, no pictures’ philosophy that I have for this site doesn’t fit for Instagram.

On one hand my grand plans for Instagram have come crashing down but on the other hand it taught me a lot. I’ve now gone back to the drawing board and spent time planning and creating things that I’m looking forward to sharing.

Worth putting off

How do you decide what’s worth doing now?

Putting something off because it has no urgency or immediate impact if you don’t do it now is reasonable.

Putting something off that you know you should be doing now is silly.

The more time you let slip away, the more the urgency increases. Suddenly the thing that would have been manageable over a 6 week span has to be done within a few days with no assurance that it’ll be done well.

When you find yourself in those situations you’ll realise that some things aren’t worth putting off.

What to do if your manager isn’t helpful

You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.

In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.

So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.

What do you do?

It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.

First up, ask for what you want/need?

Ask confidently, ask a second time.

Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.

If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.

Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.

Lastly don’t expect too much from people.

Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship,  they have their own stuff to do too.

The little things that bring us joy

I recently discovered a new podcast and listening to it brings me joy.

I find myself often relating to the conversations they have or smiling/laughing.

It’s so useful to fill your life with little things that bring you joy that you have easy access to.

Something extravagant like a week in the Maldives isn’t accessible to you on a regular basis.

You have to think small-scale.

A useful exercise is either throughout or at the end of the day write down all the things you did that brought you joy, then make a vow to do those things more.

It could be meditation, morning gratitude, getting a coffee in the kitchen with your work pal, listening to a particular song or podcast, reading a book, putting on a face mask, saying good morning to strangers on your way to the bus stop or train station or even going for a walk.

As humans we have a tendency to over complicate things but often it’s as simple as, whatever makes you feel good, do more of it.

What would you like from me?

I’d love to know what you like and would want more of in the future from The Daily Gemm.

It could be more about my career journey as I work on developing myself, stuff on overcoming anxiety, habits and practices, my writing process, becoming more confident or just more about Debbies brother.

I have a good idea of what I’ll be sharing next year but if there’s anything in particular that you’ve enjoyed from me this year then I’m happy to do more of that.

It’s also Christmas Eve today so think of your feedback as part of a gift exchange, one that will be returned in the new year.

 

How to lose your creativity?

Sometimes I find myself caught up in trying to be a blogger instead of simply just being myself. And in the process I find myself being drawn to creating content that I don’t love as much as I could.

When I first started blogging 8 years ago I was just sharing stuff that I was interested in which mostly included fashion and personal style. But over time instead of following my own flow of creativity I started trying to be a blogger. I ended up falling out of love with creating stuff to share online because I’d sacrificed my sense of self in order to try and fit it and do things ‘the right way’.

I didn’t realise it at the time but I lost my creativity. Not to the extent that I was unable to create because I haven’t really stopped blogging since I started. However, what my content lacked was passion, consistency and quality.

For the past few years I’ve ticked along in the lifestyle blogging space not improving, sharing, connecting, experimenting or expanding as much as I could have.

But starting this blog almost a year ago (can you believe it!) helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Despite not having designed a fancy header or logo and the fact that this site contains no pictures, I feel more creative here than I’ve felt on wordsbygemm for the majority of the year.

On The Daily Gemm, I don’t get to hide behind content that has been done 101 timed before. As a result I’ve made up characters like Betty and Debbies brother, I’ve explored my feelings, wrote about my work life, shared my experiences with having anxiety, shared things that I’ve learnt and even written about current events like fires, abortion laws and politics.

The year is not over yet but I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to share so far and thankful to you for reading.

Don’t look back

…in anger (this has nothing to do with Oasis but I do love that song!).

You can spend your whole life working on improving aspects of your life. Imagine you’ve always struggled with your career and finding something that you like that pays enough that you can live a life you’re happy with you.

Imagine you’ve spent years feeling unsatisfied moving from job to job.

Then all of sudden you find something that is everything you’ve always wanted and you’re finally happy doing what you do to earn a living.

But you’re also left with somewhat of a gaping hole in your heart where that struggle used to be.

Even though things have changed for the better, it feels as though something is missing because you’re lighter now.

What’s missing is the stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, worry and the struggle. Yet somehow you might find yourself longing for what once was.

Overcoming is a pretty big deal, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and don’t look back on what once was.

 

 

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.