Why you don’t like change

I used to pride myself on liking change. In fact, I found it hard when things stayed the same for too long.

But then why, when it comes to making a few changes in my life, changes I know will transform things,  am I so resistant?

I’d dig in my heels, look away and hold my breath.

In life, it seems that we thrive off change and new challenges, even when we hate them at the time. Change forces us to adapt and learn, it’s what makes us grow.

However, I’m all too aware of the repetition we seek out in everyday life. We find comfort in doing things the same way. I catch myself drawn to the same seat on the bus every single time I get on.

And, with a wardrobe full of clothes, why then do we wear the same things over and over again?

I may like it when things in my life change, but how proactive am I at instigating that change and finding new challenges?

I recently read Mel Robins, 5 Second Rule, she explains that we’re hardwired to avoid anything that makes us feel uncomfortable, especially change.

That’s why you’ll never really feel ready to take that leap of faith, or put yourself out there – you just have to make yourself do it anyway.

From getting fit to finding your dream job, Mel says that if it means simply putting one foot outside your comfort zone, your brain will go into overdrive to protect you. It will do everything it can to talk you out of taking action.

Change is scary, staying the same is not.
Change requires action, staying the same does not.
Change is unknown, staying the same is not.

The way I see it, is we have a choice when it comes to change. Each of those 3 sentences can be split in half. One half is negative and the other is positive, it’s up to us which half is which.

Mantra this, and change your life

To say I didn’t enjoy school, would be an understatement.

I remember being 15 years old, and trying to make the walk to school last as long as humanly possible.

I started to notice a pattern on the days I dreaded going in. I would find myself repeating in my head over and over again, “It’s going to be a horrible day”. I think I honestly believed that if I prepared myself, it wouldn’t matter if it was a bad day, because I’d already called it.

And of course, it always was.

Then one day I decided to try something different. I started to repeat in my head, over and over again, “today is a great day”.

I remember it feeling so forced, and I’m sure I rolled my eyes with every repetition.

But, I kept doing it, the whole walk to school.

Today is a great day.
Today is a great day.
Today is a great day.

I’m not sure what was more annoying, the fact it worked, or the fact I actually did have a good day. But, none the less things got a little bit brighter.

Ever since then, I’ve used matras to keep me and my mind on the right track.

I repeat a short phrase to myself, over and over again, most often while I’m walking somewhere.

I’ll say anything from “I love myself”, to “I am successful”. And, from time to time I still find myself repeating the words, “today is a great day”.

The trick is to talk in the first person and as if it’s already true. Try not to use any negative words, like not. Because, your brain can’t identify them and only hears the instruction.

So if you say “I am not late” over and over, all your brain hears is “I’m late, I’m late”. And with the power of matras being what it is, you’ll most definitely end up being late.

And that’s it. Just pick something you want and start saying it over and over again.

It doesn’t even matter whether you believe it or not at first. All that matters is that you say it, over and over again.

From brightening your mood to increasing productivity, mantras will change the way you view the world.

What are you waiting for? Give it a go right now.

Why your friendships don’t have to last

A great friend once said to me;

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

At the time, I thought nothing of it, other than it was simply a nice saying. But every once in a while, this saying popped into my head and over time it started to make more sense.

As I kiss goodbye to one more friend, whose presence made my life so much better, if only for a short while, I know in that moment – I’m better off for knowing them and saying goodbye, than never knowing them at all.

I also know the reality of living not only in different countries to the people I love, but also the impact living in different time zones can have on your relationships.

So let’s be honest here, this goodbye is goodbye. Sure, we still have Facebook and it doesn’t change how I feel about you. But the closeness we once had, is gone.

Thanks for teaching me how to be sassy and fierce. You’re the reason I stand a little taller today.

I can’t help but wonder, how important is the length of our friendships?

What about the friendships that don’t end because of distance, but end because we simply grow apart?

It doesn’t mean the friendship was a failure. Nor does it discredit the fun you had when you were together. It simply means that this chapter of your life is over. Thank’s for the season, I had a ball.

And, for the friendships that last a lifetime, I will always be grateful.

Some lifetime friendships are like waves, building in strength and then subsiding, only to reappear at a different moment.

And some friendships are constant. Forever, regardless of distance, or stage of life.

This doesn’t mean the season or reason friendships are less important. It simply means they’re shorter.

And so, for all the people I’ve been lucky enough to call my friends, regardless of the length, I am forever thankful.

 

A lesson in not giving a f*#k

The less f*#ks you give, the happier you’ll be.

As I zipped up my old hoody, I looked down to admire how close in colour it actually was to the washed out, horribly fitting tracky bottoms I had also chosen to wear that evening.

It was clear that a long time ago both these garments were very different colours, but not anymore.

As I headed out into the street, knowing this outfit choice was not my finest, my instincts told me – this is the moment you’ll bump into every ex and their beautiful, well dressed, pristine girlfriends!

I shrugged off that feeling and replaced it with this thought, – the less you give a f*#k, the happier you’ll be.

That sat much better with me in my current state.

Happily, I trotted down the dark street, and collected the beers. I held my head high as I announced my arrival at the pizza shop and then promptly scurried back to the safety of home.

I may look slightly homeless I thought, but I’m definitely happy.

But, what exactly had I stopped giving a f*#k about?

Had I stopped caring about how I felt? Or what other people thought of me? And, could caring about either of these things, really be holding me back in the happiness stakes?

I decided to test it out. The next morning I picked out the smartest outfit I could find – it wasn’t exactly a ball gown, but it was the best I had. I did my hair and slapped some make up on.

It felt good.

Caring about how I looked made me feel happy too, it also seemed to make my boyfriend happy. Clearly officewear was more up his street than hobo chic.

I know it’s pretty obvious that caring what other people think doesn’t get us anywhere. But it’s easy to forget, what we think and feel about ourselves drives almost every emotion we have.

So next time I decide to not give a f#*k, it will be about what other people think, and not how I feel about myself.

 

 

Is being inconsistent with productivity a bad thing?

Move at your own speed.

I can’t seem to keep a consistent pace when it comes to productivity – either I’m on or I’m off. All in, or all out.

When I’m on, shit gets done! Jobs get ticked off, I’m flying.

But, when I’m off, it’s just not happening. And, it’s not like I don’t have things to do. All the drive that got me to this point is gone, and the worst part is I don’t seem to care, not one bit.

Things pile up, deadlines come and go and still I can’t quite get my butt in gear.

What is it I’m waiting for? How can I shake this feeling?

Was my last stint too much? Was the final push a push too far?

Being able to put everything you’ve got into making stuff happen is a great asset, but when it comes at the cost of the next few weeks, I can’t help but ask myself,

Is it worth it? Am I happy? 

Just because you’re feeling a little flat right now, doesn’t mean you’re not happy. All you have to do is look over your shoulder at all the things you’ve just achieved.

Flat out and then rest, doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The trick is not giving yourself a hard time when you rest. Recognising it as down time and saying to yourself ‘look at what you just achieved, enjoy this time now, it’s yours.’

And when you’re ready, have faith in the knowledge you’ll be back in the game in no time, wondering how you ever sat still for so long.

It’s all your choice

How do you want to feel today?

A few years ago, it hit me,  you can’t control other people.

No matter how much you want to change how they behave or even feel, you just can’t.

The only thing you have control over is you.

It’s up to me how I behave – well on the most part that’s true, maybe after a few drinks my level of self control is debatable, but that’s a different story all together.

But, knowing this still didn’t stop me from feeling sad because of others actions.

There must be more.

What if the emotions we experience are our own choice? What if I could choose my reaction to others. What if it was as simple as choosing happiness or sadness?

I sometimes feel like I have some sort of life bipolar, as I tick tack between feeling like I’m on top of the world, I’m on track for something amazing, everything is incredible and then for no reason whatsoever, things change. The black cloud comes over and everything is hopeless, I have no future, no prospects, nothing is going my way.

But, between those two states, nothing in my life had changed. Nothing particularly bad or particularly good had happened to cause such opposite emotions. And yet those feelings were real.

Maybe today is brighter or I had a great night’s sleep, whatever the reason, by simply viewing things differently, my whole world changed and I’m ready to take on anything.

Now it’s not realistic to ask myself in every new situation or every interaction, “how do you want to feel about this?” And I know that life is not this simple.

But, by getting clear on how we want to feel as a whole everyday, we’re able to keep the emotional tick tacking to a minimum.

So ask yourself this, how do you want to feel?

 

Why it’s ok to feel uncomfortable

I read somewhere, that when you feel uncomfortable in yourself, it means you’re changing.

Not just mentally, but your physical make up is changing too.

Changing the way you see things and the way you deal with them.

However, as I sat there, sounded by drills and jack hammers, in the knowledge that everyone had complained about the noise, I felt uncomfortable beyond words.

There was no sign of positive change here. I just wanted to escape.

I’ve felt this feeling before.

Sat at my desk in a new job, stress rising through my body, as I wondered if the shame of simply saying I didn’t know what to do, would out way the shame of running away.

“I can’t do this, I can’t do this” echoes through my head.

But you don’t run away, we sit there in the uncomfortableness and muddle through the awkward moments.

After all, you really can’t just walk out on the first day in a new job, or run away from angry neighbors.

And so, for whatever reason I stuck it out and experienced the uncomfortableness. It lingered around me for a while, and plays on repeat in my head while laying in bed.

But now, with the passing of time and the wonder of hindsight, I can say experiencing those feelings wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it did me good.

I grew, I’m stronger, a little wiser and next time I feel that uncomfortable knot start to tie in the bottom of my stomach, I’ll remember it doesn’t have to last.

Is there room for both of us to love me?

I lost myself.

If my Dad was here right now, he’d say that was careless of you.

And the honest truth is, it was. It was no ones fault but mine. I stopped thinking about the things I need to do to keep me, me, and expected someone else to fulfil them instead.

I got lost in what we need, what they need, what you need. And the only person to blame is me. No one else is responsible for my state of mind, but me.

Before you, I spent so long on me, finding me, loving me, exploring me – it really was all about me. And it felt so good.

But, in reality that was all simply preperation for meeting you.

I wanted to love myself so someone else could love me the same way.

I love myself
I love myself
I love myself

And then, from this shiny place of love and confidence I was the most attractive I’ve ever been. It’s true what they say, the best way to find love, is to love yourself unconditionally.

But the self love quotes on Facebook seem to have missed out the next crucial step.

What happens after we find love, do we instantly give up on our self-love? Are we not capable of loving ourselves and someone else at the same time or is it that we blindly hand over the baton of love to the new partner and expect them to fulfill the role we once had played?

And so, somewhere between falling in love and everyday life I lost myself. I stopped doing the things I’d carved out to make me feel strong and independent. I stopped taking care of myself. I lost myself.

So now, it’s back to the beginning. The love I have for you is no different from the love I have for me, they both need time and affection to grow, and if I neglect one, the other will undoubtedly suffer.

 

Why your dreams aren’t big enough

I had this dream of traveling the world and writing a blog. I dreamed of writing in a way that inspired people to look at everyday things in a different light, or maybe in the same light but just with a little less judgement.

I know it’s not the most original dream – writing and traveling, but it was mine and I was going after it.

Now, after 8 months of plotting and planning I’m here, sat in the very moment I’ve been dreaming of.

There’s only one problem……. I don’t know what to do next.

The dream never went any further than getting here. I never actually imagined myself following things through. I never allowed myself to get into the detail of what was involved after.

Paralysed in this moment, there’s a sense of familiarity – I’ve been here before. Grand plans, but no follow through. I’m great at going after dreams, paint the perfect picture, sell the vision to get everyone on board.

But then after blast off, there’s nothing. I’m just left floating around until the next big idea, the next dream.

Maybe it’s self-sabotage or just bad planning. But why, when it comes to executing our dreams, the things that by their very definition we truly want, are we so often completely under prepared?

Take losing weight or getting fit for example – once you hit your target you can’t just stop trying. If you did, you’d end up back at the beginning.

There’s only one answer – dream bigger.

Look past the first glimpse of success and ask yourself, what comes next?

What does it take to make this dream sustainable?

By taking the time to explore every angle, every possibility and make some plans past the first accomplishment, you’re setting yourself up to not just tick your dreams off, but to actually live them.

Because, your dreams definitely don’t end here.

Why it pays to not follow the crowd

All I ever wanted, for as long as I can remember, was to have a family. I wanted all that traditional stuff, to marry someone I loved beyond question, have a beautiful home and start a family.

I also want to live on a boat and sail around the world or live in Mongolia and experience a totally different way of life. I dreamed of writing every day and contributing to the world, in my own way.

However, my desire to have the one thing society told me I ‘should’ want seemed to endlessly clash with my drive to follow my dreams and experience the world.

I want to feel at home and at the same time be free – as far away from routine as possible.

Ok, I know when you have kids you need some sort of stability, and adventurers need to be funded. But why should I give up when my dreams seem to contradict each other? And who is it that said they can’t go together?

It seems to me, we allow certain rules to dictate the way we live our lives – whether we agree with them or not. We blindly follow, unquestioning, even taking comfort in the constraints they offer.

But it hasn’t always been like that.

As children, we dare to dream. We conjure up wondering plans where we can do and be everything and anything our imagination allows.

Would it be so bad to step off the well trodden path of adulthood just for a minute?

I’m not saying go against the flow for the sake of it.

But when you get that urge, the drive to do something different, the kind of feeling that just won’t go away, and the world is telling you you can’t – well, maybe just once take that “can’t” as a suggestion, and follow your heart. Go against the grain, forget about the obvious route, create your own path, and jump!

Just jump.

Because let’s face it, nothing great was ever achieved by following the rules and fitting in.