The continuous cycle, the back and forth. I catch myself entangled in the digital world once again. My bouts of mindfulness and distractions swing from one end to the other. Not much of inspiration or motivation going on at one moment, than the next I get back to immersing myself in my thoughts, meditate, and looking for inspiration and gaining knowledge. It is interesting. but not all that surprising. My mind needs rest, get distracted. My mind needs more fulfilling stimulation, lets get back to mindfulness. I don’t want to guilt myself for not being as mindful, as sharp, or as creative as I could be. I know I won’t be on my A game at all times. I won’t have the will to write all the times. I don’t always want to be mindful. I like distractions from time to time. It gives me the break I need. I know eventually I will get back on track. I always do. The road towards your goals and self-growth isn’t linear. There is some back and forth going on there. You get off the road, but you will get back on it. Getting back to it is what matters. I am now getting some of my juice back, after a week, or so. I continue to practice self-kindness and compassion when I catch myself moving towards distractions. It happens. I am human. Just enjoy, and you will get back to where you need to be. Remember, these distractions should not create harm to your mental health. It should help relax you. It should be enjoyable. If it does, please try to distance oneself, and look for more enjoyable distractions. I will end this here. I just wanted to put it out there that it isn’t easy being mindful all the times, and that it isn’t wrong to find distractions to help stimulate your mind at times. Balance is key.
I woke this morning with no will to write my usual Monday blog post. I don’t have much inspiration lately. I did have a post to write, but have no urge to write and post it. I have no excitement for it at the moment, so I just don’t want to force myself to post it. I never really post anything I am not excited to write and post. Now grant it, there are plenty of times I don’t feel like writing, but once I push myself I feel much better, and really get into writing, so I think it is important to push yourself eventually, instead of continuously pushing something off. I write because I like providing helpful tips, and spreading my knowledge about mindfulness and personal growth.
I don’t feel guilt or sadness, nor excitement or joy. I am just going through the motions. I am just allowing what I am feeling just to be. If you aren’t feeling motivated, excited, or inspired. That is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with that. Days like these happen.
I am just ready to get back to work. I just don’t want to be home. I want to be busy and productive. Was it the gloomy weather? Lack of being outdoors this weekend? Not sure. Although I like keeping a schedule, because it helps push me to get things done. I may not always feel like writing, but once I start writing I tend to enjoy the process. This is why you got to push yourself eventually. Starting is when the magic happens, The thought of starting is much worse, than actually doing what needs to be done.
I choose not to force things all the time. We should all choose not to do so. Be kind to yourself. When you have these days. Listen to your body and emotions. If you don’t have to do it, than don’t. You can have a day to relax. You can have a day where you lack productivity. Just remember to get back to where you need to, because eventually guilt, and your inner critic will come to straighten you up, because humans have this need to continue to progress in life. We like a challenge. We like doing things to better ourselves. Push yourself most of the time, but don’t force all the time. I will end this here. This wasn’t a specific topic. Just my personal story with a bit of helpful tips. Hopefully this resonates with you. Have a lovely week.
We are all guilty of this. It is in our nature to want to belong and be liked as social creatures. The thing is taking things personally all the time can have a negative effect on our peace of mind and well-being. It is okay to feel this way at times. We are human. We feel emotions. If not, we would be a psychopath, but we should learn not to allow taking things personally to consume our lives that it creates a world of misery and stress. I like to discuss a couple of reasons behind why we may take things personally. Being aware of these habits can help us learn why we may do this, and help us move forward, so that we don’t continue to fall into this trap.
- Perfectionism-Not only do you want to be perfect for yourself. You want to appear perfect in front of others. This need to be perfect makes it hard for one to cope with criticism and judgment. It will hurt your pride when someone tells you that you made a mistake, or there is a flaw in your work. This criticism can be well intentioned, but your need to be perfect makes it hard for you to listen or reason. You think this is an attack on you.
The problem with being a perfectionist is that it is unrealistic. You are not perfect. No one is. Once you accept this. It becomes easier to handle criticism without taking it too personally. It will still sting at first, but you will realize that their criticism can help you grow. Now if the criticism isn’t helpful, or it comes from someone who doesn’t know you. There is nothing to be upset about. They don’t know you, and don’t care about your feelings and thoughts, so why care so much about them? The only opinion you should focus on is the ones that help you grow and evolve as a person, or on your skillset.
- Putting others before oneself-Your thoughts and feelings don’t matter. Others matter more. I am happy if others are happy, so you can see why it would be easy to take things personally if others opinion are more important than your own. You will try your best to please others.
There is nothing wrong with trying to please others, but your opinion of yourself, and taking care of your needs should come first. People will say things that will hurt you, but if you value yourself and your opinions. Your self-confidence will deflect that hurtful language, especially coming from strangers.
- Lack of confidence-Going along with the last habit. The lack of appreciation of yourself and your strengths can be a trigger for taking things personally.
If you have confidence, and truly believe in what you can do. If you focus on your strengths, rather your weaknesses. It makes it easier to not take things personally. You have flaws. You won’t do things perfectly. You will make mistakes, but I know I have plenty of great qualities that makes me an awesome person. Once you recognize this, taking things personally won’t be as much of an issue.
- Storytelling-As I mentioned before, our thoughts are our stories. We create scenarios in our head of a situation. It isn’t always based on the facts. We may think this person is out to get us, or they hate us, or they just don’t like me. But it is all in how we think about the situation that creates anger and frustration, not the situation itself. We tend to create stories that make us the victim, and the other person the villain. It can be a good story, but it doesn’t mean it is true.
Cognitive mediation is the idea that things in the world don’t cause emotions. Instead, it’s our thoughts about things that affect how we feel(medium.com)
A person cuts you off, someone isn’t listening to you, someone doesn’t say hi back to you. Your thoughts about these situations trigger your response. Not the situation itself. There are plenty of responses you can take here. Get mad, or angry. Insult them. Get upset that they pissed you off, and ruined your day. You can also take a step back, breathe, recognize their mistake, or maybe the person didn’t hear you, maybe the person had an important place to go, maybe the person listening had other things on their mind. It isn’t always about you. Also recognize that you probably made these same mistakes as well. No one is perfect. You got to remember not everyone thinks the same, or has the same set of values. What may be offensive to you, may not be for another.
- Your surrounded by negative people-If it is growing up in a toxic household, or in a toxic relationship, or friendship. These people can help define who you are and how you think. If they treat you like crap, and say harsh things about you. The belief in these thoughts will set in. It is much easier to break someone down, than to lift them up. You become more sensitive to others input when all you heard about yourself were negative things. This can also go for toxic positivity as well. If you are constantly saying positive things. The person may not react to criticism very well. We need a balance to thrive as individuals.
It is important to be around people who make you feel good. Who help build you up. Who help you grow. No one has time for toxic relationships(negative or positive). The best bet is to remove yourself from the source. That isn’t always easy. I am not saying it is easy, but it needs to be done to live a life with less self-hatred and criticism.
- Toxic positivity-There is such a thing as too much positivity. Being positive is great. Better that, than negative, but we also need negativity in our lives. Like is not perfect. People are not perfect. The inability to see flaws, mistakes, and the bad is a problem. Just focusing on the good can make things difficult for an individual when things don’t go smoothly, or their mistakes and flaws are mentioned. They will feel offended and take it too personally.
Life has its ups and downs. The good and the bad. People have their strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this makes it easier to cope with criticism and not take things too personally. If they recognize your flaws, so do you, nothing new, keep it moving.
- Recognize the trolls/negative people-There are people, especially online that want to bring others down to their level. They want to hurt others. They want to upset others. Why give them that power? Don’t give them what they want. Remember the source. Don’t let a stranger/associate dictate how you feel about yourself. Everyone’s opinion doesn’t matter to you. Think, is this helping me?, no, then move on.
Always remember to think, is this benefiting me or not? Take in what can help you, and ignore the ones that do not. No need to stress over an opinion that doesn’t matter. That opinion doesn’t define you. The person that does is you.
You can never stop the sting of taking things personally. It will happen to all of us. You can just learn habits or tricks that can help reduce the intensity and duration of these feelings. There is no need to suffer over what others think of you. I am sure there are plenty of others who think you are awesome. Focus on what is important. Your opinion, and the opinion of others who build you up.
This type of habit may not be known to many. We may do it subconsciously and wonder why bad things continue to happen, or wonder why things don’t go our way. All of that can be due to self sabotaging. We tend to do this in the form of procrastination, avoiding promotions, not moving towards personal growth, turning to drugs, alcohol or food. There are plenty of ways we can find to sabotage our success and growth. Most of the time we don’t know we are doing it. So what is it? Why do we do it? And how can we overcome it?
What is it?
“Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals. This behaviour can affect nearly every aspect of life be it a relationship, a career goal, or a personal goal such as weight loss. Although very common, it is an incredibly frustrating cycle of behaviour that lowers our self-confidence and leave us feeling stuck. There are many reasons why someone may choose to self-sabotage but many stem from a lack of belief in ourselves”(lisajeffs.com).
What cultivates it?
There are many things that create self sabotaging habits. I will list a few down here.
- Self-Congruence- This is when we want our outside world to fit into what we feel on the inside. If you have negative thoughts and feelings on the inside. You will most likely see more negative and focus more on the bad things in your life. This goes for the other side of things as well, but since sabotaging comes from a negative mindset. We will focus on that.
- Glass ceiling-There is an imaginary ceiling that one believes they can not go over, or below it. They like to stay between the barriers. The person feels they don’t deserve more than their perceived ceiling can give them. They believe they only deserve this much, but not more.
- Vulnerability avoidance-This is the fear of vulnerability or getting hurt. This is when you rather cut things before you have a chance to get hurt. This can go for relationship and career goals. You rather just avoid getting hurt, but in the process can lose something wonderful, due to your fear of the worse case scenario.
- Imposter Phenomenon-When you do not believe your success or happiness is a true representation of yourself or what you can do. You don’t believe you can continue this success. Maybe you believe it is just luck. You think to yourself, that you don’t deserve this. You think things will eventually go down hill.
- Lack of confidence/self worth- This is a really important reason. If you don’t believe in your worth. You will not be able to grow and move forward. You will not be able to reach the places you want to go in life.
- Fear of failure-We don’t like to fail or make mistakes, so we do whatever we can to avoid doing that, not being aware that failure is a part of life.
- Protect ego-We got our pride. We don’t want to do anything that can hurt it. By taking a leap and doing things outside our comfort zone. It may allow us to see that maybe we aren’t as perfect as we thought, or can’t do as much as we thought. Although we can easily talk down to ourselves. We also don’t want to be a failure.
- Comfort-We love comfort, so we do what we can to avoid stepping away from it, even if it can make us more fulfilled, successful and happy.
- Complaining-This type of behavior doesn’t really solve anything. It just keeps you stuck.
- Comparisons to others-It is hard to get anywhere when you compare yourself to other people’s success. If you don’t match up. You give up. We should try to focus on our growth, rather than others, so we can continue pushing ourselves. You never know how far you can go, but comparisons can halt that.
- Blaming others-Putting the blame on others takes control away from you. Taking control away from you gives you less power, and makes you less likely to push yourself forward.
- Putting yourself down-Negative self-talk can definitely cultivate habits of sabotaging oneself. Believing you can’t do something, or don’t deserve something, or that you aren’t good enough. Will keep you stuck.
- Self concept is fixed-Believing you can never change and that growth is impossible. The thing is you can always evolve. Who you are today can be different than who you are next year. The self is not fixed.
What can be done to overcome it?
- Be mindful-Practicing mindfulness and learning to be present in the moment can help you become aware of your self sabotaging habits, and the thoughts the come along with it.
- Self acceptance-Learning to accept the person you are-the good and the bad-can help reduce sabotaging habits. If you accept yourself, you can accept any possibility the comes your way. Whatever happens you know you did all you can do, and you are happy with just that. You learn with acceptance is all you can do is try, as long as you try you achieved something.
- Gain confidence-This goes along with self-acceptance. Through acceptance you can gain confidence. Being aware of your strengths and using them to your advantage goes along way. Learning to build your strengths and utilizing them to help you grow is all part of confidence. This can push you to achieve the goals you like and to keep you from staying comfortable and stuck.
- Journal/Self-reflect-This puts your thoughts out there. It gives you a chance to become aware of these habits and figure out ways to move past them. Once you are able to become aware of these thoughts and habits through introspection. You may realize how unhelpful they are to your self growth.
- Get out of comfort zone/Face your fear-I know it is easier said than done, but comfort can only get to so far. Time to count backwards 5,4,3,2,1 and go! Everything that has helped me evolve, grow and move up has come from getting out of my comfort zone and facing fears. You will feel discomfort and anxiety, but those feelings are normal. Learning to push past it is an important skill to learn to stop us from sabotaging ourselves.
- Understanding the root cause-Digging deep and learning the real reason for these habits can help you figure out the problem, learn, and improve.
- Rise above negative emotions-Like I mentioned, feelings of anxiety, discomfort, fear, tension will arise. It is learning how to continue going forward that is important.
- Set goals and plans-Start small, something manageable to help push you. Every little step counts. With every step you will gain more confidence and feel more comfortable.
- Accept failures-You will not always succeed. You will make mistakes. It is all part of the human experience. When you accept this it will be easier for you not to sabotage any opportunity or chance you get.
- Let go of perfectionism-You have flaws. We all have flaws. Accepting you are not perfect puts our ego in check. It also allows you to put yourself out there more.
Self sabotaging habits are harmful for our growth and personal development. It may create comfort and safety. But it also cultivates many negative thoughts and behaviors that keep us stuck. It is important to learn to become aware of these habits, so we can break away from them and live a more fulfilling life.
“People will never rise above their own opinion of themselves.” I really like this quote. I believe it to be true. Your opinions of yourself can help lift you up and move you forward, or they can pull you down and keep you stuck. Self-doubt hinders our ability to grow, change, evolve and move forward. It keeps us stuck. This mindset is no good for our self-growth and development.
What is it
Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in one’s ability and decisions one makes. Now having a little self-doubt is healthy. It can help foster introspection and enhance performance. It is good to question oneself and challenge oneself. It keeps us humble. You aren’t always right, so self-doubt can help you from making mistakes, or doing something you shouldn’t do, but there are times when self-doubt can be crippling for you growth. Too much of it can hold you back.
“Self-doubt can be understood as a feeling of uncertainty regarding one or more aspects of the self, such as confidence or likability. Some degree of self-doubt is generally held to be normal, because many people may question their ability to master new or challenging situations.”(Good Therapy). There is a healthy and unhealthy way to go about self-doubt. The unhealthy way that keeps us stuck is what we should try to learn to overcome.
What causes it
There are many factors that play into self-doubt. It isn’t a black or white issue. I will discuss some of them. There may even be more, that I won’t state. It is more complex, than most may think.
- Fear-This is a big one when it comes to self-doubt. We as humans do not like the unknown. It is scary. We like to know everything. It creates comfort, and we love comfort. We think the worst case scenario will happen. We fear failure.
- Comfort-As I mention we love comfort. Getting out of our comfort zone is tough. We like things to go as smoothly as possible. We like ease. We like safety. Staying comfortable does that. But staying comfortable allows our self-doubt to continue to rise. If we never rise above our comfort. We never know what we can do. If you don’t know what you can do. Self-doubt will always follow you. You can’t do this, but you can’t do something, because you never done, or tried it. How would you know?, unless you try.
- Guilt-Feeling like the decisions or actions you make can hurt others, even if it can benefit oneself. You as an individual may doubt what you want to do, due to hurting others.
- Shame-Being embarrassed that your decisions and actions may not fit to the standards of others and society can create self-doubt.
- Victim mindset-Seeing oneself as a victim gives the individual less control. The individual may believe they have no control over their life. This can create doubt in their ability to take control of their life. Mel Robbins(motivational speaker and author of the 5 Second Rule) made a statement that I really liked. “Even if you were victimized. It doesn’t always mean you will always be the victim.” You can always take control back.
- Lack of confidence-Not believing your strengths can pull you up, and putting emphasis on your weaknesses. Putting focus on just the negative aspects of oneself. The individual believes they have more weaknesses, than strengths, or that their strengths aren’t good enough. This mindset can absolutely create doubt in one self. How can one believe in themselves if they can’t see their strengths?
- Lack of trust-Not believing you can make the right decisions or actions can hold you back from moving forward. This goes along with confidence. Once you gain confidence. You can be able to trust the decisions you make.
- Approval-Doing things for others and wanting their approval, and not focusing on your own approval can create doubt in oneself. You look to others to make decisions for oneself, but you don’t look to yourself to make decisions.
- Perfectionism-The all or nothing mentality. Everything must be perfect and go as smoothly as possible, or it is a disaster. If any mishap, mistake, or a bit of failure comes along, doubt arises. As I mentioned, a bit of doubt is okay, but if it is used to not move forward, and if you let these things keep you down, than it can get to an unhealthy stage and keep you stuck. Perfection doesn’t exist. Use the mistakes and failures to learn, not doubt your abilities.
- Past experiences-Your past can help cultivate doubt in oneself. How others treated you, what things were said to you, bad experiences etc,. Your past plays a huge role in who you are today.
How can one overcome it
- Confidence-I mentioned how lack of confidence can create self-doubt, so obviously confidence in oneself can help reduce doubt in oneself. Confidence is an important skill to have. It starts with awareness and acceptance of oneself. Accepting ourselves is learning to accept our flaws, learning not to put energy into them. Appreciating our strengths and putting energy into growing and using them to our benefit. By focusing and appreciating our strengths, and putting them into action. One can learn to gain confidence. This may take time for people who lack it, but you can always build it up. Nothing is ever lost. You got to start somewhere.
- Take action-You just got to do it. Make the decision. Take the action. The more you give yourself time to think. The less likely you will do something about it. Thinking about it for too long creates what ifs, it creates excuses. It creates doubt. Mel Robbins mentions the 5 second rule. Count backwards, not forwards, you can always keep counting. So 5,4,3,2,1 and go. Make the decision. Take the action. She mentions the idea sounds stupid, but it works. I am not sure how well the 5 second rule works, but I will say she has a point on taking action. There were plenty of times I thought about starting something, but my thoughts kept holding me back, until I just did it. Once I did it. I couldn’t believe it took me this long to just do it. You realize it isn’t as bad as your thoughts make it out to be.”Doubt creates mountains. Actions move them.”(Mel Robbins).
- Overcome the emotions-One thing you should realize is fear, anxiety, guilt, shame will arise. There is nothing you as an individual can do about that. What you can do is take action despite those feelings. These are normal feelings to have. It is part of being a conscious being. If the decision or action helps benefit your growth. You got to learn to push through these feelings. They will eventually fade. In the short-term it may be easy to find comfort to ease these feelings right away, but in the long-term you will just allow these feelings to build and keep you stuck, because you aren’t overcoming these emotions that will never go away. Once you are able to keep moving, despite these emotions. You learn that you can overcome these emotions, and still move towards growth. Doubt in oneself will become weaker.
- Journal/Talk to others/self-reflect-All these things can make you aware of your thoughts. It outs it out there to the world. Awareness is important. Once you are aware of your thoughts. You may realize that your doubt isn’t warranted. Maybe talking to someone else and their thoughts can help you realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. You may come to see that your doubt is ridiculous,or your overthinking too much, and that you are capable of handling what comes your way.
Mel Robbins mentions that self-doubt is a habit. We all know habits are hard to break, but they can be broken. You may doubt yourself now, but you can teach yourself to gain confidence, take action and reduce your doubt. Nothing is ever lost. It may take time, but you can eventually get there with practice. Always remember to keep moving forward, towards growth.
“Positive self talk isn’t about knowing all the answers or thinking you’re amazing, it’s simply about reframing how you view things, removing negative bias, and approaching life with the idea that you can tackle things – and even if it doesn’t go perfectly – you’ll learn from it for next time”(positivepsychology.com).
I was watching a video from this amazing vlogger Psychologist Julia Kristina Counselling (if you like motivational/self help videos, please look into her.). She mentioned something about positive self talk. I just wanted to post something about it, because I think it is very important what we say or think to ourselves. Having a more positive self-talk can allow us to be more compassionate, accepting, and appreciative of ourselves. It can allow you to learn and accept your flaws, rather than using it against yourself. It can allow you to be more confident, and more willing to take on challenges and accept failures. It can also allow you to push ourselves to success and to reach our goals.
In an article What is Positive Self-Talk? (Incl. Examples) by PositvePsychology.com. They mention some interesting things about negative and positive self talk that I like to put here for some perspective.
“Our patterns of self-talk are all too often negative – we focus on preconceived ideas that we’re ‘not good enough’ or ‘always a failure’ or ‘can’t do anything right’. Our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences over positive ones, so we recall the times we didn’t quite get it right more than the times we do. We then replay these messages in our minds, fuelling negative feelings (Jantz, 2016).” Negative self-talk focuses on our flaws and weaknesses and doesn’t accept less than perfect results. Failures and mistakes are unacceptable. We beat ourselves down if it happens.
“Positive self-talk, as you may have guessed, is the flip of negative self-talk. It’s not about narcissism, or deceiving ourselves into thinking things that are inaccurate. It’s more about showing yourself some self-compassion and understanding for who you are and what you’ve been through (Jantz, 2019).”
“Positive self-talk sees our internal narrative switching to ideas like ‘I can do better next time’ or ‘I choose to learn from my mistakes, not be held back by them’.” Positive self-talk allows you to focus on the good qualities and strengths of oneself and learning to accept and be kind to yourself if mistakes or failure happens. It lifts you up and allows you to stand up against challenges.
Reminder that our thoughts are not based on facts, they are perceived. We tend to become what we think. If we see ourselves in a positive light we can gain much from this. We can build from it. We can become better individuals. We can learn to take on whatever challenges come our way. If you see yourself in a negative way. You can self sabotage, remain stuck, and never move forward and grow. There is no learning from this state. It is much easier being negative towards oneself, but easier isn’t always better for us, and our well being and happiness. Taking steps to have more positive thoughts about oneself can allow you to be the person you want to be, allow you to reach your goals, find success, have more happy days, rather than sad ones, move forward much quicker, and have peace of mind. You can’t really argue against that right?
If it is being creative, or being productive, if it is focusing on your mental and physical health. Watching and reading inspirational things, or watching and reading things that make you think. Just think, is the thing I am doing benefiting me in any way. If it is, keep doing it, if it is not, try to step away.
SNS may fill a void and be distracting, but it doesn’t fill it for long, and may make things worse. The void won’t be fulfilled by distractions. It can most likely be filled by silence, creativity and knowledge. I realize how much time is wasted on scrolling.
Recently I have been focusing my energy on things that can help me evolve and learn. What can I gain from this experience? How can I grow? What can I learn? How does this benefit me? Are the questions I ask myself when it pertains to the things I do.
I have been looking into clean eating recently. I am always looking into eating better. I also watched a couple of minimalism videos, and other self-growth videos to make me think and figure out ways to live better and have a more fulfilling life. I have also been looking at some others videos about things in general to get me thinking and gain new knowledge about the world. I also continue to find time to write things for my book.
Although, I do scroll occasionally(it is not as interesting anymore now that I stepped away from it more often). And I do love my kpop. These things don’t pervade my life as much anymore, due to my awareness of how wasteful it can be. These things don’t enable my self-growth. They can be enjoyable, but should only be indulged every so often. There may be things in your life that may be stalling your growth and development. Whatever it is. Finding ways to put your energy away from those things and on to things that can help you grow is key. This is the only way to get to where you want to be, or get the things you want in life.
Creativity, positivity, knowledge and inspiration have been flowing through me the past two weeks. And this is due to my more mindful approach to life, and making more use of my time that benefits my self-growth. There is so much, we as individuals, can learn from out there. There is so much we can do. Putting effort into these things is what makes or breaks us. Falling into distractions is easy, and we will continue to fall into them from time to time. We just got to learn to do it less often. I definitely do, and will continue to strive to do things that aid my self-growth, and reach my goals.
Give yourself space to allow thoughts to flow, creativity to cultivate, to immerse yourself in the moment and to check in with your emotions. It is important to get in tune with yourself from time to time. We live in a busy, distracted world. It is easy to get caught up in it. Finding the calm and silence as much as we can can be good for the soul.
I usually like to sit on the comfy sofa of my living room and just sit there. I like looking out my window. Listening to the sounds around me. Allowing my thoughts to flow through me. I always find some type of inspiration or creative outlet through this practice. This space also gives me the time to appreciate the things around me, and in life in general, also the people. I truly enjoy doing this before going to the noisy environment of work. It helps recharge me for the day.
We spend most of our time focusing on others, but we should remember to put the focus back on ourselves. You may think you are too busy, but anyone can spare at least five minutes to do this. You may be surprised how wonderful the experience can be. So what does giving yourself space cultivate?
- Ability to be in the moment
- Awareness and understanding of emotions
- Self awareness
- Problem solving
- Recharges oneself
- inner peace
- Peace of mind
I watched a very inspirational TED Talk by a therapist Lori Gottlieb. I found her talk to be very inspiring and insightful. It made me think about this topic. She talks about the stories we tell ourselves and others that serve our ego, but doesn’t necessarily help us in real life.
What do I mean by stories? These are encounters about our lives we retell ourselves and others. It may do with arguments, disagreements, relationship struggles, life struggles etc,. We tend to tell stories from our point of view. We tend to see ourselves as the victim, the good guy, telling the story to make us look like the good guy. In reality, there is always three sides to the story, your side, their side, and the reality. I won’t say this type of storytelling is on purpose. It is our way of protecting ourselves. We are hurt, so it is comforting to reflect blame on others and the world. Even if it may not be helpful. It helps to put the pressure off oneself. But by doing this, it also puts control away from oneself.
The thing is we like to label people and situations. This person is awful, bad, annoying etc,. Life sucks, things never go my way, bad things always happen to me etc,. We should try to be honest with ourselves and look into the reality of what is going on. You may even learn to see your own faults in the situation. You are not perfect, they are not perfect, life is not perfect. There is no right or wrong. It is just different perspectives. It is important to be honest with your story. Tell your story. It is okay to be hurt and share your feelings, but remember to also look into the story of the other perspective.
Maybe that person was a ‘jerk’ for a reason? Maybe that person got upset for a reason? Maybe there are other reasons the relationship didn’t work, other than they cheated, or are a jerk. Maybe there is another reason they aren’t talking to you? Think about what exactly caused the situation or reaction, instead of being in defensive mode and seeing things in terms of black and white. All situations have an underlying truth and reasoning. There is a root cause. We all have different backgrounds, upbringings, personalities. How you see things, won’t necessarily be how another sees it. Learning to be aware of the reality of our stories is a wonderful gift to have. That can help us manage difficult situations much better.
We tend to ignore and label people and situations. But we must remember our stories are from our perceived mind. We should learn to be aware that are stories aren’t always based on truth. Be honest with yourself. Also be honest with others. It is hard to tell others how we truly feel/think, but it is the one way to come to an understanding. Another way is to look at their perspective and see their story. It is not about the mindset of you are right, they are wrong. You are the victim, they are the problem. I am good, they are bad and vice versa. It isn’t that simple.
Sometimes you got to look at, maybe I was wrong, maybe I helped create some problems in this relationship, maybe I could have done more to help my situation. There is nothing wrong with being honest with your faults. It is not about self-blame or criticism.This is about having self compassion and respect for your imperfect qualities as a human being. Doing this can only help you grow and improve. Remember you can’t help others change, but you can do things for yourself. Asking yourself, how could I have handled the situation better?, what can I improve on? These questions can be very empowering and can only help your journey to self growth. This can allow you to not continue to do the things that creates problems in your life.
All this can help you grow and become a better version of oneself. This will allow you to come to an understanding. It will allow you to have peace of mind. Worrying, being angry, being bitter and upset about what others, and what life has done to you serves you no purpose. It is human to have these feelings and you should, but there is a time to come to an understanding, look within yourself, improve what you could have done and move forward. Learning to change your story.
So what is the point of my post. Here are the things to take from this.
- Be honest with the story you tell yourself(it starts with you)
- Be honest with the story you tell others(communication is the key to understanding others and others understanding you.
- Look into the stories of others(look at different perspectives)
- Put control back on you/Change your story(We are as trapped as our minds/thoughts are.We can do whatever we want if we don’t allow our thoughts to control us.)
- Understand and accept the reality of the stories we tell of our lives
People will hurt you. Life will hurt you. This is all part of life. You can focus on the story of how they hurt you, or you can focus on the story of how you can learn, and grow from the hurt. You can change you. Others and life not so much. Do what you can control. Focus your story on you and your growth.
I had a nice conversation with my friend, and it made me think of what the differences are between these two. I was asked what is the difference, aren’t they the same? Yes, they can be seen as the same, but from my perspective I don’t see it that way. They can go hand in hand. They can be used interchangeably, but I see them as different when it comes to changing as a person, and evolving as a person.
When I think of someone wanting to change as a person. I see it more as a person not accepting who they are, and wanting to push away from the person they are. I see it as the person wanting to focus more on the parts of them they are not happy with, than the parts they are happy about. When someone says they want to change, do you really want to change yourself completely?, do you really want to rid of the amazing qualities you do have?, or do you want to change the qualities you don’t like? Wanting a change to me is changing who you are. Do you not like who you are?
I think we should all appreciate, and accept who we are, the things we like, and the things we don’t. Wanting to change pulls us away from who we really are. It is like you don’t like the person you are. I don’t want individuals to pull away from who they are. I don’t want them to not like who they are. We are all wonderful. We all have qualities, and quirks that make you, you. I just like an individual to expand on who they are.
This is where evolving comes from. I like the phrase evolving as a person, rather than changing. It is expanding on who you are. It is about developing and growing. It is about an expansion on the already awesome person you are. It is about improving on the qualities that you are not to proud of, but keeping the qualities you love about yourself. It is adding value, positivity, insight, knowledge, and wisdom to your being that you may not have had before.
Life is all about evolving. We have done it, since the beginning of time. It allows us to survive in this ever changing world. Evolving gives us room to learn, to be more knowledgeable, to be more compassionate, to be more mindful, to be more creative etc. It gives us room to grow, but it allows us to keep parts of who we are that we love and accept. There are amazing qualities in all us that we must retain. We can learn to accept the flaws as well. The great thing about evolving is that we can improve, and work on them. Life would be boring if we were all perfect. Growing and expanding is an important part of our life journey.
So in conclusion, wanting to change to me is more about pulling away from who you are. Not accepting the person you are. Mindfulness is all about accepting who you are, appreciating the qualities that make you awesome, and learning to accept the ones you aren’t proud of. It is all still part of you. We all have these type of qualities. That is what makes us human.
Now wanting to evolve gives us the opportunity to become a better version of ourselves, and work on those things that we may not like. I like to say I am evolving as a person. It just sounds much better to me. I appreciate my whole being, and I truly hope others start to as well.