Growing is Hard to do (sometimes); but necessary!

~ Reflections on Growing Wiser and Learning from Our Setbacks~

I’ve often talked about growing in terms of new experiences or in learning something new, or making mistakes that teach us valuable lessons on how to move forward or alternatively how not to move forward (i.e. don’t try that again, type of thing). Whether they are good, tough or in between, these personal experiences are the best teachers to learn from and learn about ourselves… that is if we are paying attention to the lesson. If not, sometimes it can be frustrating, or tough having to learn again and again until the message becomes absolutely clear. Sometimes for me this has been the case of “What you are doing isn’t working” or “Try something else” or “Don’t going down that path again”. Whatever it happens always seems to be followed by some new form of knowledge, a tidbit about ourselves that we didn’t know before that allows us to go in a little more prepared than the last perhaps failed attempt. 

But what if that doesn’t work and we end up making it quite a few times, all leading up to a humungous oops?!?

Well, this has been the case for me- a huge stage of every-kind-of-ward growing. Which I realize only after going through some of the toughest moments and emotions that it’s left me better than before. It seems our setbacks have the pretty powerful ability to transform us into stronger versions of ourselves, which is a pretty incredible. I’ve realized this myself and gradually am trying to become grateful for the lessons. Even though, the process that precedes this realization, and transformation was tough and sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other seemed to be asking a lot; it became a necessary step in moving forward and on with life.

The lesson I’ve learned is then this is what we must do if only to prove to ourselves that we can do it and for the process to begin. Despite it being tough and me having to rely on extra support I still managed  to learn a lot about myself and how I am able to grow from my own experiences and mistakes. Getting through the thick of it has also made me realize how strong and resilient I am and that if I got through this difficult time then maybe it is possible to get through any other challenges that may come my way. On this note I shall end with a quote from the wonderful Cheryl Strayed:

“You’ll learn a lot from yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery.

Be a warrior of love.”~ Cheryl Strayed

Thank-you for listening,

Introverted Butterfly,

How to Get Through Challenging Times

The Three Things that has Helped Me and Hopefully Can Help You!

It seems the challenging times are the ones that really shape us but also call for the most out of us. When in the midst of experiencing, working through and resolving inner, outer or both conflicts sometimes the best way to get through is simply hang tight and hope for a brighter outcome like waiting for the calm after the storm. If we have the motivation or support to help us be able to get through is a good first step, still it can take a lot of personal strength have-patience-withand courage to just putting one foot in front of the other when things seem uncertain or when we become uncertain of ourselves. Through my experiences I’ve learned that it’s not the easiest to go through but it is a process worth going through if only to come into a new awareness. Until then it can be a bumpy ride of sorting out but perhaps what I’ve kept in mind through my own challenging experiences can help you.

Be kind to yourself: It can be hard not to self criticize, dredge up past emotions or actions, analyze and overanalyze the situation until the cows come home but one thing I’ve learned from wrestling with these tendencies is that they are not always helpful. Sure it is important to reflect on the incident or occurrence to help us move forward and learn from our mistakes but this can also hold you back from moving forward positively and forgiving yourself. We all at one point in our lives fall prone to pitfalls and thoughts on self judgment that serve no purpose than no other to keep us down. These things are bound to happen, so be easy on yourself and know that part of hindsight comes from our errs or oversights, ones that we couldn’t have known.

Take Things Day by Day and Allow for the Process to Happen: From my own personal experience, there were many days where this is all I could in times of great stress and anxiety to get by and move forward in a positive way. If you can get through those first few days and allow yourself to take things slow by taking things day by day and for time to pass as it does, it’s a good step healthy step in keep those anxieties and self perpetuating thoughts at bay.  Even if it takes longer than we would like to carry on as normal or to feel good again it is completely okay, and it’s okay if that’s all you can do. By accepting this it is another way of being kind and patient with ourselves and fears during this time. Sometimes we only have the courage of a mouse but it is still a form of courage and that’s good and worth noting. Do what you can do, and keep on, keepin’ on.

It does get easier day by day: This is probably the most overriding theme and message that I’ve realized from getting through times of tough growth or failure is that those first few days are the hardest part of rising strong but if we continue to move forward gradually it will get better. Things will look up and you’ll see that everything won’t be as hard as the first few days which can be the toughest. At one point, hopefully, you’ll realize that as time passed so has your biggest hurdles. This is where rising strong feels good and becomes easier because as the expression states: “the only way out is through”. Through the tough times, the fear, uncertainty and nervousness. There may be some days that will take a bit more of that courage while others less but either way each step forward will also lead to extra courage and ease, so don’t get discouraged and know that each will build towards progress in the end.

Stay strong and brave,

Introverted Butterfly

“No one is as harsh a critic as we are to ourselves”

A Lesson on Self Compassion

This much I am learning about how I handle any new expectation or experience that may take some adjustment and a few tries. It won’t always go smoothly the first time yet I put these unreasonable expectations on myself to get everything done the perfectly the first time or figure out whatever this new thing is in the first few attempts. Which is unreasonable to expect of anyone, even if I am putting all that pressure on myself. In expecting to handle everything way up there I’ve far exceeded what anyone else could put on me. So I’ve begun to really look into “why” I’ve done that? where that could have come from? and how to move forward being gentler on myself- after all sometimes the ones in need of most forgiving are ourselves.

As having such high expectations for ourselves; set by ourselves are tough and aren’t always the most reasonable. I believe another thought too, is that often these are the ones most easily moved higher and higher. Sometimes no matter how hard you try or how much you’ve accomplished there’s the little critical voice inside us that taunts us to take on more- even if it may be too much-. When I’ve listened to this voice instead of my own intuition it (most of the time) has only ever set me up with disappointment, frustration and extra stress. Three things I didn’t need in my life at that moment. However what I often do need and to give myself is understanding, patience and self-compassion.  Especially self-compassion.

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Which I became hopeful for once realizing that a lot of my own harshness is tied to a sense of perfectionism in me. Coming from that part of my brain that feels relieved when everything is in it’s place at the end of the day or when my baking at first hasn’t turned out just like the picture. Since discovering this, and being humbly put in my place I am intent on learning how to let things go and worry less about having things go perfectly right. After all, there will always be things outside my control and for others to worry about so there’s no sense in worrying about these things myself and constantly stressing over what I can’t control. This is what I’ve slowly been working on let go that need for everything to work out perfectly or I guess my own concerns to only worry about whether I’m doing all I can. There’s things to be concerned about while others that aren’t worth the stress. Sometimes it’s best to just do what we can do, be gentle on ourselves and set those expectations a little lower in accepting this process over time because it’s been a gradual building up so it’s probably going to be a gradual letting go.

Be gentle,

Introverted Butterfly

A Lesson on Choices

I made this post on choices, accountability, responsibility and making ones that aren’t so fun a while ago, while the toughest decision then was going to a meeting or not going to a meeting. Today the decisions have become much tougher, it seems as we grow older our decisions only more complicated and mature. It’s a lesson I’ve been learning myself in thinking ahead and finding out what best suits where I am at.  I’ve also discovered that sometimes we have to make the tough calls that sometimes don’t just affect our plans but others- and those ones really aren’t fun to do. For instance, sometimes we can’t travel as far as our younger, more ambitious care-free selves would have liked to do. Tough but okay.  What I’ve realized is that there will be other chances and better opportunities and I’ve also come to accept my own decision. The true lesson here is that it’s important to take a step back from big decisions or situations and really look at what it means. Whether it’s spending our energy and selves wisely or that there may be a better way of doing things, we just have to be patient for that time and take the time to make the best decision. For me it was as much as I would have liked to travel again I knew that to readjust after being away for so long and so far would be too draining and too much. At that point the choice was clear, at this time it was best to cancel this trip until it seemed  the more ideal time.

So why am I reposting and sharing this with you?

To show how I’ve been able to this lesson into practice- and no it may not always be easy or fun but it’s survivable- meaning it’s possible to move on from (sometimes easier than others)

Insights, Inspirations and Interests

How to be Comfortable Making Tough Decisions

When it comes to decision-making most of the time it seems we can figure out what to do with some careful thought and reflection and get a good sense of what feels right. Every once in a while though there comes along an opportunity or decision that challenges that and causes us to rethink our initial approach causing us to question our gut and ourselves. These ones are often the tough decisions. The ones that may not be your first choice but somehow you feel obligated to make regardless. At this point no longer is one making more sense over the other but it seems to be “six of one and half a dozen of the other”. If you’re unfamiliar with this expression, it simply refers to the fact that there can be as much evidence pointing to one choice/thing over the other, making them…

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Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Planned

Writing on figuring it out, the good, bad and all things in between!

Well it’s been an interesting few weeks and months of self reflection, analysis and figuring a great many things out as my intentions of doing two blogs this year consistently keeping up with and track of each has gotten ahead of me. It has turned out to be quite the challenge to keep up with both. Also quite a bit of what my own life looks like has changed in the last little while- as I’ve been busy trying to figure out and figure my own self out. I’ve had to make tough decisions, some good decisions and some in between as circumstances have changed. Also my Creative Challenge has become the biggest source of inspiration these days and such I’ve dived head first into this project with a renewed excitement about creating another NEWish blog. This has meant that Insights, Interests and Inspirations hasn’t quite got the attention it deserves. At every moment I am either working on a creation, brainstorming ideas on how to work on it or learning from it, which has been great but time has been flying by and has left little free time to come up with ideas for Insights.

In the midst of doing there is also a whole lot of connecting, experiencing, living and in the process growing. Which is a whole lot of what this journey has been for me. I’ve been learning that in order to truly grow from our experiences- the ones we put out for ourselves and the ones that happen by chance- it sometimes takes some figuring out. It’s all a process of learning and growing in the end that takes some time and reflection. That’s life… apparently.

What this means for this blog:

Who knows? I am still figuring out. This has been something rolling around in my head for quite the while too. Is it the right decision to continue doing both? If not which one would I want to put more of my time into? And am I okay to worry less about one? Honestly starting this year, the Creative Challenge and blog I’ve been determined to make both work. Sometimes (or most times) the challenge of writing for both has got ahead of me and I’ve been more inclined to write for the Creative Challenge rather than try and think of insights I’d be comfortable sharing. There’s something about writing about a particular subject or experience that makes the writing easier. I’ve realized this too from past experiences.

To sum up here are my three thoughts:

  • Leave Insights, and post on a less frequent basis, taking the pressure off failing to post weekly
  • Merge Insights into the Creative Challenge, so it stays the same but with an updated focus
  • Lastly, try posting on a biweekly basis and see how that schedule goes.

At least for now this makes sense, for me at this time. Maybe later I can committee more to Insights again but for now my inspiration and curiosity is leading to further exploration in creativity. You can see what I’ve been up to there through this link: Creativity at Play Blog

Thanks for listening (and hopefully understanding), for now: Introverted Butterfly

How to prove others wrong- the right way

So here it is probably the most obvious advice you have ever heard and exactly what I’m telling you now, which is: the best way to prove others wrong is to take away their reason for being wrong, by doing what is right.” For example: if you are accused of not showing up, show up and be accountable. Often find yourself telling fibs or making up excuses- STOP! stop making up reasons that add to theirs and show the alternative outcome, listen, do whatever it is that is expected and what they don’t expect from you. Prove to them that you are capable of change through your actions.

It’s not always easy, and will possibly take great courage on your part. To show up when it’s hard or you don’t believe it will help (even if it doesn’t at first) but consistency is key in this. It’s also what will help it sink in for you (hopefully). I know that’s what has helped me finally understand this tricky truth, is through experience. Enough times I have given reasons out to make them right (without even realizing it), and often enough have got myself in trouble for stubbornly believing that my way of seeing things and therefore assuming my own solution was right. So speaking from experience here, yes it’s not easy but it’s also worth it. When you realize this it will open up a whole new world of awareness and bring a greater undeterred determination to the situation/person. It may take quite a bit of practice each day. When you’re consistency demonstrating to those who challenge you what you are really like it becomes harder for them to argue against that. At least that’s the hope, anyways. *Note: Doing this in a negative or mean-spirited way, really isn’t best. For it to have maximum affects on both sides (meaning you and them) it’s best to approach from a positive, accepting place. Which could catch your fellow doubters off guard as well. 

Final point: Let your actions speak louder than your words. Because they naturally do, and spiteful words don’t do much in helping anyways.

For now,

Introverted Butterfly.

How to Not Let Your Job Define You!

Part 1: The Backstory.

Have you ever been asked “what are you up to?” or “how’s work?” and equipped with your average answer thought that it was okay until another’s response comes up? It puts perspective and comparison in our minds, which is always out there, in all facets of life. The latest for me seems to be in hearing what others are doing and was becoming envious of their enthusiasm towards what they do. Somehow after that mine always felt lacking when it came to job progress and updates. To fill this gap of inadequacy in my own mind  I’d often find a way to make it sound like my job had something interesting going on or that something interesting had been happening. Even if it meant creating something as an added spin to my second pre-programmed responses “the usual” or “not much”. While it seemed an okay response for me eventually I realized there were always those one or two times where I allowed myself the chance to really stop and think about how I was answering and if it was one true to me. Quotes-Dont-Compare-Yourself-to-Others-e1376604960911

For some reason, the answer always came up as “no” to those questions. Perhaps it was knowing in my own heart, that it just wasn’t an answer I’d like to produce or that in my mind the job that pays didn’t seem good enough anymore. Left with the sinking feeling that perhaps the honeymoon period had worn off and a yearning for something more taking the place I knew there must be more out there for me. After all I knew how I wanted to feel, which was enthused, excited, passionate about what I’m up to not bored, dissatisfied and stuck. Most importantly I wanted some exciting to share with family.

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On Goal Setting and Intentions

Finding the Courage to Go for It!

 

Goal setting has always been a curious pursuit of mine. One in which I’ve had the greatest intentions to take on but have somehow found ways to avoid doing the work or haven’t really been able to summon the courage to go for. Yes, courage I believe is what it takes to pursue such ambitions along with the guts to give up fear and the long list of excuses that come with justifying why it can’t work before beginning. It can be a dance between wanting to accomplish these things and actually following through on what we intended doing.

I know the feeling all too well and how frustrating it can be to figure out how to get over this snafu in really sticking to our own words and not finding ways to justify why it can’t be done or why it may be too much work for you or I. Seriously? what kind of reason is not getting around to it because too much time has been wasted complaining about the work or lack of time? Or too much time? Or the distractions?  Or whether others may like it? Or where it will lead before even beginning? With that said I’ve realized that a lot of it is my own fears many I don’t know specifically, but even realizing they were holding me back was a huge ah ha! and first step. It takes something to realize what has been holding one back isn’t any external circumstances but our own self. That something often is courage, the courage to achieve regardless of what our fears are, to disregard what others may think and go for it out of our own strength. I’ve always sensed this in my own mind that going for our goals will take some form of bravery. To create a plan for ourselves in pursuing our individual passions but I also believe it to be a worthwhile cause. Even admitting that out loud takes guts to say, you know I’m glad for all I have but there’s this feeling urging me to explore more out there. It’s a brave statement to put other there, one in which might invite the unknown in, but also great possibilities.

Oh well… it’s something I’m bravely willing to declare here. I chose to go for it all here and instead of thinking what if I fail think instead  what if I succeed. Let’s think in the positive and see what happens. As of this year I am going to do my darnest not to let the negative voices bring me down. That’s right. It’s my turn to do the talking and listen to the ones inside my head saying Maybe… there is more out there, my dear.” This is where I test my courage and explore greater possibilities, actually take action and welcome in this New Year with excitement, hope and determination to truly make it count.  

How about you? Are you ready to answer Not anymore to fear! (Feel free to let me know below in the comments, I’d be interested to hear)

With greatest intentions, hope and excitement

Introverted Butterfly

 

It All Comes Down to Time (and Energy)!

How there never seems to be enough of both!

 

It’s a conundrum that I’m sure we all wrestle with from time to time. Figuring out how to fit in everything we want to do and what we should do within a week. For myself, this comes in the form of my list of explorations and projects that continues to grow which is a good thing except the time to get everything done, finish or start projects, get organized, get going or get through seems to go by faster? It seems strange how when we put more on our plates there seems less for ourselves or maybe this is the way it’s always been and I am just now noticing…

The more I explore possibilities the more I wish I could take them on, all of them but light_bulb_clip_art_7801have a tendency to forget that there is only so much time in the day to get things and prioritize what’s most important. Whether it’s my writing one day, spending time with friends/family, relaxing or learning. This faces me with the very possibility that I may not get to do everything, or do it when I feel is best. Perhaps, this is part of me proving that in order to keep up with the world I’ve had to find a way of doing as much asfd3639e8f10364d1ae94696105b27f75 I can- even if it’s too much. Balancing what I should, and what I want to do  isn’t easy.

This conflict of interests proves has meant that in order to understand that I have to chose wisely how I use my time it’s also meant accepting the fact sometimes I’ll have to sit out some experiences in order to enjoy others, and that no matter how hard I try to extend the day or “cheat the system” (which to me means working against what you are capable of or trying to change that), the fact remains it’s still twelve hours and sometimes we can only do so much without making it too much. This much I have learned and each week I am discovering that the only real way we can optimize ourselves is by doing everything we can to be well rested as well as simply by being selective with where we spend it. Instead on a bunch of little small things or distractions that aren’t really benefical to our happiness it’s much better to spend that energy in concentration on something that won’t just be rewarding in present but future too creating a much more lasting happiness.

Good luck, and for now:

Introverted Butterfly

The “Everything Happens for a Reason” Theory

And My Theory on it:

Blog Logo 3So, here is the thing. As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Whether we know that reason or not; have chosen the “why” or “how”. Things happen anyways and often we may never know why. In these cases, the recommended advice is to accept that as we are changing and our perspective widens on how we evolve into who we are there will always be those times that completely flumix us. For no other reason, other than that “well that it happened”, not much we can do. Coincidence or not, a stroke of luck, some important insight or the awareness of getting through after a particularly stormy patch all lead to where we need to be now. To understand that nothing comes into our lives for no reason, other than to test us on this theory is one of the wonderful ways life can be interesting (yes), and challenging at times (definitely). So we can show exactly how accepting we are of what is going on. After all, the best test is one not on theory but in actual practice. It can be all well said and done, but until we truly have the experience of knowing; guessing means nothing and gets us nowhere.

Yet still sometimes it seems quite challenging to do when things get rough or rocky. As best I try to embrace that, with the best of my abilities in situations which are new to me, or it’s circumstances way WAY beyond my control it can be really difficult. I can acknowledge that there is no point in fighting this fact, but end up trying to go against it anyways, not quite ready to let that next step of awareness go.

And…

This is where I’ve been. Somewhere stuck in the middle of trying to figure things out meanwhile putting my best efforts forward to move forward day-by-day on my own while in the process of waiting for answers. Which really comes down to needing coIMG_0336ntrol. A tricky habit-let’s say- I’ve been working on loosening for most of my life.

Knowing reasons, and explanations has been particularly helpful coping strategy to have in my back pocket. I’ve always figured that by doing so I’d have some control over what is happening and assured that everything is alright.  Whether it’s who I chose to let in my life, where it goes, how I handle things and even how to cope in certain uncertainities. This not so “helpful” strategy has gotten me through, but at a cost. Like many things, it’s taken a while for me to realize where my anxiety was hidden, which was within that need of control/trying to control outcomes. I am willing to work on this, though, because spending any more time theorizing the “what ifs”, the “whys” and “how comes” has gotten me nowhere. That’s not entirely true, it’s actually set me back quite a bit from where I once was. Therefore,  I need to break up with needing too many answers, carry on without my anxiety and take everyday for what it is, as it is, without looking back in the wrong direction.

Hope this helps you, as it has helped me!

Truthfully Yours,

Introverted Butterfly