Reflections on Changing Directions and Setting Goals!
I’ve really been thinking about the courage it takes to pursue something new or start a new project and how to move forward from there. You know the necessary steps it takes and the hard work involved that mainly seem to stump me up from the beginning. I’ve also realized that there’s a certain courage it often takes in the doing but firstly I believe it must come in deciding to do so and following through. Without that it’s as the quote says:
A Goal without a Plan is Just a Wish
So I admire others who were able to follow their plans while I still struggle in sorting mine out. Occasionally comparing my first ch
apter to their middle or end which is in how they’ve been able to pursue their passions or take those next few steps. While not giving credit to how far I’ve come and the progress I’ve made.
With that said, here is what I learned about creating and pursuing our goals:
- Sometimes the only way to figure out what works for us; what we can do and even what our goal might be is to try. It took me many attempts at writing before I figured out that blogging is for me, and I’m still learning from it and figuring out what specifically works. There’s a lot to be learned through trial and error. Even the simplest experiences are great guides in showing us what works for us, what doesn’t and what is most important. BUT it is only through these experiences that we gain valuable insights.
- Each new step to that point seems to be built upon the last. The more you put in and work towards that goal, the clearer it will become. You may also find what isn’t working for you anymore, but even those steps will bring you closer to what does.
- With each step there is room for further inquiries and also setbacks. Both allow us to reflect on our choices and adjust the direction of the sails. One important point is being gentle with ourselves if we come into tough times or make mistakes. It’s just a lesson that perhaps it’s time to reevaluate and reflect on where we went wrong and how to move in a better direction. Reflection is good, dwelling not so good.
It can be tricky feeling ready to take on change especially if we are uncertain how. Hopefully thinking of each decision simply a step or way to try something helps us be more open to it. It’s just a step for us to see where it may lead and it’s a way for us to move past the hypothetical “ifs” or “what ifs” we often get stuck on in between deciding whether it’s something we want to do or not. I’ve embraced many new experiences this past year and learned great new skills simply by deciding to go for them and seeing how it goes, figuring things out along the way. When you decide to try and see what happens the possibilities are endless. Who knows you might end up surprising yourself.
Best of Luck, and Great Steps,
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 and 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,
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.
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.
An Introduction and Thoughts on the Subject:
I begin looking at this topic a while ago with the modest mindset of how others it seemed were more able to show an openness towards sharing themselves and their experiences which got me thinking that it seemed like a pretty courageous thing to do. I’ve always been in awe of that for others while striving to do the same myself. There is something about letting your true self be shown that is rather intimidating for me and so I’ve often admired it in others while simultaneously trying to work on it myself. With that I’ve began the process really looking at the when and where of sharing while building my own quiet courage which has taken some mustering.
My progress so far: a) Is that it takes time to get there but in order to get there we must keep moving forward and b) by doing so it becomes a process of starting somewhere (usually with sharing small thoughts/experiences/interests and moving into bigger topics BUT as mentioned above you must keep moving forward. As hard and perhaps uncertain at times as it may be the alternative to that is getting stuck in a particular spot and not contribute to your own growth or growing the connection. I’ve learned through mine and other experiences that it can take some time too, but if we’re really lucky the person we are connecting with will be patient at the times where our courage is less or what we share is in small doses. It’s important to realize this for ourselves but also in terms of how others may work through opening up and sharing, the uniqueness of it for each person is what makes sharing experiences unique and perhaps to add on another important lesson we can learn from others- especially if they are more open it can encourage us to be more open too. So to conclude is we must keep moving forward, at your own pace of course, but forward. It seems to be the only way to make connections grow and to form trust.
Really what it mostly comes down to for me and might help you is a steadfastness in showing up, and being who I truly am. I’ve also taken the perspective that just by doing that I’m already half way there. Next as follows is the little pep talks I give myself to just say one thing/share one thing about yourself and see how it goes. The voice inside me would say, and you’ll feel prouder for doing it.
For now, Introverted Butterfly
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.
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.
More on Practicing Patience: How I’m told it helps in particular situations…
In full admittance, this isn’t a forte of mine. Possibly because patiences isn’t even my middle name- it’s a normal name don’t worry-. Regardless, I find myself tirelessly practicing patience in some of the most tricky situations. As if that’s become my test. “Well, let’s see. She believes it’s gotten easier for her- let’s just test that and why not throw some interesting emotions into the mix.” This is what I picture whoever or whatever brings these situations upon me says as things are finally going well and I’m finally feeling good about the place I am in my life.
Haven’t you felt this way before? Or is it just me?
It seems that anytime things remotely start to line up there is another wrench thrown into the kit/plan, or another hurdle to get over. And this is where my patience or lack there of it
comes into play. There’s not much to do other than to try and work through whatever obstacle or test in unforeseen circumstances comes our way, and sometimes it takes time- and a lot of gentleness and understanding towards oneself. The kind where we must take one day at a time, see how we feel and find a way to best get through. Which is sometimes stepping back while other times taking steps to correct our action or re-evaluate the situation without acting too fast. Otherwise, the less appealing option is rolling up into a ball of disappointment, frustration and exhaustion after willing oneself to move forward. Trust me this isn’t always the greatest as it gets you nowhere and solves nothing. As simple as it sounds, though, it can be quite challenging. Each day you may find has many twists and turns that yes lead to different revelations- sometimes ones you don’t really want to accept. Ones such as decisions to either move you forward in a situation or perhaps find it’s time to collect yourself, be grateful for all it brought and carry on in the hopes that one day it will work out differently. I know I’ve been on this rollercoaster several times before trying to figure out my way of a situation, and somehow I’ve also managed to get through- and if I can so can you!
Best of Luck, and Well Wishes:
Image from: google.com search: patience
My Own Inner Wisdom:
Have you ever wondered to yourself “How do I deserve this good thing?” or perhaps thought that you didn’t. So you intentionally sabotage your happiness, luck, fortune or the experience/relationship in order to feel better about having it or believe you’ll be better off without it? Thinking it somehow gets to decide what you deserve or don’t…
I know I often have and what’s interesting is I’ve believed it many times and let it dictate how I go about or feel about a situation. For instance, sometimes I’ve only seen the negative qualities in it that make one think “This really isn’t worth it” becoming blind to everything else there that is good. It can be difficult for us to see in ourselves because so much of what is actually happening, happens to us. This has taken me a lot of reflection to realize where those thoughts came from and how they affected my outlook on what I deserved. What’s been interesting is I’ve realized it really doesn’t take much to convince me (or perhaps you) to start acting it out, believing it’s true and finding ways to ruin what I have or throw it out. As it turns out, it only takes one setback to return to the lowest of the lows when it comes to believing what I deserve. One “critical” error to send us back into the pits of being undeserving and self sabotaging.
At least, this is how it seems for me…
Yet was can enough to change my entire perspective and stop me from forgiving myself. If you’ve experienced this, I’m sure you are somewhat aware of the type of thinking that precedes wanting to quit/give up. It falls under the self sabotaging category.These are the thoughts that can easily rule our actions and chances at happiness or moving forward. For me I often thought that quitting was the right thing to do, giving it all up and starting over, in the end
would mean I’d be happier without all these good things. I’d believe I didn’t deserve them. Which are probably more common than you or I realize. Until it occurred to me that it all was self inflicted. My thoughts were changing my beliefs and dictating my actions in a way that wasn’t helpful. Realizing this was a huge turning point in my life. Suddenly, everything I had struggled with, put myself down for and situation that caused me grief made sense. Sure, at first it was the incident that had caused the stress or upset but consequently after the initial shock had run through it was ME making it harder for myself, not anything or anyone else. Every situation then ran into my mind, and the answer was simple, it all stemmed from the “I don’t deserve to…/am not good enough…” train of thought. Unconsciously or not, I was finding a way to make the situation NOT work or HARDER on
myself instead easier. Rather than finding solutions I was just causing more problems because of my own belief of not deserving a second chance or understanding. What it then comes down to is these two things:
- Starting believe that you and I along with everyone else does deserve everything that brings us happiness. You know why, because saying we don’t is a limited belief, one we shouldn’t always and don’t have to listen to. If it is really difficult to believe perhaps we can start with simple affirmations, that create small changes in our thinking. Giving ourselves a pat on the back- even if it’s just getting through another day.
- Also the more you do start believing in the good and it becomes easier to realize when we were letting that limited belief guide us in that self sabotaging direction, and redirect it into positive thinking. Bonus, you may even find it’s easier to appreciate all the wonderful things in your life if you actually believe to be worthy of them.
- Finally, make the most of the situation/situations and be easy on yourself. It will help boost your self worth rather than decrease it!
Keep believing positively, (because you deserve all the good that comes your way!)
“Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.”
Consider the forest to be what you’ll feel like down the road, in the bigger scheme of life. What things might be like if you chose one way or another, and the moment has passed what it will look like and feel like overall. Not now, or perhaps even a few days from now but months and potentially years down the road. Will you be happy with the outcome of what you decided then versus how you are now? Or would you want to go back and chose again? Which would be great if possible, but since not it most likely means living with and accepting that decision. If it’s something we didn’t or did do that feels icky once the strong emotions have stopped. We could be living in guilt or regret because we couldn’t see ourselves further along from that one moment, and made a big mistake, often wishing it was one to take back. I know it can be tough to learn at first, as I have learned so much from it already. Hopefully these insights help.
When we are focusing on the current moment, how you feel, what you’re thinking, and experiencing now. When things get so rough and just making it through another day seems like a big unworthwhile effort. All there seems to be is trees, with no hope of moving past that point. Building the strength to carry on can seem like an undoable task and it can be extremely difficult to see ourselves at better places as we continue to dwell deeper into the unhappy situation. As we are only seeing the trees, it can be difficult to see the forest.
The Good News:
If you’re struggling to see this for yourself then there are always others who can help you find the forest when you’ve lost sight of it. They are the support system gently encouraging you to continue on, that know if you’ve gotten through other tough times then it’s possible to get through now. And most importantly, will realize that if you give up now, you might really regret it in the future. They know that this time in your life is only one period and at one point or another it will pass and the frustrations, difficulty, set backs or mistakes will fade away for brighter days. These are the people to have close by and seek out in times of need. So you are making an informed decision from the right place which is realizing the forest is amongst the trees.
Once you realize this is exactly what happened, with the help of others you can NEVER unknow it. That awareness is there and there for you to use. If only we chose to put it in place before it’s too late. It may take some time, in fact it may take a lot of time but this is where we’ll have to be gentle on ourselves and patient while we are learning and applying this useful information. We may fall a couple times but each time you’ll get up, dust yourself off and know better next time. There is no going back, there’s only going forward from here and hoping this lesson carrys on with you as go back out there and give whatever it is another shot.
Hope this helps,
Much hope and expanding,
“Energy creates energy. It is by spending myself that I become richer”~ Sarah Bernhardt
This is one of those quotes, where I can agree and disagree with what it’s author is proclaiming. That when you are doing something or participating in experiences-essentially enjoying life- then you’re adding to your stamina and enriching your life. As someone who has worked to create an openness to new experiences and likes to try new things I agree that our lives are enriched when we reach outside of our comfort zones and do something out of the ordinary. that we haven’t done before. As mentioned
in my previous post titled “A Message on New Experiences and Openness” I have tried several in the last few years or so. All of which, have given me either different tools to use through navigating life or a new pastime/joy to call upon when feeling down. There is then so much more to my life now, other than just working and writing but many in which my life is fulfilled and richer. The experiences that create a much more fulfilling and positive life. Which is what she might have been referring to in this quote by saying “by spending myself I become richer”
I also know there times when the fulfillment in my life personally, comes from taking a step back, giving myself some space to think and reflect on everything that has happened in that last little while, really taking it all in and appreciating those opportunities. Which the only real way to really do that is in rest or stillness where no spending is necessary. It is then by saving our energy at some point are we able to have enough for future endeavours without over spending oneself. Like a bank account, there needs to be some spending energy in order to be able to enjoy those enriching opportunities.
Either way, I want to point out that as in all aspects and activities of life it’s important to create balance for yourself and know when to bring that into what you do- including how you spend yourself-. Not only in terms of well-being but also to be able to give your best and most present self in the moments that count. So, yes! Take chances, create or participant in new experiences that will enrich your life but be sure to fill up your energy and rest once in a while or slow down when it’s best for you. I know life can be a balancing act sometimes and we’re all different but hopefully these thoughts help make sense of how important it is to take time for yourself (when not spending your energy), while also getting out there to experience new things.
This is just my understanding of it, because from personal experience the opposite can be said for most introverts (or anyone on that side of the scale). That yes, we enjoy spending time with others, but sometimes how we create energy is by saving the little we have left and resting to create more or it can be that spending time with others takes more energy than it gives/replenishes. That’s just my opinion though, you’ll have to do some thinking to figure out for yourselves what it means, as it may vary depending on who you are and how you feel about participating in what is enriching for you. I’m interested to hear more though…
Do you agree, disagree, or somewhat agree with it? And which side to you find yourself more like- introvert/extrovert- either will depend on how you interpret what “spending myself” means.
Images from: http://www.google.com