Let’s talk about facing your fears and inner growth

When it comes to fears, we all have them.  Some people seem to easily overcome them, others think they have overcome them and still others have a hard time overcoming them.  When you’re looking to find yourself, and follow your heart, your fears have a bit of a hold on you and this can be frustrating.  So, why is it that even though you’re on a path towards self-completion it’s so hard to get past those fears or why is it that when you think you’ve overcome them, they come back out of the blue?

As humans who live in a world where uncertainty is one true certainty, it becomes quite obvious why fears are a part of our life’s journey.  The unknown can be scary and even if we didn’t want to think about it that way, just take a look at a commercial and see what fears it preys on to get you to “need” their product or service.

If that’s not enough, think about existentialism and all that has been written about that.  Humans think about life or they don’t think about it, but what is after life is different for each person; and even if each individual has their belief, the way your life could play out or not is still something that can bring a high level of concern.

We are conscious of life and about the end of life; but then we’re given “life tools” that direct us in living that life according to the beliefs of others.  Some parents tell their children to choose their own path based on what they feel inside; yet the way uncertainty is dealt with (in everyday life) isn’t always in the pursuit of faith in life.  It’s taken as sad, hard or unfair and so on.  It’s not presented as something that happens, but that is ok and can be overcome.  With this type of surrounding and our own sense of loss (when it comes to uncertainty), it’s only normal that even though we pursue inner growth, we have fears that come into play.

The best thing you can do when it comes to fears is to be aware of them and to be understanding with yourself.  The last thing you want to do is judge yourself for being afraid.  Let that fear come out and let it tell you what’s so scary.  You should also know that fears have multiple layers because some of them are so deeply rooted within us that to get passed them it will take peeling away at those layers one by one.  Also, if you’ve been used to reacting a certain way to something for so long, you can’t expect yourself to overcome it in one night.  I mean it could happen, but if it doesn’t that is understandable since the only way to transform something is to do it over and over again in that “new” way you’ve decided on.

Knowing who you are, including your fears, is how you can reach that inner growth you’re pursuing, that higher potential you feel is inside of you that you know you can obtain.  It takes you believing in yourself and deciding what you believe in day after day for you to achieve the level of harmony you want.  This means not thinking you’re not where you should be because that fear you thought you were over represents itself down the line.

It’s not easy because fears are scary, that’s why they’re called fears.  It takes all your belief in you and life, and hopefully a good support system, to say to yourself, I know I can overcome this fear, I know that it isn’t going to hurt me and that there’s nothing to be afraid of.  It also depends on what you believe in; this is why those who have faith in something non-tangible are able to get through certain fears while others aren’t.  The thing is, we’re in a physical (tangible) world and since the unknown isn’t tangible anything that isn’t tangible and you can’t see is that much harder to believe in and put faith in.

One thing that is tangible is you and getting to know yourself in and out, with all the layers you are made of (your fears, societal and psychological influences, your upbringing, your belief system, your culture, etc.) is what will help you to overcome those fears, layer after layer.  The time it takes is unknown, but what it takes is you believing you can; and you wanting to do whatever it takes to reach that internal peace and harmony you’re striving to obtain through your inner growth journey.

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What’s so special about friendship and friends

There’s that saying about how you don’t pick your family, but you pick your friends, or something along those lines; and friendship is one of those amazing gifts that life gives us.  What’s so special about friendship is the unconditional love you have for one another when that friendship is meaningful and like family.  Friends can help you when you’re down and they can lift you up even more on those beautiful days.  What is friendship?  Where to start…

Friendship is having someone who understands you and even when they don’t, they want to understand; and they do their best to listen so that they can get what you’re trying to communicate.  Like in any relationship that is love, the pure kind of love, it doesn’t involve expectations or give and take; rather, it’s acceptance of who you have in front of you as they are.  It’s seeing “flaws” as “virtues” (so to speak) and smiling at the little quirks that take place.  This type of relationship happens when both people are in a happy place within.  When someone is a friend not because they need a friend, but because that friendship adds to them and their life.

Supporting each other through whatever life throws your way isn’t an easy task.  The same way life-time companionship goes through ups and downs being that two unique individuals are trying to build a life together, so does friendship.  The friendships that last are those where communication is abundant and clear, where neither person tries to impose themselves and their perspective on the other.  Sometimes friendships make this easier because each person is living their own life, so certain important life decisions aren’t involved.  The only things you decide with friends is where to meet, what to do, when to chat, and things of this nature.

It’s great to have these types of relationships because they can be that neutral party, the ones you talk to about anything and everything because that’s what friends do.  They can help you see clearly in a moment of confusion, and they are the ones you call on to go out, just because.  Of course, they love you so much, they could be biased when it comes to some things; but all that matters is that they have your best interest in mind and your happiness in the forefront.  You can’t go wrong if all you want is someone’s happiness.  Friendship is that special gift that life gives us.  Treasure it and make the best of those special moments!

What’s your take on friendship and how special it is?

What does it really mean to get unstuck

Getting unstuck is something I’m sure we’ve all heard about and experienced; but before we can talk about getting unstuck, we should look at what it really means to get stuck.

As is with most things, our mind plays a huge role in this entire stuck/unstuck ordeal.  Are there situations in life where we feel like we can’t move forward or maybe that we can’t control and so we feel stuck, sure there are.  But since life is always in motion and transforming are we really stuck or is it that we feel stuck?

Some would argue that you can really be stuck, and essentially, since how we feel about a situation makes all the difference; it doesn’t matter if you’re really stuck or not, the feeling of helplessness accompanies that moment.  The best thing you can do in these moments is to remember that there’s always something you can do.  This doesn’t mean you’ll get unstuck from a specific situation immediately, but having a mindset that keeps you active will give you hope and strength to do something about your situation.

After acknowledging that there is something you can do to try and get unstuck, your mind will be open to finding solutions for your situation.  This openness brings you to feeling a lot less helpless, which is why you can think up solutions to what you want to do so that you can go from being stuck to unstuck.

As long as you find hope within yourself, you will always be able to get unstuck from any situation; but in order to stay on that path you must also realize your expectations in these moments of struggle.  Typically, individuals want something to be a certain way or to play out in a way that they envisioned.  This also influences those feelings of being stuck.  If you recognize your expectations in these moments you remove another barrier from being stuck and once again, give yourself the chance to be open to different solutions because your mindset isn’t stuck in what you expected and wanted from that situation or person.

Getting unstuck from a sticky situation can be a real pain, but always remember that you have life at your side.  Nothing is permanent necessarily, there’s always something you can do to get yourself out of a situation or change the circumstances at hand.  If this is true for you too and you are able to apply it, then those stuck moments will become a lot lighter to deal with, and it’ll be much easier to get unstuck because your starting position is from a place of change as a constant and with the knowledge that you have the power to do something about the situation.

How do you get unstuck in those sticky life moments?  I’d love to hear about it 🙂

When inner growth helps you to find inner strength

As I thought about what to write today, I did a quick search to see if I could find some of the most common questions people have about inner growth (to spark my creative juices, so to speak).  To my surprise, Google’s results didn’t include anything about inner growth, but had a number of results focused on inner strength.  Then another interesting coincidence was a daily meditation activity I’m participating in also focused on inner strength.  So, inner strength it is 🙂

What I noticed as a commonality in the Google search results and the meditation session was people’s desire to overcome the challenges in finding inner strength.  Obviously, Google focused on tips, while the meditation session focused on the false path to finding inner strength versus the true path.  I’m a big believer that each person has their own truth, but when it comes to true and false paths I believe that can happen.  It’s not true or false based on an outside judgement, it’s true or false based on its connection to one’s true self.  So, inner strength that comes from within because there is inner trust versus inner strength that comes from external criteria and the outside world.

You know how they say that when you know something is true, you don’t feel the need to prove it.  You don’t have to prove it because in your heart you know it’s true; this truth brings peace to you, which is why you don’t feel the need to “fight” to prove it.  If on the other hand you’re battling to prove something, then you are also battling to prove that something to yourself.

The same goes with inner strength.  If you trust yourself you know you can find strength, that you have inner strength.  The keys that were provided by all those who have written on the topic start with looking to yourself and knowing you can do it.  We all have it in us to live, this is why we all have it in us to find strength.  If you are finding it challenging to find inner strength, one way you can go about doing this is looking back at the challenges you’ve overcome in your life so far.  When I say look back, I mean feel the feelings you were feeling in that moment, be in the mindset of that moment and relive that moment with the knowledge you had at the time.  You’ll find that you were probably feeling quite down or upset, but that you did overcome the challenge and that everything turned out alright.

If you notice that you seem to find your inner strength from others, that is something you want to contemplate.  Support is important in your journey; however, your one guide should be your heart, your ways, your insights, your experiences.  Your support should add to your inner strength, but not take away.  So just notice if there is a weakening of your inner strength due to others, there’s something you still doubt about yourself and your dependability to know what’s best for you.

The last note on inner strength that is super important is the aspect of defensiveness and being closed off from the world.  As long as you have a view of the world as against you, and therefore your inner strength comes to you to battle these opposing forces; you may be strong, but this strength isn’t based on trust in yourself, your heart or life.  This type of inner strength is based on defending yourself from the world, which also means you feel like the world can hurt you.  If the world can hurt you, you don’t really feel that strong, and this is what you want to explore.

At the end of the day, it’s always about perspective; however, trust that the key to your inner strength comes from within.  Trust that you have it, and that you can find it if only you look at the amazing things you’ve come to achieve so far in your life.

Finding the time to do the things you love in life

Time is one of the most precious things we have, and as we get older we have to start managing it with work and other responsibilities (besides our usual day to day activities).  Some people struggle more with this change (in how we can use our time), while others have an easier time with it.  The reason for a greater struggle usually involves a certain level of unhappiness with the lack of time we have, to do the things that are more enjoyable to us.  However, there are various ways people can lessen this struggle and regain a sense of joy with time; instead of always feeling like there isn’t enough of it.

The first thing to consider are the choices you make for your future.  Whether we like it or not, becoming an adult and living in a society where we need money to live, means we have to work.  This is why it’s so important to do something you enjoy or at the very least, work in an environment that makes you happy.

People that pursue their passion as their job or follow their heart in choosing a job tend to be very happy to spend the day doing what they do.  At the same time, these individuals also don’t necessarily give their job a shape; they simply go with how they feel about it.  Expectations in general can bring disappointment.  This means that even if someone follows their passion, they could end up not being happy about their job if they’ve given their passion an exact shape and it doesn’t turn out how they envisioned.  It’s important to listen from within to be happy over time and with how you spend your days.

If there isn’t a choice of what job to do, then the second-best thing someone can do for themselves is ensure they work in an environment and with a team that they enjoy being around.  The people we surround ourselves with throughout the day will help make that time spent worthwhile.  If on the other hand, you work with people you don’t enjoy, then the time you spend at work will weigh you down.  This will make you look at the time you don’t have to be out with other people and doing other things.

Another way people avoid feeling like they never have enough time is appreciating what they have by being grateful for the fact that they have a job.  So, even if the job isn’t their favorite thing in the world and maybe their colleagues aren’t that enjoyable either, they make the best of it.  Perspective is always an option and what we choose to focus on can make a day better or worse.

Remembering that there are choices we can make (even if we only have 24 hours in a day) helps you to know that you do have control over your time; you just need to work at tweaking it until you’re happy.  This tweak includes appreciating the day and the things you get to do in life.

How do you make the best of the time you have and fill it with the things you love doing?

What’s the challenge with being considerate

There are plenty of considerate people; actually, I bet everyone finds themselves to be a considerate person (at least in some ways or circumstances).  In fact, often you find people talking about how considerate they are while they find others to be so inconsiderate.  Is this true?  Are they considerate and others just so inconsiderate?  As always it comes down to perspective and who’s talking.

Our world and actions revolve primarily around our own needs, whether consciously or unconsciously.  No one is exempt from this, even the most considerate person will make choices that won’t harm them.  We all make decisions, even if sometimes for someone else and a sacrifice for us.  However, the reality is that the choice (even if entailing a sacrifice) was a better decision for us than the opposite choice.  So, when it comes to being considerate I think intent plays a bigger role.

Understanding a person’s actions means knowing who you have in front of you and this includes their personality, environment, life circumstances, and their heart.  The hardest part of this is removing one’s own judgement and needs, which is why we see so many inconsiderate people.  Of course, I look at people and remember the challenges that life presents each one of us; and that I can never know how it is to walk in another person’s shoes fully.  I can try to imagine; but if I’m not living their life, how can I possibly know for sure what I would do and how I would act.  I don’t think I could, plus if I’m me, I could never think like them.

There are characteristics that seem to be a part of a consistently considerate person’s personality and those include empathy and the understanding of another person having to make decisions they will never come to fully understand themselves (since they are who they are and the other person is who they are).  These types of individuals can be considerate to a farther extent than others because they have in their peripheral view the knowledge of all these different types of people and circumstances, the awareness of the unknown when it comes to living another’s life.

The next time you think someone is being inconsiderate, you may be right; but remember that if their intent wasn’t to exclude your needs, then maybe they didn’t mean to be inconsiderate.  Also, when you are expecting someone to be considerate of your needs, aren’t you being inconsiderate of theirs?  It’s never a win-win if you want to stack up the points of who’s being more considerate or less considerate.

If a person is that inconsiderate towards you, the best thing you can do for yourself is remove them from your circle of friends, or simply stop being considerate of their needs and that way you’ll be on the same plane of give and take (for you, since you have the issue with them).

What do you think about the considerate/inconsiderate topic?

Avoiding confusion or misunderstandings when communicating

Everyone has an opinion, a perspective, a way they think and see things.  This point of view is the starting point of our thoughts and reasoning, which also means it’s the way we absorb information shared with us.  So, when listening to others, this means you could be listening with a tainted ear, one that listens with your own perspective in mind.  I say could because there is a choice you can make once you realize you’re listening with your own thought process and perspective, and not a neutral ear that listens (purely) to what the person is saying.  Before getting into the ‘how’ you could attempt truly listening to someone, let’s finish expanding on the tainted listening first and why it’s such an important topic to consider or at least be aware of for yourself and others.

I’d like to start with you.  How many times have you shared something (a story or experience) with someone, but no matter how or what you said you didn’t feel like you were being understood?  I want to venture a guess that this has happened to everyone at least once in their lifetime, if not more.  The reason you didn’t feel understood is probably because the person listening was either not really listening or they were, but with their perspective.  Those individuals that you do feel understood by on the other hand have your same perspective or have gone through a similar situation and therefore they can empathize with you.  The same thing can happen to someone who is sharing with you and doesn’t feel understood.  Listening from your perspective is an issue as it blinds you, at least partially, from what you’re being told by the other person.  This is why people also find themselves blindsided at times in situations where a person they think they knew, acted differently than what they thought they would.

If you look at someone or something in front of you with a filter, you are not able to see what’s in front of you, nor are you listening to what is actually being said.  If on the other hand, you’re able to become aware of your perspective and put it aside, you can tune in to what the other person is expressing (whether through actions or words).  At first it might be hard to see how you’re influencing a conversation, but if you become aware of your perspective in the act of conversation or observation you can start putting your filter aside and really tune in to the person in front of you.  This helps you to understand what they’re trying to tell you, as well as see who they are and not who you want them to be or think they should be.

In the end, dealing with other people involves two perspectives.  Even if your perspectives may be similar there’s always something they could experience differently from you and the same goes for you with them.  It is only through seeing that extra layer, your perspective, that you can remove your filter and see clearly.

How has perspective influenced your understanding of what someone tells you and vice versa?