I’m struggling. I’d like to get out of my current situation as quickly as possible. But what’s causing the struggle? I’m not pursuing a career in the WWE, so what am I wrestling with?
It’s common to have desires and work towards them. That’s not an issue. Where we run into problems is when we desire something that’s in the future and use it to build a case against what’s happening in the present. This only adds fuel to the fire and causes us to wish things would happen even quicker.
That’s what I was wrestling with and I’ve come up with a few ways to end the self-induced struggle. Here are three ways to change your perspective and stop wrestling with your situation:
1) Zoom Out
You’re honed in. The deadline for your project is two days away, but you have three days worth of work sitting on your desk. It’s going to be late. Focusing on the fact that you’re behind is likely to stress you out to the point of exhaustion, anxiety and panic. That isn’t helpful and it won’t solve your problem. What is helpful, is to zoom out, take a breath, and realize that it’s just a deadline. It’s just a project. It’s just a job. None of it is worth your sanity. Whatever happens, you will work through it. Even if it means losing a job, you’ll find something else. It’s probably not life or death, even when it feels like it. Life is a lot bigger, zoom out and take a look.
2) Cherish The Journey
The destination always seems a lot more interesting than the journey, doesn’t it? But how many times have you achieved or obtained something that didn’t end up being as perfect as you had imagined? Instead of focusing on the end result, pay attention to all the wonderful things that are unfolding as you’re on your journey. You’re likely to find that the journey is just as rewarding (if not more) as the destination. See the progress and all the circumstances that are aligning in your favor. A lot of joy lies in the pursuit.
3) Learn From Your Experience
Pursuing the life you want can be challenging. You have good days, bad days and everything in between. But in each of these experiences lies something deeper. Experience gives you an opportunity to learn something about yourself. How do you handle certain situations? Where do you get caught up? The amount of self-knowledge that you can pull from your experience is endless. Just take a close look at how you interact with life. What makes you feel good or bad or discouraged? There are lessons every moment.
4) (bonus) Start A Gratitude Journal
At the end of each day, write down something that happened that you appreciated. It doesn’t have to be 50 things. It can be one. If you had a rough night and the next morning a cup of coffee carried you through your day, that’s perfect. The purpose here is to start seeing everything that is supporting you along your path and to give each item a “thank you”. This is self-encouragement. It’s a practice that reminds you of all the little things that are often forgotten when we become too busy with life. (I use these extra small Moleskin notebooks)
We need a life of balance, because, without it, we end up living in a land of extremes. When we change our perspective on life we’re able to work with our current situation and work towards our goals in a light-hearted manner. Not everything has to be chaos. Peace of mind does exist, we just need to tweak our perspective.
Try not to use these as methods to beat yourself up. I’ve read tips on improving my life and rather than using them to improve, I used them to continually remind myself that I’m just a screw-up. But it isn’t true. That’s just my silly little ego.
Have compassion for your situation. You’ve been the person you are for how many years? Cut yourself some slack. It’s taken time to develop your habits, so it’s going to take time to break them. The important part is that you’re realizing something needs to change and you are inspired to make that change. It all starts with simply noticing what you’re thinking, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. From there, the floodgates open and change becomes possible.