My Top 5 Insights to Help You Feel Less Alone and Less ConfusedNov 18, 2022
One of the strangest feelings in the world is when nothing is wrong, but nothing is right either. It is quite literally the worst.
It’s a feeling of discontent that can’t be explained by logic or reason, that nagging voice that speaks without words and follows you around like dog shit on a shoe that you thought you’d washed off but no, there’s some residual muck there, and it stinks.
Even after the years of personal development, the hours spent listening to podcasts and lists and lists of bloody gratitudes, life is still not as you’d like it to be.
But how do you want it to be?
And cue the fog machine. Because, nothing is wrong so how can you explain what is wrong?
Sure, earning more money would always be nice because who doesn’t like stuff? But material success doesn’t soothe the soul or satisfy the thirst for something more and money isn’t the issue, not really.
Because money can’t buy the unseen.
To the outside world it sounds like everything is absolutely fine – it is all being held together, but inside it’s a mess because words can’t articulate this feeling that makes no sense.
And who do you turn to? To confide in your partner means reassuring your partner that they are not the problem (although…) and speaking to your boss might make you sound ungrateful or unmotivated and it’s not that you hate your job (although…).
And so you turn to that one friend who usually has an impossibly middle classed name like Clemmie or Lottie or Daisy and who seems to glide through life making her own Kombucha and #lovinglife in her magazine styled house.
Because we all have that one friend who is always put together.
In a moment of full disclosure you admit to her that you feel like something is missing; that time is laughing at you and that there is a sense of growing unease.
And Clemmie or Lottie or Daisy says “so what would make you happy?” and you want to punch her square in the middle of her unwrinkled face because there is no answer right now to that inane question.
So you say, “oh ignore me, I’m fine” as you try not to cry onto the delicious pumpkin seed loaf she’s just whipped out of the oven and served with organic homemade peanut butter, that bitch!
Well, the good news is you are not alone. Almost every one of my clients comes to me feeling some degree of this. Slightly discontented, a little disillusioned and kinda frustrated by life. And feeling guilty for feeling this way (because we’re all aware of our privilege)
Here are my top 5 insights to help you feel less alone and less confused.
1. Capitalism and social media are slowly but surely eroding our self worth
I’m on my soapbox and you can’t stop me! Listen up!
We live in a world designed to make us feel like we need more to be more. This is a lie and it comes at us from all angles every single day.
You are enough. As you are.
Curate your newsfeed with accounts that remind you of your worth and immediately unfollow the accounts that have you feel lack.
2 . It’s okay that you feel like there’s too much choice to choose.
Never have we women had more choice (acknowledges that we have a long way to go yet!) and with this choice comes a lot of overwhelm.
Ever been to the nail bar and tried to choose which pink you want? There are, like, 4367298 different shades of pink! Offer me one pink, one red and one blue and I can make a decision.
But with 4367298 different pinks in front of me, I become incapable of making a decision.
Too much choice renders us unable to make a choice.
It’s actually got a name and it’s called, The Paradox of Choice.
So what do we do about it?
Well the best advice I ever got in a nail salon was this.
It’s a nail varnish. It won’t last forever. Just pick a damn colour!
And I did.
Often we convince ourselves that we have to be 100% sure that something is going to work out before we try it. The course we’re thinking about taking, the job we’re thinking about applying for, the country we’re thinking of moving to.
But there is never a guarantee and honestly, everything comes with positives AND negatives attached.
The key is to cultivate enough self trust and belief to know that in following your curiosity, you’ll be okay, whatever happens.
Hold onto heavy things lightly.
Give yourself permission to try, to quit, to change your mind, to give things a go.
All of the worry and fear and ‘what will other people think’ is the crap that holds you back from exploring who you could be.
Repeat after me “I NO LONGER LIVE MY LIFE WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK”
3. Now, maybe you do actually have an idea about what you want from your life but you’re scared to say it outloud.
It’s like, the moment you think “maybe I could be an actress, or start that clothing line, or travel the world with Alan, my performing hamster” you immediately begin to list all of the restrictions and limitations that destroy the idea before it’s even begun.
You’re not meant to know how your dreams are going to come to you.
If you knew that you’d already be touring with Alan across Europe.
Using your current results as evidence of what you can achieve is keeping you struck with your current results. 7 years ago I was waiting tables and all I thought I could do was wait tables because that’s the only evidence I’d accumulated.
Any other idea that came to me was instantly followed up with “I’m not qualified” or “I don’t have the money” or “maybe 10 years ago” and so I stayed stagnant.
It wasn’t until I couldn’t bear to fetch another beer for table 23 that pushed myself to try something different.
Put down your perceived limitations because it is only when you rise above your current circumstances that your circumstances can change.
4. Don’t let the illusion of time stop you.
Just days ago a friend of mine graduated with their masters of teaching and got their first teaching job.
Three years ago, they confided in me that they liked the idea of teaching, but it was too late for them now. It would, after all, take them three whole years of study before they could graduate and get a job.
I reminded them that those three years are passing either way. And in three years time they could either be in the same place, or they could be in a teaching job that they loved.
So they went back to Uni and are now in a teaching job that they love. Imagine if they’d let time be the reason they didn’t. They’d still be in a job they hated!
Don’t let time be the reason you don’t.
5. It’s a strange paradox that we often stay disappointed with life in the fear of being disappointed by life.
What if we ask for more and it doesn’t happen, and we have to bear the crushing feeling of an expectation not met?
What if we upset the mediocre and instead of getting better it gets worse?
Don’t push your luck, be happy with what you’ve got and don’t ask for more!
But one thing I know for sure is that nothing is permanent and none of us is getting off this planet alive and no one takes their last breath and says, “I’m so pleased I didn’t take any chances, I’m so glad I didn’t fulfil my potential, and I’m thrilled that I spent my adult life treading water until I sank.”
I trust these insights have inspired something in you. I’d love to know so please feel free to let me know. I’m always up for a chat!
You can find me in my free community, Unashamedly Human with Emily Chadbourne.
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