Aaaah life. Never a dull moment… Always shaking things up when we least expect (or want) it. WHY? Why can’t things just go the way we want it to? You know, like the picture-perfect daydreams we create in our heads, or the elaborate goals we write in our colourful notebooks – or even the super organised cards on our Trello boards. Why must things change when we plan them out so perfectly?
I know it can be REALLY hard to admit when things are messy.
Those yuk moments are super easy to just sweep under the rug and pretend they don’t exist… especially when everyone else’s highlight reel on Facebook and Instagram paints a different story. Or when there’s this expectation to just suck it up and carry on. Urrrrg. I hate it when people say things like that. Pretending is the absolute worst thing you can do, because that’s when other things creep in – things like resentment, anxiety, depression.
When life’s throwing you lemons, it’s okay to admit that things aren’t fine.
MORE than okay, actually – it’s totally normal and totally necessary.
Because, friend… you WANT the mess.
Massive change usually happens from messy moments.
Yup. There’s a reason they say change is uncomfortable. So this change… embracing the messy – let’s talk about HOW to actually DO this!
PIN FOR LATER!
Oh man, let me tell you something…
Life has NOT been all sunshine and roses for me the last few weeks.
In fact, it’s been downright messy.
For real; even though it might not seem that way, things have been… interesting to say the least. I’ve questioned SO much… Things about my life’s purpose (the joy of being an INFJ who overthinks too much… working on that!), what I *should* be doing at 35, why things aren’t going the way I’d hoped they would, what’s the next step, etc. Things just feel a little out of sync… or at least they did up until a few days ago.
Not that it’s perfect now – it’s just a lot less fuzzy. Thank goodness.
But I want to tell you something…
It’s OKAY to feel the feels.
Because that’s when the good stuff happens – AFTER the messy bits.
It happens when we’re thrown out of our element, put in uncomfortable situations, and forced to get real about who we are and where we’re at right now.
WHAT TO (REALLY) DO WHEN SHIFT HAPPENS
See what I did there with the “f”?
Yup… that shift, that’s the real crappy part we don’t want to talk about; the behind-closed-doors kind of stuff. Or maybe you do talk about it (or over-share, like I tend to do sometimes), but you don’t know how to feel GOOD about the shifts going on in your life right now.
How do you get from the feeling like things are falling apart, being confused about the next step, or just feeling stuck part – to the embracing (liking?!) where you’re at right now part?
You quit trying to control it all.
You stop trying to force things and just embrace the flow.
I’m sharing a few things that have helped me get through the messy moments these past few weeks; hopefully a few of these resonate with you, too and help you feel more motivated to embrace the shift!
7 WAYS TO EMBRACE CHANGE AND SHIFT IN YOUR LIFE
1. OWN THE FEELS
Yep… Aaalll the feels.
This actually helped me so much; the minute I stopped trying to be positive about everything all the time and gave myself permission to get angry, everything changed. So get angry. Get frustrated. Scream, cry, shout, vent, cry some more. Whatever… just give into the feels.
Stop pretending that everything is okay.
If it’s not, it’s okay to admit that (to yourself, your partner and a close, trusted friend or family member).
I think it’s crazy how much pressure we put on ourselves all the time to have this perfect life or make as if we’ve got everything figured out all the time.
Being honest and vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
2. GET THAT SHIFT OUT!
I always feel like I do my best writing or painting when I’m really upset or angry… it’s the weirdest thing. Some kind of therapeutic release or something.
- Even if you’re not artistic or creative – even if you chuck a bunch of red and black paint onto a piece of paper or bang your fingers on the keyboard pouring your heart out.
- Even if you take a drive (though, I won’t encourage driving when you’re really angry) and sing at the top of your lungs – thank you Linkin Park. It’s all GOOD.
Bottling stuff up? That’s NEVER good.
3. PUSH PAUSE; TAKE A BREAK
It’s always easier to see the bigger picture when you step away for a bit.
For me, that was pushing pause on creating new content… I didn’t blog for about 2 weeks and I was MIA on social media for a lot of that time. I also made a point of doing things that made me feel good – things I kept putting off because I was so “busy”.
Like just sitting in the garden for 5 minutes with a cup of coffee.
Or listening to a podcast while I did the dishes.
Time to just THINK.
It gave me time to figure out what I could push pause on for a little while, till I waded through most of the messy stuff.
And you can do this, too. Promise, it will all still be there when you feel like jumping back in. Since that blogging break, I feel so much clearer on what I’m writing about and sharing.
It feels simple, again.
4. FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS NOW
Sometimes we get so fixated on this idea of how our lives should be, that we unconsciously push aside the stuff that really matters. For me, that was treating my blog like this big successful business after just a few months.
And while that sounds ambitious and great, it actually wasn’t.
I’d spend crazy amounts of time working on it and feeling like if I wasn’t, I was this huge failure. I think this is something so many newbie entrepreneurs and bloggers go through.
And it shouldn’t be that way.
Sure, do what you love – but not at the expense of people in your life or your health.
That’s what was happening to me…
I got so lost in my blog, that I stopped taking proper care of myself and spent more and more free time doing “one more thing.” The reality is…
Good things take time.
Yup. Even when other people tell you they don’t…
Now, I’m clocking out on time, I’m treating exercise like a daily appointment, I’m prioritising time with my hubby. But mostly, I’m making a point of carving out mini blocks of time to just relax more instead of feeling like I need to go-go-go, slay, hustle, etc. all the time.
5. ACTIVELY SEEK OUT JOY
Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
I don’t hear that nearly as often as I’d like. It’s all hustle and slay and make it happen right NOW or you’re missing out! Whatever happened to just having more fun and feeling joyful?
Isn’t that important, too?
This past weekend we went to a mini theme park for a friend’s birthday.
I always feel so self conscious doing things outside my comfort zone (like going on rides), but after the first time round, I forced myself to let go of any inhibitions and just have FUN. I can’t remember the last time I did this.
We get so serious about life sometimes, that we forget that it’s actual this massive gift to ENJOY.
We’ve got all these choices and opportunities every single day.
All these things we have the freedom to do.
6. ASK YOURSELF WHY
WHY do things REALLY feel so messy right now?
For me, I knew those uncomfortable feelings were there for a reason.
At first I didn’t want to admit it, because it felt like I was giving up. There I was, months down the line having re-vamped my entire blog and all of a sudden it just felt so wrong.
I lost the love for blogging in a matter of days after announcing my relaunch.
Wanting my blog to be a business and working on it for 7 months and then all of a sudden feeling this wave of uncertainty, like something was seriously off wasn’t an accident.
I was angry, embarrassed, frustrated, and mostly disappointed in myself.
What was happening? I mean, I love writing… I just couldn’t understand this sudden change of heart. And THEN I got real about a few things.
After the launch I had time again…
Time to think instead of just working non-stop on content and digital products and pins and you name it.
When you stop being busy, you get super CLEAR.
- Somewhere along the way, I’d forgotten my big WHY with this blog. Why I started it, why I loved it.
- Somewhere along the way, I’d changed a part of my message by try and be more like other bloggers and entrepreneurs.
- Somewhere along the way, I started treating my blog like a job I didn’t like, instead of a passion project I’d built with love.
Change happens – not by accident, but when we need to shift our focus away from what’s holding us back from other things.
7. BE GRATEFUL
Yup, you read that right… Be grateful for the chaos.
Every single time I’ve been through messy moments in my life – something good has always come from it. It never lasts forever and it always forces me to re-evaluate where I’m at, what’s important, and who I am.
Because sometimes we forget and we try and be these people other people want us to be.
It also helps because I know God’s got my back.
Instead of trying to control everything and getting stressed out because things aren’t going the way I planned, I know it’s all part of a bigger plan.
And knowing that?
It just makes it a heck of a lot easier to embrace the chaos and know that some sort of change is happening FOR me with the best of intentions. Whatever you believe, I promise that when you shift your mindset from things happening TO you, to things happening FOR you… and you trust that it’s part of a bigger plan, life becomes a hack of a lot less messy!
Easier said than done, right? I know… I know, change still sucks.
There’s nothing pretty about the messy moments.
But they happen and it’s a heck of a lot easier to just go with the flow, do more things that make you feel good, and know that it’s all for a reason.
I mean, just think about some of the most successful people you know…
They all have stories to tell, they all had messy parts of their lives they probably wished never happened. The point is, they got through them – and it got them to where they are.
And so can you.
Just give yourself space and permission to take it easier and not get so hard on yourself when things don’t go the way you planned.
It always works out; just take the opportunity to be a little kinder to yourself and use those uncertain moments to do more things that make you happy.
Simplify it, really… it’s not as big as we make it out to be sometimes.