5 sure-fire tricks to get your butt out of the THEN, and start living in the NOW.
I had a bit of a revelation when I wrote last week's post – and that was that not 'living in the moment' can actually be the root of a LOT of #perfectionistproblems.
So it got me inspired to research this a little more to see if I was on to something. It appears I was. And I've pulled together some juicy chestnuts here for you. Oh and btw, if you're an over-thinker who would love to try to overthink a little less, and you didn't catch last week's post, have a look-see at this.
There's a quote by an unknown source that's floating around the tinterweb that I love. It's something along the lines of;
Does that sound like a familiar day in the life of you? Well it certainly resonated with me, especially during the days of my peak-perfectionism a year or so ago. How can you ever see the value in what you have right now, if you're never actually in it? I'm proud that I've gotten a LOT better at immersing myself in the now over the past year, and here's some sure-fire tricks so you can too:
Trick No. 1: Remind yourself that the time you have with someone is unknown.
This is the perfect trick to pull out your hat when someone you perhaps spend a lot of time with is WRECKING your head. Particularly within your family or personal relationships. When that someone is always 'there', it's ridiculously easy to take them for granted. It's even easier to focus on what they do to irritate you rather than what special kind of awesome they bring to your life. Yes, maybe they do challenge you and frustratingly do things differently to you, but the harsh truth is, they won't be there forever. And you have no idea when that 'forever' might start. I'm really not trying to be morbid at all, but if reading this helps you think twice about arguing with someone over something trivial, and instead helps you feel grateful that that someone is there for you to argue with in the first place (living in the now), then my work here is done my friend :)
Trick No. 2: When you're in a stress, breathe it out and remember it's temporary.
So maybe you're under waaaay too much pressure at work and you feel a huge weight on your shoulders, or perhaps you're running super-late for something, and it feels like the universe is conspiring against you clawing any time back at every possible opportunity. You're tense, your shoulders are tightened, your face is scrunched into perma-frown and you're grouchy AF. (i.e, not in the moment). It's at this time when you just need to breeeeeeeeeathe it out honey. It sounds like a pointless exercise to some, but trust me, it works. Taking a moment to realise everything's going a bit cray-cray, pausing to acknowledge that and taking some long, mindful intakes of air will slow. things. down. I promise you. Allowing yourself to take that step back with deep breaths, not only helps you decipher whether that something is within your control to change (and therefore you can surrender to the fact that you either can do something about it and change it, or you can't do something about it and be able to let it go), but it also gives you the opportunity to see that however bad a situation is, it will pass. It's temporary. You won't be feeling this way forever.
Trick No. 3: Stop comparing something now, with something then.
If you're guilty of the ol' rose-tinted-spectacle-syndrome (which can be KILLER!), this is a corker for you. Perhaps a relationship is going stale and you've started to fondly reminisce about an ex that was seemingly all kinds of perfect, or maybe you're in a new job that wasn't what you thought it'd be, and you're craving the comfort of that ol' cushtee job you'd had previously. Buddy, you've got to take a moment to realise this kind of thinking is not going to get you anywhere close to the happy-spectrum. You need to be kind to yourself in allowing your mind to accept what 'is' right now. You need to gift yourself with your most awesome present (in both senses of the word), by stopping the comparison with what 'was'. Basically 'cause it simply aint what it was anymore, and it never will be my friend! Even if an ex or a previous job was something you chose to revisit, do you think that rose-tinted-spectacle view will become your reality? Nope. For whatever reason a previous relationship ended or you decided to move on in your career, (or similar), even though you may have currently chosen to overlook that reason, it was reason enough for change y'know? There was something (or a lot of things) not right about it. When you're not allowing yourself to be in the moment, you're not giving your current situation the attention it deserves. You're not investing your best energy in making your current situation a happy success. You're instead pouring your best energy into a fictional scenario from the past that your little-head-voice has decided to convince you that existed, just for the craic. But by living in the moment and seeing the value of what you have right now, you don't give that twisted little-head-voice any power over you. Yassss!
Trick No. 4: Celebrate your little wins.
As a perfectionist, there's soooo many little wins up for grabs. Your little wins can be found at almost every turn, so go hunting wherever and whenever you can! These little wins might be; cutting the most beautifully-straight and even slice of cheese; the amount of water left in the kettle happens to pour into the EXACT amount needed for a cuppa tea; when a usually-eternally-red traffic light decides to stay green until you drive through it for a change; you get my vibe. And what does this trick do? It basically helps you to see the true joy in your every day. It gives you a free little smile when something accidentally cool happens. It makes these happy little discoveries more visible to you in the future, and most of all, it helps you live in the freaking-now!
Trick No. 5: Share the love.
And by this I mean, be nice to people. Now this may sound like both utter common sense, and something we should just be doing anyway, because we're humans. But it's ridiculously easy to sink so much into our own thoughts (not being present in the now), and then seemingly not being nice and coming across as cold and moody to the outside world instead. (And therefore inviting coldness and moodiness into your world too. What a pleasant loop of bad vibes to be in!) So even super-simple things like waiting a little longer than usual to hold a door open for someone a few steps behind, complimenting a random's outfit colour and telling them how much it suits them, or going out of your way to sincerely thank someone who's served you in some way. These seemingly tiny, effortless ways to brighten someone else's day go such a long way in helping you feel completely in the moment, and also feel deeply grateful for the world around you too as an added bonus. Win-win, right? What's that saying? When you give the most, you gain the most? Love that.
So yeah, a few things for you to think about and consider trying out. All I can say is that I 100% vouch for living in the moment as much as physically possible. Learning the tricks in realising how much awesomeness is already in your life, right this second, makes anything outside of that irrelevant. Any bad stuff is tolerable, and any good stuff is a wonderful Brucey-bonus. And that's such a powerful headspace to be in.
What percentage of your time do you think you live in the now, compared to worrying about the future, or wondering about the past? Spill! I wanna know >