Sometimes we have to go against the crowd, the current, the common. It’s paramount for our principles, for our sanity, for our future, for our growth. It might be easier to follow the flow and copy what everyone else is doing, but it’s not the most satisfying or worthwhile. We should be out experimenting, discovering, learning, challenging, creating, living. Stand by what you believe in and stick to who you are. Otherwise, you might not recognise yourself in the reflection.
Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream – Malcolm Muggeridge
Our selves are made up of a spectrum of intricacies: not just our past, not just where we come from, and not just who we associate with. We are not just one thing. We are not defined by other people’s labels. And we do not have to impose labels on ourselves. We are ever-changing. We learn about ourselves with each situation we encounter and each decision we make. We manoeuvre, adapt and grow, sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes naturally. Let’s be open to the evolution of our selves. Let’s grasp all our dreams tightly. Let’s march into the future bravely. Let’s not apologise for who we are or for wanting to change our minds. Be who you want to be at this point in time, and act upon it.
(Image: Created myself using Picmonkey; Picture: silvercitytourism.com)
Change is terrifying, testing, and inevitable. But it is also essential, beneficial and awesome. Here’s a few reasons why:
- We are challenged to experience new things. Most of us are afraid of change because it is so unknown and ultimately out of our comfort zone. But where’s the sense of adventure, curiosity and wonder in staying in the same place? We are given the opportunity to explore more of the world and its array of colours through change.
- Along with our new experiences, we grow as a person; we learn not only about the situations we are put in, but also about ourselves. We might make mistakes, but they are never wasted, because we are always taking in what we should do better next time, how to approach different situations and how to adapt.
- Life will progress with change. Without being able to experience or learn anything new, we would never be able to see the flaws in ourselves or the world. And without change, we would never realise that impossibilities can become possibilities, that limits are only figments of the imagination, that what we know now is only a snippet of what we can know. Without change, we would never be able to start again or improve. Change means that we can become whoever we want to be and create a world that we want to see.
Would you change anything about your past if you had the chance to? If you answered yes, why?
Sometimes we’re not ready and we’re not prepared for everything that happens to us. Sometimes we embarrass ourselves, trip ourselves up, make the wrong choice. Sometimes we’re dealt with cards we have no control over. We’re only human. And we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about that, because all those mistakes, all those regrettable moments, are part of who we are. Every move has been an experience, and we’ve ultimately learnt from each one; we cannot change the past, but we can honour our mistakes by carrying that newfound knowledge and doing things differently next time. Regret serves no purpose. But acceptance, growth and strength, alternatives to regret, bring a whole new perspective to those moments that we might otherwise want to change. We don’t have to be proud of what we did, but we can be proud of what we did afterwards, even if that was simply to move on.
Hold onto that glimmer of hope and that flash of passion, which you held in your pocket not long ago. Hold on for that peek of starlight in the suffocating darkness and for that stretch of calm in the unrelenting storm. Hold onto consciousness through the piercing feeling of drowning and through the penetrating feeling of suffocation. Hold onto faith in yourself, even when you’re hanging off the cliff edge and even if you fall off. Hold onto those memories of accomplishment and celebration, defeat and renewal. Hold onto the people who not only bring out the best in you, but who most important make you feel your best. Hold on for that extra mile, that extra minute, and you will be better because of it.
“Difficult times [and problems] are like washing machines; they twist us, spin us and knock us around, but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before” – Unknown
Sometimes we have those moments when we have to decide whether to stick to what we know or whether to step into new territory. I’m not really sure whether I can define when is a good time and when is a bad time to break out of your comfort zone. Perhaps it should be in terms of safety, when we take calculated risks and still feel an element of security, or maybe it should be defined by how much our boundaries are in our control if we do decide to tread new water. But stepping out of our comfort zones, at least in small steps, has so many possibilities for our growth: we can conquer our fears and we can test our confidence. If we resolve to expand the limits of our comfort zone, perhaps we will find ourselves saying ‘yes’ to more, yes to opportunities and yes to possibilities that we would have said no to and regretted later. Sometimes the moment when we need to define our limits comes upon us suddenly and it can feel overwhelming; we just need to be aware of our comfort and the risks and reassess rather than get rid of all limits, even if they change or get less conservative than before. Don’t close yourself off from something you want just out of fear. And if you make mistakes along the way and learn from them, that counts for just as much.