How to let go of ‘having it all’
Our daily lives have become so embedded in social media that it can seem an impossible task to stop comparing ourselves to everyone around us.
Dangerously, those around us are often trapped in the same cycle – and while they’re sharing their ‘best of’ moments online, you’re comparing them to your own lifestyle and counting all of the ways you don’t measure up.
It can be easy at this point to fall into the trap of believing the only way to be successful is if you have it all: the partner, the house, the car, the career, the kids, the holidays, and a cleaner to boot!
In reality, all this does is put enormous pressure on yourself to try and achieve this so-called perfect life, says Michelle Gibbings, author of Step Up: How to Build your influence at work.
“It’s time to bust the myth and get real about life,” she says, adding, “nobody really has it all and gets what they want all the time.”
Michelle share her six strategies for helping to reframe your thinking to become more grateful and less stuck looking at a half-empty glass:
- Accept that life is about trade-offs
To get one thing, you often have to give something else up. Get clear on what you want out of life and what you are prepared to give up to get there. “Successful business people and athletes will often recount stories of the sacrifices they made to secure their dream of a thriving business or Olympic glory,” Michelle reminds us.
- Give yourself a break
Being kind to yourself is essential. “It doesn’t mean you spend the rest of your life sleeping in until midday, eating chocolate and wearing a track suit all day,” she says. “It means you accept the reality that some time things don’t go to plan. Dust yourself off. Learn from the experience and keep going.”
- Embrace uncertainty
“When you talk with people who have generated success they’ll tell you it’s the result of hard work, experimentation, failure and resilience,” she says. “They have an idea, passion or a dream and set out to achieve it. This doesn’t mean they don’t have doubt or fears, but they use those emotions to propel them forward.”
- Reframe your mindset
We don’t always get what we want, Michelle says – a life lesson she learnt the hard way, when she and her husband discovered they couldn’t have children. “It was an outcome we couldn’t control,” Michelle shares, “but we still had choices. The choice we made was to positively reframe our life – starting with writing a list of everything we could do because we didn’t have children. This didn’t mean we weren’t sad at times, but it helped us refocus and move on positively.”
- Drop the “everything is fine” act
For our own mental wellbeing, we need to be okay with the idea of telling people when we don’t feel okay. “When we hold back our concerns and hide our true feelings it puts enormous stress on us, and strain on those around us,” she says. “It’s healthy to share our feelings.”