Looking Forward Into 2021 & A Retrospective Look To 2020

We live in a world full of oversaturated images of ideal circumstances. Pinterest and Instagram is stuffed full of overly clean interior design: kitchens without a drop of mess, living rooms with no life, bedrooms lacking spice and excitement. We see pictures of DIY projects completed seemingly in one go by yoga practicing, straight laced, ‘my body is a temple’ gods and goddesses, who seemingly have endless holidays and limitless bounds to their finances.

Overall, there is something very wrong with the way we present ourselves on social media.

Once we lose sight of the fact that these perfect lives have taken hours to capture the right moment on camera, waiting for the right lighting, the right opportunity, we start to wonder why our own lives don’t reflect those of the people around us, or who we chose to follow online. It begins to affect us in ways we cannot always physically see, in ways that niggle us from the corners of our minds. Suddenly, our own imperfect images online aren’t good enough, and we’re not sure why. Suddenly, the pictures from a very merry Christmas with aunt Susan and nana Peggy don’t look as fun as you remember.

In 2020, the world took a very strange turn into the world of the online due to Covid-19. We worked online, saw our friends through the palms of our hands, and we found ourselves alone a lot more than usual. Now, although this seclusion at first glance doesn’t appear the best, we found that we had time to reflect on our lives, retrospectively assess how we wanted to spend our time.

Some of us, myself included, felt that 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom. We saw a record loss of jobs and an increase in people asking for help. We saw people learn to live with their new surroundings, survive with the bare minimum and surprise themselves in situations they didn’t think they could survive.

Yes 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom but if we hadn’t hit the floor, we wouldn’t have found our solid foundations on which we could build and grow from.

Its important that when we look at the lives of others online who have seemingly thrived during the pandemic as motivational content rather than as competition, or something to be jealous of.

Its Ryan Serhant who said that this year has been like sitting in the backseat of a moving car and looking out through the right window and seeing a brickwall, dark, dingy and unappealing to look at. Its easy to think, looking through the window that this is the only outlook on life that you can have yet if you switch up your outlook, jump from one seat to the other and look out of the left window you might see bright sunny skies and a beautiful view. You’re still in the same car but with a tiny bit of effort you now have a much lighter view.

Its easy to slip into bad habits, think negatively about your situation and here’s the thing: no one is responsible for changing your world views but yourself. You can’t rely on anyone else for your happiness. Your sadness is caused by your outlook on life.

If you’re sad, lacking in motivation, craving change, then it’s you that also needs to stop being lazy and get moving. Wherever you are with your plans, implement something today. Not tomorrow, today. Why wait?

Yes we’ve had a bad year in terms of a life threatening pandemic but it doesn’t mean life has to stop, we just have to learn to adapt and change with it.

I think in 2021 we should look to incorporating more life into our online presence, more human error. We should promote normalcy, encourage candid shots of everyday adventures and show people that life is perfect just the way it is. We need to start creating a world we are proud to leave behind to a future generation of community based survivors, people caring prodigies, life loving collectives.

Believe in the message? Join in with the candid collectives on social media by using the hashtag #candidadventure in your everyday positive posts and help build our positive vibes across the globe.

Because when we help each other succeed, we all succeed.

Until next time, beautiful readers.

Coping With Anger & Angry People

I’m not above feeling rage, I don’t think anyone is. If we went through life without feeling true anger at least a handful of times then we haven’t exposed ourselves to enough people.

It is impossible to be liked by everyone.

You might be the golden child, a poster child for all that is good. You might be popular and have lots of friends but someone, somewhere will butt heads with you simply because your personalities are wildly different.

Its how we choose to perceive and deal with this anger which shapes and defines us.

There are some people out there who choose to be angry at the world. They were hurt too many times and now they’re closed off to the world, unable to see it as it is. They choose to act out like bratty children who don’t like the toys they’ve been given. These are the argumentative people who choose to face life head on in a kind of shout first, ask questions later, approach. If you’re one of these people then please ask yourself: what are you hoping to achieve by being this way? Arguments are there in life to air grievances which couldn’t be discussed in a civil matter. Arguments stem from an issue or issues which have been bubbling under the surface for a long time which haven’t been resolved in the way we want them to. When we argue its ultimately to try and make ourselves feel better. It’s selfish but sometimes it’s necessary if we cannot approach a conversation calmly.

However, when life begins turning into a constant argument and the anger is continually bubbling inside, then that’s when we need to start addressing the issues which are really bothering us. These attitudes we chose to adopt will shape us, and will lead us into an early grave because our hearts are full of anxiety and anger.

I have found that arguments rarely solve anything. It’s just a lot of loud noises from two people not listening to each other.

I have found that a much easier approach to life is to sit and really listen to yourself. Listen to what your body is telling you. Start writing down your thoughts and feelings, even in a journal you’ll never show anyone. Really assess what is making you feel angry and upset.

For me, if I feel angry it comes in waves. It becomes this overwhelming sense which overtakes my body and a younger me would have lashed out. But as I’ve got older I’ve realised that the phrase “pick your battles” is incredibly potent.

Before you argue and get angry and lash out at those around you because life has got your knickers in a twist, think to yourself “is this argument really worthwhile? Will it achieve anything?”

If the answer is no then take a deep breath and release it. Goodness knows controlling your anger takes patience and time but once you learn to release that anger and start actually facing your inner demons, you’ll begin to let go of that rage which has been bubbling under the surface.

The same goes for when people want to argue with you. Some people will just want to push your buttons on purpose to get a rise from you (most likely the people you butt heads with) and even the best of us can lose it just because they push us to a breaking point because they want you to feel as frustrated as them. It’s during these times that it’s important to remember that they are feeling this rage a lot of the time and there are issues they want to air but maybe they need coaxing to find the actual reason they’re angry.

Sometimes it can seem like that person is unreasonable and nothing will calm them down, that everything you say is just adding fuel to the fire. When you feel like you’re close to breaking point, take a deep breath and tell them that when they are ready to have an adult discussion about what is wrong without attacking you, you’ll be ready to listen and then remove yourself from the conversation.

Remember, the more you rise to them, the more you give them a chance to release that inner anger. They need to learn to deal with that anger on their own, it’s not always your responsibility to resolve the issues of others.

You are only responsible for your own emotions.

So whether you are dealing with anger in your life or whether you have someone in your life who is particularly argumentative and you’re getting nowhere with them, it’s important to take a step back and reflect. What is the real reason behind the anger?

Looking past the top layer of frustration of events, in order to deal with anger we have to look deep within ourselves.

For instance, in one of my relationships, my partner really frustrated me all the time and I didn’t know why until I started looking at what triggered me and then what triggered that and so on and so forth. I learned that small things like not doing the washing up or helping around our house was winding me up which in turn made me look at why that upset me so much. It turned out that I felt undermined, I wasn’t his equal but someone he was treating like his mother or hired help. I wasn’t feeling affection in the traditional couple sense, which led to me realising that I’d fallen out of love with him. That meant once I’d realised this, I could talk to him about what was wrong and it wasn’t just an explosion of “why haven’t you done the washing up!” or “You need to show me more affection!” because ultimately what I had discovered about myself made the anger disappear and in its place was sadness but this was the first step in the right direction.

I think a lot of people get stuck in the anger phase because they are too afraid to deal with their problems head on. They worry that if they start self assessing then it’ll bring sadness, as if sadness is the end of the world.

Sadness is what makes us human. It is that emotion of losing something we once had, losing love, losing trust, losing our happiness. It is one of the most difficult emotions to pull yourself out of but it’s not impossible.

I had a discussion with my parents about the bullies I’d faced during my work time as a young adult and how I was pushed backwards against a desk as my 6″ boss in heels jabbed my shoulders in rage because she was angry at another member of staff. How I had a boss at another company who made a habit of shouting in your face, when something went wrong because he had two exes who were messing with his life and his head. I have equally seen these two bosses cry. I have been there to see them work through their anger and after two years of working for the second boss, I could start to see a change in him for the better.

Sadness isn’t an emotion we should be afraid of. We can face the abyss and still turn our lives around. Sadness is a necessary state of mind to cope with the stresses of life and once we accept these emotions we can start to grow and as we grow we emerge from sadness, stronger and happier than before, confident in the knowledge that we can face our demons.

Until next time.