Whether you simply read along, participated and blogged the challenges, or did them privately at home I want to thank you for being here for the first eight weeks of the 52 weeks to Simplify Your Life Challenge. If you are new here I hope you will not hesitate to join in whenever you are ready with whatever challenges you choose – it is never too late to start and there are catch up weeks throughout the year.
We have just completed the building blocks of the challenge, defining who we are and what we want, and the next phase is four weeks we will spend on “inner clutter”. We will tackle some of the bigger issues that can stand in our way as we move towards living the life we want.
This week I want to talk about expectations and standards. Many people want to simplify their life to reduce stress, be happier, feel less burdened by things and numerous other reasons. One of the biggest things standing between them and their goal is themselves. So often we are our biggest hurdle as we set our standards so high, compare ourselves to others, criticize ourselves and live our lives taking other people’s expectations on board.
I am here to ask you to go easier on yourself.
Silence the negative voices in your head that beat you up and tear you down.
Listen to your own gut, follow your instincts and tune into your values.
Remove the pressure – are you setting the bar too high? Where does your standard come from?
Decide for yourself how you will know when you have succeeded. How does that look to you?
Let go of guilt- especially about what you are not doing – it is okay to be less, do less, want less at times if that is right for you.
Learn to accept that not everything warrants 100% effort or 100% perfection – sometimes “good enough” is simply that – “good enough”. Decide if any extra gains are worth the extra effort, the opportunity cost, the time it takes, possible stress, cost factor, etc If you decide yes, it is worth it then go ahead and take it to the max, but if you decide it is not worth it then let it go and move on to other things that serve your values, goals and vision for your life. Sometimes 80% is “just right”.
Who’s race are you running? – when you get caught up in other people’s races and compare you can lose sight of the fact that you were perfectly happy as you were. Stay on your own path that is true to you.
If you find yourself speaking harshly to yourself – ask yourself if you would ever speak to your friends or family (or even a stranger) like you are doing to yourself.
Find a mantra that supports you and builds you up. Personally, I use “I am enough”.
The Challenge – Take time for some self reflection and see if there is anything in your life where changing your expectations / standards / approach could change your life. Is there something you can let go of (or approach differently) that does not currently serve you?
Further reading and resources:
How to start a revolution from the inside out – from Kind over Matter
The Paradox of Control: learning to let go- from Psychology Today
Link up for week eight – “Happiness”
If you blogged about your Happiness Challenge or any Simplify Your Life challenges please add your blog post link below into the linky and not in the comments. If you do not see the linky refresh your browser and it will usually appear. Please remember if you link up take 15 minutes this week and visit some other bloggers and spread the feedback and support comment love. Also remember if you link up any post this week you are in the running to win a copy of Naomi from Seven Cherub’s ebook Pockets of Happiness (there are 5 copies to be won and I will select the 5 posts based on content within a week after the linky closes – March 11).
Find your simple,
Link up here:
Image credits: Imperfect sunflower (and still beautiful) by flickr user Eric Vanderpool
Im perfect by flickr user Will Scullin