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Do you ever feel like you’re behind on life?
Not quite where you thought you might – could – should be by now? Perhaps even far from it?
It’s a conversation I’ve been having of late especially on my recent long weekend to the city I grew up, Wellington N.Z.
Personally it’s a resounding Yes and if you can relate the comforting news for us both is that most people I ask feel behind on life at some point.
It got me thinking. If the super-vast-majority of us feel like we could and should be further ahead then perhaps we’re measuring life all wrong? Or at least not in the way that helps us feel as happy as possible.
Along with much reminiscing as to what rat bags we were as teenagers the question arose: Was there a time when the weight of your own self expectations was actually pretty light?
When you only played the comparison game with appearance and boys and clothes and those superficial yet super important things that mean nothing when sitting next to something that really means everything.
When school marks were life & death yet really, actually not at all.
My realization so far as feeling behind on life is that: certain factors will compound that natural, human need to strive and to seek progress to the point where it’s more limiting than motivating.
Likely there are more factors however here are my top 3:
One: You’ll feel behind on life if you’re not quite clear on what you’re really looking to achieve.
However does your ideal day… your ideal life look?
Who do you spend it with and what do you do?
What values are you living each day?
Expectations are like overwhelm. If your expectations are all just ideas swimming around in your head they’ll seem limitless. Not in an abundant and freeing way – more in a frenzied impossible to tackle way.
The alternative: is to take ONE action towards the attainment of that ideal life you just mentioned each day. Just as importantly to acknowledge that action you took and the progress it represents.
Two: You’ll feel behind on life if you focus on things beyond your control.
You’ve got to pick your battles. Things that can’t be changed just aren’t worth the energy.
For example the past is beyond your control. When I turned 35 and was not happily married with a super successful business living my dream life, in a dream house, with dream holidays… I felt a little disappointed. I started to think of where my parents were at 35. However they lived different lives, in different times, with different aspirations and aside from all that there’s really zero value on focusing on what may not have gone exactly to plan in your (my!) past.
The alternative: is to focus ONLY on what you can control. That’s those actions, one action, one day at a time towards your ideal life. Focus only the learnings from the past and how you can apply them in the present.
Three: You’ll feel behind on life if you play the comparison game to your disadvantage.
At face value it’s quite easy to compare yourself to the highlight reel of someone else’s life and come up lacking.
Even to take the most successful-envy-worthy-aspect of a dozen different people and feel rubbish because you’re not living the perfect compilation of all those achievements. It’s not just me that does that right?
On closer analysis, when I take that highlight reel and examine it it’s actually tough to find the person who really has “It All.” Even the pretty, wealthy, healthy, loved chick… might not have contribution and evolution and independence.
In reality how can you feel behind on life when the only fair comparison is that which you make with yourself and your goals / values / opportunities and responses in mind?
I’m guessing in times when such basic necessities as food, clothing and shelter could not be relied on we didn’t have the luxury of feeling behind on life. Maintaining life itself was the goal.
That’s not meant to downplay the very really feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction that most of us encounter. It’s just to give some perspective.
The alternative: is to get awesome at selective comparison gaming AND also to practice appreciation for all the advantages you do have.
In fact that’s a pretty good place to get actionable today. Let’s make it specific to Body Gain.
What’s one aspect: Maybe in relation to your food? Or perhaps your exercise? Or possibly the way you think or the habits you’ve created… in which you’re actually going pretty fabulous?
Compared to this time – however long ago – you’re kicking butt!
And in relation to that progress: I’m certain there’s something to appreciate beyond just the results? Maybe that you have the time and money for food prep? Or exercise? Perhaps that your family supports the great habits you’ve created? Possibly even the huge amount of quality free information you have instant access to?
Appreciation is the perfect place to finish todays show.
So thank you. I appreciate YOU. I’m grateful that you’ve chosen to listen to this lil podcast… and I hope you can join me for the Friday show where I discuss how: Apparently Everything Can Kill You!
If you liked this you’ll also like: My best Fuel, Move, Life advice for out-smarting weight loss overwhelm.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.