The Consequence of Not Facing Your Fears

We have all had moments in our lives where our fears were staring us right in the face and we had a decision to make. Did we face them? or did we turn away from them?

More times than I can count, I have chosen to run in the opposite direction. At the time, running in the opposite direction felt like the right thing to do. In those moments, it felt safer and easier to run. I will admit, the relief I felt after not facing those fears was indescribable, but there was always a small voice in the back of my head telling me I had made a mistake.  

Little did I know that voice in the back of my head was on to something. At that moment, I would feel relieved, but in the long-run, I would pay a price for never facing my fears. This leads me to the point of today’s post. What happens when we don’t face our fears? What consequences do we face instead?

You see, when we run from our fears, we are essentially running from an opportunity to grow as a person. We take away the option of change or just seeing something different. I get it, change and growth are messy and difficult but they are vital to all of our lives. Just think for a moment, if you did not face your fears ever, who would you be today? How would you act? Who will you become?  

Things in life are meant to be done even with fear at the forefront. One of my favourite quotes about fear by Meg Cabot and says “courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear”. Your growth, your happiness, your development as a person, is more important than fear. There is an endless list of things in life that are more important than fear. But when we come face to face with fear, we are reminded of how easy it could be if we just backed down and turned away from it.

But unfortunately, as we will all come to learn, sometimes you can’t run from fear. You will be put in circumstances or situations where facing your fear is quite literally the only option. But you shouldn’t wait until that point to face your fears or develop the tools you need to face your fears.

It is not easy, but that’s the point, it is not meant to be easy. But turning in the other direction can harm your growth and life more in the long run. Not facing your fears stifles your growth and impedes your development as a person.

Fear can stop your life from becoming better, it can stop you from doing what’s right by you and by others, it can stop you from chasing after the life you have always dreamed of. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The consequences you will face by not facing your fears are far greater than the ones you will

The Changing Meaning of Life

The initial idea behind The Life We Dream Of was to encourage people to accomplish their life goals and live the life they have always dreamed of living. It sounded simple, easy and was a bit niche in my opinion. But it never took off, mostly because I didn’t want it to. I would stop myself from posting or creating any new content because I wanted it to be perfect, and I wanted to have all the answers for those who would come to visit my blog seeking those very same answers. But over time, what I have come to learn is that the reason I wasn’t willing to return to posting on my blog is that too much had changed. More specifically, I had experienced a shift in mindset so drastic that the life we dream of lost its very essence for a while.

The other day I was watching Soul on Disney Plus and it was a truly phenomenal movie. It somehow brought me back to a time a year and a half ago where I was in a dark place and my mental health was not great. During that time, I was working at a job I found mundane, unfulfilling, and altogether made me feel useless. But why was I feeling this way? I was finally working an ‘adult job’, I was getting paid a decent salary and I loved my colleagues. Somehow, that wasn’t enough. A year and a half ago, I thought that the dream life that I wanted was one where I would climb the career ladder, live in a beautiful condo or apartment and be able to buy anything I want without hesitation. Although that is a rather simplistic view of life, I had envisioned for myself it is truly what I wanted. There is nothing wrong with that – if anything it’s a very normal life that many people want. But once I was one step closer to that life, I felt more and more unfulfilled and sad.

It wasn’t until I was unemployed during the pandemic and able to take a step back from being overly busy that I realized why I was so unhappy and unfulfilled. Yes, I was working in the job I worked so hard to get, and I was making money, but I had turned this unhappy and unfulfilling job into the center of my life. I poured all my attention into it, and the unhappiness surrounding it all consumed my life.

Why did I do that? Because that is all I ever knew how to do. All society had taught me up until that point is that I need to get a job, but not just any job, a job that I was passionate about and would want to dedicate my entire life to. I genuinely thought that I was going to live my dream life by taking this job. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and did not in any way make me happy.

 Life is so much more than how productive I am compared to those around me. Life is about the small moments of joy, happiness, and peace. It is not all supposed to be about finding the dream career and climbing the ladder. Is it an important part of our lives? Absolutely – but how productive I am in society is not the be all end all of who I am.

Watching this movie reminded me that if I had just taken a few moments each day to find those small moments of joy or happiness, maybe I would have been a lot happier. Maybe I would enjoy what I was doing more if I had put less focus on it and stopped it from consuming my entire life. The life we dream of should be one where we seek joy and happiness, where we create it within ourselves and with others. The life we dream of is simple and not very demanding at its root core.  All I want from life is to be healthy, happy, financially comfortable and be surrounded by friends and family. At the end of the day that is all I want, and if a career can help me achieve some of those things then that is fantastic, but it will not be the only thing I focus on.

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

If you are anything like me, then you probably have a slightly unhealthy addiction to all things stationery, notebooks, and planners. I will say, I did not invest in a planner in 2020, but instead utilized the bullet journal because at least I could customize it to my crazy and unpredictable schedule. However, in 2021 I decided to take the plunge and invest in a planner. The way I see it is that if I’m going to invest in something it will be in myself and a tool, I can use to set myself up for success.  

I know a lot of people are hesitant to buy a planner or even just plan out their goals for 2021, and I spoke about it in my last post, but with that, I still think it’s important to work towards something or structure the work or job we currently have. With that in mind, I have also included a few online resources that you can utilize that are free, so you don’t have to monetarily invest them. But they still do an excellent job at helping you create an organizational system that works for you and your goals. Without further delay, here are a few of my favourite organizational tools!   

  • Monthly calendar

A monthly calendar is the number one organizational tool I would recommend to anyone. Whether you use it on your phone, your laptop, or a paper version, using a monthly calendar can set you up for success in the best way possible. First, it forces you to write down important deadlines, events, meetings, or appointments. This makes it easy for you to remember your busy schedule, and generally frees your brains from having to remember every little detail that is on your calendar. Second, it signals to you what needs to be accomplished, what tasks have to be completed and by when. When you utilize your monthly calendar to its fullest extent, you are doing half the work already. You are pre-planning your tasks and prioritizing them without even making a to-do list.

  • Planner

As I mentioned earlier, I did decide to invest in a paper planner. The one I am using is by STIL Classics, and I will say it is a bit pricier. But there are so many places that sell agendas to suit every budget and price range such as Indigo. One of the reasons why I love this planner is because there’s a section called monthly rituals and routines. After the Holidays I have had a tough time creating my morning and night routines. But this planner helped me make a concrete plan or idea of what I want in my mornings and evenings to look like. Another feature that I love about this agenda is that there is a weekly spread where you can write out your to-do list but then on the following page there’s also a weekly spread where you can schedule it out and I find those two together just help me visualize my week and time-block properly.    

  • Notebooks and Notepads

Having a notebook or notepad on your desk is one of the best ways to free your mind from distractions. Sometimes you get a random thought or idea not related to the work you are doing at that moment, but you still want to remember it. Having a notebook or notepad nearby can help with that. I also find that when I am feeling overwhelmed, just taking a few minutes to jot down my thoughts in this notebook helps me clear my mind and refocus on the task at hand. Another way I use my notebooks is just for to-do lists. In the middle of 2020, I was solely relying on to-do lists in my notebooks to get me through the day and the work that I need to do. It is endlessly customizable and allows you to structure your organizational system however you want.

  • Stationery

I am a big stationery lover and have far too many pens and highlighters for one person. Although I do not colour code everything in my life, I find that using colours in my notebooks or bullet journal helps add a bit of life to the page and encourage my creativity to flow more smoothly. Fancy stationery is not essential to your organization system but testing out how you plan with a bit of colour might be more incentivizing for you, or help you plan and organize yourself better.

  • Online Resources

Here are two online tools that I have used and find extremely useful and are free for those of us who do not want to use any paper or are on a budget. Trello is an amazing online tool that lets you customize the board you are using to organize your work. I used it heavily throughout university and mainly used it because it was easy to reshuffle my to-do lists and tasks, without having to physically change or create a whole new to-do list. Monday.Com I have just recently started using this platform, but it was created in such a way where it keeps you accountable on your deadlines and is amazing if you are working with other people on projects.

I hope these tools will help you create an organizational system that works for you and will help you accomplish whatever you need to do. Soon, I will talk about the organization system I have created and hopefully that can help one of you.

The beauty of organization is that it is truly customizable and at the base of it all you just need a pen and paper (or phone), and the motivation and courage to outline what needs to get done, and the discipline to accomplish it. But that system that you create is entirely yours and can be shaped and formed however you need It to be.  

*Please note that none of the links above are sponsored or affiliate links these are just things that I have truly come to love and I’m linking just for people who are interested*

Planning For 2021

2020 was a tough year, collectively and personally. It was a year that upended many aspects of our lives and a year that showed no mercy. The goals that I had set at the beginning of the year were completely thrown out the window by March. I honestly just floated through the rest of the year without a single goal in mind.

In a way, it was refreshing. I did my day-to-day things; I tried my best in school and blogged a bit, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to adapt my goals or start from scratch. Which is exactly the mentality I am taking with me into 2021. But this time, I have decided that instead of setting yearly goals, I would just take it month by month. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you can’t plan life. You can’t plan or predict what will happen tomorrow, and although that scares me, it has also been a sort of comfort to know that I just need to get my shit together one month at a time.

Everything in my life as of this point is beyond uncertain. I guess you could say I am in a unique position in my life, but I think it’s a rather common one that a lot of us have faced. It’s that point where one chapter has closed, and another one hasn’t yet open so here we are just standing in the in-between of life. At least, that is how it feels to me.

But with this in-between phase, I still have things I want to do and goals to reach but I am taking a much more relaxed approach to them. So, for January 2021, here are a few of my goals and what I am focusing on.

  • Career – I am at that point in my life where I am ready, and need, a proper adult job, if you will, so one of my goals is not necessary to get a job but it is to apply to quite a lot of jobs.
    • Apply to 5 jobs a week
    • Create a job application tracker
    • Update and translate my Resume
  • The Life We Dream Of Blog
    • Grow my followers (no amount specified, because again I am trying not to put pressure on myself)
    • Post once a week
    • Update and organize website layout and content
  • Personal
    • Read 4 books (my goal is to read 50 books this year, if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments!)
    • Re-establish a morning routine
    • Work on my relationship with money and finances

Just remember, last year was extremely challenging and the fact of the matter is, 2021 will be equally as challenging. Keep that in mind when you are creating your goals, do not put pressure on yourself to reach these impossible standards. Take a deep breath, it has been a long year but remember everything can change in a year. Just take it one month at a time. 

The Next Right Thing

It was a typical Wednesday night and I of course found myself mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest and pinning random quotes, future dream kitchens and how I want my future library to look (yes, this is truly one of my life goals). But somehow, I noticed this really pretty green square and my eyes drifted to the quote and it said, “do the next right thing”.  I had to stop for a moment and reflect. The quote hit me like a ton of bricks, and it has been in my minever since. I can’t stop thinking about it – why has no one told me to just try and do the next right thing?

Well, it is a bit complicated because as I am sure we all understand, sometimes we don’t know what the next right thing is. We don’t know what we are supposed to do or even how we are supposed to go about it. The idea of doing the next right thing suddenly became overwhelming.

Here’s the thing — you don’t need to do the next major thing. You just need to do the NEXT right thing and oftentimes the next thing is a small action. So that’s what I started doing, I started thinking of it in smaller bite-size pieces.

At that moment, I decided that the next right thing would be to set my alarm for the next morning, and then I eventually went to bed. Making that decision was not a massive choice, it wasn’t scary or aunting. But I did it because I knew that if I int I would have a rushed morning and that would set off a chain reaction of grumpiness for the entire day. Sometimes doing the next right thing is just one small action that could make a difference in your life. 

Thursday morning, I woke up with this idea still stuck in my head and throughout the day I decided that I would continue with it. I just kept thinking to myself, what is the next right thing? After getting up, the next right thing was to make myself a healthy breakfast, then it was to get ready for my zoom class and then it was that I would work out in the afternoon. But please don’t get the impression that I did everything right that day. I knew that one of the next right things was to attend my shorter zoom class, but I didn’t. I wanted to share that with you all because you should understand that doing the next right thing is not easy, and its habits we have to develop.

Oftentimes, it is the habit that we least want to keep up because it forces us to make choices that would otherwise make us uncomfortable. Doing the next right thing every day requires you to look in the mirror and deciding that today will be a day where you try to do your best, be your best and overall do the next right thing. Is this easy? No, but it can turn into a life-changing mindset.

But remember that you can start small. You don’t have to embark on this crazy idea of what the next right thing is – it could just be that the next right thing is making a healthy breakfast, going for a walk or just calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. The next right thing is not as daunting and big of a deal as we make it seem it just takes a shift in mindset and an ounce of courage.

Just think, at this moment, what is the next right thing you can do?

Mindset

What is a mindset?  A mindset is the attitudes, beliefs and ideas that shape the lens we use to see the world and ourselves. Understanding the roots and core of our mindsets is the starting point to creating a life we want to live or to change the life we currently live. But before we can start rebuilding or fixing our mindset’s foundation, we need to acknowledge where we currently are at without mindset and decide which direction, we want it to go in. 

Often, people say that their mindsets can never change because that’s how they were raised or because of the current environment they have found themselves in. But I would like to offer a different perspective to that argument. As we are creatures of our environments, we naturally are also creatures of habit. The habits we create and follow, are directly linked to the environments we are in.  But in some circumstances, we can change the environment we are in by changing the habits we create.  By changing the habits, we follow, we can change the environment around us and our mindset.

Here are two examples of mindsets that every single person will find themselves in at one point or another. The goal, well for me at least during certain moments in time, was to go from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. Truthfully, we are humans and our lives are beyond complicated, which is why we are most likely going to be in between a positive and negative mindset. This in-between can be known as the grey zone and its where most of our lives happen. What matters about being in the grey area is that we are actively working towards a positive mindset, not all the time because again we are humans and life is tough, but if you try then you have already made a tremendous difference in your life.

Now, the first category is a negative mindset. These are the type of mindsets that tend to make us hard on ourselves, we become pessimistic and negative, we forget what and who we love, admire and want to become. It’s essentially an unhealthy mindset that leads us to create habits that do not in any way benefit our life. From what I have the experience, the world becomes tinted in black and grey and it feels like I have a personal storm cloud over my head. That isn’t a healthy way to live a life, but in all honesty, it’s a way a lot of us will view life. Now, this isn’t meant to make you feel bad about your life. Please remember that every single person on this planet experiences this mindset for one reason or another and it sucks but there are ways to move past it. But in all honesty, it’s hard and it requires a tremendous amount of work, but you can always get out of it.

In my opinion, creating a positive mindset is about creating a mind where you can take life’s problems and process them effectively to deal with them in a way that will solve the problem for good, or at least attempt to. It’s a mindset where you actively choose to work through problems in a healthy way, seek opportunities, acknowledge the present and find the solutions. A positive mindset does not necessarily mean that your life will be all sunshine and rainbows, it’s just that you’re seeing things in a more positive nature, or at least in a way that allows you to find solutions to your problems.

I understand that this seems difficult, or at the very least, confusing. Life is confusing. I do not want to sit here and guarantee you that your life will flip from bad to good in a day. I still have to work through this every day and it does not necessarily get easier. But the thing that I noticed the most when I am consciously working towards a healthier and positive mindset is that I am excited to see what happens next, I see a challenge and I don’t want to crawl back into bed; I want to get up and tackle it. 

Working on your mindset means you are choosing to see the world through your perspective, not what was created and infused in you. You are choosing to give every day a chance, but more importantly, to give yourself a chance every day. You are choosing to acknowledge a problem and not lament over it for days on end, but to find the solution to it, or at least try to control how you can react to it. There is so much agency and autonomy within us that we forget so often because we get caught up in our heads and these negative mindsets. We are preconditioned to assume the worse and come to a defence, it’s the human nature in us. But we also know that part of our lives can be determined by the habits we create. This is why in the upcoming posts I want to dive a little deeper into positive mindsets and how we can actively work to get started on that path and keep it up. I have found that by creating a habit of gratitude, discipline and shifting our thinking, we can change our mindset from a negative one to a positive one.

*Disclaimer:These are my opinions and experiences and they do not apply to everyone’s situation or circumstances. I am not a professional, please seek out professional help if you need any.*