What does it mean to be you? Who are you? What do your days consist of? Are you everything you hoped you would be? Do you strive to be the best version of you? The problem we face today is not having a purpose, a goal, a vision or a plan for ourselves. We may wake up every morning with a general feel for what needs to be achieved, but our fears, the overwhelming sensation of not ever getting enough done, or being enough, can all become too hard.
As a human race, we need to be living a more intentional life but the fear of failure, the stressors of daily life and the lack of knowledge on how to maintain a clear mental space can set us back. How do we live a more intentional life, a life that’s based on your efforts to complete everyday tasks according to your values and beliefs? What is intentional living, by definition? We can all strive to live intentionally, but maintaining this mental space when you’re overloaded is the challenging part. We’ve outlined a few helpful tips to help you become a better version of you.
Realise it takes time
When you reach a point in life where you feel like you’re being swallowed by the enormity of your daily tasks, it’s time to take a step back and try to live intentionally. However, knowing your situation may be hard to change because the mental space you’re in can end up making you feel more under pressure, and overloaded. Therefore, the first step to living more intentionally is to realise it takes time.
Nothing happens overnight, and it’s important that you take it hour by hour, then day by day. Put more thought into your every action, and think about how it makes you feel. Your actions and decisions are yours alone, but the goal through every decision you make is to do it for you. You need mental clarity, but you can’t achieve it within one day. Unload yourself of your burdens through a series of steps, and slowly cut out those things that aren’t helping you maintain a clear mental space.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
As Susan Jeffers, American psychologist and author, once said: feel the fear and do it anyway.
The key to maintaining mental space when you’re overloaded is to know you’re fearful. Feel the fear of not being enough, not doing enough, and being an imposter in your own life. Feel the fear of meeting deadlines, not maintaining a work-life balance and never having enough time for anything.
Feel the fear of all these things, and then do them anyway. Achieve your goals, know they will be achieved, and feel that fear before letting it leave. Replace it with accomplishment, and slowly you will begin to realise that your fear was unfounded. You feared the tasks ahead but you did them, and that fear was gone.
You see, finding clarity and using that mindset of intentional living at work enables you to realise that all your daily tasks, while scary, are there to be completed by you. It was your decision and your actions that got them completed. You did them your way, at your own pace, and it was one less thing to cloud your mental clarity.
Stop the comparisons
Have you ever been scrolling through social media in your down time, or a time of procrastination, only to compare yourself to other people? While you’re bogged down in a seemingly endless amount of work, someone else is on holiday on a tropical island, or is out doing something fun. You can begin to feel frustrated, and anger fills your very being. Why can’t that be you?
Or how about comparing present you to past you? Past you was able to get out, have fun, and enjoy life without the stress of work. Present you is feeling the stress of every task, and has a dark mental space that doesn’t seem to have any light in. In order to start living more intentionally and to rid your mental space of clutter, you need to stop comparing.
You can’t change the past, but you can change the present, and the future. Work on being a better, stronger you, instead of remembering who you once were. Delving into the past does not change the present.
Stop finding distractions
When you’re working on a particularly difficult task, it can seem easier to simply move onto something less challenging, less involved, and actually less stimulating. The task can seem scary, daunting and you may not feel motivated to get started. Think about your beliefs and values for everyday life. Do you always aim to give 100 percent effort to everything you do? Then do the job. Stop finding distractions that limit your ability to complete the most important task in a timely manner. You are only causing yourself more mental anguish. This ultimately hinders your goals for intentional living. Make the decision. Do the job. Experience mental clarity.
You don’t owe social media anything
There’s a common misconception that if you aren’t active on social media, you’re not “up with the play”. However, if you’re looking to be the best version of you, you have to realise that you don’t owe social media anything. While it’s a convenient forum for keeping up with family and new trends, it’s also a black hole for negative feelings, procrastination and feelings of being overwhelmed due to not being what everyone else is. There can be a sense of stress associated with forgetting to Instagram your dinner, or keep your Snapchat streak. Is it really necessary? When you’re trying to become a better you without being stressed by life, social media becomes a barrier.
Why not take a break from social media? You may notice you’re far more productive, far less stressed, and in a much better place to tackle life head on.
Gaining mental clarity when you’re overloaded, and learning to live a more intentional lifestyle are the keys to a better work-life balance. How did you gain mental clarity? How did you work through big tasks without feeling stressed or overwhelmed?