I’ll do it when I have enough money.
I’ll start it when I can find the time.
When I have the right job, I’ll feel more relaxed.
When I slim down, I know I’ll be happier.
When I have my own business, I’ll know I’m on the right path.
When I don’t have to take care of my mum/dad/children I will focus on me…
Lovely pic taken from ‘blonde bronzed twenty something’
I hear these kind of statements everyday in my work as a psychologist.
It is so common to think that your life can only be ‘on track’, or even start (!) when everything is ‘in place’ or how you want it to be. The feeling is, that if you have certain things in place, from the right job, to a particular income, not having to take care of others to having the right body or finding and creating more time in your day to do more things you love, then your life is somehow complete or that this set of circumstances will now allow you to ‘start’ something that you have been putting off. That you will now be in the place from which everything can now begin.
– Planning versus wishing and waiting –
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to plan ahead.
It’s great to think about what you want to achieve and if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know how much I advocate ‘planning ‘ as part of your regular practice…I mean stuff doesn’t happen by itself! We have to be able to define what we want and make goals in order to achieve them. This is a different though.
If you are used to saying these kind of things (possibly just in your head, not out loud), then they often lend themselves to things that feel out of your control. And certainly having too many ‘I’ll do it when…’ thoughts as your inner dialogue can lead to all sorts things when you maybe realise that you’ve been thinking these things for a long time and in reality, you are no closer to getting there.
This can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, depression to generally feeling like you are not good enough, successful enough or worthy enough to achieve what it is you want to achieve. When will it happen? Will it ever happen? Will I ever get to where I want to be? When will be the ‘right’ time?
There is also that pesky group of course, that like to remain in ignorant bliss about these things. This groups appear deluded about what ‘may or may not’ happen. They like living in their mind in that parallel universe where their imaginary life is better, brighter and shiner than the one they are really living. These people are definitely the ‘one day I will do….’ group.
– We have all done it –
I have done this throughout my life at various times in various circumstances. From viewing particularly jobs as being temporary until I got my ‘forever’ job – my how surprised I’ve been when I realise just how long I ‘ended up’ doing something’ – to poor clothes purchases until I got my ‘perfect’ body, to putting up with being over run doing things for other people – because I’ll start saying no when…..you can see the theme here.
Another really good example was when I bought my first house. I liked my first house, but I didn’t LOVE it. In other words I didn’t think that it was my ‘forever house’.
I remember when I bought it, thinking that I would live in it for a year or 2 and then go on to buy something that was more my ‘forever home’….my big barn conversion with the obligatory Aga and a couple of acres of land with chickens and few other animals for good measure. In the meantime, I was just going to be comfortable (make the best of , but not put my heart into the house I was in). I decided against making any massive decorative changes as it just wasn’t worth it. I hated the yellow walls, but didn’t change them. I also wanted a proper shower instead of the shower attached to my bath taps, but ‘put up with’ holding the antique shower head over my head instead because ‘I’ll make do until until I get my forever house’.
Well, it wasn’t 2 years by the time I moved, it was nearly 4 years later!
Funnily enough I made the changes I had wanted the whole time just before I sold the house….all just in time for the other person to enjoy.
And so, did I move to my forever home? No. Do I have acres of land and an Aga now? No. Am I happy in the house I am in? Yes, very. Have I repeated the same pattern and not made any changes to it based on the fact that the home I’m in now isn’t my forever home? No…I’ve made lots of changes! Why? Because my life isn’t going to be better, more fulfilling, easier, lovelier, prettier or more perfect if I get the forever home, than it is now. Also, in the meantime, I don’t want to live my life in limbo or ‘on hold’ until I get these things I desire.
You can apply the same thinking to any of the situations I have mentioned here. In my case, every day I try really hard to notice when I have thoughts about, ‘my life will be XXXX when…’ because I’ve learnt that it is really, really important to be happy in this moment because as the saying goes, ‘this moment is all there is’.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean we should go off doing things with abandon as if there is no consequence. It also doesn’t mean that I am not aware of the fact that I, and I’m sure you do actually have responsibilities that require us to be present. It just means that in each moment it is really important to retain, remember and hold on to values, thoughts, beliefs that nurture and fulfil you. That you are thinking and relating to yourself as the person you truly wish to be…NOW. (and creating some time for it, but that’s another post!).
– Over to you –
I hope that this idea and the sharing of some of my own recognition and experiences has got you thinking about the things that you may be waiting to do until ‘conditions in your life are perfect’.
In the meantime I encourage you to plan ahead for things that you would love to do. Plan and dream with abandon! Enjoy the prospects that lie ahead based on the work you put in now. Things may not be perfect but how important it is to love the life you are living right now!
Til next week.
If you would like some help in looking at these kind of issues, do go over to my SHOP page where you can still purchase an hour and a half 1:1 coaching session for the price of 1 hour, prior to December 31st.