Everyday Chaos


Starting with a heartfelt confession.

Over the last few months, I haven’t lived up to my personal expectations. In fact, I’ve been pretty poor, in both my actions and more importantly, with my self-talk in just about every
area of my life – work, relationships and health.

As a consequence, I’ve been pretty hard on myself during this time, and my self-talk has been, let’s just say, not very kind. On detailed reflection, my self-talk has been pretty piss
poor. It’s certainly language I would never use or say to any other person. It’s just not appropriate. But yet, I was more than happy to use negative language on myself, which
made me feel even worse.

Of course, I should know better, and of course, I do. I know all the tell-tale signs and the solutions, as does everyone else who falls into the same negative pattern.

BUT IT JUST SEEMS SO DAMN HARD TO SNAP OUT OF IT!

I listen to all the motivational speakers, podcasts and YouTube videos.
Take the advice of well-meaning friends and colleagues.
Focus on gratitude.
Do my morning meditation
and everything else to just get on with it.
But it’s as if I don’t want to listen to the advice of others let alone my ‘well informed’ self – I’ve heard it all before! I just want to be left in my ‘feel sorry for myself, it’s just not fair,
everyone else is to blame – give me some ice-cream to make me feel better (…ahh in summary, victim!) world.’
Does this sound familiar?

I’m not suggesting that this is anything new or out of the ordinary, or some sort of revelation. It’s a part of everyday life and what being human is all about. We’ve all been
there. We all know what I’m talking about. In most, if not ALL cases, we are our own worst critics and the expectations we set ourselves are sometimes beyond reach. We are simply too hard on ourselves. In our proliferated social media world, we are bombarded with the perception of everyone else’s ‘perfect world’ when in reality, we are all battling with our
own bubble of ‘everyday chaos.’

Like it or not, ‘everyday chaos’ is the actual normal. So how do we best get through these challenges before they become overwhelming and we get too deep in emotional trouble to get back on track? Is there a simple and easy solution, besides the ‘suck it up,’ ‘get motivated’ and ‘just do it’ principle; which deep down we all know is a great solution, but whom many simply can’t effectively action – me included!

First of all, we need to EMBRACE the chaos.

Wholeheartedly recognise that chaos is the everyday normal and start forgiving yourself for the unwarranted high expectation you set for yourself. Note what you set as realistic, what
isn’t and what is self-sabotage – that feeling that you are not worthy or good enough for success.

Understand that the ONLY constant in life is CHANGE itself. Nothing stays the same; not a SINGLE thing since the dawn of time, and because of it, we will always encounter unforeseen challenges, setbacks & obstacles, and by the same token, unforeseen opportunities. All challenges, setbacks, obstacles & opportunities, in some shape or form, will fall under ‘everyday chaos.’

We live in a modern world which is addicted to instant gratification, so instant that ‘instant coffee’ is not even fast enough! Since the evolution of social media, the immediacy of connection and available information, we have become accustomed to, let alone addicted to, the body’s need for ‘dopamine hits’ which is in the disguise of the number of daily ‘likes’ and ‘friend requests’ we receive on social media.

When we don’t get them, especially from friends and people of influence we respect, we start to question our own self-worth – and dismiss even the thought it probably didn’t come up on their feed! (it’s worth making note – there have been countless scientific studies on this and if you simply Google it, there are hundreds of articles relating to the modern-day emotional challenges which have emerged since the advent of social media. It’s quite scary and concerning actually.)

But a caveat on the above too. I’m not referring to the next level of emotional well-being (mental health) – I won’t pretend or am I qualified to provide advice on that. However, by the same token, I don’t want to come across with overdramatisation. At the end of the day, it’s everyday life. We all go through ‘self-bashing’ (for lack of a better descriptive word) from time to time and we all have the CHOICE to feel and do what we want to do.

We are fully responsible – it’s another lesson in learning to embrace ‘everyday chaos.’ So long as we can identify it for what it is – we can not only overcome it, but we can actually find the ‘joy’ in dealing with everyday chaos. And the best way I found to deal with my recent encounter with it, is to refocus on what I truly ‘want.’ Admittedly, I have stumbled across it quite by accident as a result of preparing for our upcoming ‘Personal Best 2020’ workshops. (For those who haven’t been to one, our workshops focus on Goal Setting and Planning, and are designed to provide a roadmap of things to do to help those in attendance achieve a personal best year for 2020!) By refocussing on my goals, reviewing past successes and wins, creating and setting new goals and targets, I found renewed energy.
A lot of it!

A new fire in the belly to get me moving back in the right direction. Well at least, that’s what I have found. Now I would love to tell you that the ‘antidote’ and the ‘magic pill’ are all of the above. But they are not. The reality is, everyone’s ‘everyday chaos’ is so different Everyone reacts so differently, sees things so differently, behave so differently. The only way to ’embrace’ and really find joy in ‘everyday chaos’ is to work out and learn what works best for you. ‘Everyday Chaos’ is here to stay. It will follow you right to the end. You can either get busy finding the ‘joy’ in it, learning to embrace it and loving the challenge of it, or you can do what I’ve wasted so much time doing over the last couple of months, and simply feel sorry for yourself – and eat way too much ice-cream!

In each case, and just as I have found, you get to choose.