plot twist

plot twist

'do it for the plot'

an everyday moment:

There are countless times where I’ve stopped myself from doing or saying something, purely because I thought that it did not fit another person’s perception of me (how I act, what I say, how I would respond). There’s a difference between assessing whether saying or doing something is appropriate for the situation and assessing whether you can do something just based off how other people’s perception of you might change. Before an action, I often find myself anticipating how the other person may perceive me - not liking that potential change in perception (maybe thinking that it would sever the connection, or I would be deprived of that connection/love) and stopping myself. Let me ground this in some examples; not ending up posting on social media - grew up to associate that with ‘show off’ vibes, not presenting or investing in my presentation - associated with vanity, materialism, lacking ‘natural’ beauty etc. or even starting and writing this blog - thought it would come off as too sentimental, woo-woo, or superiority-like as if I have the guidebook to life. The funniest thing is that these are all judgements of myself that I pre-anticipate - and if I view these as objectively true, I’ll probably the most affected by feedback that align with these judgements due to cognitive biases where I just reaffirm these associations (e.g. get more triggered by people who question posting, or who question this blog VS the extent of gratitude I feel for those who support).

The trending mentality of ‘do it for the plot’ is a sentiment that I love. It has helped me to act anyway in times of doubt but it is much easier said than done. It can also be easily twisted into a justification of unsound, poor decisions which is not the intention. An alternative perspective that doesn’t have this pitfall is one I recently came across on emmalouise’s podcast (’everything is hard’) although she worded it differently. She talked about how accumulated experience and knowledge results in inevitable change. For instance, after learning more about relationships, or coming across the opportunity to move - of course she’s going to establish boundaries, move to a different country. It’s this kind of ‘of course’ mentality that has been one of the best mantras in life I’ve ever come across.

a reflection:

So let me explain some more. People in the wellness industry always talk about ‘self-compassion’ and being ‘kind to yourself’ - but they rarely present HOW, what does that look like?

Well, this perspective is a very clear example of self-compassion. With every action, behaviour that you have hesitation about (due to fear of judgement or failure) - you look at it through the lens of why you wanted to do it in the first place and say ‘of course I’m going to [behaviour]’. It sounds super irrational in that phrasing but here’s what I wrote from my diary.

  • Of course I’m going to take a risk
  • Of course I’m going to start a blog and share my thoughts while experiencing all the ups and downs of life
  • Of course I’m going to invest into my appearance
  • Of course my relationships will change
  • Of course I’m going to move countries (at some point)
  • Of course I’m going to make mistakes
  • Of course I’m going to curate an aesthetic that I like and feel good in
  • Of course I’m going to take action on my dreams and be silly or delulu in the process
  • Of course I’m going to respect my bodily cues for hunger and satiation

Everything you think is ‘weird’ or that will get questioned has an ‘of course’ perspective to it.

Often, I was scared that the actions I took would catch people off guard to the extent that they would think I changed dramatically (for the worse) and it would arouse a level of concern. But it really was just a hidden change/desire that I had all along - it was a canon event. There’s the concept in cognitive psych of latent learning where what someone has learnt is hidden until they demonstrate it in a change of behaviour when the context is appropriate (where they feel that demonstrating their knowledge, or changing behaviour would yield beneficial results for them). It kind of reminds me of these plot twist moments. But I think, that when you feel the drive to do the behaviour - that’s the time to twist the plot - in books, characters don’t wait until the setting/situation has changed in order to change the story up, they just change and the setting/situation changes alongside. Which honestly mirrors real life.

As a sidenote - if it’s uncomfortable for people to watch you evolve, it either reminds them of what they unconsciously feel is missing in their own life or they relied on your stagnancy to make themselves feel better about their position. But then comes the question - what about when people try to stop you out of ‘care’ or ‘they don’t want to see you get hurt’. The ones that do love you will let you change (they know that whatever they see or imagine may happen is not the whole story because they are also limited in their perception BUT also if they do happen to know better - this is a classic case of letting someone experience it to realise it themself). A really simplistic example of this is this moment where my sister and I were collecting stamps around Japan and found one in an Otaru shop - she let me stamp in her journal and she told me I was stamping it upside down (but it looked like this comic-like beetroot from my perspective) and I told her it wasn’t. I stamped it, and lo and behold, it was upside down - I just needed to do it to realise it for myself. Anywho - people that are the true supporters can probably tell whether your change is coming from a place of loving intention (as would you) and even if they don’t think it will work out, sometimes you’ve just got to believe in yourself where they might show resistance now and celebrate it later.

magic in the mundane:

I included a lot of ‘of course’ moments in the above. But the one that has been sticking lately has been about posture! Kind of random - but it’s true. I noticed that I felt unconsciously safer slouching or not standing tall in bigger crowds. And I just say to myself, if I know that having better posture is better for my health and also helps me feel more confident in general - of course I’m going to sit up/stand with good posture. Of course I’m going to walk around with nice posture. It sounds so funny when I’ve typed it out. But try the ‘of course’ mantra on smaller, trivial moments to experiment :)

fromtheheart mantras:

  • Try journalling out every moment/behaviour you thought was ‘weird’ but did in life with an of course in front of it


  • Everything you think is ‘weird’ or that will get questioned has an ‘of course’ perspective to it.


  • Sometimes with creative projects, or practices that started out as novelties and that require consistency - what first served as a relaxation practise can become a burden. Let my blog (or something else) be a creative outlet, not a burden.


  • Sometime you need to go through it, gain more experience to realise it for yourself.


  • A body-based mantra if you find yourself struggling with the pressure to disregard hunger cues: From the perspective of others → When I’m diabetic/ill and elderly, you’re going to let me not finish my plate, you’re going to respect my attempt to care for my health and eat whatever the heck I want. So respect it now, before I get to that stage


  • Of course you're going to do it for the plot !!

from, the heart <3

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