We have all been there, scrolling through our social media feeds and see all of those people living such happy lives, emphasizing on their small successes and moments of recognition. It’s so easy to fall into that slump of thinking, “When will my moment come?” That feeling of being stagnant and having a fear of never “making it” can be crippling, trust me I know, it’s something I continue to battle with every single day. There are times, more often than not, when I’m cooped up in my room for days not doing anything because that voice of negativity has completely taken over. You know that creepy voice that loves to come in and stomp all over your wave of motivation and momentum? It kind of sounds like this, “What are you doing? Why do you even bother? People aren’t even going to understand what you are trying to do! You should just give up!” Yah, if you sit there and allow that dude to take over your thoughts you will be stuck and you won’t want to move.
So I began to study the lives and strategies of successful people that inspire me and look up too. People like Tom Bilyeu, Lisa Nichols and Tony Robbins. I would ask questions like, did they go through these same obstacles? What did they do to overcome them? If you don’t know who these people are, that’s okay, find someone who you look up to and study them and their lives, the same formula still applies. One thing I found in common with Tom, Lisa and Tony is that it took them YEARS – I mean YEARS to reach the level of success that they have. All three of them started with nothing but adopted ways of thinking that shifted their approach towards obstacles and they have been applying their methods every single day of their life. Things like meditation, positive thinking, creating boundaries and building structured schedules to enforce discipline and follow through are all major factors to their success. Don’t believe me? I dare you to research them, no I WANT you to research them so you can discover some amazing keys to help unlock your journey to success. Long story short, what these 3 have demonstrated and revealed to me is that there is no short cut. Point. Blank. Period. That being said, if you want to start investigating ways to start shifting your thoughts to a more positive manner keep reading on for 10 ways to start your journey.
GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I would bet money that you have heard this A LOT, because I definitely have and it actually took me a very long time to accept this as a number one step. I didn’t realize how unhealthy it is to sit there and be so disconnected with from world, from myself. I was too busy letting the internet tell me how to act and look in order to be accepted by people I don’t even like! Like WHAT?? I’m so guilty of scrolling for hours through my feed, looking at beauty and fashion blogs, comparing myself to the drop dead gorgeous girls with all the likes and the swag (bleh). Having thoughts like ‘Oh maybe if I wear that lipstick color I will feel better’ or ‘I just need to buy those shoes and I will be legit?!’ Feeding that type of dialogue to yourself affects you psychologically, so I stopped. I Googled and YouTube’ d ways to try and stop and as a result I no longer look at my phone first thing in the morning, if I catch myself entering the endless rabbit whole of social media scrolling, I instantly stop myself and pick up a book, paint, read, anything to stimulate my mind and get away from the dictator of self-esteem… Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, social media is a gold mine when it comes to highlighting your business or for networking, but just like anything in life, if you abuse something beyond what it’s meant for, it’s no longer healthy.
2. NAME 5 THINGS YOU’RE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY MORNING
This step absolutely changed my life. I got this step from Lisa Nichols, and it was during a time in my life, earlier this year in fact, where I was REALLY struggling to find motivation to keep going. I was stuck and I knew I needed a mental shift because I was sinking back into “the sunken place” (Get Out reference – Whoop!) and when Lisa was talking about her similar experiences with feeling lost and not worthy she explained how she used the concept of starting out her day with grateful intentions. For example, “I’m grateful I woke up today, I’m grateful I get to spend another day with my loved ones, I’m grateful I’ve been blessed with more time to learn and mature” it’s so calming and helps with that “glass half full” mentality instead of focusing on the glass half empty. I noticed I became happier and my mood began to change – it’s an amazing exercise. Even if it sounds fluffy and too good to be true, just try it and let me know if you notice a difference, I would love to hear feedback!
I swear I can feel some of you roll your eyes, and I’m already giggling. I feel you, it took me the longest of times to even sit down quietly and ‘pretend’ to meditate, but I’m telling you, when you are on that desperate hunt for answers, you will do what you need to in order to put yourself in a better position in life. Meditation was another thing my idols had in common, and I told myself I would do everything they were doing, so I sat my tooshie down and, well, began learning to meditate. What I discovered was this is a POWERFUL tool, the things that are revealed to yourself about yourself is amazing. By asking yourself the right questions you will find that you always had the answer, your just have to connect with yourself. Here is an article by Michael Jacobs, guest writer for Entrepreneur.com on meditation and entrepreneurs. This is a great article for beginners.
4. DON’T DISRESPECT YOURSELF BY COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
I am the #1 person guilty of this, especially with saturation of phony advertisement and glossy magazine spreads with hypersexualized fashion shoots where perfect specimens are standing in the buff making you question your entire being and identity. I took a yoga class a couple of years ago, and while I was holding the cobra pose (strong arm emoji), my amazing instructor at the time caught us looking around the class to see if we were doing the pose correctly by looking at other people. His response to this was “Do not disrespect yourselves by comparing yourself to others.” Right there in the middle of my sweaty pose and with trembling muscles I had a revelation that again changed my life. My path is different from yours, your path is different from mine. Our recipe for success has different ingredients and different cooking times. I truly believe that in order for us to be great, and depending on what we are asking to be great in, we have to encounter some obstacles because it’s going to help shape us and mold us into who we are trying to become. That’s like dreaming of becoming a heavyweight champion boxer and going straight to the heavyweight match without any sort of training. You have to play some matches first and learn about yourself and how you move, what do I need to improve on? I notice this combination works but not this one… it’s a journey of self-discovery and self-development that needs to be tailored to you and your speed. Be happy for those who are ahead of you and you will learn to be happy with yourself as well as accept your specific journey.
I do not need to sit here and talk about why it’s detrimental for your overall health to eat well and exercise. Duh. However, exercise does help give a boost and helps to grease the wheels of happiness. It gets the oxygen pumping through your blood stream. Exercise a great way to start out with creating structure in your life and to get a set schedule going. You can demonstrate and prove to yourself that you can tackle mini accomplishments or micro-goals by completing small tasks and checking them off your list, because let’s be real – checking things off of a list and demonstrating that you completed something is such a great feeling and an amazing motivation booster. Not to mention you just start to look good and feel better because you’re acknowledging your body, taking care of your body and doing the things required to be healthy. Even though I also hate doing it. Bleh.
Visualization kind of goes hand in hand with meditation but it’s definitely different. Meditation you are sitting quietly, shutting down your thoughts until an answer you’ve been searching for is revealed. With visualization, you are actively creating a picture in your head of the life you are painting for yourself, right down to the color carpet you want in your back house upstairs loft (Please don’t let me own visuals impose yours, hehe). This can also be demonstrated on a vision board, or a vision map, one of my really good friends is raving about the book Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle LaPort who holds your hand on a journey to create and acheive “Your bucket list. Quarterly objectives. Strategic plans. Big dreams. Goals. Lots of goals and plans to achieve those goals--no matter what”
This book serves as a guide in helping you realize and execute your goals. Failure is absolutely not an option bruh. However, this book can be a great aid to help you formulate a picture to start actively visualizing. Another book that breaks down the visualization process is called Life Visioning by Michael Bernad Beckwith. I still come back to this book every now and again for some refreshers.
7. DATE YOURSELF
Interesting concept isn’t it? I can understand how difficult it can be to meditate or visualize goals when you’re not even happy with yourself or even understand who you are. Self-discovery is a difficult and intimate journey that shouldn’t be taken likely and the only way to know what you like is to try new things, to love yourself and accept yourself as you are. Get to know you as you would someone you are romantically involved with. Think about it, while you’re in a relationship or when you’re dating someone, you do everything in your power to try and make that person happy. You become nurturing and attentive, receptive of what buttons not to push. Why not apply that same method to yourself? A lot of times relationships with other people don’t even work because the people involved don’t even know what they want! Go to the movies by yourself, treat yourself to dinner and a movie but solo! Go see that art sjpw at the museum no one wants to go to, embrace your weirdness and don’t be apologetic about what makes you feel happy! Ask yourself, and be completely honest! If I met myself would I want to date me or put a ring on it? Seriously, be 100% honest.
8. HELP OTHERS
So how does something like helping others aid in more positive thinking? It’s quite simple actually, ever notice how you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you do something for someone and you see how happy and fulfilled it made them? That’s because we are meant to give. There is an old Chinse Proverb that goes:
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through MRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m able to help others no matter how big or how small, I get such a buzzing feeling of fulfillment and it just feels right. I’m from Los Angeles, probably one of the hardest places to connect with people but I purposefully walk through life with the intention of making sure that whoever I cross paths with receives nothing but warm a reception and a huge smile.
9. CREATE A MANTRA
A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation; a statement or slogan repeated frequently. Originated by Hundus and Buddhist. Our thoughts and words are beyond powerful, so powerful in fact that some of you may not even realize. Here is a little exercise, have you ever had a bad day and one bad thing after another after another kept happening? What were your thoughts during that time? Did they sound something like, “Why me?” “What else could possibly go wrong?” “This always happens to me!” Well, believe or not, you are claiming, confirming and inviting that bad energy to keep rolling in. But hey, how are you supposed to think positively when you are right in the eye of a perfect $#!* storm right? That’s where the mantra comes in. A mantra can be anything, and that’s what so great about it! You can tailor several different mantras to fit different situations. The mantra I created for myself and really helps me through those unbelievably tough times is “I am enough. I am love. I am fucking unstoppable.” I say it over and over and over until I convince myself that I’m an effing superhero. I begin to calm down and that warm fuzzy feeling of loving myself comes back. I also have another one for being and staying health, “I am healthy. I am fit. And I know I am the $#!&!”. May not be appropriate for everyone but it works for me!
10. DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
This does not mean to slack off, this does not mean to stop working hard and stop aiming for perfection. But understand that you will never accomplish perfection and THAT IS OKAY! We are human and we are not supposed to be perfect. We are built and structured to make mistakes because that is the ultimate teacher. Life. If you happen to make a mistake, big or small, honor your feelings of horror and sadness or whatever comes with it but don’t allow those feelings to hang around too long. Shit happens. And it’s our job to learn the lesson within the mistakes so we can grow, like a beautiful flower from the manure of our mistakes. I have come to accept myself and my flaws so much that I look forward to making them! I know after that every ‘mess up’ there will be a grand lesson that will only make me more valuable and qualified to help others.
Listen, I know what it’s like to be in a consistent cycle of negative emotions and not thinking you are good enough to have a successful lifestyle. Applying some or all of these steps into your practice will make the ultimate difference and I can guarantee it. If you’re not looking for a major change in your life, and you are totally happy with where you are, then this article is not for you. However, if you are at a place where you have run out of options and answers that means it’s time to start applying some new methods into your lifestyle. If what you’ve been doing up until now has been working, you wouldn’t even be on this website. It’s scary and it’s different, do not take your self-development journey lightly because it’s a big deal! I want nothing but success for all of my readers and really truly hope some of these suggestions that helped make MAJOR differences in my life can add the same quality to yours.