Your mindset can truly make or break you. This is why it is so important to be aware of, and to always be working towards building a healthy thought process. More than ever, people are realizing just how much mental health has an impact on their physical health. While this is a different process for each of us, there are some basic principles we can all take into consideration on our mental health journeys…
Speaking or thinking negative thoughts about yourself can lead to a warped self-esteem. When you constantly put yourself down, you destroy your own confidence and this can lead to a lot of problems that make even simple tasks seem impossible. Negative self-talk contributes to anxiety, stress, depression, and more. Instead of continuing these habits and allowing these negative thoughts to run rampant, make an effort to become more aware of when it starts to happen… Pay attention to what trigger these thoughts and feelings about yourself. Once you know your triggers, you can begin to get to the roots of WHY those things trigger you to feel negatively about yourself. This can be done alone, with family/friends, or with a professional therapist. Everyone’s needs are different, so make sure you are handling it with or without whomever you need. When you find the core problem(s), healing and resetting of mental habits can begin.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” This is such a powerful statement that really points out how much our attitudes impact our success. If you constantly tell yourself you can’t do something for whatever reason(s), you will ultimately never do that thing. This won’t be because you were right—it’ll be because you talked yourself out of succeeding at it! However, on the other hand, when you go into something with a positive and “can-do” attitude, you WILL have much better results. Even if you fail, you will have built up your confidence so that you can try again and figure out how you CAN succeed. Belief breeds confidence, and confidence breeds determination. Believe that you can do something, and you WILL find a way to do it!
Your day-to-day life is determined by the direction of your attitude… Make a point to create a routine of positivity at the start of each day. Get yourself in the right mindset when you wake up, and this will help you set the tone for your day. Even when bad things happen—and they will—your attitude will be the deciding factor in whether or not you let those things break you down and steal precious time from your life. Think of yourself like a bottle filled with either water or soda… Do you want to explode every time you get shaken? Or would you rather maintain your state of positivity and calm even when life shakes you up?
By making the choice to design the life you really want, versus letting life just happen to you, you will experience some crucial benefits. Taking control of your life and going after the things that are really important to you can help you not only achieve your dreams but also learn new skills, find new opportunities, and let go of the fears that are holding you back. Here are the top five reasons you should start today to design the life you really want.
#1. You can learn to identify what makes you happy in life.
When you make the decision to design your life the way you want it to be, you have to understand what it is that make you truly happy. When you get in touch with your strengths, your gifts, and what brings you joy and energizes you, you can use this knowledge to put yourself on a path toward something better.
Designing your life starts with an assessment of yourself, and you’ll gain untold new knowledge about what makes you happy in life and how that is likely to change over time.
#2. You can learn to appreciate failures and mistakes as learning opportunities.
When you design your own life, you learn that all the missteps and obstacles that you face in life are not setbacks or failures. They are, instead, opportunities to learn and grow. Being happy in life and achieving your goals is a process. It doesn’t all happen at once, and you don’t know everything you need to know right now to make it all come true in the future.
You have to learn, and learning is a process of trial and error, of making and learning from mistakes. Designing your life allows you the freedom to set your sights on a goal that makes you happy and be at peace with the process of learning and evolving that must happen in order for you to achieve that dream.
#3. You can find a fulfilling career. And then find a new one.
Designing your own life means you don’t have to be stuck in your current job and that you can reach for new aspirations at any point in your existence. The design process teaches you to imagine many different futures, all of which could make you happy, and to understand that finding work that energizes you and brings you joy and passion shouldn’t be a lofty goal that is unachievable.
Designing your life means you pick the one job that fulfills you today, and when that stops being your passion, you know you have the skills and mindset to find the next great opportunity.
#4. You can learn to navigate the biggest decision points in your life with ease.
Designing your life teaches you how to assess, make evaluations, envision multiple outcomes, and select among many different choices.
These are all essential life skills when it comes to not only designing your life but also making tough decisions along the way. Once you feel confident that your design process works and is bringing you happiness, you’ll start to see many ways these skills are transferable to all the decision-making points in your life.
#5. You can imagine multiple futures for yourself, then decide which to pursue.
Design is a process that involves choices and options. When you design the life you really want, you take the time to imagine multiple futures and varied pathways.
You see that several different options could bring you joy, and you are reminded that there is not one right future or path for you. Knowing this is freeing, allowing you to change directions in the future or start again when you find your passion and joy waning.
Setting priorities in your life allows you to focus on what is important to you, to determine what is urgent and needs your attention, and to cut through the clutter that is keeping you from achieving your goals. Figuring out your priorities means you identify what is truly important for you and, therefore, dedicate your time to those tasks, experiences, and people that fulfill your values and beliefs.
Today’s society pulls you in many different directions. It demands you pay attention to a lot of things, and it tries to convince you that all of these things are urgent and necessary. This places you in a perpetual cycle of reacting to things rather than proactively planning how you spend your time. There is tremendous pressure today to put others’ priorities before your own and learning to place your own needs above others is an essential life skill.
This type of focus on other peoples’ demands and needs can quickly lead to disillusionment and dissatisfaction in life. Your priorities get lost in the shuffle, and you are left wondering where in your life there is room for you.
When you learn to shift your life’s priorities back to what is important to you, you are exercising personal choice and living your life in harmony with your own values and goals. So, where do you start when placing priority on yourself?
Step 1. Get clear about what’s important to you.
Take some time that is just for you and use it to clear your mind and figure out what’s important to you. What do you need to be happy and healthy? What is of utmost importance to you? How do you want to live that feels like you are a priority?
Write it all down, focusing on what is most important to you and what you think will make you most proud years down the road. Don’t concentrate on feasibility or resources or anything else. Just focus on what’s important to you right now. Whittle this list down to your top three to five most important goals. That’s where you need to be spending more time.
Step 2. Inventory your time.
For one week, write down all your activities. Everything you do in a day, document it. At the end of each day, make a note next to everything you did that is aligned with something you identified as important to you. Everything you make notes on is when you are placing yourself as a priority. Everything else needs attention.
Step 3. Get rid of the clutter.
Not everything is urgent or necessary in your life. Look at your activities and determine where you are spending time that isn’t necessarily focused on your needs. Where can you delegate, where can you eliminate, and where can you get better organized to cut down on how long it takes you to do mundane or regular tasks? These are spaces for more room in your life, places where your priorities have room to grow and breathe.
Add in more of the important things you identified in your reflection.
What do you want, and how can you start working to achieve that today?
Where does that fit into your schedule?
Make a date with yourself and your priorities and keep your commitment to this time. Start small and work with your schedule over a week or two to see where your new priorities are working and where you still need to de-clutter.
Step 4. Remember it’s a process.
Prioritizing yourself comes with emotions with which you may need to deal. Guilt and anxiety are two common reactions when prioritizing yourself. Change is gradual, and it will take time to find ways to make this new way of thinking work.
Give yourself a break and stick with it. Check in with yourself regularly to see how things are going, to see if you feel like there’s more room in your life for your priorities. Be patient and kind to yourself because you are worth it.