The easiest way to introduce some new, fun and exciting things into your life, is to first make some room by getting rid of old, limiting habits.
There are a lot of things we don’t have control over. One thing you can control, is what you do every day- because success isn’t something that happens all of a sudden; it’s something that happens every single day. Every “overnight” success you’ve ever heard of, was years in the making.
Success means different things to different people, too, so let’s not assume that we’re talking about career or money here. I can tell you that one of my greatest accomplishments this far, was coming out of depression, learning how to let go of my past and pretty much starting a new life- one that I feel excited for, every single day. My life isn’t perfect, I didn’t wake up one day as a brand new person who had all her shit figured out. While my coming out of depression involved getting off some awful meds I was on, I also had to break a lot of habits that held me back. It’s hard to pull yourself out that very dark place. It’s hard to learn to take care of yourself after a lifetime of struggles with self-acceptance and love.
However you define success, it’s not always easy. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
SAYING “I CAN’T”
Few years ago I read a book I’m sure many of you have heard of before: Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. There was one piece of advice that really stuck with me, so I wrote it down on a piece of paper and look at it almost every single day:
Guard your speech. Never speak of yourself, your affairs, or of anything else in a discouraged or discouraging way. Never admit the possibility of failure, or speak in a way that infers failure as a possibility.
Ever since then, I try my best to not use phrases like: “I can’t.” Whenever I talk about something that I plan to accomplish, I don’t say “if” I say “when.” When we think (or say) “I can’t” a lot us think that it means “I won’t.” It can also imply that you’re not willing to do what it takes to get things done (whatever those “things” are). This also creates a possibility (and fear) of failure in your mind. It might not seem like a big deal, but that’s where a lot of that negative self-talk comes from. If you keep saying “I can’t” over and over again, you’ll slowly start to discourage yourself. And that, can suck that power and drive out of you.
Whenever I hear someone talk about their plans for the future, whether it be career, family, hobby- I always get excited. I’m a big dreamer myself and love seeing other people go after their dreams. BUT, when I hear someone close say things like “I really want to [blank] but I probably never will, anyway” or “I’d love to try [blank] one day, but I doubt I’ll ever get to” I cringe (and I myself used to say those things all the time). How can I believe in you and your dreams, when you sound like you don’t even believe in them yourself?
The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. Pretty simple isn’t it? Except that it’s not. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you’re after: a new career, buying a house, losing weight, learning a new skill, getting healthy- “life” will always get in the way, somehow. It’s up to you to take a little responsibility for your actions. Don’t put things off until last-minute. Don’t say “I don’t feel like doing this now, I’ll do it later” or “I work better under pressure” (do you really? or do you just like telling yourself that?). We all procrastinate– some do it to a greater degree than others. Good news is, you can slowly train yourself to stop procrastinating. I know, easier said than done. But it’s always easier said than done. … until it’s done.
I love what Mel Robbins says about procrastination in the 5 Second Rule; procrastination is not a form of laziness, you’re not procrastinating because you hate work, you’re procrastinating because you’re stressed out (about your relationships, money, work, family). She calls it an emotional eating for the mind. This ties in perfectly with what we talked about in this post– it’s all about feeling good now.
This goes back to what I talked about above when I told you to stop saying “I can’t.” Don’t complain. Don’t waste your time talking about things that have or possibly could go wrong. Instead of thinking of all those things that you’ll need to give up in order to reach your goals, think about how good you’ll feel once you get there. All those things that you keep telling yourself over and over again, will eventually become your beliefs. Limiting thoughts do not serve you.
No one’s life is perfect. When it comes to things like social media, we only see what others want us to see. Just like we only show off the best parts… of our lives. I could start telling you that each of us is on a unique journey… blah blah blah. But I want to try to change your approach (attitude?) a little.
Let’s say you’re single. You’ve been single for a while and you crave love and affection. You notice a happy couple holding hands standing next to you. What do you feel? Jealousy? Are you sad? Angry? From now on, whenever you see someone drive your dream car, or have a successful career in the field you’re trying to get into- get excited. Whenever this happens to me, I like to think that it’s the Universe (or God or Divine Presence, whatever you believe in) whispering to me “these are the things you want, they’re coming your way” When you see people who’ve accomplished things you hope to accomplish one day, be happy. I know that this can be difficult- especially when you put a lot of sweat and work into something and see someone catch a huge break, while you’re still struggling. Let go of the comparison, don’t allow yourself to become bitter and lose focus of what’s important to you.
Do you see someone accomplish something you yourself are working toward? This only means that it can be done.
RE-LIVING YOUR PAST
Yesterday is gone. Your future starts now. Some things can be hard to let go of. Maybe you have some regrets in life- I used to think I have a lot of them. I’ve made bad decisions in the past, I know what it’s like to not have your shit together. To feel lost and confused. To wake up in the morning and not knowing where your life is heading. Guess what though? Everything that I went through taught me something. Every single painful experience you ever went through is a lesson. There are some things that you can’t learn by taking a class or reading a book. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old- it’s never too late to go after your dreams.
I know someone who completely turned their life around at 50 years old. Lost A LOT of weight, got into fitness, finally found love and he’s more full of life than he was in his 20s. If he were to think “well.. I’m 50, I should have done all of this a lot sooner, when I was younger, it’s too late now, why did I wait so long?” he’d never be the person he is today.
If you really want to find an excuse, you will always find one. Always.
I already discussed reasons for ditching your perfectionism in this post. Point is, you can’t wait for that perfect moment, because you’ll end up waiting your entire life. You can’t waste your life away waiting. That perfect moment does not exist. Go and do the things you want to do. Start with what you have now, start where you are today. Don’t avoid rejection, learn to surrender.
FEAR OF FAILURE
One of the most important things you need to give up if you want to succeed, is fear of failure. You can’t succeed without failure. This is something that’s been proven time and time again. Anyone who’s ever accomplished anything, failed at some point. I could sit here and tell you about all of these successful people who got what they wanted after being told “NO” hundreds of times. Instead, I’ll tell you this: you will fail. Now, what’s left to be afraid of? You fail, you get up and you try again. Don’t talk about failure, but don’t be afraid of it, either. It doesn’t matter if your failure is as small as skipping a workout or as big as your business falling apart. As long as you keep trying and don’t walk away, you’ll never be a failure.
Whatever it is that you’re after, know that I believe in you. I know, that you are meant to have an amazing life.