Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.
Reason One: Find solutions
When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.
Reason Two: Set direction
When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go. Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.
Reason Three: Realise who you are
When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.
(Image: Kreesha Turner)
Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.
Letting go of the past
It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.
Following your heart
Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.
Tip One: Look inside
Sometimes we feel lost and look for guidance elsewhere. But ultimately, you’ll know what you want to do and who you want to be. And sometimes you’ll know how you want to get there. Sometimes we get distracted by other people’s plans for us and other people’s opinions about how our lives should be, often sold to us as their wisdom. But you should follow your own heart and instincts. And if you mess up, that’s ok – at least you’re being yourself and being true to who you are.
Tip Two: Stop comparing yourself to others
By all means, get inspiration from others and have role models to look up to. But remember that nobody’s path will be the same as yours and you’ll never be able to follow the footsteps of someone else. Comparing yourself with others will only highlight the flaws and gaps, that aren’t actually a bad thing. Forge your own path, take the road less travelled and focus on bettering yourself instead.
Tip Three: Take one step at a time
There may be loads of things you want to work on. Or maybe there’s just a couple. But you won’t change everything over night. Take your time and plan your time. Be realistic. Focus on one thing at a time and create a plan for it. Build a habit for one thing before incorporating something else. Don’t overwhelm yourself with lifestyle changes and restrictions and so on, because all it will do is push you back into the arms of your old self.
Listen to your heart. The pace quickens when it finds something it’s passionate about. The pace quickens when it finds thrill in a possibility. The pace quickens when it finds beauty in a path less travelled. You can’t go wrong if you run with it.
Happiness is different for everyone. There is no set path and there is no set reward. Don’t get sucked into other people’s versions of happiness, when it isn’t yours. Don’t let others bring down your version of happiness, when it isn’t their’s. We all make our own happiness. Do what feels best for you. A world full of happy people is a happy place to be.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? I would change its heart. And we can. Keep an open mind. Give people benefit of the doubt. Be kind to people without expecting anything in return. Stand up for people without a voice. Listen to people who need it. Speak to people who are lonely. Love more. Hate less. That’s how we can save the world from being swallowed up in darkness.
Learn from the people smarter than you, instead of comparing yourself to them. Practice with the people stronger than you, instead of competing against them. Work with the people who inspire you, instead of trying to copy them. Keep your eyes open, keep your mind sharp, but keep your heart true. Nobody can be a better you than you.
Life is a puzzle, a pile of pieces we try to match together to make sense of the bigger picture. We look for answers out in the world, from people, from books, from lessons, from the stars. But all the answers we really need are coursing through our body, our heart and our mind. Sure, they can sometimes land us in trouble or leave us with more questions. But at least they’re our answers – ultimately, no one else’s answers will make us happy or successful. We have to figure out life for ourselves. And the secret is, there’s no right way or best way to live life. You’ve just got to live it for yourself.
The world needs you to pursue your dreams, to follow your heart, to trust your instincts. The world needs you to stop procrastinating, to start making plans, to try and try again. The world needs you to use your voice, to stand up for what you believe in, to inspire others. The world needs you to love, to forgive, to move on, to hold on. The world needs you to care about something and do something about it. The world needs you, in order to keep turning. If dreams go, life is a barren field frozen in snow.
No matter what we do, someone will always find something to pick at. Criticism can be hurtful and debilitating, whether it comes from someone we trust or a complete stranger. But there’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. So we might as well do what we want, say what we want and be who we want. If we cannot please everyone, we might as well start by pleasing ourselves. Because the only person who has to live with our choices is ourselves – not anyone else. Don’t let criticism stop you from going where you want to go. Worse than facing criticism would be ignoring your heart.