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: Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s said time and time again, but we can’t seem to get away from it. But it’s so counter-productive! We’re all different. Some of us excel in certain things and some of us suck at them. We all have something we’re better at and worse at. We all in different stories, at different chapters, with equally beautiful endings. Start playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Be better than you were yesterday, not better than the other person in the room.
Tip Two: Don’t just think it, say it
Thinking positively about yourself is harder than it sounds. But if we hear it, maybe we’ll start to listen. Stand in front of the mirror every morning and take a look at what you see. Let yourself know something you love about yourself and say it out loud. Or start the day with a positive affirmation out loud. It may feel weird at the beginning, but it will quickly sink in and transform your mindset.
Tip Three: Look at mistakes as spring boards
Failure and mistakes shouldn’t be looked at as the enemy. They’re actually the key to our success, but only if we act on them in the correct way. Instead of punishing yourself over mistakes you’ve made, focus on what you can learn from them and how you can use those teachings as fuel to greater success.
Tip Four: Gather some perspective
Sometimes we need to step out of our own heads and look at our situation from the outside. What would your friends say if they knew what you were saying about yourself? What would you say to a friend in a similar situation? Challenge yourself on the negative things you say to yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. Most of the things we actually beat ourselves up on aren’t a big deal like we’re making them out to be.
Tip Five: Focus on solutions, not just problems
Sometimes we feel like we deserve the negative self-talk. But really it doesn’t do us any favours. When we talk negatively about ourselves, we’re often focusing too much on the problems instead of thinking about what we could do to solve them and thinking about the action. But focusing on the solutions will automatically move your mind to a positive space, and the problem won’t seem as bad.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can. It’s easy to hold onto our mistakes. But that’s the past. Learn to let go and move forward. Learn to look ahead. Learn to forgive yourself. None of us need to be superhuman to have a super life.
(Image: The Red Fairy Project)
Feeling tired? Stressed? Demotivated? Me too. But Idris Elba has some inspiration for us in this video! Don’t be afraid of the road ahead, no matter how far you have to go or how rough it gets.
Starting is both exhilarating and terrifying. There’s a voice in our head asking ‘How great will it be if I take on this journey? How great will it be if I succeed?’ But it’s often drowned out by a louder voice, questioning ‘What if I fail? What if I stumble? What if I give up and can’t do it anymore?’ Little do we know that mistakes, failures, setbacks, they’ll catch us whatever we do – wouldn’t the biggest mistake be not trying at all? Nowhere in its definition does starting have an expiration date. It’s not only available in the New Year, at the beginning of the month or on a Monday. We can start whenever we want, we can start again as many times as we need, and we can change our path along the way. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down, as long as we pick ourselves back up again. Don’t let that loud terrified voice drown out the exhilarated one. Today is the day to take that step towards something great.
Keep hustling. Keep going. Don’t let other people’s opinions and expectations stop you. Don’t let the fear of failure or past mistakes stop you. Take life as it comes and adjust your sails to continue in the direction you want to go. It’s never going to be an easy journey, but it will be worth it if you keep endeavouring to do what you love.
Don’t give forgiveness because it’s the right thing to do. Rather because it’s the most liberating thing to do. When you forgive someone or yourself, you wash your body of grudges, judgement and hate. Forgive just as much for yourself as for others. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Give people a second chance. Even when that person is you. Nobody is perfect. And so that isn’t something we shouldn’t hold against each other or ourselves. Practice forgiveness and moving on.
It’s easy to punish ourselves for the things we’ve done in the past. But the truth is, since then, we’ve changed – we’re not that person of the past anymore. And more importantly, we can change. Stop beating yourself up for something you did when you were a different person. Start focusing on where you’re going and how you’re going about it. Don’t let the sadness of the past rob the happiness of now. Always forgive, but never forget, learn from your mistakes, but never regret.
Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission. Sometimes it’s better to make a mistake, than to not try at all. Sometimes it’s better to put yourself first, than live by someone else’s rules. Live passionately, not cautiously.
We can only try our best. We’re not all-powerful and we’re not all-knowing. We can only make decisions to the best of our abilities. If we do that, we can bear the many mistakes we’ll make and the troubles that life will bring. Because we can’t ask more of ourselves than our best. We’re only human and that’s alright.