Tis the season to be jolly. There’s something about the holiday time that changes our outlook on life. And that’s primarily because it’s a time for giving, for generosity and for kindness. We’re more forgiving and accepting of others’ flaws and mistakes. We’re more charitable and hospitable towards those less fortunate. We open ourselves up, letting love both infiltrate and radiate. Christmas time really goes to show how much giving can boost our happiness, our energy and our sense of worth. It’s a beautiful cycle that shouldn’t be underestimated or broken. It’s a spirit that we should hold onto all throughout the year.
Positivity isn’t about ignoring the worse parts of life nor is it about suppressing our negative emotions. Because we cannot avoid them. It’s rather about refusing to let those moments drain the colour out of life. Let’s have faith that things will turn out alright.
Gratitude might sometimes be in short supply. It’s natural to look at what we don’t have, reminisce about how things were or wonder about how things could be. But there’s a lot to be grateful for right on our doorstep. Let’s not take those for granted.
Self-confidence is something we’re always working on. Think about how many different choices we might make if we actually believed in ourselves, our worth and our beauty. Think about what we would attempt if we knew we wouldn’t fail. Let’s live confidently and be richer for it.
A lot hinges on our relationships and interactions with people around us: our energy, motivation, direction, choices, perspectives. That’s why it’s important we build solid, positive, fruitful and invigorating relationships around us. And cut our ties to those who take away from our life:
- The overlookers – we shouldn’t ever be made to feel worthless by those close to us. We shouldn’t ever be consistently ignored, excluded and belittled. We shouldn’t be constantly taken for granted. Although our self-worth should foremost come from within ourselves, relationships with others should nonetheless make us feel valued and appreciated.
- The nay-sayers – those around us shouldn’t distract us from where we want to go, with doubts, negativity, or self-importance. Our loved ones should encourage and push us forward, no matter how much they do not understand or agree with our choices. No matter how much they wish they could do the same too. Those close to us should want us to thrive.
- The game-changers – people who try to mould us into someone else or who won’t accept us for who we are will eventually be suffocating. And we shouldn’t have to change our very core principles and qualities for other people. We all have flaws and we should be able to embrace them, not escape them. We should be around people who love us for who we are.
Sometimes the only person we can count on is ourselves. Sometimes we forget and neglect ourselves. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough time and energy. We need to start investing in ourselves, because we matter. Whether that’s to study further, put the time in, set expectations, take a break, try something new, cut out mouldy relationships or practice a sport, there are little choices we make that favour us or hinder us. And choosing to lessen our worth will never get us anywhere. The seeds will only grow if you keep watering them.
There are so many obstacles we let determine our path. But many of them are much more obstacles of our own perception than obstacles of reality. There are some that we shouldn’t always view so pessimistically, because rather than stopping us, they can actually push and encourage us forward:
- Scars – When our trust is broken, when our confidence is shattered, when our love is fractured, scars settle on our skin to remind us of our heartbreak, sadness and anxiety. But we shouldn’t let the past pollute what is to come. And we shouldn’t let the past force us into hiding. Look at your scars as a guide and keep going.
- Failure – It’s pretty much human nature to be afraid of making mistakes. We have a warped sense that they mean we’re not good enough. And when we’re not good at something, we tend to steer clear of it, because we don’t want to look bad. But our failures are the pieces to our success puzzle. Look at your failure as a test and persevere.
- Criticism – Although there are people who intentionally try to bring us down, there are also people who try to help us grow and better ourselves and our actions. We shouldn’t be too sensitive to constructive criticism, because it’s such a useful tool to gain insight and perspective we cannot give ourselves. Look at another’s criticism as a blessing and carry on.
When we let go, we free ourselves. When we let go of expectations, we free ourselves of disappointment. When we let go of what people think, we free ourselves of boundaries and limitations. When we let go of our fear of failing, we open ourselves up to memorable and life changing experiences. When we let go of unhealthy relationships, we open ourselves up to self-worth and self-love. Let go of the anchor tying you down to the seabed, and float to the surface. Don’t live in reflections and darkness, but soak up the light and breathe in that fresh gulp of air.
How do we measure who we are? Too often than not, we focus too heavily on what we’re not and not enough on what we are. Some of us feel it through the weight of other people’s opinions. Some of us feel it through the burden of our own opinions. We often underestimate our talents and exaggerate our flaws. Why are we so hung up on the negatives? Shift the perspective a little. Stop belittling yourself. You have so much to offer. And so much of you is beautiful, even the imperfect, damaged parts. Be proud of who you are. Appreciate it’s value. And flaunt it.
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.