Understanding ourselves is key to improving our situation in life and our outlook. This is often referred to as our happiness quotient. It’s kinda funny – I always figured that when I became an “adult” I’d have life figured out. I’d be confident and self confidence would not be an issues.
You can imagine my disappointment when I became an adult and not only did it not happen but it seems that I actually have more time to think about it – which does not make me happy. But one truth I have learned is that there is no such thing as being stuck with who we are. We can change. We were not created to be static.
So how do we overcome this – I’ve learned over and over again that deeply held beliefs & experiences – lead to thoughts – which leads to emotion – which lead to behavior. So if we want to improve our emotions and behaviors around self esteem we need to overcome old beliefs and change the things we are telling ourselves. And just as importantly we need to teach our grandchildren to do the same.
I’m currently reading a book called “Everything is Figure-out-able.” I love that thought and she suggests that you tell yourself that at least 5x daily. “Everything – I mean everything is figure-out-able” You don’t feel confident, well you know what – it’s figure-out-able. You want to loose weight, also figure-out-able. You just had a major loss (death, job, relationship) also figure-out-able.
It’s something you can work on and something you can change. When you open your mind to the possibility of – “I can figure this out” then your entire life becomes and open experiment. You can test and adjust depending on the results.
Focus on where you’re going.
Rather than focusing on the issues and problems on your past become a forward thinker. The best way to overcome your past to clearly see where you want to go. After you know that take note of what old beliefs and patterns are stopping you and start working on them by changing the words you tell yourself one experience at a time.
Be present to your thoughts and learn to change them.
You were not put on this earth to fail. You’re not perfect, but you are headed in the right direction. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to figure things out. If you are like me and hold a strong belief in God you know that whatever comes, you can handle it with his help.
Take care of your appearance.
I’m not saying to hyper focus on your appearance but we all know that when we are neat and clean we just feel better. Keep your hair washed, your clothes pressed, your teeth brushed, and be sure to smile. Personal hygiene makes you feel good about yourself.
My cute little niece makes sure her little ones get up and get them selves dressed and combed before doing anything else in the morning. She has them get up, make their bed, say their prayers, brush their teeth and hair before going downstairs. She teaches them that by doing all this they are ready to meet the day head on with an attitude of confidence because when you take care of yourself you just feel better.
Eat right and exercise.
Eating well and exercising is something you can control. knowing that you are taking care of your health gives you a sense of control. And exercise gives you that boost of endorphins that makes you feel good.
Get enough sleep.
It’s always been interesting to me that sleep is the one thing that God has not left for us to control. While Gandhi went on a food strike to protest the human wrongs he saw no one has ever been able to go on a sleep strike. Sleep is that important that God did not leave it up to our “will” to control
That being said getting enough sleep and good sleep is so important for how we feel about ourselves. Exercising good sleep habits such as getting off “screen” time early, taking time to wind down by reading, listening to music or reading a good book helps your brain to recognize it’s time for bed
Another great idea I’ve heard before is to ask a few questions right before bed – better yet write them down and allow your brain to work on them while you sleep.
Look others in the eye and smile, say a kind word, or do a small act of kindness. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” If we treat others as we wish to be treated can you imagine the changes we would see in the world. If your grandchildren see that example in your – your example will make them a better person too.
I’ve talked about gratitude before and the power it has. In the book “The Hidden Messages in Water” the most powerful word the one that created the most beautiful crystals was the word gratitude. Gratitude has a powerful influence on our sense of well-being. It literally can change our DNA
Recognize the good you do and the good you are.
An amazing practice (although it may be hard at first) is to write down 3 things every day that you did. For example today mine could be:
- Wrote this article
- Spent time with my sister
- Visited with my nephew and uncle
The problem we run in to is we don’t think what we do is of any consequence. We need to give ourselves kudos for what we do. We need to learn to be our biggest cheerleader. When we keep our word to ourself – kudos, when we do something we didn’t expect to have to do – kudos, when we hold our tongue when we want to say something hurtful or mean – kudos. Recognize the good you do!
Release the anchors
Look at your life and think of the things you’ve been putting off. One of mine is going in and changing my banking information on some projects I’ve taken on. I need to change the charges to another account. This is something I’ve put off for the last month. It’s no big deal but all these little “need to do’s” that are just hanging out just outside your conscious mind become anchors.
Anchors drag you down, they hold you back. They stop you from going full speed ahead because they are a constant drag. Today sit down and write down all the “anchors” you can think of and take an hour today and get some of them out of the way. Doing so will free you from yourself.
Organize your space.
At home and at work, put things in order. There is nothing like walking into a room that is in complete order. When your space (this includes your car and office) are in order it frees your mind to think and to organize things in your head.
I’ve always been about to measure your mental order by what my home looks like. If my home is in disarray I know it’s time to clean a closet or the garage.
Create a fact sheet.
I highly recommend sitting down and writing out on a piece of paper first what you want to accomplish and second what you already have accomplished.
On the first side of the page right your “bucket list” and then on the other side of the page write your accomplishments. Don’t tell me you have none because that is impossible. They can be as simple as won the spelling bee in 3rd grade (yes, I’m talking entire life of accomplishments) and as complicated as giving birth to a 10 lb 4 oz bundle of joy.
Create proof and then believe yourself!
You can totally have your grandkids do this too. One of the things I love the most about little people is when you tell them how amazing they are they say “yes, I am” they haven’t forgotten who they really are and their potential. We tend to forget as we age – but it’s time to start to take back that power.