1 huge habit that changed my life…
Sometime in the past 2 years, I subconsciously decided to change my life. I don’t know why it was or when but at some point something clicked. And without cue I started to change my outlook and mannerisms. The way I went about certain tasks changed. My thoughts I let invade my brain changed. Life really, changed! It was quite euphoric actually, when I realised what had happened.
We’re very quick to look at situations and think “well damn, what did I do that for? I screwed that up.” We’re a very self-destructive species. I think there is a lot to learn from what has happened before. In order to be the best we can, we should never stop learning. However, somewhere down the line we’ve forgotten and just become complacent with the way things are. “Oh well, never mind.” It’s the ‘I’ll beat myself up about a mistake but never do anything to change the way things are’ mentality.
I think realising that is what changed my life… in the best way.
SEE ALSO: 4 Steps to feeling more in control of your anxiety
Looking back, I was too afraid…
How I changed
I stopped putting others needs before my own
Nowadays, I put myself first in every situation. Not in a selfish way. I’ve realised how important it is to prioritise. Knowing what is beneficial to you and others versus what is just beneficial to others.
Sometimes, the things that we do for our own happiness can leave other’s feeling bruised. Like cancelling plans with friends to have a self-care evening, for example. Therefore, we’ve started to put the needs and happiness of others in front of our own.
These last few years I’ve been living in a scenario where I’ve felt like the biggest inconvenience. No matter what I did to be a shining example, I felt like I wasn’t wanted nor appreciated. Most likely, that wasn’t true, but it’s how I felt because I was too busy prioritising others needs before my own.
Prioritising things has changed the way I hold my head. It’s taught me to care where care is necessary but not push myself through holes not shaped to fit me.
I stopped comparing my bloopers to others highlight reel
You’re shuddering about how cliche that is, right? It’s one of those sayings that is said often but you never take action about.
People like to market their successes. I know I feel considerably more gratified when I’ve shared my triumphs with someone and they’ve reinforced my pride. And there is nothing wrong with that. But, one thing people don’t do, is share their failures. We live our lives online, comparing what we have, where we are and what we’re not achieving.
Owning a home before 30, a fancy car or holidaying in Bali does not make you who you are or define your success. I’ve been very guilty of this in the past. Measuring my failures against everyone else’s success.
Success is happiness. I might be jobless at the moment but I get out of bed and start my day every morning like I would if I was employed. Success is not a destination, it’s the journey.
I learnt to leave my fear in the shadows
My entire life, I’ve had a fear of social engagements. Social speaking. Social anything.
As I’ve grown, I’ve feared presentations in school and large family reunions. I wouldn’t enjoy parties where anyone other than my close social group were in invited. Heck, I was even terrified in those 10 minutes before I met Taylor Swift.
But you know what’s different about that last one. I didn’t run away. I could have said, “I’m sorry Mamma Swift, I can’t take those backstage passes!” I stood up and put one foot in front of the other and left my fear in the shadows. Even though I felt like I was going to simultaneously vomit and pass out, all at once.
So, from me to you…
You know what the difference is between this rainy day in August to the same day 2 years ago? It’s that I 100% believe anxiety doesn’t define me. If today’s the day I learn to fly, then by damn I’m going to do it. It doesn’t matter that I’m scared of heights, nor the biggest fan of aeroplanes. I’m still going to travel the world because my anxiety shouldn’t be the author of my story.
That one habit that changed my life was not letting my inner monologue win.
I wanted to share that with you because if someone could have told me these things before I beat myself down, maybe I’d have fewer bruises.
From the bottom of my heart, I hope that if you suffer from any mental illness that stops you from living your life, you have the courage to make a change. It’s never going to be easy, it’s probably going to be something you live with always. However, it doesn’t define who you are, your aspirations or your dreams. You’re not alone and you most certainly don’t have to go through it alone. Be Fearless.