Hey guys! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted mainly because of just life, you know. I am on a constant journey to find a balance in my life. Finding time to write and to post is sometimes almost impossible, but I love blogging and talking to you guys so much. I couldn’t stay away for too long. I recently had a birthday and I think we all go through periods of reflection and taking inventory of our lives. Pinpointing the things that we have done and learned, reexamining our goals and planning for the future. That is why I wanted to share this post with you all. I have put together a list of some of the best life lessons the I have learned and have really helped shape who I am.
1. FEAR IS A PRISON
Fear is like invisible bars that wrap themselves around your mind, your heart and eventually your entire life! I have struggled with this for a very long time, a lot of my life. It’s an everyday process of constantly controlling and changing the way that I think. Replacing negative thoughts with better positive ones. Fear is the enemy of every dream, goal, or vision you have for yourself. Not living in fear is essential to living a full, happy, and satisfying life. I have some fears that I have successfully faced, but there are still some that are not as simple to get over. For instance, water is one thing that has challenged me for most of my life. For a long time I didn’t understand or know why. After some time of searching I remembered that I almost drowned as a young child. The overwhelming sensation of being totally submerged in water still bothers me to this day. I went years as a kid and an adult not knowing how to swim and I ended up learning how when my husband taught me on our honeymoon. That was a major accomplishment for me, but after an entire summer of being in the water I realized I am just not a big fan of it. I don’t think water and I will ever be friends but I am proud that I did face that fear.
Fear will paralyze you so much and leave you full of regrets in your life, but you can overcome them with some very practical application:
- Fear is mostly if not all in your head. The battlefield of your mind is where you must start to destroy those feelings and anxieties. Delete the negative thoughts and replace them with positive and encouraging ones.
- You must tackle fear at it’s root. It order to kill a tree, you have to pull up its root system. Cutting it down only gets rid of the surface and leaves you with a stump. Figuring out why you have certain fears will help to speed up the process of overcoming those pesky little things.
- Think of fear like a roller coaster: when you’re standing on the ground looking at it go through the ups and downs and the loops it just makes it seem scarier than it is. Sometimes you have to just strap yourself in, close your eyes and go for it! You’ll realize it’s not as bad as you thought and may actually be the most exhilarating experience you’ve ever had.
- Just like with anything in life you need a good support system. Keep people around that love you and will encourage you in this journey.
- Be patient with yourself… you didn’t get the fears overnight so don’t expect them to be gone overnight.
2. PUTTING UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ON PEOPLE
I had to learn this one the hard way. It’s human nature to hold people up to extremely high standards and put them on the pedestals that we created. We do this not realizing that we ourselves could never live up to the crazy expectations we put on others. I am so guilty of this; I did it to my husband in some of our earlier years of marriage and it lead to a lot of disappointment (and fights). Learning to give people grace and room to be human can help you avoid so much heartache and frustration.
The best way to prevent this is to first think of what you’re asking, is it a standard you could reach or an expectation you would be able to meet? If it feels overwhelming to you it probably will be for the other person.
3. TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME
Whether it’s the C.E.O. of the company or the man that cleans the building, no person is better than the other. Money, titles, power, and status are simply just that. We are all valuable and important and should be treated with respect. Kindness goes a long way, and you never know who you’re talking to.
4. COMPARING YOURSELF
I am very guilty of this and it has been a long journey to get to a place of freedom from it. Comparison will blind you to your own amazingness. It can lead to jealousy and envy, instead of creating your own life you’ll want someone else’s. The thing about comparison is, you don’t know what the other person had to go through to get what they have. Instead of comparing yourself to someone take the same effort and energy and discover who YOU are and what is special about YOU! No one else can do you better than you can. There is a tribe of people that need your life and your story and you will miss out on reaching them if you get caught up in this ugly game.
5. DON’T LIVE FOR OTHER PEOPLE
For a long time a lot of the choices and decisions I made were not purely because it was what I wanted to do. I did a lot of things because it was what I thought would make everyone else happy or proud of me. As I got older I started to realize that my life had taken on this form and become something that I wasn’t happy with, certain parts of it were not true to who I was. You should never do life for someone else, especially when it comes to major decisions and choices that could potentially change the course of your entire life. Things like choosing a college or a major, a location, a job or a spouse should not be done to make someone else happy. Yeah it could be with good intentions but it will not make you happy. I have learned this lesson the hard way as well. You have to be true to yourself! Do the things that make you fulfilled and happy in life even if other people don’t understand or like it. At the end of the day you are the one that will have to live this life you created, it would be a miserable existence if that life ends up being someone else’s.
6. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
I mean do I need to say anything else about this? It’s pretty simple in it’s essence but if I have to go into detail more I guess I would say this… basically IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN AMAZINGNESS NOBODY ELSE WILL.!!!! You may have people telling you that you’re great or smart or pretty or talented but it won’t stick until you know it deep down in your heart. If you have been in any situation where you were in the shadows of someone that was always in the spotlight its easy to think you are not as good or as important. If you were in a relationship where you suffered any type of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse, that can cause you to really question your value and worth. Maybe you just didn’t have a very strong support system growing up so you are constantly second guessing your ideas and intelligence. You may have just become comfortable with underestimating your abilities. I know what it’s like to deal with that type of insecurity and believing in yourself may seem impossible, but it can be done.
- We have all been put on this earth for a purpose, there is something wonderful and unique about you. The first step to believing in yourself is learning what you love and are passionate about, it’s a great way to start the process.
- Discovering Purpose is a sure fire way to kill the second guessing and underrating yourself, finding something bigger than you will drive home the truth of your greatness.
- Surrounding yourself with greatness and influences that push you to be better and follow your dreams is a must.
- Removing ANYTHING or ANYONE that is toxic to you. People that drain you emotionally and that bring negativity into your life will only keep you doubting who you are and your abilities. It doesn’t matter who it is, taking that out of the equation should be done before you attempt to do any of the other steps mentioned above.
This is no one’s favorite part of the growth journey. We all want to skip through the uncomfortable stuff and get to the ending with all of the success and wealth and happiness. I totally get it, I would love to do the same thing but in order to get where we want to go we have to drive through the tunnel and over that bridge. Typically there is no other way around any of those things unless you have a boat or a helicopter in some cases. What I am trying to say here is what I used to hear people say all the time ‘the only way to get to something is to go through something else’. As cliche as this may sound it is so true. The process is an inevitable part of life and it makes us become who we are or are going to be (and I can’t believe I am saying this but it is very necessary). For me personally some of the things I have gone through have made me so strong and have taught so much about myself. I know that I would not be who I am without it. Your process is coming whether you want it to or not so the only thing you can do is embrace it.
I have learned so much over the years but these are the things that stuck out to me the most. We all have lessons that we’ve learned throughout our lives, I’m sure everyone has at least one good one that has shaped you as a person. I would love for you to share them with me. Until next time…