It dawned on me today that it has been a year since I graduated college. College…the lowest time of my life. This was a time where I lost myself as a person. I broke and shattered into a million pieces, and every day was a challenge for me. I would cry myself to sleep some nights, wishing life would get better. A lot has happened in the past year. 2015 especially has been so far a year of changes and personal growth for me. A lot of challenges as well, but I found the strength and rose to these obstacles. A year ago I was depressed and living in fear. I let excuses dictate my ability to face my fears. I lived in self doubt and was my own worse critic. But I soon got sick of this mindset. I was generally unhappy and dissatisfied with where my life was headed. If I didn’t make these scary but necessary changes to myself, I was still going to be unhappy in 5, 10, 15 years time. I knew something had to change. Change. That was a scary word for me at the start of this whole process. Change means facing the unknown. It can be good, and it can be bad. At the time, I was so focused on the bad side of changes, that it made me not want to face it. So how was I able to face my fears and be the person I am today: happy, positive, full of love and laughter? Here are a few things I focused on while challenging my mindset:
- When starting off, start off small: I focused in on the big picture of where I wanted my life to go and was overwhelmed by all I had to do. I was so far off from my goal of living a happier life, being more confident, and branching out. By shifting my focus from the overall picture to the tiny steps I had to take in order to reach my goal, I was able to accomplish these baby steps. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step!
- Practice Gratitude: At the start of each morning, I would compile a list of things I was thankful for. They could be tiny things, like the freshly brewed coffee, or more meaningful such as my family. Whatever it was, it was something I was truly thankful for at that moment. I tried to aim for at least five things, but sometimes I would challenge myself to find ten. By focusing on what you are grateful for rather than what you want, happiness already starts to shine into your life. In regards to social media, every Tuesday and/or Thursday instead of doing Throwbacks, I write or make note of something I am Thankful for and dubbed it “Give Thanks Tuesday/Thursday”. If anyone would like to also get on board this positivity train, just hashtag #GTT in with a post about something you are grateful for in your life!
- Focus on the Positives: Every cloud has a silver lining. While working on myself, it was very hard to see the silver lining in things. Another thing that I did each day was reflecting on all the positives of that day. Instead of focusing on the negatives, which only enforced my negative mindset, I looked at the positives, even the really small ones like, someone gave me a compliment, or I enjoyed a book. Focusing on the good shifts your attention towards that of an optimistic and positive mindset.
- Don’t beat yourself up every time you mess up: We slip up every now and again. We may take two steps forward, and one step back. The goal is to not let a set back stop us from achieving our goals. It is important to forgive yourself for your mistake and learn from it. LEARN FROM IT. Had to do that in all caps because it is so important that we take something valuable away from our mistakes so that we may be more prone to success in the future.
- Reflect: Often times through out this past year, and even still to this day since I am only human and get bothered by doubts every now and then, I reflect on how far I have come. I remind myself of my past and focus in again on those little accomplishments (or big) and I remember that I am at a better place now then where I was some-odd months ago. Reflection is a great tool when progression towards a goal.
These are only a few ways that I have been able to change my mindset over the span of this year. Every challenge I am presented, I face, because I know it will only help me in the long run grow as a person. I learn from my experiences and have also learned not to be so hard on myself. I keep bettering myself everyday and know that next year, I will not be the same person I am today. Hopefully I will be better, because my journey is one of spiritual and personal growth. I hope something from my experiences can help you in your own journey of personal growth! Have a wonderful night!