We always hear “Be yourself”, it’s kinda thrown around everywhere, is the advice everyone seems to give you, right?
Recently, I heard A.J. Jacobs reframing this into “Be the best parts of yourself” and you know what, I kinda like that. First of all, it implies that you’re accepting the fact that you’re enough (and let’s face it ladies, this is a huge block for us!) and second of all, you’re focusing on learning, growing and expanding those parts of yourself that you like the most.
For example, say you’re an introvert (like I am, mostly!) and prefer to spend time enjoying your own company. Sometimes, going out for certain social or networking events might prove beneficial, therefore will push you to get out of your comfort zone which in turn equals with you becoming better at something or learning a new skill.
You’ve probably heard this a million times, read self books, articles and so on but you’re still not quite sure on what actionable steps you can take to really work on improving yourself.
After all, this is our life’s hardest quest: getting to unleash that inner warrior that hides inside you and being the bad ass you always knew you could be. Easier said than done!
Here’s a few things I personally found beneficial in propelling you into the right direction. Some of them might be super obvious, you might even roll your eyes and go: “Seriously, tell me something I don’t know” but the truth is this: The most obvious things are usually the ones that we tend to neglect and ignore the most because, we “obviously” know them!
I’ll give you a hint: It doesn’t matter what you know already but …are you really applying that on a daily basis, like consistently?
As Derek Sivers puts it: “If information was all we needed, we would all be billionaires with perfect abs.”
So here are my non-original, super obvious tips:
Create routines that stick
Establishing a positive daily routine is both a self-investment and a way to do your best for the rest of the world. It also provides additional benefits, such as giving you structure, building forward-moving habits, and creating momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don’t have the strength to carry yourself. Following a daily routine can help you establish priorities, limit procrastination, keep track of goals, and even make you healthier.
Starting off with a super quick morning ritual can be very beneficial. You can wake 5 minutes earlier and do some breathing techniques or do some stretches, or practice mindfulness, anything like this will have a calming effect on your body and will be guaranteed to set you off to having a great day. Checkout Headspace as a simple way to get started with mindfulness.
Having a routine lowers your reliance on willpower and motivation because it will teach you discipline and you will repeat these actions with little effort/thought.
Let me be perfectly clear: Building habits, especially the healthy kind, is not EASY! But, as Jerzey Gregorek says: “Easy choices equals a hard life; Hard choices equals an easy life”
Start your day with an intention or powerful mantra/affirmation
Choosing what you’re focusing on can have massive benefits & will help you get more out of your day. It will also help you notice what sort of language you use when addressing yourself.
The idea with setting an intention is to remind yourself of what’s important now and how you can focus on it.
For example your intention can be something along the lines:
- I want to feel joy and love today in everything I do
- I want not to get triggered about (fill in the gap)
- I want to be kinder to myself and others
It can be anything you want, however big or small and you can repeat the same intention over and over again.
Very often in my yoga practice the teacher will say: Set an intention for the practice. Most times I choose to send great energy to loved ones but I also choose to send those love vibes towards myself. Or I would say my intention is to believe in myself more. My intention is to be more kind towards myself.
If this seems all too hard just focus on how you want to feel and say stuff like:
Today I want to feel powerful, confident, calm, happy, content, I don’t want to get triggered by x or y. You get the picture. Stating the obvious here, again (you gotta give me brownie points for being so original!). But choosing to say “Today is gonna be great” vs “I hate my life” will actually have a more positive overall impact and can be your positive anchor to propel you in the right direction.
I cannot stress how much focusing on the already present abundance in your life, can open a world of opportunities and push you to want to become better. You know for example that there’s people in this world who die of hunger, yet throw away half of your food cos you’re not hungry anymore or many of us won’t eat the same food for a few days in a row because is not as fresh. But do you ever stop and appreciate the food you have on your plate? I bet you don’t! What if you could change your perspective, what if before you go to bed every night you do a mental check of 3 things you were grateful for during the day. We hear: Life is precious. Life is short. Life is a gift. Life is more than just about you. But do you actually ACKNOWLEDGE any of this?
What’s one thing you’re grateful for today, now as you read this? (make sure to pop it in the comments box)
Again… stating the obvious here (boy oh boy, I get more original by the minute!) but maybe it’s time you focus your attention on this, BE GRATEFUL, learn and grow from where you are now in the PRESENT MOMENT which is the only moment that exists.
Get out of your comfort zone
Okay, yeah this is the mother of all cliches but hey cliches are usually true. I recently came across “micro bravery” as a concept (checkout Caroline Paul too) and feel in love with the idea.
Most times when we’re told to get out of our comfort zone we imagine things like climbing mount Everest (I think that’s super cool by the way, so please do by all means!) but the truth is your comfort zone can be trying a yoga class for the first time, reaching out to your parents when you usually don’t, or asking your partner/a friend for help, it can be trying a new business idea and feeling like a complete fraud or totally failing. Whatever “out of your comfort zone” means to you, take micro bravery steps towards it. Ask other like minded individuals, friends, family members what it means to them. This could be your out of comfort zone. It will get the conversation going and it will force you to take another small step in your journey. Not to mention this will definitely boost your confidence levels.
It will feel uncomfortable as hell, sometimes you’d wish the Earth could swallow you there and then but I promise you it’s totally worth it in the long run!
To make you feel better here’s my most ridiculous “out of comfort zone”: Asking the guy at the gym to come out for a hike with me and my friends (No, I didn’t know him and we only said hi but thought he was kinda cute!) Turns out his English wasn’t that good and he didn’t know what “hike” meant. This is also a lesson in worst case scenarios lol. I wasn’t expecting that! Sharing this is out of my comfort zone but it made for a funny story among my friends and I am generous like that 🙈
There you have it, my “original” tips on actionable steps to push you to get a little bit better and be the best parts of you every day.
Now, I would loooove looove looove to hear back from you, what’s one thing that is now out of your comfort zone? (pop in the comments below)