If you are anything like me, you love reading self-help-related books and articles, and your Instagram feed is full of inspirational quotes from people sharing about their success. Within this world of self-help, a theme I continually stumble into is mindset shifts and changing habits to create a better life than the one you are currently living. While I believe there is powerful truth within these lessons, and if you take the time to find habits, rituals, and beliefs that empower and work for you, it can make a BIG difference, I also think it is not as simple as someone telling you what works for them.
Simply applying what worked for someone else (waking up at 5 am, eating more greens, taking these supplements, investing a certain way, walking more, etc.) because they claim it is the key to success will most likely leave you feeling frustrated and ashamed when you don’t reach the success you were hoping for. Sure, the things I listed above are still good things and may add value to your life, but you cannot stop there. It is essential to look at the advice critically and frame it within your world and context, applying it very specifically to your day to day life based on what feels good and is most aligned to your goals.
The transformation we hear about and the success we see is never due to one single shift but many small shifts over time. It isn’t as simple as beating into your head that you are loveable; it is about embodying that belief because you’ve done the work to actually believe it. So while it can appear like somebody magically shifted something in their life and found great success, bada bing bada boom, it is never that simple. But it also doesn’t have to be that complicated.
We glamorize other people’s lives and believe we have failed because our reality doesn’t measure up to a video or image. We begin to doubt our quirks and strengths, thinking that we will find what we are looking for if we change this one thing, only to be dissatisfied further. How silly! We have everything we need right here, right now. You don’t have to change anything.
Just sit with that for a second and breathe it in. It can be a hard lesson to learn, but it can change everything. [Disclaimer: I have to remind myself of this every day.]
You have everything you need right here, right now.
When I find myself stuck in a mindset or habit that isn’t working, I often find the process of changing my thoughts and behaviours overwhelming and challenging. This frustration is compounded by the fact that social media makes everything look easy, and I expect to immediately see and feel a radical shift. Oh, the world of instant gratification.
I know that it takes time, but it is all too easy to see someone else’s success and forget that they too had to get there incrementally. We are not privy to the frustration around the work, the fear of failing, the tears of doubt, or the sacrifices made… we often only see the finished product.
So, don’t be so hard on yourself.
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t work to improve and grow. Fuck yes, you should work to develop healthy habits and powerful mindsets! But, my friend, do it on your terms because it feels good to YOU, not simply because it is the hot new trend, or someone you admire tells you it is the secret sauce. Do it from a place of already good enough, not a place of lack or shame.
I have to continually remind myself that it takes effort and courage to try new things and continue to show up. I have to remind myself that my own life is meaningful and successful just as it is, regardless of what the world has to say. I have to remind myself to be patient and have gratitude for what I do have. It will never be an instant fix. It will never be as perfect as Instagram wants it to look. We are human, and with humanity comes a messy reality, but with being human also comes the beauty of potential and creation.
In the world of mindsets and habit changes, people rarely talk about how you go about making the shifts and creating new rituals. It is one thing to realize that we need to make a mindset shift and an entirely different thing to make that shift happen in a way that feels good. I know how difficult it can be to get out of a rut if you have been digging that same rut for years. I have quite a few ruts of my own.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you grow and level up.
First off, do it for yourself and don’t fall into shame if someone else’s formula doesn’t work for you.
Second, keep trying; keep showing up for yourself and to yourself.
Showing up and trying will look different for everybody and changes over time. Even if it means just getting up and out of bed today, keep going. We are all going through different seasons of life. Honor yourself and show yourself grace through the process.
Third, build a community of people who support and encourage you in your dreams. If the people you follow online make you feel like shit unfollow them. Find the people who make you feel like, “fuck yeah, I can do that,” and make you feel excited about your own life rather than ashamed of it.
Finding where you feel supported, loved, and seen is a journey. Don’t settle for people and places that make you question your value or worth. Be gracious to them (you don’t know where they are on their journey) and set boundaries where they are needed. You don’t have to get rid of them, but you don’t have to give them your time and energy. Surround yourself with those people who lift you up and amplify your spirit.
I know this sometimes is easier said than done, and I want you to hear me when I say that I still have a lot of work to do in my own life to create this community of people. So if you feel like you have no one right now, that is okay. I am here, and I am not kidding; please message me. We are better together.
Changing mindsets and habits is not a process that happens overnight. It takes courage, trial and error, and self-love. If you feel stuck right now, know you are not alone.
You got this! You have everything you need right here, right now. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and trust yourself on this journey. Choose to do what feels right for you and fits into your reality. Nothing else matters.