A Free Pat On Your Back

Recently someone said to me, “Stop being so hard on yourself, you just don’t give yourself enough credit”. That made me stop in my tracks and really think about those words. We have so many conversations online and in-person but when you hear those words come from anyone, your best bet is to take that in and listen. I really had to take some inventory of how true those statements were for me. Why was I being so hard on myself? Well, the honest truth is that we are our worst and toughest critic.

How often do we go through so many events in our lives that really push our limits to be stronger? How many times do we overcome losses, disappointments, rejection and still we dust ourselves off and move forward? Sometimes we don’t even realize that as time goes by, we have grown and learned so many lessons thanks to our strong spirit. We may have had failures but we also have made the conscious effort to keep pushing ahead for a better tomorrow. And even if tomorrow came and we stumbled again, we should just try again and just think, “Ok, this didn’t quite go the way I thought but what was my lesson here?” Your perseverance no matter how big or small should be acknowledged and celebrated. Now, sure you’re not going to throw yourself a party every time you overcome a problem (or would you? invites being accepted), but taking notice that you are trying is a HUGE step. Let’s agree to not be so hard on ourselves because if we were to look back, I’m sure we could find we have made bigger strides than we give ourselves credit for. Of course, it’s always nice to hear “great job” from your bosses, peers, friends but just remember not to let that command your thoughts or let that be your drive. An idea is to perhaps begin making a list of difficult circumstances you have experienced and how you saw yourself through it. Write down your strengths or actions that you may have taken to turn your situation around. Thinking about it just fine but there is something special about putting it on paper and seeing it in front of you. You don’t have to show this list to anyone. This is for yourself and a moment of face to face transparency and sincerity for you.  Just like any muscle that needs exercise, so is the act of validating your successes and your inner strength. Once you put some thought behind this you are off to empowering yourself to another level. Today, I am here to remind you that you should pat yourself on your back. Why? Because you deserve to give yourself much credit for working hard, being a great parent, sibling, friend, colleague and heck just for making it from one day to the next with all the obstacles out in the world.

“Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.” ~Unknown

Photo by: Nghia Le

When Change Knocks At Your Door

It’s hard to believe we only have a few months left of the year 2017. This year, it seems so many people are experiencing changes and shifts in some area of their lives that is quite significant. When change knocks at your door, how do you answer? Do you open the door without hesitation or are you extra cautious? It’s safe to say many of us can experience doubt and fear when uncertainty enters our lives. They say progress is impossible without change and no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it could be the gateway to something really incredible. It could be the universe’s way of shaking things up and taking you out of the old comfort zone which is where stagnant energy lives. We are here to grow, evolve and learn and sometimes a major change is necessary. Are you in a soul-sucking job? Are you in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship? Are your relationships unbalanced? Have you outgrown the home where you live or the area where you live? Are you feeling unhealthy and have been considering a lifestyle change? The safe zone is where many of us stay but there does come a time when our inner voice tries so hard to tell us to move on! Do we listen and act, or do we listen and suppress those thoughts? If you have been contemplating a change in your life and you’re reading this now, consider this as your SIGN. The time is now. So what’s the worst that can happen if you leave the old behind? Maybe it’s time to explore that new career, invest in yourself and remove those people or things that no longer resonate with you or bring positivity to your life.

Change may not come easy and yes there may be a bit of struggle but that is where you develop your strength. Think back on a time in your life when you actually made the conscious decision to go in a different direction from where you were. Maybe that decision brought you new relationships or new opportunities. As you can see, the calendar days wait for no one and times moves quickly. We are only here for a limited time so why not take action and do those things that you enjoy. Why not surround yourself with kind and supportive people. The battle of fear of the uncertainty and acceptance can be challenging but very much attainable. The question is how badly do you want to move forward. If you think you’re not ready that means you are! Wait, what? Yes, waiting for the right time or circumstance is just another form of procrastination and comes from a place of fear. Taking that leap of faith is not about timing, it’s about that deep desire to want to be happy. Always trust your inner voice and take that chance. So, now I ask you again –  when change comes knocking at your door, how will you answer? Will you open the door gracefully allowing the ebb and flow of growth to enter or will you push back and struggle through the process? The choice is yours but remember great things comes outside of your comfort zone. So One Style at Time readers, have you experienced any changes in your life? How did you handle these events no matter how big or small?