I recently lost touch with my true self. I got caught up with people’s expectations for me and trying to “prove myself” to others. I was trying to “do it all” and be everything for everyone, even when a little voice inside of me warned me that I was dangerously close to the edge.
But then I fell, and I fell hard.
Everything that I had worked for, that I was so close to achieving, now appeared to be out of my reach. In an instant, my mindset went from one of a winner, to one of a loser. I lost all confidence, hope and lost my will do anything about it.
The Obstacle in the Way
It can be a life event, the loss of a parent, a friend or a job, or an injury or chronic illness. Your life, in an instant can change and rock you off your feet into the unknown. Sometimes it is something as beautiful as pregnancy or a birth of a child, or new responsibilities at work or at home that you have been working for or wishing for. Whatever IT is, it can knock the life out of you and leave you scrambling for air.
I know it all too well. There have been times in my life that I have felt so down and so confused that I when I looked to my future, I saw darkness. Times in my life when I felt like all I could do was “get through the day” and hope that tomorrow I would have a solution. But tomorrow would come with no answers and I would continue to fill the void with food and booze and numbing the realities of my life.
What I know now, that I didn’t know then, was that my biggest obstacles in life ended up being my biggest triggers for change and growth. They taught me how to get up and fight for my true self and taught me my worth. From those obstacles I became stronger, more resilient and discovered the worth of my true self.
When I look back on those times in my life, I realize that there is a common thread. Whenever I encountered some resistance, I would stop in my tracks and stop doing the things that would help me bounce back. Only when I started doing those things again, would light come into my life, and help me recover and learn and grow strong from my setback*.
*In fact, setback is not a word I should use to describe these times as they were the biggest stepping stones to my growth.
Through all the pain of my obstacles, I have learned my worth and I have found my inner lion. I stopped listening to other peoples opinions, and learned to trust my own instincts.
This did not happen overnight and is something that I must work on every day to maintain. Every obstacle that comes my way has the ability to knock me off my feet and it is my rituals and habits that keep me from dipping down too low.
The Rituals of a Lion
These daily practices are key to pushing through resistance and obstacles. I recently lost touch with them and I fell into a deep dark hole that I haven’t been in a while. This is why I wrote this article. To remind myself of the importance of these habits and to incorporate them back into my life. I only mention a few here but you can read more in my book, The Mindset Reset.
1. Do some daily form of exercise
It doesn’t have to be intense crazy puke in a bucket exercise. Sometimes when I feel down all I need to do is walk my dog for 20 minutes. As a Crossfitter, it was NEVER ENOUGH exercise but now that THAT bubble has burst (more in another post), I have come to realize that something is better than nothing.
Taking the time to move your body, exercise, yoga or walk etc. will make you breathe, and will decrease your anxiety and improve your mood. Sometimes you don’t feel like it, but my mantra has always been:
You always feel better when you do, and you never feel better when you don’t.
Setting time aside for daily movement or exercise is a key to health and happiness.
2. Wake up early (or earlier)
This habit is a game changer. Taking extra time in the morning to breath, exercise and take care of myself. It wasn’t an easy habit to start, but the time I took for myself before “real life” started, was a life saving habit that I am so grateful of having. I start the day with some breathing and reviewing my goals for the day. I also do some reading, and writing and my daily yoga practice.
My morning routine starts my day off with me being in control. I never know how the day will go, and sometimes it is my only time in the day that I have for myself.
My morning routine includes:
- Daily breathing meditation
- Visualization for my day/month/year
- Reading my goals out loud
- Reading books that help my personal development
- Yoga/Stretching/walking the dog
- Writing in my 5 minute journal - gratitude, intentions and affirmations
This may seem like a lot, but I started small and worked my way up. And I don’t do them all everyday. It is about progress not perfection.
3. Being mindful of “numbing” behaviours.
Food and booze are my drugs of choice. I have learned to be mindful of certain behaviours around food and alcohol that I know are “symptoms” that something needs to be dealt with in my life. I have used them in the past to numb feelings of shame, doubt or indecision and I am very mindful of how I use them.
- Writing down all my food and restricting certain food groups.
- Binging on ALL THE FOOD (usually after a period of deprivation) and going to Starbucks daily because “I deserve it”.
- Daily alcohol consumption or “needing” that glass of wine to “relax
Some people have different “numbing” behaviours: Over spending, gambling, sex, drugs. If the behaviour is used to numb feelings, then it needs to be addressed. This is not always easy, and you may need some help, but it is a KEY to mastering your self and your happiness.
WHEN THE MASTER FALLS FLAT ON HER FACE
After living the best year of my life, reaching all my goals and becoming the “best version of myself”, I hit a wall that led me into a tailspin and turned my life upside down. I hit a road block that actually STOPPED me from doing all of the above.
Part physical, and part mental I was reminded that even the strongest can get hit, and get knocked down. This road block is leading my life into a whole different direction, and required me to re-write the script to my life, and my future.
It may not feel like it today, but as tears fall down my cheeks I know that it will make be stronger and more resilient in the future. My new path is one of creation, re-creation and growth and I am excited to see what this challenge will bring.
I love you all for listening to my rant. If you want to hear more about changing your habits and creating positive habits please read my book The Mindset Reset and write a review on Amazon.
Every day is a new day and a new chance to unleash your true self. If you are struggling to find the strength to become the strongest version of yourself please remember these words:
You are worth it. You can do it. Believe, commit and never give up. It is possible.