Whether you’re tired of living below your potential or ready to lower the amount of drama in your daily life, these 7 mind shifts will bring about lasting benefits. The best part? You’ll notice them almost immediately. Bring on the transformation!
1 | Let your best self guide you.
This might sound a little cringy but stick with me for a minute. Though we can feel a bit like the village idiot when we make a mistake, say the wrong thing in a meeting, or commit a social faux pas, the truth is that missteps are a part of daily life for everyone. Yes, everyone. Even that totally-together friend you swear never gets it wrong. When faced with these moments, we have a choice: we can file our mishap away and use it as a trigger to taunt and shame our future self or we can step up and learn something. If you choose the latter, take note — literally. Buy yourself a notebook and when you leave a situation wishing you had handled something differently, take some time to write down how your best self would have handled it and use it as a guide the next time you’re in a similar predicament. You’ll be amazed at how effective this can be if you take the time to do it right.
2 | Know when to disengage.
Before you read on, take a minute and think about the last pointless argument you had. Maybe you spent an hour trying to convince your super right-wing uncle that guns actually do kill people or you allowed your condescending coworker to bait you into another game of tit-for-tat yet again. Whatever it was, be honest; was it worth it?
Though it can feel good to feel ‘right’, how much of a win is it when the payout is just more frustration and resentment than you started with? Does it really matter if the show-off at your friend’s birthday party agrees with your political stance?
Now, let me be clear; I am not suggesting that you disrespect yourself but merely pointing out that we disrespect our time and right to peace when we spend our energy trying to prove a point to someone who is committed to misunderstanding us, or worse, someone who is winding us up for their own amusement.
3 | Remember that people have their own Sh*t and it’s not about you.
I once met the wife of a friend who I thought was lovely mainly because I had heard such lovely things about her. I was so excited to get to know her — until I met her. While she may have been wonderful to others, the woman I met was a bonafide mean girl. In fact, her Regina Georges-style antics were so over-the-top that I removed myself from the room. I left the situation feeling terrible and wondered why she had behaved like that far too long afterward. The truth was that there was no answer because there was no reason. She was just nasty to me because she felt like it, and that was the beginning and the end of it. The freedom in accepting that some people will not like you regardless of how kind, lovely, supportive and friendly you are (and may not like you because you are these things) is a tough life lesson, but it’s an important one. The next time someone is off with you, or just outright rude, take a moment to reflect. Instead, of using their rejection as ammo in your own war against yourself, recognize that every person you meet is a culmination of their own experiences and brings their own issues, insecurities, hopes, and fears into the room. Be compassionate, but remember that it’s not your job to be anyone’s proverbial punching bag or to campaign for their approval. Then focus on being the best version of yourself and lean into the good relationships that you attract by being that person and let everything else go.
4 | Value time, yours and others.
Confession time: I used to show up late to everything. It wasn’t that I actively looked to disrespect anyone, it was that I didn’t properly plan for travel time and was always a bit optimistic about how seamless said travel would be. Not good enough, I know. If you’re slumping a bit in your chair, let this be your call to arms because I can assure you there are a lot of people in your life who are secretly very annoyed that you never show up when you’re supposed to. In my life, the most annoyed was my husband. He put up with my lateness for years until one day, he gently pointed out that being late sends a message that you feel your time is more important than someone else’s, and while he was fine having a pint and looking at his phone while waiting for me to show up, there are a lot of people who would not appreciate spending an extra 15-20 minutes waiting when they could be doing something else. At that moment, I realized how rude I was being and also how much of my own time I wasted. I decided to make a change and I have since learned to respect time as our most valuable resource and understand that while I might want to waste some of what I have in my reserve, I don’t have the right to decide that for someone else. A total game-changer move that has improved nearly every area of my life.
5 | Let Go to Get Something Better.
One of the most damaging lies we are told is the idea that walking away from something — a job, friendship, relationship — means that we have failed. Worse, we often feel there is a correlation between the time we have invested and the weight of failure we must feel. I am not being hyperbolic when I say that this narrative can literally destroy someone’s life.
In economics, money that has been spent that cannot be recovered is known as a sunk cost, and the theory can be applied to time and energy as well. Spending more resources to recover what you have spent when there is no reason to believe you have a chance of recovery beyond hope is a loser’s game. Instead of convincing yourself to stick with something (or someone) because it ‘might’ change and you’re investment ‘might’ be worth it, take control and be proud of yourself for not allowing yourself to lose more money/time/energy the second you realize it’s not going to end the way you had hoped.
6 | Take care of yourself.
Whether it’s time, love, energy or kindness, you cannot transfer what you do not have. While wine and bubble baths are nice, taking time to recharge, hydrate, exercise and say ‘no’ because you’re at capacity are the real OGs of self-care.
7 | Live your life for you.
We live in a world of insta-moments, instant gratification — and let’s be honest insta-FOMO. No matter what you’re up to, there’s always someone who is having a better time at a better place in a better outfit. While we might know uploads don’t tell the full story, it can be hard to feel like you’re missing out or living a less exciting life than your friend who always seems to be on holiday. But here’s a secret no one shares: life isn’t about how many likes you get, it’s about how much you like your life. Instead of scrolling yourself deeper into the comparison trap, commit to taking small steps every day to creating a life you love. This could be something as simple as lighting a candle and listening to Ella Fitzgerald while writing (a personal favorite) or looking up a new recipe and inviting a friend over to share a laugh over dinner. The more you invest in the life you want to live, one that is within your means and is meaningful to you, the more it will blossom — no filter required.