"Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you ever have been, to stand up taller than you ever were." - Unknown
So, these past few days have been exceptionally difficult, as you may have read about in my most recent post, How to get through difficult times. Thankfully, I am doing much better now. And I hope that, to those who reached out to me regarding the post, are doing well, too.
(Also, how is Monday for blog posts? Monday is good? Okay, good. Expect new posts every Monday from now on.)
While I am no longer feeling absolutely defeated and lost as I was a week ago... the difficulties that recently occurred have encouraged me to do a lot of reflection, specifically on what I've done during the past few months, who I have become, and who I'd rather be instead. I feel like I've embarked down the wrong path, toward a version of myself society told me I should be, especially now that I'm 21. This summer, I had many goals for myself and yet, I haven't attained or even worked toward most of them. This is okay, because life happens. But, there were many times in which I found myself saying "yes" to something when deep-down, I wanted or either knew I should have said "no." (Hello, fellow people-pleasers out there!) So, I decided that now, after experiencing quite a challenging hardship, was the perfect way to turn my life around.
In my post, Finding yourself is impossible, and other lessons self-help has taught me, I explain, as the title clearly states, that finding yourself is impossible. We will never be the best version of ourselves because life is always changing, and so are we, and there will always be new goals to work toward, new ambitions and projects to begin.
However, I think all of us need a fresh start now and again. I know I do.
So, as you embark on this journey with me, I suggest keeping in mind the fact that even if we do create positive changes for a better, healthier life, we will always be journeying toward our destination, always finding ourselves in need for a reset. We can keep growing, keep changing in healthy ways, but our "best" self will never be fully attained. We will get knocked down again, but we can trust that we will get stronger each time. Instead, search for your authentic self, and become the best version of the person you already are NOW.
When do we need a reset?
When we feel stuck and don't know where to go.
When our life feels like it's spinning/moving too fast.
We don't feel happy/aligned in our current situation/lifestyle.
We feel disconnected with ourselves and our desires.
We have fallen into unhealthy habits such as finding comfort in social media, alcohol, toxic people, etc.
If you are experiencing any of the following feelings above, it's a sign that perhaps you need to return to yourself in this time and cultivate positive habits to move forward/find the right path. Or, the path that is healthiest and feels best for us in this time. The following are my tips to do just that!
5 ways to reset your life for positive change
1. Reflect on where you are in life
Spend some time, as I did, to reflect on where you currently are in life. Do you like where you are? Some questions to ask may be:
What is my job? What would I rather do for a living?
What is my major? Is learning about this topic fulfilling me?
Who are my closest friends? Are they positive influences in my life?
What are my hobbies? Do I have any? What makes me happy?
How is my mental health? Is there anything in my life that I should cut out to be happier/more comfortable?
If you truly like where you are in all areas of your life, then nothing needs changing! But, for example, if you find that you don't truly enjoy being around your friends, then perhaps it is time to shift away and go down a different path. Reflection, in my opinion, is so very important to do every once and a while to ensure you're actually where you want to be.
2. Reevaluate your priorities
My priorities, currently, as they do change and shift, are my summer class, my summer project, running, my job, family, and loving/nurturing myself. For a while, however, I wasn't tending to my priorities and instead was spending all of my time staying out late with friends, not working out nor writing because I was staying up too late and "didn't have time", and so on.
Eventually, I stopped myself, reflected on where I was, and realized that this was not the lifestyle I wanted to live. Therefore, I sat down, reevaluated my priorities, and aimed my life in their direction to create the life I truly desired to live and make time for the things that truly mattered, now.
3. Implement healthy habits
After you've really looked at the things you'd like to focus on right now, it's time to truly implement some healthy habits.
In my life, I have decided to actually begin meditating, so every day for a month I will be sitting down in a 10-minute meditation. (3 days down, 27 to go!) Having something to do just for myself, especially something as seemingly beneficial as meditation (I've never actually done it consistently, so of course, I will keep y'all updated on my thoughts), is so freeing, and helps me nurture myself in this time, as it is one of my current priorities.
Another thing I've been doing is getting back into running by training for a 10k two months from now! Having a training schedule, which entails that I run 3x a week, as well as having a race scheduled, really helps motivate me to get up and run!
Choose a few things aligned with your priorities that you'd like to start doing, such as meditation or running like me, and find some ways to implement these into your life. But, make sure to start small and do only what works for you, not for someone else.
4. Adjust your mindset
Perhaps, your mindset is the thing holding you back. Ok, it does sound silly, but hear me out. If you are currently experiencing any shame, worry, fear, or feel like you need to punish yourself by keeping yourself stuck, then positive change is going to be difficult to reach. When we are experiencing difficult times, it can be quite challenging to find the positives, or let go of the negative feelings that come with them, but in order to better ourselves and move on, we must let go of what no longer serves us, including our negative thoughts.
When you do feel anxious, or sad, or any other not-so-fun feeling, acknowledge it, appreciate it, then adjust it by reevaluating it. Anxiety, for instance, can be shifted to excitement of what's to come! Sadness is a sign that something has been taken from us, or a situation didn't work out in the way we wanted it to, and sometimes, this can be a good thing.
Look forward to all the good that is going to come with this positive change. Do allow yourself to heal and experience everything as it comes, but, when you're ready, don't forget to get up, and move on.
5. Get out of your comfort zone
My goal for the rest of this summer is to find ways to get out of my comfort zone, positively. This is because, if we never dare to get uncomfortable, how will we ever get a chance to grow? In my experience, change, and new things, are absolutely terrifying in the moment, but I always come out stronger on the other side... always!
However, change remains daunting, so I've started small with this tip. Yesterday, for instance, I went to get my nails done by myself (something I rarely do) and chose a beautiful gray color, which is much darker and different from what I normally get, but I wanted to try something new. I've also done this by training for a 10k, hosting a DIY gathering with my roommates tonight, and working diligently on my summer project (to release soon!!!).
Maybe you've always wanted to do something, reach out to someone, try something new, or build a habit, but were always too afraid to actually start.
If that's the case, well... now's your time. I dare you to do one thing outside of your comfort zone today, and feel the growth that follows.
Now is the time to rise up, and start again, stronger than ever. I believe in you, in us.