This article was written by Nicola Connolly Byrne of ‘I AM Positive Mindset’. Nicola is a partner of The Wellness Crew.
Empowering yourself to live your best possible life, free of fear, takes courage. In fact, it takes more than courage – it takes tenacity, resilience and a bit of grit!
Adopting a fresh attitude towards how you respond to judgement is also very useful. When we are making changes in our lives, one big change isn’t the cure, it is a million little changes. I can share some amazing tools that create a fantastic life; however, we need to start with the basics.
I would like you to visualise overhauling your life to live YOUR best life for YOU – like building a wall. When building our foundations, we must ask ourselves are we building on sand or cement?
Sand is soft, changes form and is a bit unstable. Cement is solid, strong, durable and means business. If we do not have the foundations built in a solid fashion then at some point, the wall will come crashing down. For me, the one foundation that needs to be put into practice when creating your best life is, self care.
What is Self Care?
Some people misunderstand what self-care is. Self-care isn’t having your hair dyed or cut. It isn’t maintaining your nails, eyebrows or lashes. It isn’t makeup, tan or straight white teeth. It isn’t building upper body muscle (and skipping leg day!). It isn’t buying nice clothes, shaving or styling your hair. It isn’t even having a massage. This kind of self-care is nice and needed; however, this is taking pride in your appearance or treating yourself to a nice short-term experience.
We all know people (or maybe this is you) who look amazing all the time, are immaculately turned out and always looks their best yet are struggling personally or professionally. Maybe they are overcompensating by making sure the wrapper on the package looks well to distract themselves and the world that their life really is falling apart at the seams. They look like the elegant swan gliding on water, yet they are kicking frantically underneath just to stay afloat. Life isn’t supposed to be lived like this. Life is supposed to be full of joy, laughter, love, fulfilment, adventure and most of all, peace. Sounds like utopia, right? It might sound unachievable for some; however, I am here to tell you it is all achievable if you are willing to allow yourself to try something new consistently and persistently. If you want something you have never had, you must do something you have never done.
Growth is Uncomfortable
Remember what it was like if your shoes got too tight as a kid. Uncomfortable right? What did your parents do? They changed your shoes, so your feet had room to grow in comfort. The catalyst for growth was discomfort. As soon as you experience discomfort in any element of your life you know what is required next? Change and growth. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
How can we find peace if we don’t look inside? It is a scary prospect sometimes to even contemplate delving inward. So, let me make a clear distinction between external self-care and internal self-care. Internal self-care is many things but mainly it is taking care of our mind, making sure that our thoughts are not polluting our capacity to make healthy decisions for ourselves. If we want to live our best life, we need to maintain a good relationship with how our mind works and how we can quieten the mind in times of challenge for us to make balanced healthy decisions.
Our minds are spaces for thinking and creating, not for storage. If we carry everything in the forefront of our minds that we have ever experienced it is going to get heavy quickly and very crowded! We do this when we have not processed an experience correctly. Then we end up dragging every experience into the present, every day! That is hard work! When we do this, we become a victim to our past, daily. Instead we could harness our thoughts and become the hero of today. Dealing with negative experiences correctly is vital. We look back into our past to learn from it, but we don’t stare. Look back but don’t unpack and live there.