About two years ago, I stepped into uncertainty. I was living in a mess of negative, limiting and toxic thoughts. The environments I was in were toxic as well, and therefore I felt unsupported and suffocated. I knew that there must be something else out there and there must be people who agree with me. At the time, this was a dream- I didn't realize that happiness and freedom would turn into my reality. It still blows my mind how I was able to create a different life for myself. I changed everything that was making me sick, literally. I stopped wasting energy on toxic and negative relationships and gave up everything I knew. I won't tell you that it was all easy, fun and games as they say. But all the challenges that I have been through have made me stronger and shown me perspective. And with this in mind, I can tell you that making changes in your life for happiness is always worth it. Instead of looking at challenging situations as obstacles and limitations, you will see them as chances to grow and learn. You are on the path of doing what makes you happy, and therefore the challenges that you face are simply opportunities to teach you more about the path that you are on.
On my journey so far, there are a few important things I have learned that I want to share with you here. They have helped me a lot to stay strong, see abundance and find happiness.
An Open Mind
Being open-minded brings abundance, opportunities and surprises! I know this sounds like a broad term and really, it is, because you can be open-minded in so many ways. Here are a few specific ways to show you what I mean:
- Approach a stranger and be the first to strike up a conversation (you never know what new things you can learn from someone who is living a completely different life than you)
- Take an online course for the purpose of simply gaining knowledge. Sites such as ---https://www.coursera.org/--- offer an array of courses covering different topics.
- Change up your look. Style your hair differently from how you usually do it, wear lipstick (for the ladies) or invest in a new scent
- Try a new food to experience another culture
- Attend a service for a religion that is not yours
- If you are used to the city, spend a day or two in the country. Or the other way around, if the country is your homeland
- Learn a new skill or hobby such as gardening or photography.
- Take a class in something you have never tried before (meditation and pottery classes are always great)
There are many others ways to get into the habit of being open to all that life has to offer. Pick one of these and try it out!
Throughout my own journey, I have learned to trust myself. So many times we doubt our first instincts. Often we want something, but then it becomes clouded by what we think we "should do" or what others expect of us. However, this can be destructive because you are not listening to your needs. Listening to your heart is what will bring you happiness and help you grow in the direction that you want.
This is what the counter-intuitive model of thinking looks like:
Instinct of what you need to do → thoughts of inadequacy, fear, reasons to not take action, expectations of others → natural instinct becomes unclear or lost
I learned to replace a limited mind frame with one that brings me freedom and opportunity. Here is what is looks like:
Felt Instinct → Inspired Action
As you might have noticed, this second train of thought avoids an entire step. This is the stage that we often spend far too much time in. It is a space of doubt and fear. It is important to realize that our fears are often greater than anything that will actually happen. What is important to know is that taking a risk or being open to change is usually a positive thing. An instinct is a sign of a opportunity to improve our life- act on it!
Let these insights bring you closer to your vision of happiness. And remember, there are always opportunities to grow and discover new and exciting things.