- Take responsibility for your own happiness.
Don’t expect other people to look out for your interests and make you happy. You are responsible for building a life you love so fill it full of doing things you enjoy, in a job you don’t just have to tolerate, and with people you actually want to spend time with – not those you feel obliged to spend time with. Nobody else knows exactly what you like and what will make you happy so take control and make it happen yourself.
- You are what you feed your mind
Be careful what you focus on and what you watch / read. The more you focus on negative things the worse you will feel and the more negative things you will find. Start expecting good things and looking for the good around you and will start to find it. If you watch the news you are watching the opposite of a highlights reel of the full world – you’re seeing all the bad things out there condensed into 30 minutes. That’s not a true reflection of the world! Watch the things that uplift you, listen to music that makes you feel happy and spend time doing things that make you smile.
- If you want something, ask for it!!
It’s simple, rather than letting yourself get frustrated inside you may as well ask the question. Whether it is about a job promotion, change of role or change in your personal life or something you would really like. Ask the question, what is the worst that can happen? It sure beats bottling it up and torturing yourself while assuming the worst outcome – who knows what will happen!! Expect the best outcome and ask.
- Don’t buy cheap through choice, only through necessity.
I’ve learned the hard way by buying cheap tablets / clothes / shoes / tyres etc that you only get what you pay for. If you really want or need something go that bit extra and buy quality that will last. Buy cheap and you’ll end up having to buy the better version sooner rather than later.
- Healthy eating IS a choice
Try not eating when you’re bored, try eating less, try eating better … you will feel better and will soon realise that you don’t really need all the rubbish you’ve been eating. Don’t go from pigging out to starving yourself, just cut back on the junk you don’t need and have healthy snacks available to eat when you do get peckish.
- Treat yourself well
Other people might not and you can’t control that but you can set your own standards on how you treat yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail, instead learn from it. Reward yourself when you do well and celebrate all your successes. Make sure you appreciate all your good qualities instead of giving yourself a hard time for small medial mistakes.
- If you say no too many times to invites out, they’ll stop asking!
Over the years you’ll be invited to lots of events, days out, sport games or outings etc… it is ok to say No if you don’t feel like it but if you keep saying no to every invite one day you’ll wake up and the invites will have stopped. It will take a long time to build these networks back up so be careful.
- Balance in life is essential!
I tried to be the best dad and husband around and put so much pressure on myself that I all but discontinued my social calendar. It’s Ok to want to be a great parent or partner but you also need time to socialise, catch up with friends or play a sport you enjoy. It is not selfish to want a social life as well as a family life, you just need to keep a good balance.
- The importance of breathing properly
This is a lesson most people won’t need to know but under stress in the past I would fail to breathe properly which lead to further problems. I now know the impact slowing down and taking a full deep breath can have on anxiety and confidence, you just need to know the technique to get the air right down into your gut.
- Get Centred
Not many people truly understand the importance and control you give yourself if you can get yourself centred before and during challenging situations. When sitting, sit with your bum at the back of the chair and your back straight. When standing, stand with your legs straight but not locked, feet shoulder width apart and arms hanging loosely by your side. Now breathe deep into your gut, filling your gut first before moving onto filling your lungs. Have an open body posture. Take some deep breaths. You will feel so much better with this posture and the breaths will help relax you.
- Don’t let your misconceptions of what others think hold you back
There are many times where you may assume someone doesn’t like you, or you may assume that people are thinking something about you. You have no way to know 100% for sure so why would you pick the worst case scenario. Start imagining the best case scenario, maybe people think you’re funny. Maybe people think what you’re wearing is smart. If you start thinking of the best possible outcome and that people can really see the best in you then I can promise you that you will start to feel better about yourself … and at the end of the day, does it really matter what they think anyway? So why not expect them to think positive thoughts about you.
- If you don’t have goals and a plan you’re at the discretion of others.
Set your own plan, don’t wait for others to choose your life for you. If you have no plan or real direction in your life those that know where they want to be going will soon start to pull you into their journey … or dare I say “use you” to get to where they need to go. That’s not their fault, you haven’t specified your own destination and these people can’t clearly see your plan as you don’t have one so you have to be prepared to be at the mercy of others making decisions for you … what a horrible way to live!
- Stop procrastinating and putting stuff off.
A lot of time you will have a large task in front of you but rather than tackle it head on you’ll find some way to delay the task (be it watching TV, doing another less important but easier task or even going on the internet to socialise). If you do something first time you’ll be giving yourself a head start and be able to accomplish so much more … and you’ll feel so much better for it. Think how much better you would feel if you just got up and completed the task. Get it off your To Do List and on to the Done List! Try it, I can promise you it works. This also helps build confidence.
- Forgive Yourself
Times are hard enough without beating yourself up. Nobody is perfect, despite what they may claim or how you may view them, so allow yourself to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes so instead of dwelling on them and feeling sorry for yourself why don’t you learn from the mistake and move on quickly.
- Don’t Blame Others
If you are blaming others, you are taking zero responsibility for where you are in life. It’s easy to blame the economy, or your company, or your parents, or how you were raised … to say “if it wasn’t for this or that things would be better!!”. Things that you can’t manage and probably won’t change. If you’re doing this you’re avoiding taking responsibility for the situation and the life you have created. The only power you have is your response to the situation. You can play victim and keep finding the excuses … or you can start finding solutions!
- Trust Yourself
Sometimes the negative part of your brain can cast doubt over even the simplest of task. Analyse what you are worrying about and decide if your fears and thoughts are real or completely irrational. If you slow down and really look at what you are trying to achieve you’ll slowly start to see what is possible. Then you have to trust yourself to make it happen. You’ve done so much already, take some credit for all that you have achieved and believe that you’ll be able to keep on keeping on performing at your very best.
- Stop Complaining
If you’re busy complaining about your job, your house, your parents, your car … what you are doing is showing that you are not grateful for any of the positive aspects of each area. Complaining breeds complaining. The more you complain, the more you will find to complain about. Instead of complaining why not start pointing out the good points. Start finding the good in each thing. This will not only make you more tolerable to be around, you’ll start to feel happier at the same time. You’ll start to become a good finder instead of a whinger.
- Love Yourself.
The world is a hard enough place as it is and there will be enough haters out there hating. All you can do is focus on your good points, be proud of your accomplishments so far and celebrate every good thing you have achieved. If you’re struggling with this one try to make a Successes Picture collection filled with photos that remind you of how far you have come and all the good times you have had. Or you could try writing a gratitude list on yourself – all the things about yourself that you are grateful for (your many strengths)..
- Never, Never Settle
The more you settle for things the more you are programming your subconscious to think that you are not worth the best of things. An example, you see 2 shirts, one is extremely smart and you feel sharp wearing it. The other is 20% cheaper, looks ok and would do the job. You buy option 2. When you wear it you know it was second choice. Subconsciously your mind knows you didn’t really want it and only bought it because it was cheaper. You don’t feel half as smart wearing it as if you’d bought the more expensive one and in the end you wear it less and less. The more you do this the more you are telling your subconscious that you are not worth the more expensive option. This drains confidence and it drains self-worth. I am not saying always take the more expensive route every time, most people couldn’t afford that … but sometimes it’s worth not buying anything at all than buying something you don’t really want. If you can’t afford the more expensive option why not wait? Save up if you have to and then once you can afford it buy the one you really want. You need to programme your mind that you deserve the best, that you ARE worth it. Some people are born and raised to treat themselves extremely well, others are raised to put others first and treat themselves as a lower class citizen. You can fix it.
- Have Fun
Life is supposed to be fun … if you’re not having fun, then you’re not doing it right. There are many ways you can change your daily habits that will help you find the fun in each day. Every day you should be planning to do things that you consider to be “good fun”. If you don’t have anything fun planned at all each day you have to ask yourself why! Do the things you love, plan a good day out / event / holiday, watch something that makes you laugh, talk to other fun people, do something silly that makes you realise that letting go of the “serious you” isn’t going to make the world stop! Have a look through old photographs, tell old funny stories … just do basically whatever it takes to let go.