You are immensely powerful. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, even if nothing up to this point in your life seems to affirm it—this is a fact. You can become your own hero and rescue yourself. You can rise above any situation and create a life that exceeds your best dreams. No matter what has happened before this moment, there are still infinite possibilities for a life of joy, connection, adventure, and meaning. In this instant you can choose to take the first step toward the life you imagine. You don’t have to make a vision board. You don’t need likes for yes or hearts for no. You simply have to choose. Here’s how:
1. Stop seeking validation from others.
One of the easiest ways to give away your power is by outsourcing your self-esteem and self-worth. You don’t need anyone else to declare you, your choices, or your life as acceptable. When you have your own approval you won’t crave anyone else’s applause. The ones who love you may not always agree with you, but they will always accept you freely. The ones who don’t shouldn’t be main characters in your story anyway.
2. Recognize your magnificence.
Own it and don’t apologize for it. As the astronomer Albert Durant Watson explained in 1918, “our bodies are made of star-stuff.” You are no less extraordinary than the galaxies. You are the singular opportunity for the world to see the way the divine light of God shines through you alone. When you acknowledge your magnificence you will gain courage and confidence about who you are and who you were created to be.
3. Realize that you alone are responsible for your happiness.
It’s up to you to create it. This also means no one can give it to you and no one can take it from you. Taking ownership for your life includes taking responsibility for your joy. Happiness starts with a decision to honor your sacred right to a joyful life. If you want to have a life full of delight and exhilaration, you will have to build it.
4. Give up the idea of playing it safe.
Being brave, compassionate, and authentic in ways that count rarely exist inside your comfort zone. Even with a clear destination in front of you, the path to a changed life is not an easy one. The journey will more than likely be terribly lonely, full of uncertainty, and more difficult than your wildest expectation. You can choose to be stagnant and safe or you can offer yourself as tribute and run toward the challenge. When you risk it all to gain it all the reward you find is that the view is worth the climb.
5. Know that anything worth having in your life requires cultivation and celebration.
Your talents, relationships, and aspirations all require your attention and gratitude. Just like a charming urban garden or a great contour, it takes time to build beautiful things. Your worthiness is intrinsic and irrevocable. You don’t have to earn it or work for it. A worthy life, on the other hand, will not happen without your effort.
6. Self-care. Self-care. Self-care.
Seriously, SELF CARE. You don’t merely deserve your attention, you require it. Your wellbeing demands your consideration and kindness. Be gentle with yourself. Silence every self-defeatist thought with an affirmation of your own magic and wonder. Give yourself the gift of your own relentless love. Let there be grace!
7. Never forget that you get to decide how you show up in this world.
You don’t have to be the person you were last year, last month, or last night. You don’t owe anyone anything that makes you miserable or fills you with dread. You are the architect of your life. Every instant holds in it the potential for you to radically change whatever no longer serves your purpose for being here. Infinite dreams have been actualized by nothing more than persistence and a belief in possibilities.