The truth is, we all want to better ourselves. The difference between some of us is how far along we are in that process. Are we denying the work we need to do? Are we actively pursuing a better life? Or have we merely accepted that this is as good as it’s going to get? At the end of the day, it all boils down to you. You have a lot more power to change your life and circumstances than you realize. It begins with a lot of internal work that isn’t always pretty, but is always worth it.
1. Take note of the things you are clinging to that you have outgrown.
This goes for more than clothing, although you could definitely start with cleaning out your closet. Ask yourself what you are keeping in your inner circle that is no longer contributing to your growth. This could be friends, a relationship, a bad habit, an addiction. Take note and then clean out your closet.
2. Listen to how you speak about the people around you.
Do you sound happy for them and supportive? Or do you sound jealous, judgmental and bitter? This is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself and where you are in your life. A great way to shift yourself in the right direction is to speak positively about who you are, who you want to become, and who you spend your time with. If you can’t do that, make some changes until you can do that.
3. Listen to how the people you spend time with speak about anything and everything.
Do they mock others’ successes? Do they constantly complain? Do they scoff when you or anyone else tries to make a change to better their lives? Or do they support you? Uplift you? Have their own goals that surpass monetary and social status? This can be a difficult decision to make, but you must be ruthless when it comes to your mental health and growth. If someone is hindering it in any way, wish them well and let them go.
4. Find one positive quality in every person you once felt affection for.
I know, this can be a tough one. This is so necessary though. It not only frees your mind and heart of guilt and anger, but also allows you to focus on what it is you want in your next relationship, or what it is you appreciate in the relationships you already have. You have to give to get, and you can’t get anything worthwhile if you’re constantly speaking ill about the people in your past. If it helps, instead of finding a specific quality, focus on everything that you have learned about yourself from these relationships (both good and bad).
5. Differentiate between what you actually want and what you are “supposed” to want.
Oftentimes, we convince ourselves of something that we want because it is what everyone else wants or what we are conditioned to want at a certain age. The truth is, if we want something, truly deeply want something, we won’t stop until we get it. We will put up with difficulties, detours, and investments of time and money. That’s an awful lot of effort to put into someone else’s opinion or a societal fabrication of what’s ideal, so make sure you are being true to your own goals.
6. Recognize the areas in your life you want improved. Let go of the guilt for that and get honest.
Stop feeling bad for wanting financial security. Wanting more money does not make you an evil shallow person. Stop feeling guilty for wanting a meaningful relationship or wanting to be single. It does not make you unlovable or difficult. Stop feeling bad for wanting to be healthier. It does not make you boring or lame to not want to go out drinking or pass on the junk food. The only thing you should feel bad about is neglecting yourself, starving yourself of love, and suppressing your true desires because of something someone else convinced you.
Listen, you rock. Honestly. You are worth the time and effort. Most importantly, you are worthy of loving and you will begin to feel that way when you successfully cut through all the other crap.
Now go clean out your closet.