The secret to letting go (of what you can’t control)

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The key to letting go is giving up what is
beyond your control to embrace
what you can change. ~ Suzie Eller

There are times in life when you might run into situations that cause you to second guess yourself and maybe even desire a “do over.” However, in the long run it is typically healthier to forgo your former ways of thinking, doing or wishing by releasing whatever is beyond your control. The secret? Mindfulness. In my post “7 tips to incorporate mindfulness…,” I describe mindfulness as the act of consciously directing your awareness, without judgment—moment by moment. Take this a step further: If you discover that something doesn’t serve you in the present, then you must let it go in order to make room for new ways of thinking, relating and living. Instead of wishful thinking, choose mindful thinking. When you embrace what you can change today, you begin to entertain hope for your future.

What have you let go in order to move forward?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The #1 way to change your life

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decisions decisions
Following a recent set of immunotherapy injections I receive weekly, I experienced a minor adverse reaction. This involved lightheadedness and elevated blood pressure, which resulted in extra TLC from clinic staff and revised treatment plan. Afterward, I second-guessed my reaction and feared the emergency medical attention bordered on overkill. I’m sure we’ve all done it: second-guessed words spoken (which can’t be retracted), choices made that are irreversible. A post on social media reads: You’re always one decision away from a totally different life. Not that it matters if we choose vanilla over chocolate ice cream, but whether we respond in love rather than hate, fellowship versus isolation. Or we decide to ‘put up or shut up’ and accept the consequences. It’s easy to blame extenuating circumstances because it removes our own culpability, however, I think it’s time to quit dwelling on the what if’s and determine our own destiny. We still might second-guess ourselves, but we could also change our lives.

What life-changing decision will you make today?

Aligning our beliefs, actions

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Working around a state of flux

 

[Image credit: digitalart]

If the things we believe are different than the things we do,
there can be no true happiness.
~ Dana Telford

Sometimes we must adjust one or more of our priorities, hopes, dreams, opinions, etc., in order to realign our values or goals. And sometimes that can be scary, painful and not without second guessing, remorse, self-doubt, etc. But if you find yourself in a near-constant state of confusion or conflict, then it’s wise to re-evaluate the things you’re doing to get where you think you want to go. Or perhaps what you believe about others, a situation or yourself is misinformed or untrue. Wherever you find yourself today, know it’s temporary. And be assured our lives are always in a state of flux. If not, we’ve ceased to grow, advance ourselves or contribute meaningfully to our small piece of society. When we’re able to align our beliefs and our actions, even for a day, all feels right—and happy—within our world.

What makes you truly happy?

Doubt paralyzes

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[Image credit: Jeroen van Oostrom]

Fall down seven times, stand up eight. ~ Japanese Proverb

Doubt can be debilitating.  Who doesn’t struggle with feelings of not measuring up (see Never settle for second best) or faulty judgment?  If you are a doubter, you know it can be as destructive as fear if allowed full reign.  It may paralyze progress or prevent us from pursuing our dreams, figuring out what works and what doesn’t and how to get back up after we’ve fallen.  And not once or twice, but as many times as it requires (provided we take the first step to begin with).  Doubt also begets second-guessing — of whatever it is we strive to do or to be.  Remove doubt, and we discover (to the irritation of our naysayers) that we do measure up but according to our agenda, not theirs.  So what if you fall down seven times?  Stand up again, dust yourself off and know with absolute certainty that it’s always the write time to believe in yourself.

Are you defined by doubt or assurance?

Never settle for second best

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[Graphic image: Victor Habbick]

Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
~ Judy Garland

Thinking you’ll never measure up is a tough cookie to swallow.  Maybe it’s a job you’re going after, a relationship that’s hanging on by a thread and either needs mending or cutting free, or perhaps you believe it’s not possible to achieve first place in whatever capacity you’re aspiring toward.  In your eyes no begging, screaming, cajoling, promising — not even compromising — will change where you stand.  That’s okay, because this is when we need to take Garland’s advice, move out of our backseat mentality and get comfortable behind the wheel.  Cast aside those feelings of frustration, rejection, self-doubt and second-guessing.  Maybe what we’re striving for isn’t worth it, after all.  But if it is, then Someday the reward will be greater because we were nothing less than ourselves.  For me the hardest part is accepting that it may not be until tomorrow, next month or a dozen years from now before I receive the prize.  But that doesn’t change who I am.

Are you always striving to be the best you can be?

Being true to yourself

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[Image credit: Photography by BJWOK]

… be yourself — not your idea of what you think somebody else’s
 idea of yourself should be.
~ Henry David Thoreau

I think every child should be raised believing they’re good enough … just the way they are.  For so many years, I was on the outside looking in and wishing I was one of the “popular” girls.  Willing myself to be shorter and less gawky, dressed more stylishly, have prettier hair, clearer skin, younger parents, be better at sports (okay, be good at sports), possess curves in all the right places, ooze with confidence and ambition and the list goes on.  Becoming an adult didn’t do much to change this thought process, just included different ideals (however skewed).  But I think I may be one of those “late bloomers” — not coming into my own until the last few years.  If I knew then what I know now, I wonder if I would have spent as much time wishing and oftentimes attempting to be someone I’m not — saying all the right things and going through the motions.  It certainly would have prevented a lot of wasted time, second-guessing and poor choices.  But maybe that was the only way for me to get from Today to the promise of Someday.  Because with each yesterday behind me and tomorrow ahead of me, I become more sure of myself and what I want out of life.  I just hope I haven’t waited too long to figure it out, and that I have the courage to go after it.

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. ~ Dr. Seuss

Are there areas in your life, where you are less than true to yourself?