Lift Up, Don’t Tear Down

I’ve been reading a lot of “inspirational” articles and books lately, and a common thread I’ve noticed is “if you’re unhappy/unsuccessful it’s you’re fault and you’re attracting all the negativity to your life” and that REALLY bothers me.

Some people are motivated by that kind of talk so I get it, but personally I don’t find it helpful to attack or place blame on myself for things that went wrong.

Of course I believe we should all learn to accept blame and move on from it, like if you spoke out of line and damaged a friendship, own up to it.

But I don’t think it’s healthy to say you’re unhappy because you made yourself that way. – is that not the opposite of self love?

You didn’t. You’re trying.

I think we should all keep looking forward.

If you don’t like something about yourself, maybe you have bad anxiety, doesn’t it make more sense to focus on how to combat it, rather than sitting down saying I am so anxious because of xyz that I didn’t do when I was a kid?

Give yourself a break! Life is challenging. It hurts sometimes. We’re going to break down, and that’s okay, so long as we get back up.

Hang in there, you’re exactly where you need to be.

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Yes I Can

Look in the mirror and say this to yourself. Every morning. Say it until you believe it.

I’ve talked about taking baby steps before, but today I have a concrete example to share. I’ve told you all that I love writing music, and I want to improve in singing, playing guitar, and playing piano.

So far this year, I’ve had nothing but excuses. I look at my guitar every day, and think “I’m too tired, I’ll play it tomorrow.”

I look at the grand piano downstairs and tell myself, “I can’t play it, because it’s loud and will disturb the other people in this house.”

Last week I decided to take my excuses away. Regardless of how tired I am, I can play the guitar for 5 minutes. My goal is to be practicing for 30 minutes a day, but I think 5 is a tangible and realistic starting point. I can play a handful of scales in 5 minutes.

I also purchased a keyboard that has has headphones I can plug in, so I can no longer use the excuse that I’ll be disturbing anyone in the house when I’m the only one that can here me playing.

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve had the keyboard for about 5 days and it’s still in it’s box. My goal for tomorrow is to take it out of its box and set it up. My goal for Tuesday is to read the instructions. I don’t think I’ll be playing it until next week, but that’s what I mean when I keep talking about baby steps and small victories.

Think about what you want, and make a plan. The planning stage is the easiest part for me, but maybe you struggle with planning. If that’s the case, give yourself about half a hour, and make a list. What materials do you need? How much time do you need? Do you need to find somebody to help you?

Once you have this list, you can make your plan. Buy materials. Call friend/mentor for assistance. Make sure you put specific days/times to accomplish these steps.

When your plan is done, do a happy dance. You completed your second step (the list was your first).

Once you execute each step of your plan, do another happy dance. If you don’t like dancing, take yourself out for ice cream.

These things need to be celebrated!

Do not let anyone tell you that you’re not closer to your goals because someone else is taking bigger steps than you.

Do what works for you.

It all starts with believing that you can.

And yes, you can.

You DO Deserve It

When things aren’t going the way you want, it’s natural to start looking for reasons, but pay attention to what you start to tell yourself.

Just because you haven’t found the one, doesn’t mean you’re destined to be alone or that you don’t deserve a life partner. It means you haven’t found them yet.

Can’t see a way out of your current living situation? That doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck there forever or that you don’t deserve better. It means you haven’t found the way yet. 

Whatever it is that you want, you won’t always see how you’re going to get it, and you won’t always know when. But you need to believe that you’re going to get it. 

And you will. 

Because you DO deserve it. 

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Celebrate Small Victories

I heard a quote this week that was something along the lines of, “We say there are not enough hours in the day, but the truth is there is not enough focus.”

With this in mind, think about how you prioritize your time. It helps to break it into small increments.

Maybe you don’t have 24 hour days. Take out the time you spend sleeping, at work, commuting, household chores, etc. What do you have left? 6? 4?

That probably feels like nothing, but it’s a start. Take your 5 hours, and decide what you want to do with them. Do you want to plan a trip? Do you want to cook a new meal? Do you want to watch Netflix?

Celebrate your small victories. All of them.

Perhaps you planned to go to the gym today and didn’t make it. You made a plan. Celebrate that. Did you put your shoes by the door? Did you get dressed for the gym? Pump your fists in the air. Do a little dance. You are one step closer than you were last week when you didn’t even have a plan.

There are going to be bad days. These are inevitable. Life is going to knock you down and make you want to quit.

But you’re going to get back up, because you deserve to.

Because you are alive, and you have something to contribute to this world. Don’t know what that is? That’s okay.

I know you don’t want to be sad. You don’t want to be angry. You’re going to feel these things, but they won’t last forever, and that’s why you’re going to get back up.

You are great.

You’re not behind. Today is a new day. Make your plan, and start working to put it into action. And celebrate every teeny tiny baby step you accomplish along the way.

The Secret

This week I watched The Secret, a documentary about the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking.

The gist of the film is that we attract everything that happens in our lives – if you’re constantly negative and worrying, you attract bad things, but if you’re constantly positive and expecting good things, you attract good things.

You can find the film on Netflix, and if you choose to watch it, fair warning, it’s pretty out there. I’m highly skeptical about many of the things that are said, including some ridiculous examples that make no sense.

I will say, however, that there are some hidden gems in the documentary that make it worth watching.

One of those hidden gems is the idea of a gratitude list. Write down everything that you’re thankful for, and run through this list at least once a day. I like to do it in the morning and incorporate it into my prayer.

The film also talks about visualizing the end result of what you want without dwelling on the “how.” The idea is that if you know what you want, and you can visualize it, meditate on it, and believe that one day you will have it, then the “how” will show up one day.

I’m not sure how true that is, but I like it. Some of us have no idea how to get what we want, but that’s not a reason to stop trying.

If anyone can make it through the whole documentary, or even a little bit of it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!