Tag Archives: self actualisation

How to make the most of yourself

 

happy person photo

How to make the most of yourself

I have been doing a lot of research into what needs to be done to make the most of yourself. What do we need to do to help ourselves reach our best possible potential? After reading many books, observing and asking clients, I have come up with an extensive list of what, ideally, is needed to make the most of yourself. I keep this list in a place where I can see it regularly and it helps to keep me focused on where I need to go and what I need to do to achieve what is most important to me.

  1. Don’t pretend to be someone else

It’s possible to keep up pretenses for a while but eventually the facade will slip. Stop hiding who you really are. The only reason we do this is because we fear people won;t like us for who we really are. Those that do, and will love us, will love as warts and all. Have a little faith that who you are is good enough. Let the real you shine!

Improve your self awareness

It’s really essential to figure yourself out, to know what you like and don’t like if you want to make the most of yourself.  Sometimes, even though you’d think we should know, we don’t know that much about ourselves. This is sometimes due to the fact that we put our true wishes aside and listen to what others want for us (partners, parents, society). We end up thinking that we want things that, in reality, we don’t/ Think back to what you enjoyed as a child. What made you laugh? What gave you that buzz? Is there anything that you enjoy doing that passes the time really quickly? When you’re “in the zone” you are doing something you really love. It’s great to be able to tune the world out and just be in your special happy place now and then. Get to know yourself well, this will get you closer to your true potential. Tune inwards and listen…

Let go of what you can’t control

Seriously – get to know the difference between what you can and can’t control. If you do this, you will save yourself a lot of grief and anxiety. You will also free up a lot of energy for more positive things. Learn to let go of those things you can’t control – such as what other people think and do. You can’t control the weather, traffic, other people’s feelings and behaviour etc

Focus your energy on the things you can control, such as your effort, energy, attitude and reactions…this is far more empowering.

Make anxiety your friend

Yes, I know this is a tough one. But think about it – we cannot get rid of anxiety entirely so it makes sense to learn how to manage anxiety better. Write down your worries for thirty days. Nagging worries seem huge at the time but after some time, they lose their power. Writing worries down helps reduce their power too. Understand the difference between a real worry and a “what if” worry. A “what if” worry is often something you can’t control and it may never happen. Learn to dismiss worries, especially if you aren’t trying to find a solution and worrying just for the sake of it. Make the most of yourself by managing anxiety.

Accept responsibility for where you are in life

Finding self confidence requires accepting responsibility for your own happiness, and recognising that you are a product not only of your genetic code and environment, but also of the choices you make. Once you accept you are responsible, you can make your own decisions and take control of your future. Give up blaming others and circumstance.

Be brave and take calculated risks

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Risk taking takes bravery but it definitely builds confidence. Even if the risk doesn’t quite work out, you still test out your abilities to cope with adversity which also improves confidence. When considering any risk, define a clear goal. Review the positive, practical and the potential losses. When you focus on risks that have a larger purpose you can’t go wrong. Act. Take a risk and live your life with less fear.

Think and speak positively

I know this is  a tough one too and even though it’s impossible to always think and speak positively in order to make the most of yourself, at least work towards looking on the positive side or at least being open minded and neutral as much as possible. There is something called a “self fulfilling prophecy” – the way we think can end up inviting that sort of attitude/tone into our lives because we focus on it so much.

For example – if you think negatively in general about your job “I hate my job, I will never enjoy it, my boss is stingy and won’t give me an increase…”, your attitude will focus you on all that confirms that attitude and you may end up inadvertently welcoming more negative into your life.

Invest in your personal growth

Reading this blog is a good way to do that… 😉  Read a lot, try new things and expand your horizons regularly.

Don’t delay making decisions

Indecision breeds more indecision. The next time you ponder a decision, think of everything that could go right and ask yourself, “What do I have to lose, really?” Fear of the unknown often limits us..this is when you need to be brave…take a risk

Smile and be kind

Put positive energy out there and it will come back to you. Spread positive cheer whenever and wherever you can. It will make you feel better about yourself too.

Be aware of the media’s messages

Sometimes the media twists things, airbrushes images and makes us feel bad about ourselves in order to get us to buy their products. Ignore this – you don’t need extra cosmetics or more clothes to be better. All you need is to think more highly of yourself – your attitude will get you further than spending money on products will.

Keep good company

Positive feeds positive and negative breeds negative. Stick with people who inspire you rather than tear you down or criticise you. If you can’t avoid toxic people, do your best to limit time with them.

Reward yourself

We can be our harshest critics so learn to be kind to yourself and treat yourself as you would someone you truly loved. Give yourself that well earned break or have a day off – you deserve it.

Never accept messages that damage your self esteem

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Who has the right to put you down? It is much easier to improve/change your behaviour when you believe you are loveable and capable. If someone criticises you, ask yourself, “What is on this person’s screen?”. In other words – assume that they have some sort of shortcoming. Remember that people can only criticise if they are perfect and no one is.It’s also highly unlikely that their criticism is based on any accurate perception of you. It’s much more likely that the critic is reacting to emotions, memories and behaviour patterns that have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them and their internal chaotic world. Happy peaceful people don’t spread negativity and meanness. Thinking less of yourself because of a criticism is a mistake. When someone criticises you, say to yourself, “Wow, they must be pretty unhappy inside to be projecting such nastiness”. It’s more often than not about them and not you. Don’t take it personally.

Be aware of your thoughts

We all constantly have thoughts going through our heads, many of them unwelcome and self critical.Remember to turn up the volume on the positive thoughts and turn down the volume on any negative messages about yourself – thoughts aren’t facts. If you want to be happy – follow your happy feelings, not your unhappy ones.

Use positive affirmations

Have a few positive statements that appeal to you and help you to feel stronger and confident. I use them a lot, some of mine: “I am loveable”, “I will find a way to handle whatever comes my way”. Choose your own and say them to yourself regularly.

A small success can bring a big feeling of competence

Small steps lead to more steps. Pat yourself on the back every time you have a small success. Every step counts! Take a step at a time in the right direction, this is the practice of self esteem.

 

See yourself as amazing in order to give yourself the best chance in this life. Protect your self esteem at all costs. Focus on your strengths and never allow negative critical people dent your confidence. Use the above list to give your self esteem and your true potential the best chance ever!

Mandy X

Any other tips you would like add? Write and let me know….

 

 

Fear of starting over

 

starting over photo

Fear of starting over

Dealing with change is stressful for most of us. Humans are creatures of habits and the unknown can be very unsettling. Unfortunately the moment we think about change, our thoughts turn negative and we tend to focus on all can go wrong. Our insecurities and self limiting beliefs start to run riot. Think about how differently you would approach life if you knew you couldn’t fail. Do you think you would be more adventurous? Life is a series of trials and tribulations and we are all here to complete and learn from certain life lessons.

It saddens me when I think about the numerous clients that I see whose stay stuck in unfulfilling and unhappy relationships. When they talk about starting over, they rarely see the positives of making changes. At times I can get through to them when I asked them what the disadvantages will be of staying in the current unhappy situation. But still the fear of loneliness seems greater than the pursuit of happiness.

Starting over does involve a leap of faith. It helps to have high self-esteem and a strong sense of inner resilience that you can deal with whatever comes your way. It’s also about knowing that you deserve a life full of opportunity and that achieving your true potential may never come about if you fear change too much.

Starting over is never as frightening as the anticipation of starting over is. I know this from personal experience. Looking back, life hasn’t gone quite according to plan that I know that in terms of personal development I have made huge strides. Had I not taken the leap of faith I am certain that I would still be fearful, lacking in confidence and less worldly wise. I want to be able to look back on my life and know that I gave myself the best chances to experience life as fully as possible. I had the same fears as many of my clients-will I find somebody else? Will I regret my decision? Will anybody love me with a child in tow and health complications (cystic fibrosis)? Isn’t it easier just stay with what I know?

The more you see yourself as an independent person experiencing life in various stages without becoming too attached to any one thing specifically, the more you are likely to learn from the world around you and grow as a person. The brave, shake it up a little and have faith in your ability to deal with whatever comes your way.

Mandy X

 

Photo by mitramirae

Are you powerful?

 

exhuberance photo

Are you powerful?

If you want to be powerful in life it is important to have established a good foundation of self worth. If you do not have self belief and fully back yourself you will hold back on achieving your true potential and taking up opportunities to grow and develop. Allowing yourself to be powerful is a challenge. True power is internal. It is deep within you. Like everyone else you came into this world with your own specific talents. How you use these talents is how you use your power.  They find a talent and they make the most of it. They don’t keep it hidden from others. Are you being the best possible version of yourself? Are you selling yourself short?

Think about this question: what would changing your life be like if you were 40% more powerful? Make a note of five differences that you would notice. When you decide that you are here for a reason and that you have a purpose it becomes easier to bring out your potential and to contribute to life. As the poet Rumi once said, “Everyone has been called for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in their heart”.

Answer these questions with 10 words or a short statement for each:

1) what do you want most out of life?

2) what do you want to see in the world?

3) what makes you special?

4) things I can do/am capable of doing right now

now write the statement as follows: I will… (Choose one answer from 4), using my… (Answer from 3), to finish… (Answer from 2), and in doing so achieve… (Answer from one).

This is a clever way to reveal what really matters to you. Use this little exercise to help you focus on your purpose in life. The more aligned to our highest desires, the more power you will pull through yourself and express.

Ways to feel more powerful

Make a list of all the ways in which you feel proud of yourself. Jot down three things that come to mind immediately. This list tells you how brilliant you are already, how complex, how clever and how brilliant. Unless you appreciate your worth and value in this way, you can’t use it or make it work for you. Losing sight of yourself is easily done in a busy schedule and the key to more power is appreciating your value. Make this list as compelling as you can so that when you look at it you can’t help but feel immensely proud of who you are. This isn’t about narcissism, it’s a way of looking at yourself that gives you access to your own power base. Remind yourself regularly that you are fabulous.

Try not to be a drama queen. It’s undignified. Arguing, sulking, battling is drama and it’s exhausting. Think about keeping energy in reserve for those occasions when it’s worth making a stand or taking up a position. Make your point with grace and charm. People don’t mind being won over-it’s being defeated that they object to. At times the powerful thing to do is to walk away. Moving on is another powerful tactic. Resist being desperate about anything. Now that you can live without this thing, person or whatever. You are more powerful than you think.

Do you see yourself as important? You decide. Act as if you are. Forget about other people taking away your power- that’s an absurd idea. People can only have power if you give it to them so watch yourself in everyday situations. Why hang around with someone who is popular but no fun at all? What you are effectively doing is pumping them full of their own self-importance and ignoring your own power so don’t buy into this trendy and ‘happening’ stuff. It can be a hollow experience. Have standards.

Never put yourself down or criticise yourself especially in front of others. Believe in being powerful and act in a powerful way. Sometimes the only person getting in the way is you.

Sometimes we find ourselves asking “Who  am I to think that I am brilliant, fabulous and powerful?” Actually, who are you not to be? When you play small you do not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you won’t feel insecure. We are all meant to shine and there is enough success for everyone. Just because one person has something does not mean that there is a limited supply and therefore less available for you and others. When we claim our power we unconsciously give other people permission to claim theirs.

Mandy X

Photo by n.hewson

believe it's possible

Believe it’s possible

 

self belief photo

Believe it’s possible

Are you living the best life possible for you? If not, why not? Many of us have limited horizons and self limiting beliefs that keep us from reaching our full potential.What have you decided is impossible in your life? How resigned are you to just putting up with life as you know it?

In order to make changes you must believe that many things are possible for you. Believe that you can change your job, your home, your relationship, your health..your stress levels. Begin by allowing yourself to believe that what you want is possible, reachable and that you deserve it.

Clear out what no longer works for you in life – clutter, toxic people, old habits that no longer work for you and most importantly, old self limiting beliefs: the mental chains that stop us from progressing. Be ruthless with your de-cluttering.

Ask yourself what you are no longer willing to tolerate. What have you put up with for far too long? Where have you been too passive in life? It’s time to take your control back. Set clear goals. You need to know your direction before you can set off. It helps to have a clear vision in life of what you want and where you want to be.

Be enthused and passionate about what might be possible for you. Visualise it happening – imagine how you will act, look, behave…make it real in your mind.

TAKE ACTION.Review your goals regularly – don’ be afraid but be flexible and ready to adapt as you go. Your ultimate goal in happiness. Do not come to the end of your life to find that you have not lived. Fortunes smiles on the brave. Be one of the few that take action and give life a go.

Make that call, join the gym, start investigating possibilities, refuse to give up. Take action and make it happen..one small step at a time if you have to.

Mandy X

Photo by Celestine Chua