Are you living your best life, or are you sort of okay, just fine, kind of blah? It’s not uncommon to experience periods of stagnation and a dip in motivation. There are a few tried-and-true methods for pulling yourself out of that lackadaisical haze and into a pattern of positive momentum. So, how can you prepare your current self to live out the future you’ve always wanted? Invest in yourself now so that your future self can look back and be grateful for your foresight and preparation, even when things were hard.
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Move Your Body
It’s easier said than done, but developing physical fitness will be well worth the effort as the years go by. Find enjoyable types of exercise that get your heart pumping. This could mean an all-out boot camp workout, or it could mean roller skating, surfing, walking the dog or playing frisbee. Not only will the activity improve your confidence by way of endorphins, but it can also build muscle, melt fat, lower blood pressure and decrease stress. Sounds like a good recipe for a confidence boost!
Talk to Yourself
Whether you say it out loud or in your head, give yourself some positive feedback. Remind yourself that you are awesome, capable, smart and worthy. Reframe difficult situations as opportunities for learning and growth.
Pay attention to the thoughts you have about yourself and challenge the negatives. Psychologists have found that many people judge themselves much more harshly than they ever would another person. This can lead to identifying yourself in a negative light and acting out in ways that match that inner antagonist. On the other hand, giving yourself grace and telling your inner critic to pack their bags can help you take more positive actions. A therapist or counselor may provide invaluable help in gathering insight and facing those demons.
Make a Change
If you’re feeling stagnant, it might be worth reconsidering one of the largest time commitments in life: your work. Take some time to parse out which elements of your job you find the most (and least) fulfilling and what your top priorities are. You might even consider striking out on your own. Use your experience and passion to fill a niche that’s unique to you. To keep your confidence up in the process, make sure you develop a solid business plan with details like your company structure, how your business will operate, what services or products you’ll sell and a marketing plan. This may be a perfect time to take the leap and be your own boss.
The truth is that brains can only do one thing at a time. When you multitask, your mind is actually rapid-switching between disparate thoughts, essentially dropping the ball a little bit on each one. To be at your most productive, focus on one thing at a time and finish what you start. Sticking with and finishing a project, even when it’s difficult, builds work ethic and gives your brain that hit of dopamine that will reinforce positive thought patterns. When you keep your focus, you increase your accuracy, working memory and ability to think critically and creatively.
It can feel a little overwhelming to gaze at the top of the mountain of dreams and realize how much effort and time it might take to scale it. The good news is that every baby step is a step in the right direction, and progress is progress, no matter what. Keep up the good work, soldier on and reach for the sun, moon and stars.
This article was written by Patricia Sarmiento. Check out her website at publichealthcorps.org.
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