Before I dive into what seems like an utterly simple list in theory, I’ve personally felt like the peak of this growth has been 10 years in the making. A mindset shift takes as long as you allow it to. Every year I felt like I grew from my unique experiences, and each time I hit a milestone, a new situation came my way to teach me something I still had yet to learn.
Here’s to the Universe for teaching me these lessons throughout my journey so far.
1. Invest in yourself and your choices
Saving the best for first instead of last because this is the foundation to achieve what you desire. You know yourself best, and therefore you know exactly what you’re worth and what you deserve.
When you chase what you need elsewhere—for example, love from a romantic partner—your glass will remain half empty. All the love that you’ve given to your relationships, friendships, or even the times you’ve gone out of your way for strangers, start doing that for yourself. Start pouring your love, energy, time, and money into creating the best version of yourself. And what does the best version of you look like? Does it look like traveling the world? Does it look like starting your dream business? The options are endless and it’s something only you get to decide.
The other important half is to invest in your choices. In other words, create and stick to your boundaries. When you realize that YOU are in control of what you allow in your life, you have the power to determine what and how things affect you. Don’t allow others to make choices for you that you’re unhappy with.
2. Express gratitude
Gratitude comes easy when everything is going right. The challenging part is being grateful even when things are falling apart.
Every day I’m grateful for even the smallest things in my life, but there are days where a panic attack seems endless or I feel like I’ve hit a dead end. During those tough times, I look for the silver lining, no matter how small it is. I’ll say something controversial here: I tell myself it could be worse. But fully hear this out. Avoid turning this statement into a slippery slope that insinuates you’re undermining your struggles. The key here is to not look at it that way. Feel what you’re feeling, whether it’s being upset or angry or frustrated, but also be grateful for something else in the midst of it. For example, I’ll tell myself that during my panic attack, my anxiety lasted less time than it usually would have, and that’s a silver lining that I would be grateful for.
Along with this gratitude, be genuinely ecstatic for the people you love and their accomplishments. When you look at someone and wish you had what they had, turn that envious statement into a positive one. The energy you put out there is the energy you will receive back, hopefully in tenfold.
3. Say yes to opportunities without expectations
If an acquaintance asks you to go get tacos? Say yes. Someone you’re mildly interested in asks you on a date? Say yes. Is there an opportunity to take a trip? Say yes. And don’t attach any expectations to it.
Don’t be focused on the end result by expecting that whatever you’re agreeing to will be the best time of your life. Some of the greatest experiences I’ve had came from decisions I made last minute, and the only reason for making those decisions was “Why not?”
You will be so pleasantly surprised when you give things a chance that you normally wouldn’t.
4. Say goodbye to draining energy
Isn’t it hard letting go of things that you have fond memories attached to? I think it’s one of the hardest decisions we have to make. Sometimes we don’t even realize how toxic things are because we’re used to them being the norm, and that’s where we need to break the cycle.
Just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s not toxic. That friend you’ve known all your life but drains your energy every time you hang out with them? Distant yourself. That family member who always has to comment about something negative? Set a boundary. That ex that always comes back into your life? You don’t have time for that.
Life is too short to surround yourself with people who continuously bring you down.
5. Channel Your Inner Badass Self
Last but not my least, my favorite one. You know who the person is that’s going to make magic happen in your life? You. You are that badass person.
Channeling this confident energy doesn’t translate into being egoistic or cocky. Remain humble, but trust yourself enough to know that you got this.
This is what I consider badass energy:
- You rely on yourself. You are independent. You are thriving. This isn’t to say that you can’t ask for help. We absolutely need support in our lives. But you know that you can find solutions to your problems because you fully trust your own judgement.
- You know your worth and what you deserve. The date that ghosted you? His loss. The friend that broke your trust? Their loss. You know much better things are coming your way.
- When you don’t know how to handle something, you don’t panic and you don’t give up. You tell yourself you’re going to figure it out, and guess what? You do.
- You don’t care what people think. You feel vulnerable, but you do the damn thing anyway. The example I’m going to use for this is writing this article at the moment. Putting your thoughts, art, photographs, whatever it is out there in the world is brave. Whether it’s because you’re letting people in or afraid of criticism or that people won’t agree, it doesn’t matter. You do it anyway.
The universe will continue to bring you the same lessons until you master them. There are times I look back and think, “Why is the same thing happening to me again?” It’s likely because I didn’t master it well enough the first time. Embrace the opportunity to show the universe that this time, you truly have learned from it.