I mentioned in my post on why I created my blog that I often look back on old posts to reflect on how much I’ve grown. I decided to do some introspection today to share that journey with you, and hopefully inspire you to do something very similar. I will discuss 3 important changes I made in my life that lead to me becoming a more positive person, thus experiencing tremendous growth in my life.
Develop a Positive Mindset
I still remember how I felt the day I created my very first post – New Beginnings. The most important takeaway from this post is the emotion that I felt in that moment. It made me excited for the future. It made me feel like I was going to do amazing things with my life even though I had no idea what that would be. You see, a lot of times when I talk to people my age, and even older, this turns out to be something very common. We all believed that we were going to do great things one day, but had no idea what direction to move in. Unfortunately, a lot of people stop there. It can be terrifying to take a leap of faith or a risk when we don’t know what lies behind that decision, or when we don’t even know what we’re working toward. I chose to not let that get in my way. The truth is – I have no idea what my life will be like in 5 years, but I have a lot of milestones and things I want to be able to do for myself in 5 years. It’s easy to make a list of things you want to buy when you’re rich but it’s harder to define how exactly you plan on getting rich. My advice – don’t let that stop you!
One of the things I’m doing to combat that uncertainty is by just trying new things that excite me. I’ve met a lot of adults who absolutely hate what they do, and I’m determined not to end up like that. Nowadays, it’s very possible to make a living out of doing what you love, but if you’re like me and you don’t know if Netflix, food, or sleep can get you there, then my advice is to try new things! Maybe you don’t know because you haven’t stumbled upon that thing yet, and the only way to get to it is to do something different.
Rid your life of negativity
Let’s backtrack a little to something VERY IMPORTANT. Seriously. You need to get this one out of the way first.
In retrospect, (and also in my blog posts), there is one very important thing that I’ve learned throughout my journey that I am very conscious of today.
You have to rid your life of negativity, in order to make room for positivty, and ultimately growth.
There were two things holding me back in life a long time ago that I had to get rid of in order to become the positive person I am today – depression and toxic relationships. My very second post on my blog, Freedom, talked about me feeling free from everything that held me back. What followed was The day my heart broke, which is very self-explanatory.
First, let’s talk about how depression held me back and my life post-depression (the original post goes more in depth). It’s true what they say about how the people who tend to make you laugh the most or always appear the happiest are the ones feeling miserable inside. That was exactly my case, and since I hate showing vulnerability, walking around sad wasn’t an option for me. I dealt with that in private. However, one of the things I’ve learned from that experience is that when you’re depressed it feels like you’re carrying a very heavy load. So the problem I had was that, when life threw little pebbles at me, it would add to the load and I would come crashing down. If something minor got me upset, I’d eventually start crying about everything else until I finally fell asleep.
Learning lesson: This is why you have to work on getting rid of that load. Life is always going to throw curve balls at you, but if you’re already dealing with a lot it’ll break you down faster and easier. When I dealt with my depression (and believe it took A WHILE), I noticed that I was better at handling things because I wasn’t carrying that extra load.
Now let’s talk about toxic relationships. Just to be clear, this includes family, friends, etc. Not just romantic relationships (exclusive or not *wink*)
Your relationships affect you more than you know. The energy you allow into your life has a significant impact on the energy you put out into the world. It also affects your self-esteem, productivity, etc. I’m a Pisces, which means I’m very empathetic and emotional (despite the fact that I try to act like I’m not), and I live inside my head. I’ve learned that because of these attributes, I have to be very protective of who I let in my circle. You see, in my heartbreak post, I mentioned that I loved this guy for 6 years. Now, whether or not we were in a relationship, I was still affected by his actions because of the way I felt. Most people try to tell themselves that they shouldn’t care if they’re not exclusive with someone, but we are all human. And it’s even more toxic when the person you have feelings for is the one bringing up this point (run!).
Learning lesson: when you rid yourself of a toxic relationship and you deal with your pain in a healthy way to get over that person – you make room for positivity in your life. In my experience, I would waste so much time arguing with people, reliving situations in my head or just hurting, and that slowed me down.
One of the things I’ll also stress on this point is that you have to forgive yourself for loving the wrong person. I didn’t do this at first and I blamed myself for being an idiot, which made me a lot less receptive to future relationships. However, I’ve learned that it’s okay to do that and that people don’t always make the best decisions when blinded by love – but what matters is how you heal and move on. And make sure that you do! After I got rid of the toxic relationships in my life, I was more productive and focused on my goals, which yielded a lot of accomplishments. You really thrive when you let go of all of that dead weight!
Secondly, some of the toxic relationships you experience may be from family or friends. In some cases, it may be more obvious through abuse and disrespect, but in others, it could be something as subtle as not being celebrated or appreciated. Sometimes these people mean well, but their delivery is poor, or they just can’t see your dreams. My advice – Don’t take life advice from people who don’t live the life you want.
So we discussed getting rid of negativity and developing a positive mindset. Now, we dream big.
- Your dreams are yours. Do not compare them with that of other people.
- You don’t have to have your life figured out/have a 5-year plan. You can dream big with your short-term goals, like visiting 100 countries in a year.
- If it seems too easy, think bigger. Don’t underestimate yourself with something like “visit 100 countries in a year,” when you’ve already visited 99. Think of something that challenges you to think outside the box; something you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve been afraid to pursue. If it doesn’t scare you, and it doesn’t challenge you – think bigger.
I have a lot of big dreams. Dreams I intend to make a reality. Most of them seem very out of reach, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I can do anything I put my mind to. It’s usually never easy. There are a lot of obstacles I face but I remain persistence. I haven’t necessarily told people about these big dreams because, well, I really don’t care to. Plus, small minded people tend to kill your big dreams. If you followed the 3 points I gave above and you came up with (a) dream(s) that scare you, chances are it will be easy to get discouraged along the way. It’s even easier when you tell it to people who don’t have the same vision (hint: no one will because they’re your dreams). Now whether you choose to share your dreams or not, always remember to remain persistent and determined to make it a reality despite any objections you may get.
Last but not least, make sure you act on your dreams. Set a plan in motion by setting goals and milestones that will help you get there. After all, like Harry Styles once said:
“A dream is only a dream.. until you decide to make it real.”
Until next time,