Do a self-inventory
Examine where you’re at right now in life. Is this where you imagined you’d be at this point? Have you accomplished all you hoped you would? Are you happy with your career, your education, and your relationships? Do you feel in control of your life? Do you consider yourself successful?
Think about these questions, and write down your answers. Compare your answers with your desires, and start making a plan to align your life with your ambitions. Think about just the past year, or the past five years. How different are you now? Have you improved in your career, education, and relationships? If not, it’s time to make some changes.
If you’re looking for a bit more guidance, here’s a guide to conducting a best-self inventory from Positive-Living-Now.
Self-affirmations to adopt
To develop the confidence you need to make big changes in your life and get back on the path you desire, you need to know that it’s possible. Adopt some mantras to recite to yourself as you make big or hard decisions. Try:
- “I can do hard things.”
- “Nobody is standing in my way.”
- “If I want something I’ve never had, I have to do something I’ve never done.”
- “Comfort is the enemy of success.”
It may seem silly at first to recite these mantras to yourself. After all, popular culture says talking to oneself is a sign of going crazy. But best-selling author and clinical psychologist Carmen Harra says positive affirmations are important.
“Affirmations do indeed strengthen us by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest,” she said. “When we verbally affirm our dreams and ambitions, we are instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our wishful words will become reality.”
Looking for more affirmations? Here’s a list of 35 from the Huffington Post.
How to incorporate more positive self-talk
It’s one thing to recite mantras, but it’s another to think positively about yourself in all situations.
According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism. Some of the health benefits may include increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, and several others.
Consider the thoughts you have when you look in the mirror, or when you make a mistake, or when you see someone successful. Are these thoughts encouraging? Are they things you would say to a friend or loved one?
To change the way we see ourselves, we need to choose to see the good and to be gentle and patient with ourselves. Here are several activities that can help you develop a more positive self-image and adopt better self-talk:
- Create a goal and gratitude journal
- Talk to yourself in the mirror about your strengths
- Talk to yourself in the car about your plans
- Write letters to yourself, and go back and read them after a while
- Hang your favorite motivational quotes in your home and office
- Be true to yourself in the way you eat, decorate your home, and entertain yourself
- Identify any bad habits or negative self-talk, and replace them with positive affirmations
- If a problem arises, don’t dwell on it or be discouraged. Write the problem down, then write down a solution.
True change starts with you. Realize that you really are capable of anything. If you haven’t progressed in the past few years, ask yourself what you can do today to make sure the next few years are filled with growth and improvements.