“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.”
When it comes to spring cleaning- simply dusting off those cobwebs from the corner of your room or re-organizing your space isn’t magically going to make your life better! The first step in crafting the life you want is by getting rid of EVERYTHING you don’t. Just like the land awakening marked by spring- decluttering your mind to start afresh with a broader, new perspective on life is something we all could use, right?! So let’s go ahead and break down ‘5 key Things to Throw out for a Joyful Life.”
Comparison has been rightly recognized as ‘the thief of joy as it literally robs us of our peace and content. Especially, the glitz of those fancy social media posts can easily make our lives feel lackluster indeed! But what we often tend to forget is that we constantly compare our ‘behind the scenes with someone’s ‘highlight reel.’ Fears and insecurities are universal- but shifting our perspective can change our outlook on life. Filter your feed to follow realistic and uplifting content, practice gratitude for a bird’s eye view on life, and redefine what success means to you personally. When dealing with such things, our greatest weapon is to simply choose one thought over another!
2. Quit the Negative Self Talk
If we were to listen more to our ‘inner genius’ and not our ‘inner critic’- we’d be far ahead in life! We need to realize that the annoying voice in our heads that constantly berates and belittles us is, after all, under our own authority. The minute we acknowledge that the power of running this internal dialogue is our own creation- we can mindfully manipulate our emotions and change the narrative altogether. Negative self-talk can be a tough habit to lose, but we can use a simple technique of ‘spot, stop, swap’ to unlearn this conditioned behavior. Journal about your thoughts, recognize a pattern, stop the dialogue, talk back to that voice, and then replace it with a positive self-affirmation. Go ahead and praise yourself loudly, pat yourself on the back, and let your inner cheerleader take the lead!
3. Remove Perfectionism
When our end goal becomes perfectionism and not progress- we’ve fallen off track. You see, striving for an ‘all or nothing attitude can be tiring, career sabotaging, and significantly limiting behavior. It can make us procrastinate further, depressed, cranky, and overall unproductive.
Adjust the expectations of your goals to give yourself the permission to enjoy the present. By practicing self-love and compassion, one can start accepting failures as a part of life without being overwhelmed by them. Swap ‘Why is this happening to me?’ with ‘What is this trying to teach me?” Everything isn’t about the outcome or the destination- it’s the journey that counts the most!
4.Stop Pleasing People
Your personal worth and happiness need to come from within first- external validation is secondary. Prioritize your ‘me time’, set boundaries, learn to say no to people, and honor your time and energy. You deserve your own love and compassion more than anyone else! ‘You could be the juiciest peach in the world, and yet there will always be that one person who dislikes peaches.’ So quit filling in that void with how you perceive yourself through others, and instead invest in yourself. Strive to be kind and helpful, but WITHOUT doing a disservice to yourself. After all, there isn’t any point in pouring out of an empty cup, now is there?!
5. Drop the grudge
Holding a grudge is like letting someone live rent-free in your head! It’s such an unnecessary weight we burden ourselves with- when instead, clarity and forgiveness can tremendously help liberate us. It’s okay to feel hurt, but not to let that feeling define us. Process the emotion in your own way- journal about it, talk to someone, take therapy- Feel it. And then Free it. You don’t have to forgive the person for what they did, but for your own peace of mind. This is about you, not them.
Grudges don’t make us stronger, just bitter. Likewise- forgiveness doesn’t make us weaker but sets us free. Remember that we cannot always avoid the wave, but we can definitely learn to surf! & isn’t that the whole idea?!
Decluttering our minds from unwanted weeds is like embracing the nature of the ocean. Sure there might be waves that come and go and ripple the surface-but underneath, the sea always remains calm. For some, dropping these habits may be difficult to do alone. Consider having a friend hold you accountable, or seeing a therapist or life coach. An accountability partner can keep you on track and change your self-limiting beliefs for good.