When we think of addictions, a mental image is conjured up of illegal substances, hard liquor and ill health. In truth, addiction can happen to anyone and doesn’t need to involve anything like these things but instead can be a mental battle you don’t even know you’re fighting.
Everyone wants to live a better, more fulfilled life and be happy. Yet the path to becoming that person, with that life, is not always clear, and in some cases, we are – without intention – holding ourselves back from our full potential.
A confident woman will be, in time, able to face up to this and combat it… but it’s important to acknowledge that it won’t be smooth sailing throughout. To best identify who you are, what you want, and how you’re going to actually go get it, it’s critical that you shed the baggage you carry already and that you work to fight back against the obstacles you’re aligning yourself to. The 3 step process you can take to do just that goes a little like this:-
Step One: Be Clear On Who You Want To Be
No truly inspiring self-confidence stories ever start with “I wanted to be an Instagram Influencer who earns five figures” – there’s a lot more to it than that!
Instead, break down the qualities that the person you want to be has:
Are they kind?
Are they proactive?
Are they educated?
Are they a good listener?
Once you’ve worked out the qualities you’d like to possess, you can weigh up those you already hold that don’t fit.
Any stress, anxiety, doubt and anger that holds you back can be recognised, and you can work on changing your behaviours to obtain the result you’re after. Once you gain clarity and your behaviours change, you’re able to shift your emotional responses and over time you reap the benefits.
Step Two: Get To Know Yourself
It’s important that you know yourself well and are able to identify where you may stray from or struggle with the path you’re taking.
What are your triggers?
What scares you?
What are your worries?
Is your past impacting the way you approach situations in the present?
Understanding yourself and your hows, whys and habits will help you be kinder to yourself and ensure you stay true to yourself as you evolve and grow.
Step Three: Check In With Yourself Along The Way
Being kind to yourself isn’t something to do once at the beginning of your journey and then forget about. Instead, it’s best to check in with yourself regularly.
How are you feeling right now?
What can you do to improve your current mood?
Are there things you could let go of to better progress?
Journalling or even just taking 5-mins over a cup of coffee to think and get some headspace can boost your efforts to do, and be, better. Try and do this every few days, or once a week, to reflect, as well as whenever you feel stressed or upset. Don’t make decisions when you’re mad or distressed – instead, take some time out and come back to the situation when you’re able to look at it with a more level head.
Step Four: Keep Coping, Consistently
Whatever your coping mechanisms are, make sure you know them well and understand if they’re actually any good for you. Healthy coping mechanisms for day-to-day life as well as stressful and turbulent periods (and, well, the whole of 2020!) are necessary for everyone. It could be a daily practice (ideally), or whenever you’re able to fit it in.
Why not try some new ones for the new year and see what sticks?
You could take a walk around the block, go for a run or jog, stretch out to a yoga video online, write down three things you’re grateful for every night and/or set yourself a solid affirmation. Call a friend or loved one (even if just to chat mindlessly and not about the issues you’re facing), try some meditation, soak in the bath or cook yourself a lovely comfort meal.
Whatever works can form your very own ‘bounce-back pack’ and be used to dip into in an emergency and particularly at difficult times. Having proven relaxation techniques close by can help you face anything head on with a clear head, reasonable attitude and focused mind.
There’s no shame in having found yourself stuck in the pitfalls and trappings of not making progress – it happens to many of us. What does matter is choosing to make that progress and move on; and once you start, the benefits are brilliant.