Life is like a really intense contact sport. Living it well requires attention, focus, practice, coaching and hard work. In my early 20s I feel like I was the worst player that ever played the game. As I’ve matured and worked my way through the tail end of what clinical psychologist Meg Jay calls, “the most important decade of adulthood,” I’ve come across three crucial paths to internal woosah. By always doing my best to follow these paths, I find I am less anxious, more confident and much happier. Check ‘em out, give ‘em a try, and let me know if they help lead you to a little more delicious internal woosah.
1. It’s not personal.
These three simple words really have the power to change your life if you repeat them to yourself enough and really practice what they preach. Essentially, the,” it’s not personal,” path to internal woosah means you have to stop taking things personally. I’ve talked about this concept before in Say no to HATE, where I strongly believe that 9 times out of 10, when people mistreat you, hurt you or reject you, it has little or nothing to do with you. That is their noise being projected onto you, but it rarely says anything about what you may have done wrong, and everything about the issues they might be experiencing.
Many of us walk around carrying the heavy weight of taking every little thing personal (big offender right here), and assuming that every time we are on the receiving end of hate, or a bad attitude, it’s because we did something to deserve it, or we are not worth any better. When you encounter these things on your daily life routes, practice saying to yourself, “It’s not personal. It’s not personal. It’s not personal.” Take a few deep breathes as you repeat it in your mind, and watch how much better you start to feel. It works like a sweet, sweet charm, every single time.
It took me a very long time to realize that the hate in my life was never personal, that I never deserved it, and that it never had anything to do with me as a person, but it’s by constantly focusing on, “It’s not personal,” that hate rolls off my shoulder like butta more often these days, helping me to be much more relaxed and happy.
2. Self-awareness is key.
People have always told me that I am a very self-aware person, and lately I’ve come to realize how much that has helped me on my journey to HAPPY. To me, being self-aware means being honest with yourself and others about your weaknesses just as much as you are about your strengths.
For example, I know I am very sensitive, that I can be overly trusting and passionately emotional. I know the things that stress me out and the things that drive me. I know the environments and the people that lift me up and those that bring me down. I know I’m a good writer, and terrible at math (I can make it happen, but man does it hurt!). I know what I like, and what I don’t, etc., etc. And I use all of this information to manage my life better. Being self aware helps me play up my strengths and make the most of my weaknesses.
By denying the things that you struggle with or aren’t the best at, you only make your life harder, because then you’re just trying to force things. So don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses. Instead, turn them into strengths by being open about them and managing your life AROUND them, not BASED on them.
3. Apologize when an apology is due.
Every single one of us makes mistakes and lots of ‘em. We are all majorly flawed, and that’s part of the beauty of life. Most people are good and usually not out to intentionally hurt others. So when you fudge up, admit it, and apologize. Constantly being too proud or feeling like you’re above apologizing, only creates negative feelings for you and the others affected by your actions. Don’t bottle up guilt or leave others without the apology they deserve. A simple apology can keep a situation from blowing up out of proportion, and can often help heal those we’ve committed mistakes against.
And if you wholeheartedly apologize for your mistakes when an apology is due, and your apology is not accepted, at least you can rest easy knowing you owned up to it, and tried to make amends. You cannot control other people. You can only control yourself. So do what’s right regardless of the response you receive, and then good or bad, move on knowing you did your best.
Also, it is important to note that sometimes it is healthy to apologize even when we believe we haven’t done anything wrong. Although you might not have meant to hurt someone through your words or actions, perhaps they were interpreted the wrong way, and still managed to hurt their feelings. It might not have been your intention, but feelings are non negotiable, and you can’t tell someone they feel the wrong way. So apologize for the misunderstanding, explain your true intentions, and leave the hurt behind. Don’t let a stubborn heart create an empty life.
Sonia, Word Share Junkie