Over the years we have developed habits. According to the Webster’s dictionary there are many descriptions of what a habit is. For the purpose of this article I want to focus on the habit of our mindset. Whether it’s a good or bad habit depends on the effect it has on your life. If this habit helps you to achieve goals, improve your health or adds meaning to your life, then I would say it’s a very good habit.(I think you know that my next sentence is going to start with a big old ‘but’, so I won’t disappoint you). BUT, if habits are unhealthy, debilitating, unhelpful and hurting the people in your life, then guess what? Things need to change.
I often wonder if we have to hit rock bottom, get sick and tired of life or wait for tragedy to enter our lives before we really examine the choices we have made in our lives. Unfortunately, for most of us, I believe this is what has to happen before we take the necessary steps to rid ourselves of the dangerous habits we have formed. To be successful in breaking away from bad habits, we must convince ourselves that if we can break away from our destructive routines, we may start seeing a dramatic change in our way of life. We need to motivate ourselves and believe that by changing those types of habits it might be possible to have a healthier and happier lifestyle.
I convinced myself over a decade ago to fix what it was that was not working in my life any longer. What wasn’t working in my life was ‘me’. I was negative, broken and damaged but there was a silver lining around this personal discovery. No one was a holding a gun to my head to continue living a life of despair and emptiness. It was my responsibility to pull myself up and out of the mess I created. I was determined that if I got myself into this situation, I was confident that I would be able to get myself out. It all came down to choices. I promised myself that I would no longer be a victim and hold others responsible for the way my life turned out. I had to take responsibility for my choices and identify the destructive habits I developed over the years and change both, choices and habits.
In order for this exercise to be successful the first thing I had to do was to forgive myself for the choices I made along my journey. When we know better, we do better. I was no longer going to beat myself up for the choices I made in my yesterdays. All I knew was that in order to move forward I could only focus and work on myself TODAY. The past needs to stay exactly where it is meant to reside. I wanted to make room for a new future so it only made sense to let go of the past that was occupying valuable and precious space.
Forgiveness was a huge factor in my transformation and I will tell you why. My thoughts were more positive because I was able to let go of the past. I was no longer going to waste my energy on past experiences because I was not that powerful to change those outcomes. What was done was done. All I could focus on was the present day and do the best I could with the day at hand. There was a particular quote by Maria Robinson that I kept as reminder to help me stay focused and it was this: ‘Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.’
I soon tapped into an energy that propelled me to keep moving in this direction. It gave me the motivation to continue with this positive mindset because it gave me back something that I relinquished so long ago. I regained control over my life and realized that it is possible to retrain your thoughts to work with you instead of against you. We have the opportunity to change ourselves every single day. We do not have to be or settle for the person we were yesterday. We can always do better if this is what we choose to do for ourselves. I learned very quickly to respect the power of thoughts and continued to test the theory of ‘you are what you think you are’.
I know that it is possible to live the life of your dreams. I am not saying that it is easy, but I am saying that it is possible. What it takes is an incredible amount of self-discipline and courage to be your true self. Think of yourself as an Olympic athlete training for the games. The athletes that walk into the arena with their fellow country team mates did not get to the games because they were lucky. They worked hard. Not only did they work on perfecting their physical sport, they trained just as much, if not more, on their mental game. These athletes are examples to us all that it possible for the average, ordinary person to achieve the extraordinary. They are teachers to the world that illustrate to us that with self-discipline, commitment, determination and believing in dreams that anything is possible.
When I started to envision a happier life, I started to live a more meaningful life. When I started to tell myself that I deserved to be loved, love entered my life. When I told myself that I was worthy of a better salary, I began earning a comfortable living. When I told myself that I would no longer put limitations on myself, I started to live a life of personal and professional freedom. When I told myself that I could, I began to soar and have never looked back. Wouldn’t you say that it’s time you began to test your wings? The choice is yours. It always has and will be.
Kim Malchuk is a best-selling author, speaker and motivational coach who focuses on the importance of living in the moment and overcoming life’s challenges. Kim was educated and schooled by a master professor who trained her how to live a life of inspired purpose. Her teacher was CANCER. Visit Kim's Malchuk's website www.tastingrain.com.