Every so often there comes a time when we lose our way. Whether it is an abusive relationship, a difficult work situation or an intense situation that throws us off all balance. Much like a car hitting a patch of ice on the road, we think we are in control until that patch of ice causes us to swerve. We try to regain control but sometimes it is too late. This is also true for our independence, our sense of self and our personal power if we are not careful. The good news is that we can reclaim what was lost with a little work.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi
Below are some ways to reclaim your sense of self: 1.) Check in with yourself on a regular basis Ask yourself how you are feeling. It is easy to get so lost in everything that is going on around us while forgetting to explore what is going on inside of us. Sometimes we are so busy denying or ignoring our feelings that we miss the important messages of our soul. Is it hurt, sadness, anger, boredom, loneliness, or do you feel disconnected? There are so many feelings and sometimes we have several feelings all at once that do not make any sense. Look at those feelings and explore what comes up. Journaling is a wonderful way to dig deep into what is going on, but if you cannot journal try to find a quiet space to be alone with yourself.
“But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they may seem.” Ann Frank 2.) Take a walk Set aside some time to go for a walk. Try to avoid distractions such as cell phones. Use the time to be alone with yourself. Walks can ease tension, change our focus, help us collect our thoughts while forcing us to pause and notice the world around us. Walks are also an excellent way to recharge. “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Friedrich Nietzsche 3.) Set Goals Make a list of things you would like to achieve in the next six months to a year. Maybe it is something you have been putting off. Write your goals down on a piece of paper and put due dates on them. Be realistic while at the same time challenging yourself. Figure out a game plan as to how you intend to achieve these goals. What needs to happen for you to achieve your goal? Be specific and above all be willing to make a commitment to yourself. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein 4.) Accept yourself even when you make mistakes Be gentle with yourself. Avoid negative self-talk. We all make mistakes along the way, but sometimes strength comes from adversity. A mistake can teach us valuable lessons that we might not have learned otherwise. Mistakes help us grow.
“Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least, an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. ” C.G. Jung 5.) Be honest with yourself Stop telling yourself lies. What in your life are you refusing to accept? If it is a bad relationship, a job that you hate or financial situation you would rather not address. Try to look at the situation with open, truthful eyes. What is standing in the way of what you know in your heart to be true?
“The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.” Lao Tzu
6.) Take Responsibility It is much easier to blame someone or something, however, we each play a role. Are you placing blame rather than admitting your role in what happened? Remember that by allowing a situation to continue it is just as much your fault.
“Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it.” Steve Maraboli
7.) Trust your intuition Trust that calm, still voice when it speaks. How many times have you listened to the advice or negative insight from someone else, only to regret not listening to your intuition? Consider the source when someone expresses a negative opinion. Does the opinion feel true to your circumstances? Sometimes the only way to accomplish our goals and follow the path that is right for us is to ignore the negativity around us. Only we know what we truly need.
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice." Steve Jobs When we reclaim our sense of self or personal power, we allow the growth of a beautiful relationship with ourselves. Remember to be gentle, breathe and take each step one day at a time.
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