I am what I think.
As a woman who has struggled with self-esteem, I must direct my unique path on the daily. This means capturing my thoughts from the beginning of each day and dominating my own mindset. We become who we tell ourselves we are, and this is a process—not a one time determining factor.
Oh my do these words hit home for me! I appreciate Thoreau’s thoughts, as when we realize the power of intentional (and methodical) daily practice in any area of our lives, we can direct our own unique path and create positive change.
Our mind is powerful—and it will always believe what we tell it. Can we be honest with ourselves for a moment? Do you feed your mind with enough thoughts of gratitude? What about positivity? Or is your mind often clouded with thoughts of stress, negativity or ‘Am I good enough’? Do you direct your thoughts toward reminding yourself about your unique strengths, or is it saturated with your weaknesses?
If you desire to conquer a new creative endeavor—such as beginning to learn modern calligraphy, horseback riding or growing orchids, as examples—diving head first into these experiences without any research, practice or work, is not going to equal a successful outcome. (And you know this truth!). For calligraphy, you may research the necessary pens, ink or paper. To ride, you may need to decipher the type of riding you desire (dressage, western, hunter-jumper), then purchase a book and begin to study to learn more about horses. And in my experience, although you can easily obtain an orchid—unless you learn how to fertilize it and when to prune it, it will not re-bloom for you!
The same goes for directing your thoughts.
After reviewing the three practices below, consider how you can mold them to fit in to your unique lifestyle. Ask yourself, ‘How can I build on these methods and create ideals for myself to practice?’ But always know, that you have the power and ability to control how you’re feeling by intentionally being aware of the power of your thoughts.
I never realized the significance of the beginning to each day. Yet now, it’s embedded into my mind, that every day equals renewal. You may be having a really rotten day and everything you seemingly touch goes in the opposite direction that you hoped. Unfortunately and too often, we hang onto what happens today and what happened yesterday, last week, last year or even five or ten years ago. We carry these thoughts in our minds and allow it to effect our every day.
• PRACTICE 1 •
Are you aware what you are carrying with you? And if it is a part of your past, practice leaving it there and moving in to your present. Lay it down and be renewed on the daily.
Every day that I rise, I say, ‘I am grateful for this new day.’ And in my mind, these few words equal the power I realize this new day carries for me. I practice leaving yesterday, as yesterday.
Each day is cycled for you to restart and you are offered a clean slate to begin again. It’s a beautiful gift and powerful approach to being in control of your thoughts.
Oh the time, valuable energy and precious thoughts we spend by negatively evaluating ourselves on the day to day. We think about our lack, or weakness, or our significance within the various roles we carry as individual women. We appraise our value, our impact, need, worth or success, and we believe every word we think or say to ourselves.
I mentioned the power that ‘intentional practice’ holds earlier, because to re-direct our current thoughts, we must intentionally be aware of what needs re-directing.
• PRACTICE 2 •
What thoughts do you feed yourself on the daily? You are what you think. Redirect your mindset and purposefully replace an ‘old thought’ with a new one.
I am a big believer in affirmations. They strengthen us by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest.
I am capable.
I am competent.
I am _______.
Every day I commit and put to practice writing down three things that ‘I am’. In my mind I consider what my goals are for the day (what I need to accomplish) and then write my three words accordingly. I then refer to these ‘statements’ all day long.
I do my best to deliberately pause in the tender moments when I may lose my footing and offer myself these affirmations. No, it’s not always perfect—more like perfectly imperfect! But it has become a tool of strength when needed.
One of the biggest hurdles in my life has been accepting where I am in the now, without regret or comparison and without anticipation for betterment—learning to honor and accept who I am in this very moment.
• PRACTICE 3 •
Have I accepted who I am as a unique individual? (My strengths, weaknesses and all that I am?). We can learn to love and care for ourselves as we are right now, through our thoughts of acceptance.
It can be very difficult to choose positive thought patterns without self-acceptance.
We are each uniquely wonderful. Accept all that you are, forgive what you cannot accept and allow yourself to grow.
When you take valuable time to pause throughout your day, you can begin building on the practice of taking leadership of your mindset. In any moment, you have the ability to remind yourself of the types of thoughts you desire to dominate your life’s path. And in any moment, you can begin again and redirect your perspective.
Be you and thrive,
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