Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Be Who You Decide to Be

Have you ever felt under-acknowledged or questioned your abilities? Perhaps you’ve noticed shortcomings in yourself that make you feel less than perfect. Such emotions are not only prevalent but also inhibit us from realizing our full potential. They instill doubt, discouragement, and derail us from following our dreams. It’s high time we put an end to these restrictive feelings. It’s time to embark on a journey to become the person you decide to be. This means developing a roadmap to your ideal self that you follow and adjust as you  bravely engage the future.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it another way: The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

The First Step to Self-Growth

Start with ownership. If you’re not living your plan for your life, then you’re likely living someone else’s, and they probably don’t care that much one way or the other, so long as you sacrifice your time and life ambitions for theirs.

Start by declaring

  • I decide how to live my life.
  • I make the choices of who I want to be.
  • How I want to live.
  • Who I love.
  • What life means to me.

Ownership is the key. Many people accept what happens to them, passively blaming someone else, something else, or the universe. They have given up and choose to complain rather than do something. To their mind, nothing is risked. But nothing gained, either. And worse, the precious, finite gift we all have in this world, our time, has been utterly wasted. Yesterday’s passed. Tomorrow’s ahead. The moment is yours to seize and never let go. Take ownership. Now.

There. That was easy, right? So far so good. But let’s make it stick.

Make it Stick

We all have habits that we do without thinking. And they get us in trouble. We subconsciously eat when we are not hungry. We accept setbacks. We tolerate stupidity. We accept other’s limitations and impose our own. We explain away disappointments as our own failures. If we’re going to take ownership, take control of our lives, we need to become conscious of our actions, thoughts, feelings, interactions, and motivations. There are two ways, at least, of becoming conscious and aware. The first, meditate, every day. Learn to quietly observe your thoughts and feelings.  Keep track. Make a mark on a calendar every day you get it done.

A second way is to journal. Write your thoughts as quickly as you can without editing for several pages. Express your dreams. Your frustrations. Then read over your thoughts and pick out key ideas. Write more about what you’ll do to become who you want to be. Tackle harder and harder challenges so that your writing becomes valuable to you. Mark your journal writing on the calendar, too.

I combine journaling and meditation. Meditation helps me be calm, develops my ability to focus, and to stand back from my thoughts and feelings. I face my hardest realizations without turning away. And journaling? It helps me explore my deeper thoughts and feelings and to choose what I want to do with them.

Do either or both of meditation and journaling in the morning to create a morning routine. Mark the calendar, and after ten days, give yourself a reward. After another thirty days, another reward. And so on. With a morning routine, you’ll discover who you really are. This awareness sets the stage to get more from each day.

Getting More from Your Routine

As you write and/or meditate, you’ll begin to see who you really are and who you want to be.  You’ll also explore your values, the meaning you want in your life, what gives you a sense of purpose, and what you’d like to change. If you haven’t already, be sure to write these down. Paraphrasing Mark Victor Hansen: Ink it, don’t just think it. Ink your values, your realizations, your dreams, and your plans.

When you’re ready, read how to write goals that will transform your life: The Power of HEART Goals to Live True to Your Life Vision.