Although I’m only in my late 20’s, I’ve been around long enough to acquire some toxic mindsets that have tainted my perspective. It’s not something I’m particularly proud to admit, but more often than not I can trace back the root of my unhappiness or discontentment to unhealthy thought patterns I’ve adopted without exercising self-awareness. But here’s the upside: once I take responsibility for my thoughts, I have the opportunity to grow in both grit and grace.
Here are 3 of the biggest battles I fight in my quest to be happy, content, and healthy. Maybe they’re stumbling blocks for you, too:
1. Comparison to others.
Wow, am I guilty of this. With social media so easily accessible, there’s never a shortage of women to follow and then consequently find myself stuck in the comparison game. I realize many articles speak on “comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel,” but it really is true! While you’re at home in your pajamas hitting the “yes, I’m still here” button on Netflix, you’re also absorbing the constant flow of post-worthy life developments through your newsfeed. What can you do to break the cycle of comparison? You can start by recognizing it.
Do you size yourself up against other women in your workplace, social circle, etc.? Whether you come out on top or not in your personal evaluations isn’t the point. What is important? That you like yourself.
Do you recognize where you’re at in your own journey? Are you able to celebrate your triumphs and solider through your losses? Can you find things to be thankful for every day? Are you able to acknowledge that others can succeed without it subtracting from your value? Can you celebrate with them, extending grace to yourself when you’re not at the same place? You can. And remember: everyone else has mundane, imperfect, and hard things going on too, whether you see it or not.
Once I take responsibility for my thoughts, I grow in both grit and grace.
2. Being convinced things can’t change without trying something new.
It’s so easy to feel stuck or unhappy with the way things are going at work, with your health, or in your relationships, but it’s so hard to admit that we haven’t made the effort to try something different. I’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
Do you continually find yourself short on money at the end of the month? Are you usually late to meetings? Are you always left with the work that your coworkers don’t want to do or tasks that would otherwise fall through the cracks? Maybe it’s time to shake things up! Make a budget and stick to it so you have some money left over for savings. Plan ahead and choose to leave an extra 20 minutes earlier than you need to so you’re not late anymore. Create and communicate boundaries for yourself and stick to them instead of always being handed extra work. It’s up to you, girl. You can choose to do things differently.
3. Choosing the label of victim when deserving to wear the label of victor.
We’ve all been through our share of personal trauma and struggles, some more than others. It’s not a competition to see who’s had more difficulties or who has struggled more—your trials are valid for you and that doesn’t negate someone else’s struggles. Many times we leave abusive relationships but still live as though all the hurtful words spoken to us were true. We may quit a job that was stressing us out but continue to constantly revisit the conversation of how awful things were. I had some toxic relationship experiences during college, and even years after breaking things off I still lived like I really was “too much to handle” and that “no one would ever put up with me.” I chose to be the victim and give someone else the power over what I thought of myself even though they weren’t even a part of my life anymore!
Even if you’re not yet free from a harmful situation or a temporary struggle, you will be! No one is going to be able to convince you of the grit within you but you. You’ve been through some tough stuff—that’s worth celebrating because you’re on the other side! Look at your strength and your tenacity. You are a victor, not a victim, and you deserve to recognize that about yourself. Don’t give people or situations power they don’t deserve or the ability to dictate your self-worth.
It’s up to you, girl. You can choose to do things differently.
It’s definitely uncomfortable to routinely check my mindset and my motives because I often find that when I want to blame others or my circumstances, it usually comes down to me and my attitude towards things. Maybe these aren’t the particular issues you deal with, but I would still encourage you to take inventory of your thoughts and attitudes in order to see what plays out in your mind whether your realize it or not.
If something is tearing you down or holding you back, then set out to identify it and purpose to remove it! It may take time, and it may be an ongoing battle, but it will be worth it.
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