Imagine if you lived your life backward and had already achieved your dreams. If you were looking back at today, what would you tell yourself about how you achieved a good life? What would you say about what success had perhaps cost you, or how you had avoided abandoning yourself to reach your goals? What made you be there for you?
WHAT DO YOU NEED SO THAT YOU CAN?
Every morning we are starting anew and at the same time continuing the life we have. For me, the mindset of curiosity is the most important tool I have to keep going, even through challenges. So often we crave change, and at the same time, we fear change, resist change and reject change. We decide on a change, only to abandon it when it’s time to “do it”. I often hear people say, I need to start a self-care routine. Sure, there’s a routine to habits but we don’t just start out on a new routine. We start out by changing our minds about why it matters that we do something differently. Just one thing can create a big change.
See I don’t think of self-care as a routine or a list of perfect habits, I think of it as a mindset. A mindset that is always with us, that helps us get through, that always cheers on us to keep figuring it out, and one that comes from care. Care about me so that I can care about the people in my life and the work that I do, and why I do it, because what we care about grows stronger.
WHY CURIOSITY AND NOT JUST WILLPOWER?
Willpower doesn’t work, because when stress hits we fall back on our training, and if our training is to abandon ourselves, then that’s what we will do.
We cannot just start something new as if it is a magic trick and voila… a new life and expect of ourselves that this time it will work as long as we put our mind to it and our willpower behind it. We know this and yet we still think that diets and new habits are something we just decide to do. But we also know they don’t last and we have proven that to ourselves over and over again. Does that mean we should give up? Abandon ourselves and maybe even a good life along with it? Does it mean we are not “good enough” as we often end up judging ourselves? Does it mean we are the only ones struggling and everyone else has it figured out?
No… not at all. It just means you are human and it’s about time we understand how to be human, better. I don’t mean better as in growth, but better as in kindness, which then, funnily enough, leads to growth.
BEING HUMAN BETTER
What if we simply ask, “what do I need so that I can… achieve or create the kind of change that I want. We really need to rethink how we take care of ourselves from the support perspective rather than the “fix-me” perspective.
When instead we can have the mindset of thinking anew and rather than reaching an ideal, we can consistently be in a relationship with what we need, physically, emotionally, and mentally to get through. Why is this better you might ask? Because reaching a goal is not about to keep pushing till you make it, it’s to keep adjusting till you get there and that’s when we add the daily grit, that is needed for anything in life to work out, the grit that comes from what we want, not what we should, that’s how we create change.
Essentially we can have a beginner’s mind every day, every hour, and sometimes we actually do, even if we don’t realize it. As a coach for the past 18 years, there is a beginning and an end every hour of my day. With each client, I have to look with new eyes, listen with fresh ears, and pay attention with a new mindset.
As a speaker, there is a beginning and an end to being on stage. In a workshop, the same thing, even though it might be longer than 1 hour, it is a journey we are making together. When we sit down for a meal there is a beginning and an end.
Every night and every morning, there is an end and a new beginning and it is up to us to bring awareness to our experiences. And yet how often do we consciously bring this mindset into our day?
We tend to look at what is not working instead of focusing on what we need, so we can create the change we want to achieve the dreams we have. We look backward with judgment, instead of looking forward with wisdom.
So for the next new beginning of a day or a moment, if you were looking back from the future, would you start being kinder to yourself, would you start being your own friend and instead focus on what you would tell yourself about looking forward?
What do you need so that you can be at your best today, just for today, then tomorrow, and then the day after? Or maybe just even this morning, this afternoon, this evening. Self-care is a support system, a framework for being at your best every day. Now that doesn’t mean being at 100% every day actually, it just means being at your best right now with what’s possible. Without abandoning yourselves completely, what do you need so that today is a good day, towards your future self.
Our mental health matters, we all have mental health all the time, the question is how you take care of it by taking care of yourself. Remember, being your best self is being your own bestie.
Big hug, virtually, but for real
Photo by Ashley Batzon from Unsplash