Living a life we might consider ‘mediocre’ doesn’t have to be the only option available to us. Many limiting beliefs we may have carried since childhood can shift so that they serve our ongoing lives.
That is, we can develop new strategies that don’t detract from what we’re trying to achieve. To do this, however, we need a sense of what our prevailing beliefs are. After all, we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. As our attitudes and assumptions change, so will our lives.
We teach people how to treat us:
If we want to be treated in a particular manner, it begins with us demanding, from both ourselves and others, certain standards that shouldn’t be breached. Such areas may include the use of inappropriate language, or perhaps how we’re treated in public by our family. We should be sure to be consistent and maintain standards at levels which are comfortable for us.
Consider new opportunities:
It’s a positive thing to open ourselves to new opportunities and trust our own intuition, as this is really where true happiness lies. Indeed, growing and contributing to society is where we realise our actual strength and potential.
Realising we’re human and we’re all doing the best we can with what we have, is also important for moving through life with genuine self-love and acceptance.
When necessary, we should sit back and view the bigger picture of our lives. And we can do this by taking responsibility for those things we can control within our lives and letting go of the things we can’t.
Know our strengths and weaknesses:
Knowing our weaknesses and strengths is also vital to having a good life. We can choose to work on our weaknesses, as some cultures around the world do, or we can choose to lead our life with our strengths, as promoted in others. If we choose the latter, we need to be aware of our strengths and look for opportunities to use them. Whichever option we choose, however, we should commit to it and be consistent.
Appreciation is the highest, purest form of love. And there is neurological evidence that the brain can’t be in both a state of appreciation and a state of fear simultaneously. This therefore makes appreciation the antidote to fear which, when felt, can free us from fear for that period.
Remember, ‘what we focus on is what we get.’ So, the more we focus on what we want rather than on what we’re fearful of, the stronger the momentum towards a place of pleasure, rather than constantly running away from fear. After all, this forward motion is more sustainable than the alternative strategy!
Know our values:
Our values are the guiding force behind the decisions we make and the behaviours we exhibit. In fact, when we maintain our lives in alignment with our values, we experience greater levels of fulfilment. Despite this, however, it’s amazing that so few people actively reflect upon understanding their core values.
Knowing our dominant values is a key element to developing self-knowledge which is, arguably, the cornerstone to leading a meaningful life. Values include such things as learning, compassion, honesty, curiosity, music, travel, sport, integrity, etc.
In examining our lives, some values may become immediately discernible, such as the love of travel, or a willingness to be patient. However, not all values reveal themselves so openly to us.
To unearth our values, we must ask ourselves some probing questions, including:
- What dominates our thoughts?
- What inspires us?
- Where are we most reliable?
- What do we most often talk to ourselves about?
- What do we most often talk to others about?
- If someone were to walk into our bedroom, what would be the first 3 things they’d see?
- What do we love to read or learn about the most?
Even though values are malleable, there are some core values by which we all live our lives. The discovery of the ones we prioritise enables us to decide in a timely manner, give our lives focus, and operate with a sense of security during times of chaos and confusion.
So, there are many ways we can all enhance the quality of our lives. Replacing limiting beliefs with more resourceful ones is a powerful starting point. The gauging of our weaknesses, strengths, and values, and being conscious of where our focus is, rounds out a more comprehensive view of our position. And finally, the conscious act of appreciation for what we do have rather than what we don’t, along with being open to new opportunities, are dynamic ways to incorporate the aforementioned steps.