As the year draws to a close, you might be reflecting on your inner peace and happiness and be keen to make 2015 a year of attitude adjustment. Anne Mulliner has some great tips for doing this.
As the nights close in and the temperature drops, many people find themselves feeling melancholy, restless or frustrated at their lot in life. As the end of the year approaches, the need to make commitments about what will be different in the next year magnifies. And yet, despite their best intentions, 12 months roll round and the cycle continues with no progress. In my book Empowered – How to Change Your Life in Your Coffee Break, I share case studies and exercises to give my readers some ideas of things they could do to look at life differently.
Over 25 years, I’ve met and worked with thousands of people around the world. I’ve learnt that every single one had insecurities. Every single one had a critical inner voice that fed these insecurities. Every one of them was comparing themselves to someone else who they believed was doing better. Every one of them talked about needing to get to a mythical place known as ‘there’.
So I challenged them. What if they changed their thinking so that ‘there’ was actually ‘here’ and they had already achieved it? It was an idea that blew some minds.
I believe that, in order to feel happier, we have to concentrate on the whole person, outside and inside, and by consciously choosing our thoughts, it is possible to show up at 10/10 or pretty close to it every single day.
My formula is very simple:
Who you are
I believe all of us intend to be the best version of ourselves based on our experiences and upbringing. Think about the key experiences that you believed have shaped your life – the good ones, the bad ones and the down right ugly ones. Is there a pattern that is keeping you from getting what you want? Take time to notice and give yourself credit for how far you have come to get ‘here’ and celebrate it.
The space between your ears
Most of us would never say to one of our friends the things we say to ourselves in our head, but these thoughts drive our thinking, our moods, our decisions and our behavior, yet most of us don’t do anything about it. We have to snap out of this sleepwalking syndrome and start working to change our feelings, consciously choosing what we want to feel instead of accepting what just comes to us.
Show up as yourself
You have to stop wearing a mask or trying to be someone else’s version of you; it’s very draining and inauthentic and is a major contributory factor in relationship breakdowns and mental illness.
Own and protect your personal brand
The clothes you wear, your body language, the tone of voice you use, all create a message, but if you never think about what you want to transmit, chances are you are getting it wrong. Wearing the right colour, style and scale of clothes will give you energy, confidence and save you money.
Reinvent yourself when you need to
In my life, I have needed to re-invent myself when I have moved on from different big situations. This can be a massively positive approach, especially if you want to gain confidence and assertiveness.
Research, research and more research
A very wise friend once told me that I could never fail at anything I did because I was just conducting research, and if something didn’t work out as I expected, it was simply learning that I could use to help me try again but differently in the future. This is such a powerful game changer.
Use role models to help you break free – If you need some re-invention, don’t be afraid to borrow behaviour from someone else or chose to change your behaviour to get a different result.
Be willing to move your mountain
What if your thoughts about yourself are 100 per cent wrong, how might that be holding you back? Always ask yourself “what else might be going on that I hadn’t already considered?” See what comes to mind.
Create a happiness plan
Identify how satisfied you are with the different areas in your life and then pick the two that you think would make the biggest difference if you improved the rating. Keep updating your plan as your situation changes. Over time your energy, decision-making and motivation will change and improve.
Ask for help
If you are struggling with anything in life, have a conversation with someone you trust. Chances are they will relate to the feelings you are having, and sharing might uncover the answer you need.
Accept life is meant to have some ups and some downs
This simply helps us appreciate and notice when things are going well. Even in the worst of times, you have to trust that you will not stay stuck.