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Find a Better Version of Yourself or You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Find a Better Version of Yourself or You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Do you ever get the feeling that the spiritual version of yourself is fighting with the material version of yourself?

The bigger the gap between who you are and what you want, the more anxiety, angst, and stress you will feel. How can you close the gap between the two in order to live the highest version of yourself?

The reason this gap occurs is because your values are something you can’t physically touch—you can’t hold them in your hand. You can only experience them through experience, participation, and pursuit. The material goals we chase are much easier not only for us to see and feel, but for others to see and feel as well. This makes them more real to us and much more desirable.

Have you ever really taken time out to not only ask yourself questions like this, but to actually answer them? Questions such as:

  • What do I want to be?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • What is important to me?
  • What really matters to me in my life?

Think about this for a second. What happened the last time you didn’t achieved a goal set for yourself? You might have been upset for a little bit. Now think about the last time you went against a personal value you set for yourself: maybe you were dishonest and lied to someone close to you, stole something, or lashed out at someone. I bet that felt much worse than the former.

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So how can you close the gap between your values and your goals and make them work together to create a better version of yourself?

Consistency first, intensity second

It’s easy to attack the things you want most in life like a bat outta hell. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds this month so you decide to hit the gym 7 days a week, run 5 miles a day, and eat nothing but chicken and broccoli. The next thing you know, you’re a week in, you’re exhausted, grumpy, and your entire body aches because you haven’t been active in years.

Slow down a bit. I’m a big believer in attacking life with some serious gusto but most things are not going to happen overnight. Set yourself up for success by creating a plan that you can maintain over the long haul.

Make sure that your plan of attack is something you can actively participate in each day. Create tiny wins for yourself everyday to build confidence and momentum. If you desire to write a book commit to writing a 1,000 words per day as opposed to the whole dang thing.

What are some ways you can start and end your day that can help you keep up the momentum? You may find that your daily practices might not even be related to what you are trying to achieve. Personally, if I start my day with exercise, meditation, and some reading I feel accomplished already. I find that I have much more energy and enthusiasm to tackle the rest of the day.

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Accept the ups and downs

There’s a great saying in The Book of Understanding: Creating your own path to freedom.

“…He is ready to destroy the roses just to avoid the thorns.”

Every path to ecstasy has an alternative path to agony. Don’t avoid being the person you truly are because the other side of the path might be difficult; accept that the road will be difficult, but have confidence that you can with stand it. Look back to past experience where you have overcome difficult situations, and use those as markers of what you are truly capable of.

Practice difficult situations. Get use to being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Participate in regular personal challenges that get you outside of your comfort zone and force you to see and experience new things, such as:

  • Cold showers
  • Eating lunch with a stranger
  • Dancing in the middle of a crowded place

It’s not always one thing versus another

It’s not always good versus bad, you against the world, dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. Those are simply definitions we give to circumstances in order to create less anxiety for ourselves. When we don’t understand something or are confused, we experience anxiety and stress. The easiest thing to do when faced with anxiety, and the best response to it is do define it so you can try to give it meaning as quickly has possible.

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There are a million and one ways to interpret a situation, circumstance, or event. Focus on your response to the situation whether it is good, bad, or somewhere in between. What is your next step? What can you do this moment that is in line with the the person you want to be, and builds momentum in the direction you want to go?

You can’t always control the outcome of a situation, but you can always control your response.

When things aren’t going right, it’s a wake-up call

Sometimes it can feel like nothing is going right. Take this as a wake-up call that your not living and making decisions based on your values and what is most important to you. This is gut check time: ask yourself what you’re doing and what decisions you’re making consistently that have been leading to these outcomes.

Avoid placing blame on others or circumstances—where you are and who you are right now is a collection of the decisions, choices, and habits that you display on a daily basis.

Be responsible, but not in the traditional sense

When I hear the word “responsible”, I think of things I have to be doing, but the truth is no-one has to do anything. You always have a choice. Sometimes that choice is more difficult to make than others, but you always have it. In Latin, to be “responsible” means to promise something in return for something else. Promise yourself to live a life guided by the things that are most important to you—your values, whatever they may be.

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Take time out to define what your values are and promise to live everyday by them in return for your happiness. In the same way that we need air and water to survive, we need personal growth to avoid frustration. It is inherent in us as humans to want to be more, achieve more, do more, and learn more. Don’t fight the desire—embrace it—and do so in a manner that is aligned with your highest self.

 

 

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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