Have you ever read a book that has literally changed your life? Like, overnight? I hadn’t until about two weeks ago when I finally finished my first read of 2018 – yes, I know I’m a slow and inconsistent reader, you’re allowed to point and shout speed-based insults.
I finished Jen Sincero’s book You Are A Badass, and guys, I’m an effing badass now. I mean, of course, I was always a badass, it’s just taken a couple of decades for me to realise it.
Over the course of reading the book that everyone who’s ever felt unsure about anything should read, I feel like my attitude towards life and living has drastically changed. I have felt these changes coming for a while now, to be honest, but there’s not much better than a catalyst for change walking into your life, very much invited.
Ever since finishing this book, many parts of my life have changed or at least gotten better. I don’t think it’s magic, or luck – I think many of the changes that have happened to me since reading and finishing this book are down to attitude. Our attitude is basically our thoughts, right? Ipso facto – these thoughts I’ve been having are changing my life – for the better.
Now, it would be ludicrous for me to suggest that we can change all our thoughts, or even try to control them… we averagely have 60,000 thoughts per day, and not even the best self-help book I’ve ever read can transform every single one of those into humble little nuggets of positivity. On the daily, however, I have been having at least 3 positive and humbling thoughts. These 3 tiny little thoughts are planting the seeds that are growing into much greater things – so I thought it’s about time I shared them with you.
No-one is entitled to anything
Not me, not you, not those who seem to have everything from an outsider’s perspective – not no-one.
This thought usually pops into my head when I’m fretting about not being a success yet – when I’m worried I’ll never yet another Etsy order, or if I’m bummed out that I can’t afford that straw Topshop bag everyone has (you totally know the one I mean).
It can be painful to recognise that you’re not working as hard as someone else, or that your idea just wasn’t as good – but sometimes we need to face the reality that we’re not entitled to success, or happiness, or money. The good news is that no-one else is either.
For me, this thought hit a boiling point when I saw the success of some blogger newsletters. I launched a newsletter earlier this year and honestly, it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. Seeing other newsletters that were far more designed, engaging and put-together made me roar with envy. Until I remembered, of course, that no-one is entitled to anything.
Those fantastic newsletters earnt their popularity and rave Twitter reviews. The bloggers had put the effort in, worked hard and were reaping their harvest. My newsletter wasn’t entitled to success – realistically I hadn’t worked very hard on it, and if I wanted it to be a success, I’d have to earn that just like everyone else.
Now, when it comes to other projects, habits and passions, I’m certain to check myself before falling into a dark comparison trap. On a day where motivation is needed, I remind myself of this thought – it really has a knack for getting me going.
There’s so much to be grateful for
I’ve started to treasure this thought so much that I now keep a nightly gratitude journal. Each evening, before bed, I jot down 10 things that I’m grateful for. Some days I get really in depth and share how I’m grateful for the love and support I have around me, other days I’m just grateful to have something to do each day and on tough days, my gratitude goes straight to my bed, my cats and Pepsi Max Cherry.
After at least a month of this little evening habit, I’ve really noticed that there’s so much to be thankful for. Good day or bad day, the little things always add up to something.
When I’m in a gratitude funk I often end up down the rabbit hole of online shopping. Feeling like I need more physical stuff is my first red flag to not being completely grateful that really I already have everything I need. Even if I do need something physical (like an alternative to jeans because damn it was hot last week), I make sure I stay grateful for being able to buy that thing and make sure I enjoy it – hopefully jumping over the rabbit hole entirely.
This gratitude habit is making my days so much calmer. When I’m faced with overwhelm or anxiety, bringing it back to gratitude really helps ground my thoughts and allows me to recognise what’s truly important. Even if I can’t name the thing that I’m thankful for – because of fatigue or the million thoughts flying around my head – knowing that there is so much to be grateful for is often enough.
Our thoughts are our reality
When I’m having a bad day – you know the sort, unexpected bills, feel like a lard-arse, everything seems rubbish for no real reason – this thought has really helped reset and refresh my mindset. Yes, it might be raining and I might be down to my last few pennies but continuing to secretly enjoy the emotional torment will only beckon it further.
In You Are A Badass, Jen says tirelessly that what we think becomes our truth – she says it far more eloquently FYI. If I think positively about my situation, strive for progress instead of perfection and generally enjoy life as I’m living it, I’ve found that things seem to flow and happen without much more than a nudge.
Take my Etsy shop for example – these last few weeks have been brilliantly productive. I have loved every minute of painting and creating my pieces and I’ve found that the more positive my thoughts are about the whole process – despite the overwhelming smell of paint, the excited nerves I feel when I send a product out, the uncertainty that I will make another sale and hit my next milestone – the more the ball keeps rolling.
Compared to 6 months ago where I felt as if no-one wanted my products and that the time I was putting in wasn’t worth it… I’m so happy to say that my sales are growing month-by-month, I’m having more innovative ideas and I’ve had repeat business (that wasn’t my Mum). It’s down to changing my thoughts – honestly.
I still have days where my mind is full of anger, frustration and sadness – sure. But my thoughts on days like these have gone from “everything is rubbish” to “TODAY is rubbish, but tomorrow won’t be”. There’s no more surrendering the whole week to one bad day. My positive thinking gets back on the horse, even when I can’t just yet.