In 1994, I was a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University. I was only 23 years old, and so very excited to be on my way to a Master’s Degree. My main role as the Honors' Program grad assistant was to publish the monthly newsletter and set up the annual...
We all have that little voice in our head that trips us up – that makes us feel insecure and unsure about who we are and what we’re doing. It’s no wonder.
We are bombarded with ads and commercials that tell us we’re not good enough, smart enough, sexy enough, or skinny enough. But it’s time we regained our power.
So I’d like to offer you five easy ways to inspire yourself. Putting these steps into your daily practice will not only inspire you, but empower and motivate you like never before.
Here are the 5 steps with brief examples below to get you started:
- Be kind to yourself
- Pay yourself first
- Know that it is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something
- Trust yourself
- Understand that you don’t need as much as you think you do
Be kind to yourself – here are three easy ways:
- Savor the next bite of food you eat or the next sip of beverage you drink. How does it smell? What does it remind you of? Feel it on your tongue and feel it nourish your body. Even if you’re eating fast food, think of it nourishing your body supplying it with needed energy.
- Hug yourself. Go on – wrap those arms around yourself and give yourself a hug. Breathe in deeply and feel your hands around you. Let go. Repeat as often as necessary.
- List 10 things that make you happy, and try to do at least 3 of them every day.
Pay yourself first. When I was in high school and got my first job, my dad told me to pay myself first. I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?” “No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.” That stuck with me. I worked hard for my money and I wanted it to work for me (not Hudson’s).So, I opened a savings account and put $10 of my paycheck in that savings account each pay period. Then I used the rest to pay bills.
“I asked, “Does that mean I can buy that sweater I want from Hudson’s?”
“No,” he said. “Then you’re paying Hudson’s first.”
But isn’t paying bills important and more urgent than saving money? Yes, at times it is. But someone will always hound you to pay bills – you will find a way to pay them. But, no one will hound you to take care of yourself – to save money for your future. You must make that happen. Why? Because this is the most effective, proven way to financial freedom. And when you have financial freedom, you no longer have to work – you can choose more freely what you do each day. And that is a beautiful feeling.
It is more powerful to go towards something rather than away from something. When we think about changing something in our life, many of us say things like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to stop smoking”. What this does is create a kind of void around where we are going – we are running away from weight gain or smoking, but we’re not quite sure where we’re going. What if we told ourselves a different story. For example, what if we said, “I want a healthy, toned body”; or “I want strong healthy lungs”. In going towards a picture of ourselves as healthy, we automatically make better choices. And the rewards will follow.
You don’t need as much as you think you do. Somewhere along the line, we forgot who we are at our core. Big cars, big homes, big bank accounts took over and left us feeling like there should be something else. Something different. Somewhere along the line, we’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status. We can change this simply by reminding ourselves how blessed we are for what we have.
“We’ve converted curiosity about the world into constant worry about status.”
Watch the sunrise or sunset. Take a walk. Look at the moon tonight. Try something new, or teach one person a skill that you have. It can be anything from baking a cake to learning a computer program or changing the oil in a car. In this way, you are not only reminding yourself that you have something of value to offer others, but you’re bonding with the other person and empowering them in a way that just doesn’t happen otherwise.
The Indigo Girls wrote a powerful song called “The Thin Line”. In it, they sing “Now I’m trying to get back to what I know that I should be. Hoping to God, I was just a temporary absentee”. We’ve all been absent from our own life – we forget who we truly are on a spiritual level, and we let the worries of the world consume and control us. The great thing is that we can change it. And we are changing it – one person at a time. Here’s to your power!