Where you are now is not where you will always be

From my experience, what really holds me back from being able to make progress in turning my life around, kicking bad habits, picking up better ones, is this nagging voice in the back of my head that tells me I should be further along in life.

What happens is that I set out to accomplish all my goals from here on out to make up for lost time, instead of doing my best with what I got in order to make up for all the bad habits that got me to where I am now.

The thing is that trying to everything at once is overwhelming. If I don’t do it all perfectly, I become more bitter about where I am and lose track of the future’s possibilities because I feel stuck. Can you relate?

The truth is, we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. we may not want to be where we are at, but good habits aren’t strong over night. They take work, but trying to be the best you can be today, and kind to yourself if you’re not perfect, will help them to grow, and propel you to where you want to be.

james franco

I had to do an assignment for journalism class once where we had to do a mock obituary of someone famous. I chose my celebrity crush James Franco.

Did you know he worked at McDonalds, or had a brush with the law when he was younger because of sticky fingers? Maybe you knew he was a grad scholar, teacher, screen play writer, director, and actor  Or like me, you may have just thought he was blessed with good looks and breaks that happened overnight, not thinking he, or other successful individuals had to work their way up.

Where you are now may be fate, but it doesn’t have to be your destiny. You don’t have to rush to get there either. You have time!

I had a counselor once tell me, “Even if you flip burgers, be the best damn burger flipper you can be.” What she meant was that even if where I want to be is not where I am, doing my best now will lead me to where I want to go. Making up for lost time is as simple as that, so give yourself a break because u will kick it.

There you go, taking things personal again…

Do you take things too personally? It can be normal to internalize situations, opinions, behavior from others, after all humans are not mind readers or God. It’s impossible to always assume it’s not our crap- everyone has an ego and at one time or another thinks it’s all about them. But what if it’s all the time?

I struggle with this a lot, and taking things too personally a majority of the time is a habit. It happens in class, at work, but most noticeably with my boyfriend or family. Matters close to the heart. The stress affects my relationships and discipline to get things done. Almost all of the time, the energy spent toward getting worked up was not even worth it, because whatever it was I took personal had nothing to do with me!

Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Motivational Speaker and Pastor Joel Osteen talked about this in one of his messages, about being neutral to this kind of behavior. Not paying any mind to it. Really, if you have goals for yourself, you need to save your energy to meet them, carry them out. Carrying around the baggage of others is going to weigh you down, keep or prolong you from your destiny. You got to let it go. It is especially hard when we want the people close to our hearts to approve of us, praise us, but not every battle is a battle we need to fight or even drain ourselves with worry over. Especially when it’s really not about us in the first place!

When I find myself taking things too personal I have to remind myself it may not be real what I’m trippin’ off of. When I can’t I lean on people I can trust to help me do that. When I do, i’m reminded also to practice compassion for myself and others, and leadership. It’s an opportunity to be an example to the people around that you don’t have to be a victim to a bad habit, that u can kick it and they can too.

Warriors need their sleep

The best way to combat a habit is with sleep.

They have this acronym in support groups called HALT. Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. it’s been my experience that when I’m tried I feel hungry, angry, and lonely. When I’m fatigue, I’m moody. I feel like a crazy person who’s vulnerable to making mistake and the circular thinking becomes stronger, making me feel like I don’t have a fighting chance.

If you’ve been overwhelmed and lacking the energy to stick to your guns, chances are you are like me and need to get better sleep. Life won’t stop happening because we want to work on ourselves, but with better sleep your resistance to stress will give you more discipline over your feelings. You won’t feel as though the world is throwing lemon juice on your nerve endings.

By Mikael Häggström (All used images are in public domain.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Your’re not crazy, you’re tried

I found some tips online that I’ve practiced myself to develop a bedtime routine. Remember, we are creatures of habit and develop sleep patterns too. The trick to better sleep is what you do before to wind down. Taking a bubble bath, reading, sipping hot tea, and listening to calming music are some. Another that I do is a guided meditation when  anxious to stop the excessive thinking about how tired I am and how bad I need sleep.

Some of you might be fighting for you life right now like I had been and it can be overwhelming, but it’s not impossible. Actually, it’s so much easier than you think with good rest. Warriors need their sleep.

The first and worst: circular thinking

Ever wonder how you acquired that “bad habit?” I’d be willing to bet it started with this: Circular thinking.  This video couldn’t be more true about the nature of unhealthy thinking. You weren’t put on the planet to feel so miserable! Whatever your bad habit is, you need to know this one thing about it: it begins and ends with your thinking. Naturally, we are all creatures of routine, made to be habitual down to the way we produce cells. Our thinking and feelings are no different. They hold the potential of becoming just as much a bad habit as our bad habit. We develop different ways to cope as an escape to these thoughts that make us feel powerless,  some of these coping mechanisms made our circumstances worse. Soon they become second nature, actions that are done without thinking, we think, until they become so mindless that we are back to perpetuating the busy thinking in our head. Exhausting. Our thoughts and actions are tied together, but just like any other habit, you can overcome it. The good news is all it takes is a progression not perfection for there to be results.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
Corrie ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

So, what can you do when you begin to get sucked in to those thoughts?

divergent

If you’ve seen Divergent- which I highly recommend if you haven’t- you got to do what Tris does- remind yourself “It’s not real.” She had the ability when faced with her fears to call it what it was: false evidence appearing real. Almost always are the thoughts of worry less factual but fear based. Name your thoughts when they start to mimic the above video, acknowledging that they are circular thoughts, then moving on to what is real, applying grounding and mindfulness techniques.  Most importantly, be realistic.  You may go back to worrying minutes later, but be vigilant in your efforts because u can kick it.

U can kick it

You can do what you have to do, and so

u can do it even better than you think you can.

That’s the truth- you can do anything, and probably better than you think. Whatever the bad habit, from back talking your little old mother to substance abuse, u really can kick it.

I’m writing this blog to remind you this. Too often there are people who will tell you “Don’t bother to try, you’re probably going to fail” or they’ll say nothing to you because they’ve written you off for not succeeding to your full potential or goal yet. There will always be people like that.

There will always be people like me too; real. I am not perfect, I am a creature of habit, though many have not been pretty, I’ve worked hard to rid some of them for good. This is how I know you can can do it, and I did it because others shared with me. The people who told me about what I couldn’t do, helped me… to beat myself up. There were days I gave into the negativity. Even so, there were time when someone shared with me hope and it clicked. I want to share those things with you. The information and tricks that make recovery easier and manageable, the benefits that come from setting a goal and completing it, the amazing and possible direction your life can go and everything in between to get you there.

U can kick it.