Over the last couple of years I’ve started to view things very differently and as a result of this my mindset, perspective and outlook has changed and this has made me adapt my daily habits and routines for the better.
The last few years has been a particularly busy time for us, we’ve moved house (twice), Richard and I have both changed roles at work and taken on new responsibilities and I’ve been studying at college at evenings. Then on top of this I launched Aspirational Living in December which is just going from strength to strength but, is very busy at times and amongst all of this we’ve been bringing up our two beautiful little boys and trying to maintain some sort of work/life balance in all of this.
I have to say it’s been a struggle at times to say the least and there have been their ‘ups’ and their ‘downs’ but, overall with the changes we’ve started to make we feel much happier and we’re starting to live the life we’ve always dreamed of.
For a while, back in my mid to late 30’s I dreamt of a very different life than I do now and upon reflection the life I did crave included having a flash car on the drive, lots of expensive holidays and designer clothes and lots of materialistic gains but, over the years my dream has changed. Don’t get me wrong it’d be lovely to have fancy holidays and travel wherever we fancied whenever we wanted to and perhaps one day as that’s still one thing that is part of my dream today. I just find that travel and experiencing new cultures really inspires me and I’d love to be able to more of that.
However, back then my perspective of what was important was somehow skewed and I placed a huge amount of emphasis on these materialistic things I aspired to own but, over time my priorities and dreams have changed, without me really realising it and my goals in life are very different to what they used to be.
You see, 3 years ago I started a journey of discovery and really started to question everything in my life; my friends and those I surrounded myself with, my money mind-set, perspective, outlook – you name it everything! But, it wasn’t just the superficial things I questioned it was my goals, dreams, beliefs, values and boundaries and that led me to question life on a much deeper level and this was the beginning of a very different shift in my life.
I started to really ‘unpick’ me and start to take time out to understand what it was I wanted to do in my life and with who I wanted to spend my time with. I started reflecting and looking at the vision I had for my life and that led me to ‘let go’ of so many things that were no longer serving me and I them. I started to surround myself with those who inspire and/or support me (and vice versa), I started analysing all areas of my life using coaching techniques and strategies I had learnt whilst training as a coach and I really focused on one or two areas, as these were the areas I was most discontent with.
I began by looking at our finances as we weren’t happy with our current situation at the time and I knew it had to change so we reviewed this and made positive changes and adopted much more positive habits which later led us to move into our dream home. We both (Richard and I) started to look at the way we’d been parenting and started to change our parenting style for the better and we adopted a much more positive approach and we’ve all benefitted from that.
Being a parent can be tough at times when you’re both working and juggling the demands of daily life and as parents we can feel the strain at times when trying to parent our children. In an ideal world, we’d spend all of our waking hours with our children and we’d be fully engaged, feeling fully rejuvenated and energised ready for the day but, from my first hand experience and my observation of others that’s not always the reality.
With sleepless nights, tantrums and then the after school activities it can at times get a little overwhelming, I know I’ve been there but, when I started analysing my life I realised that I had to stop putting this additional pressure on myself to be the ‘perfect’ parent as that doesn’t exist. I realised that these perfectionist tendencies have bled into other areas of my life too and when I started to re-evaluate things in my life, this was one of the areas I focussed in on most.
I started to explore why I felt the need to adopt perfectionism and I started to understand the roots of the problem and I finally understood that over the years I’d been a people pleaser and was always keen to strive and meet other’s expectations or standards because I lacked self esteem in some areas. I always felt like I had to do more and over time I started to change my ways of thinking and started understanding that I was ‘just doing my best’ and that my best was good enough.
As soon as I ‘let go’ of these feelings, expectations and high standards I immediately felt a sigh of relief and I started living life in a more relaxed way. I started to enjoy experiences much more, I stopped people pleasing and I go comfortable ‘being me’ and that was so refreshing, this was the biggest thing that changed my life. I started living life on my terms and started doing the things I wanted and felt free from judgements or others opinions, I learnt to understand that this was my path and if others didn’t understand that then that as OK as it wasn’t their pah to understand.
As a result of this, my life started to change and it changed both Richard’s and the boys as well, for the better. Richard and I started to make plans for our future and as a result of this we moved into a much more positive, proactive space and we ‘let go’ of behaviours and attitudes that weren’t serving us anymore. Things started to really change for us and now I feel we’re much happier for it as a result but, what I’ve noticed over the years is that instead of wanting more things we actually want less.
We stopped striving for more and now we proactively strive for less! But, what does that actually mean, for us it means not buying as many materialistic gifts or items as we don’t actually need them and it doesn’t enhance our life in any way. We started to donate more to charity and we’ve had a few car boot sales to sell our wares and the money we generate we spend on experiences instead, we’ve really started to understand that our life is about creating as many experiences together as a family as possible.
We realised our old outlook wasn’t serving us anymore and the lifestyle we’d been living no longer fits. It’s been a real eye opener for us but, we feel so much happier as a result, we now spend our days off with the boys playing footy (although we’ve always done that) and planning days out in nature, at the beach or the countryside. This is when we’re all most happiest!
I’ve also personally ‘let go’ of fear, I stopped worrying about what others thought of me and started thinking about what I wanted to do. In the past this was causing me stress, anger and frustration but, now I don’t even think about it.
‘Letting Go’ of stress in our minds and bodies is one of the best things we can do and meditation and mindfulness has helped me to do this. Life is more simpler now and every moment and opportunity to ‘let go’ of something I take.
Here are some ways to get started in living a more, positive fruitful lifestyle by ‘letting go’;
- Let go of stress – let go of the things you can’t control, the things that are outside of your control. Worrying about them won’t change anything so just let go of them. Stress can have such a negative effect on both your mind and body and stress will hinder you from living a more positive, happier life. By incorporating relaxation into your life it will allow you to take time out, relax and recharge.
- Let go of those negative influences – You can’t expect to be happy if you surround yourself with negative people. These people can really affect your life in a negative way, they could be draining you of your positive energy, they could be putting you down to make themselves feel happier themselves or they could be happier playing the victim role – whatever it is notice the people you are surrounding yourself with and start surrounding yourself with those who inspire and support you.
- Let go of your old perspective, outlook and beliefs – Start creating new ones. It’s as easy as that, decide what you want your life to look like and rid yourself of any negative beliefs and believe you can start living life the conscious way and live a happy, positive lifestyle but only you can make that change. Create a dream board and start visualising what you want your life to look like and then start making small steps towards making this come true.
- Let go of the past – resentment, hurt, shame or anger are not serving you and all that’s happening is you’re reliving the past and allowing yourself to play the victim. Make peace with your past and allow yourself to move forward, draw a line in the sand and start again. Make peace and let go of it, give yourself permission to move forward.
- Let go of your fears – We’ve all had fears but, fears can really hold us back from achieving the life we want to live because we’re too scared or don’t feel brave enough. Remember it’s about making small steps, one day at a time – by changing your daily habits and counteracting your thoughts you can truly change your life for the better.
This is your life, take control of your it and start living it the way you want to live it –
the conscious way!