When you gaze into the mirror, what do you see? Do you see yourself just as you are, or do you see yourself through a filter? As we go through life, we tend to adopt filters that can affect the value we see in ourselves. These filters can be a result of things we have experienced, heard, or seen. Sometimes we can also see ourselves through a filter of our dreams or desires such that when we look in the mirror, we do not see where we are coming from but rather where we are going.
As you read this, reflect on the filters that you are seeing yourself through. Do they paint you in a negative or positive light? You might have been through traumatic experiences or devastating failures that left an imprint on you, as a result, you are now seeing yourself through the filter of those experiences. Your experiences can shape you, but they do not define you or determine your value. People might label you based on the experiences you have been through but that does not define your value.
When you see yourself through a filter, it covers up your uniqueness however, there is nobody on this earth that is the same as you. That means you are unique in your own way. Your story is unique, your personality is unique, what you carry is unique, your voice is unique. There are somethings that you can do, people you can serve that nobody else can. Filters can make us compare ourselves to others and when we fall into that trap, we are automatically embracing the narrative that our uniqueness is not valuable. Do not see your uniqueness as a limitation, see it as something to build on.
How you see yourself is particularly important, it can determine several factors in your life. If you see yourself as a person of no value, that is how you will present yourself to the world around you. It will determine your attitude, your decisions, and your actions. It will also have impact on your confidence level and the self-talk going on in your mind. On the contrary, if you see yourself as a person of value, it will be evident in the way you carry yourself, and you will naturally want to add value to others.
We all experience different situations in life but regardless of what we have been through, we should not allow life’s experiences to rob us of our value. In addition to that, what you believe about your value is more important than what people say about you. Your value is not determined by the opinions of people, you determine your value. As you read this, dare to believe that there is something of value on the inside of you and you matter to your tribe, to your community, to your world. So, know your value, own it and shine with it.
Last year, I found myself exploring opportunities in my imagination, opportunities that would challenge me, grow me, and ultimately bring me where I am today. What triggered this; the company I was working for was offering its employees the chance to apply for redundancy (or as they called it, voluntary parting). When I initially saw the email, I closed it because I feared what could be, how could I walk away from a job that was comfortable and flexible, a job that brought guaranteed income each month. None the less, I came back to the email later and asked myself....what if? What if I applied for redundancy and started a whole new adventure? What if I dare to take steps in the direction of my dreams and passions?
In life, there are opportunities that come your way that will scare you, they will make you ask yourself the what if question. You will always have the option of thinking beyond the what if's and acting on them or choosing to remain where you are, your comfort zone. Sometimes this is the reason why you do no achieve certain things in life. What if you gave yourself permission to think beyond where you are today? Would you be able to see the possibilities that could be, the dreams that could be achieved, the life that could be lived? Taking action helps you come to the realisation that you are more than where you are.
You all have the potential on the inside to take you beyond where you are but, you must first believe it. Believe that there is more to you. Believe that you can achieve more. Believe that you can make more. Sometimes, you might struggle to believe it, so you need to have the right voices around you, voices of people who believe in you. The voices you give power to affect your belief system however, when you believe that you have the potential to be more than where you are, it energizes you to start pursuing opportunities that will unlock that potential.
Do you ever find yourself saying "I don't have what it takes?". That might be true today, but it does not have to be your reality tomorrow. Take time to find out what you need to grow in so that when the moment comes, you have what it takes. Opportunities to be more are all around you but when you are not consciously looking or challenging yourself to grow, it is easy to miss them.
Where you are today reflects the opportunities you have embraced or chosen to walk away from but, could there be more? does today present any chances for you to stop settling and start looking beyond where you are? There is a bigger space out there for you to occupy, there are more people out there that need to hear your inspiration. Start believing that there is more to you than where you are right now.
Ever found yourself in a position where you started a job and thought, this is just temporary but weeks, months or even years later, you are still doing that job because you got comfortable? Or maybe you've gotten used to routines and you don't see the need for change. Looking back at the last 12 - 18 months, most of us would have been forced to change our routines because of the pandemic. We have now developed new routines and as the world opens up again, we can look forward to more changes.
Change is not always easy, and it can sometimes leave you feeling down especially when you have let go of loved ones with whom you shared fond memories with or when you have to leave a place that means something to you. We all experience change daily, and it affects us in different ways. Change can also be scary because we don't know what is on the other side, as a result, we give room to fear. This fear can hold us back from living the life we want to live, and it soon clouds our perspective when making certain decisions. nonetheless, change is a necessary part of life, so we need to learn to embrace it and keep going.
Sometimes in life, we get comfortable doing things in a particular way and we never see a reason to change, or we are waiting on others to change. However, when you find yourself stuck in a cycle that is producing results that you do not like or results that don't lead you towards the future you desire, it is time for change. Its time for you to take control and determine the change you want to see then start to be intentional about being that change.
In addition, change can also stir up feelings of joy and fulfilment. I remember when I held my baby for the first time, there was an overwhelming feeling of joy. Although that was the main change that had occurred, it triggered other changes in my life, changes I had to embrace for me to move forward. If I was going to be a good mother, I had to change my way of thinking, I had to change my routines, I had to change how I managed my time.
On the journey of becoming a better version of yourself and making your dreams a reality, change will always be inevitable. You have to remember that change comes in all sizes, and it can be unique to you. Like all things in life, there is change that's good for you and change that's bad for you so embrace the right change for where you are and where you are going. Embracing change will encourage you to grow and experience new things, new places and new people so don't get stuck with a mindset that resists change.
What are you doing today to face your fears? Everyday, life presents opportunities for us to try something new but how many times do we reject those opportunities because of the voice of fear in our heads. Sometimes that voice convinces us that people will laugh at us or whatever we are trying to do will fail. The voice of fear will always be there, but you need to use your power to silence it so that you are not robbed of the celebration that comes after trying new experiences that you were once scared of.
Fear can be described as false evidence appearing real, this means that in our imagination, we very easily create a narrative which we adopt as reality. This narrative isn't always based on past experiences, we just seem to think the worst and expect the worst. In such situations, we need to train ourselves to think the best not the worst. We need to shift our mindset so instead of saying "what if I fail?", say "what if I succeed?"
Sometimes our fear is a result of the voices we have around us as we go through life. If you have ever been told things like: "you are not good enough", "you do not have what it takes", "you are not beautiful", "you do not speak like them", fear will make you believe that is your reality. If you dare to believe and try whatever you fear doing, you defy the negative statements that have been spoken to you. By doing this, you will soon realise that you are good enough, you are beautiful, you have what it takes, you speak like you and that's good enough.
The main difference between someone who is a go getter and someone who does a lot of wishful thinking is that even though they both feel the fear, one has chosen to take action while the other has remained stuck and chosen to give fear control. when you give fear control, it limits you from moving forward and keeps you in your comfort zone. Imagine you must get across a bridge, if you stay focused on all the bad things that could happen, fear will automatically take effect and you will remain stuck but if you look past all the bad things that could happen and reflect on the positive, you will be energised to move forward and cross the bridge.
Fear starts as a thought and whatever thought we empower, it will gradually become our reality. We all have the potential to achieve great things however, for us to achieve great things, we must start facing our fears by controlling our thoughts and daring ourselves to take action. As you read this, think about what you can do to face your fear because it will grow you and you will discover more about yourself.
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