(This is part II of a two-part series. Check out part I on how to rock the valleys in between your high points here)
Can we be completely honest with each other?
There’s something we both know but pretend otherwise on Facebook:
When you’re busy, neither personal growth nor down-time make your priority list.
You put yourself 2nd (3rd, 4th…) behind family, work, and friends, and you don’t carve out the necessary “me-time” to become who you truly want to be.
Your own growth becomes a luxury, instead of a routine practice.
But you can make growth a habit.
Here are some of the tools I use to stay in the practice of expanding, even when I’m busy or in a “resting” phase (see part I for more on making the most of down-times):
1. Strike a Power Pose.
I brush my teeth like Super Woman.
I stand with my feet hip-width apart, my left fist on my hip, and my right elbow straight out from my shoulder. I roll my shoulders down, look myself in the eye in the mirror, and repeat “I like myself” mentally for two minutes.
I’ve been striking my Super Woman pose twice a day for a year and have noticed big changes.
About 45 seconds into the pose, I desperately want to move and curl forward. Almost every time, I actually move because my mind wandered, but then I re-focus and go back into the pose.
During the final minute, my mind calms, my body relaxes, and I feel a flush of something like warmth and softness combined.
The results positively affect my whole day and help me sleep better at night.
(I learned about the power of the super-women pose from Amy Cuddy’s fantastic Ted Talk on confidence and body language. I added in “I like myself” based on Brian Tracy’s book The Psychology of Achievement).
2. Send Yourself Love Notes.
Let’s be honest – it’s hard to be open-minded and positive, especially if you’re busy putting out fires or interacting with people who are, ahem, less than evolved spiritually.
Even if Wayne Dyer is your best friend, you still have to contend with your own stream of grumbly, negative mental thoughts, patterns, and beliefs.
To keep yourself moving in the right direction, you need to continually expose yourself to an alternative – and more positive – perspective.
I use the app TellMeLater.
The app sends me uplifting reminders (written by me) at pre-determined times throughout the day, week, and month. Here are examples of reminders I get each day:
– 7 am: “I am love”.
– 9:55 am: “I am open and willing to receive money and help”.
– 12 pm: “I receive money gracefully and gratefully”.
– 2:05 pm: “I am a strong, confidant woman and absolutely deserve my success”.
– 5 pm: “I use my energy to uplift myself and the world”.
– 8:45 pm: “I am well compensated for doing work I love”.
Obviously, my main focus at the moment is improving my relationship with money. Since the voice in my head tends to fill my mind with thoughts like “I can’t afford it!”, “I’ll never have enough”, and “I’m terrible with money”, I flood my mind with opposing messages.
Dedicate 10 minutes now to download the app and write your reminders.
Once set up, this daily self-development boost takes zero effort – that’s the kind of growth we can all get behind!
3. Hear the call
Your thoughts aren’t the only negative influences in your life holding you back from growing into your best self. TV, popular music and literature, and even news overwhelm us with dis-empowering and downright frightening imagery.
Choose to surround yourself with uplifting information instead.
You don’t have to change your whole life – just start by adding more a little bit of inspiration. Here are a few suggestions:
A. Actively Create Your Own Uplifting Environment.
Pop a fake flower in your car’s air vent, carry a beautifully bound journal, or laminate a mini-print of your favorite painting and put it in your wallet.
Listen to skillful, inspired work in the car, on the train, or while waiting for the doctor.
Depending on my mood, I vary between classical music and self-development books “on tape”. I download them from my library online – it’s cheap, easy, and a great way to stay inspired.
Without inspiration, you won’t find the motivation to grow.
B. Brainwash Yourself.
Listen to morning and evening mantras or subliminal messages in the area of growth you’re focused on.
I listen to a 30-minute recording of positive affirmations twice a day to improve my relationship to money. I set my alarm 30 minutes early to listen before I get up and also let it play as I fall asleep at night.
Within three days of starting the affirmations, I had new client booked and paid in full – it’s powerful stuff!
I also listen to subliminal affirmations set to ocean sounds as I work. It’s calming, helpful, and doesn’t distract me from my work like traditional music might. (I got mine through Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Lucky Bitch program)
You need all the positive support you can get – so give it to yourself!
What you cut out is just as important as what you add in.
Let go of news, gossip, and scary TV shows. There is no reason to fill your thoughts with violence, fear, and hate. Period.
A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t show or say it to a 4-year old, you don’t need to hear or see it either.
These next-to-no-effort habits to will keep you on the path to your becoming self, even when it feels like you have no time or energy to spare.
What habit can you start building today to make sure you keep growing?