Living Your Potential ~
When I was growing up I watched those around me live unhappy, unfulfilled, and unhealthy lives. I listened to those around me blame everything and everyone around them for their suffering and struggles. I always found it so confusing as a little girl and I would often wonder....If you're not happy, why don't you do something different to make yourself happier? If you don't feel well, why don't you change what you're doing so that you do feel well?
As much as I questioned this, I grew up unconsciously repeating their patterns. At the age of 26 I too found myself unhappy, unfulfilled, and unhealthy. I realized I wasn't any different than those adults I watched as a little girl. As much as I thought I wasn't them, I was. It was then that I made a decision to live differently. I didn't know how to live differently, I just knew that I needed to do something different if I wanted a different life. It was through learning how to truly care for myself that I was able to end the cycle I was living in.
Self-care is greatly misunderstood and undervalued.
Most everyone knows how to care for their basic survival needs, but not everyone knows how to care for themselves. These are two completely different things. Being able to put a roof over your head, pay bills on time, fill your body with food, these are ways to care for yourself that I put in the category of "basic survival needs". These are the ways you keep yourself surviving and they can all be done without any self-care.
For so many defining self-care is difficult. It's often perceived as selfish and as something there's never enough time or money for. Or it's used as a quick fix to help overcome exhaustion. True self-care isn't any of this. It's daily practices. The selfless gifts you give to yourself that ripple out from you, benefitting not only you, but everyone around you. To truly care for yourself means to listen to you body and tend to its needs accordingly. It means you heal the past that is keeping you stuck in patterns that aren't serving your highest good. True self-care is learning to love and nurture yourself ~ always and in all ways. Self-care is setting boundaries, living in your power, and owning and speaking your truth.
It's through learning how to practice self-care that I've learned that I have infinite power and potential.
As humans we have limitless potential. Yet most don't believe this and will keep themselves stuck, just as I did, only living a fraction of what's possible. The more deeply I care for myself, the more I want to continue caring for myself and more I trust myself to step into the unknown. Every time I do this I help stretch myself out of my comfort zone and grow into more of my potential.
The truth is that so few are willing to live their fullest potential because it's easier not to. It's easier to stay complacent. It's far easier to live in the patterns that are familiar to you. Even when you know deep within that they aren't serving you, the comfort and familiarity they bring can easily keep you living in them. Being wiling to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, do things differently, experiment with new ideas, and explore what else is possible, can be challenging and uncomfortable. It's harder to push past what's been handed down through the generations in your family. Most resist what's hard because, well, it's hard.
Nearly 20 years ago when I knew my life needed to change, I was determined to make it happen. Of course, I had no idea what to do, so I began doing the opposite of what I'd been doing all my life. I began opening myself up to new ideas and ways of doing things. I was willing to explore and experiment. There were a LOT of things I tried that weren't for me and MANY times I reverted to the old familiar patterns that kept me feeling safe. However, I didn't give up. Even when I slipped off my path to living well, I found my way back onto that path.
I firmly believe that it's never too late to begin living your potential.
It doesn't matter your age or what your life looks like right now, you have the power to change what you don't like. The potential you have within you is so much greater than probably believe. You don't have to believe you have infinite power and potential to begin showing up in your life and caring for yourself more. You just have to be willing to show up and do something different. It's the only way to experience something different.
The first practices I started with were gratitude, writing in a journal, and moving my body every day.
Here's more on each of those:
Do you feel that you're living your fullest potential? If not, make the commitment to begin today.
If you love this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.