Sundays for me are the best days to wake up to. And it’s really hard to center yourself amidst the chaos of emails, texts, calls, social media notifications and doorbell rings. But I’ve come to finally appreciate Sundays as my time. It is my time to be quiet, to reflect and to channel my inner zen. As an introvert, what I love most about Sunday mornings is that almost everyone is sleeping in, and they haven’t quite woken up yet. So I have the roads to myself, the beach to myself, and the wherever-I choose-to-be, all to myself—making it less weird when I talk to myself. Yep. I talk to myself and myself answers back with motivation and feedback, critical observations, suggestions for improvement and witty banter—myself is hilarious. We have a really great relationship these days.
I used to be incredibly negative. I still am in some ways but I have gained a greater sense of gratitude that has worked wonders on me. This is partially due to the fact that lately, I seem to have become everyone’s therapist. Let me preface this by saying, I tip my hat off to real therapists, I don’t know how you guys do it. I’ve never liked to hear anyone’s problems—I still don’t for that matter. But by some divine intervention I suddenly became everyone’s go to person, which resulted in my a ha! moment, as Oprah would say. You see people were coming to me with all kids of problems and I started to see a common pattern—everyone’s problems were the same. People hated their jobs, people questioned their relationships, and people were determining their value based on what other people thought of them. I saw myself in my friend’s issues and I began to think. If that was any indication of how I sounded, then I needed to stop complaining immediately. Why? Because I saw in them, what they could not see in themselves. I saw their beauty, their talent, their value, their smarts, and their hearts—everything they could not see. We all have so much to look forward to, yet we seem to measure our value based on what we don’t have, which is so crazy to me. I’m telling you, it blew my mind.
How is it that we cannot see your own value? So in that a ha! moment, I was thinking to myself, “I wish I was as smart as her”, “I wish I was as pretty as her”, “I wish I was as ambitious as him”, “I wish I had a job like her”, all while not seeing my own value. It is easy for us to see value in others, before ourselves. But what I’ve come to realize is that your value, your success, and your worth should not and cannot be determined by what you don’t have. It is also not determined by what other people have. And most importantly, it cannot be measured by a societal perception.
Your value is based only on your view of yourself. Belief is contagious and when you value yourself, and you believe in your worth – I’m telling you, your life will change.
And the thing is, it’s REALLY hard! It is incredibly hard to love yourself in a world that is constantly telling you not to. So how do I reaffirm my worth? How do I convince myself that I am valuable and I am important? For starters, I take Sundays to myself—from sun up, to sun down, and remind myself how far I’ve come, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I also have a couple of mental exercises that I practice to help remind me of my value. They have helped me get through challenges, and hopefully they will help you too.
Gratitude is like champagne for my soul. I don’t need too much of it to get hype but I always want more, because I like how it feels. Reminding yourself of things to be grateful for will open your mind in ways that you never thought was possible.
I usually start off with being grateful that I woke up and that I am alive. And then I expand it to being grateful that I have ears and grateful that those ears are able to hear the annoying alarm that woke me up. Then it further expands to being grateful that I have a brain that processes my feelings— and grateful to have a bed that I love so much that I don’t want to get out of it.
When you are grateful, your gifts only multiply.
Compartmentalizing is always a challenge because in our society, people ask the questions, “Who are you?” and “What do you do?” interchangeably. When in reality, they are not the same thing.
If you hate your job as many Americans do – you must be able to separate what you do from who you are. It was hard for me to do also, and as someone who loves her job—it took me a while to be able to separate them. I love to plan events and who I was, or so I thought, was an event planner. But what I soon realized was that, that was my occupation. I am a creative and loving individual, who enjoys event planning. I am an aunt, a daughter, a best friend to few cool people and a girl who’s trying to make her stamp on the world. I am not limited to or defined only by my occupation, and neither are you.
So I challenge you to ask yourself who are you, as opposed to what do you do.
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Well, this one’s easy—find that place that makes you complete. Beyoncé has Ivy Park, Oprah has her herb garden, and I usually like the beach—where is your place?
Obviously, I can’t go to the beach everyday but I find that if I imagine it, if I see the waves, hear the birds and the breeze in my ears – I can get centered pretty quickly. And if I can’t imagine it, then I go for a walk. It’s amazing what a quick walk outside will do – seriously, fresh air is good for the soul!
Change your environment to clear your mind and I promise you will see progress.
CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION
Your perception is keeyy! I can’t express it enough. Especially coming from a reformed Debbie Downer, that was crucial to me. When your perception of your life is changed, there’s a ripple effect that occurs. Try changing your outlook slowly. Consider the setbacks as minor challenges, and consider major challenges as blessings in disguise. I truly believe that what is for you, shall not pass you, and when you look back on your life you will start to see the dots connected—or the reasoning behind your challenges.
I’m very analytical and I like to believe that there are formulas for everything – but ultimately, we cannot predict the future. What we do have is the present, and so when we spend time worrying about the future, we lose moments of the present. If your perception is positive, you will be able to look at all experiences with a new lens—and that, I believe further identifies your strength and helps you understand your worth more.
It is difficult for outlooks and mindsets to be transformed overnight but I believe with time, persistence and hard work, it is possible get closer to understanding and truly believing in your value and worth.