It may not seem so, but everyone is fighting their own battles. We are all experiencing our own set of challenges and finding ways to maneuver through life's ups and downs. The best times of your life can sometimes be followed by curveballs being thrown in your way, and the seemingly worst periods of your life can be turned around with unexpected blessings as well. We are all on this constant tug-of-war, between these curveballs that take a hit at your self-confidence and assurance, and the blessings that re-instill faith in us to keep trudging on.
Together with factors that are oftentimes not in our control, hang-ups and expectations that we set for ourselves; the need to be "perfect", the pressures to be constantly productive, the need for validation and acceptance from the people around us, and the stresses of school or work also add to our shifting ever-shifting state of mind.
While setting expectations and goals for yourself to work towards, through healthy methods and a practical timeline, holding yourself prison to unrealistic and over-bearing pressures can rob you of your peace.
Here are some of such things you can learn to let go of to make room for peace in your life.
1. Beating yourself up over Mistakes
We often beat ourselves up over all kinds of supposed "mistakes" we've made; unwise decisions, making a rude remark that you were not conscious about, not making on time for a big meeting, spending money on something we didn't really need. The list goes on.
The poor choices or mistakes are sometimes made because of an error in judgement, unforeseen circumstances, or external pressures that force us to make hasty decisions. It is vital that you do not internalize guilt to a point that you cannot function thereafter, or completely lose faith in your judgement or decision making skills. Take these mistakes as room to grown and learn. It is only through such mistakes will you be able to fully understand the repercussions of making similar mistakes in the future and make it a point to not repeat them hereafter. Use the voice inside your head that would berate you for the less than wise choices you've made to be a healthy reminder of how you now know better instead.
Be kind to yourself through mistakes, understand why you made that mistake, break down these possible reasons, learn from these reasons, and address the problem step by step to make sure that you do not repeat them again.
2. The Need to be "perfect"
There are constant pressures around us to do better, say better, look better, and be better. The combination of the expectations we set for ourselves, and the societal pressures we feel from around us can affect us in ways that stresses us physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Making sure that the need to improve ourselves comes from a place of a genuine need to be the best version of ourselves for ourselves, is key to peace. Such expectations should not manifest from feelings of not being good enough as you are in the first place, or from indulging in unhealthy and pointless competition.
If you work towards stripping yourself of this toxic need to one-up the people around you or pushing yourself to be and do better to fulfill external expectations or pressures, you will come to the realization that the chase to becoming "perfect" can be infinitely unhealthy and anxiety-inducing. You are perfectly “imperfect”, and that's the beauty of this journey called life that we are all on! Love and appreciate yourself as you are now, and work towards being the best version of yourself through healthy and reasonable means.
3. Self-limiting Beliefs
Beliefs can help us set healthy boundaries on possibly questionable behavior. But when limiting beliefs take the forefront, they only hold us back from what we want and can achieve in life.
Limiting beliefs are false beliefs, often arising from low self-esteem or confidence, that hold us back from pursuing our goals and dreams. Instead of giving in to self-limiting beliefs, make it a point to question them when they arise. Think about the alternative possibilities to your beliefs, and push yourself to imagine and believe the opposite being true instead.
"What if I am deserving of that position in my company?"
"What if I am capable of running the marathon and completing it?"
"What if I am deserving of finding a partner who will bring out the best in me?"
Make it a habit to check-in with yourself every now and then, to journal and document any negativity or limiting ideas that are holding you back from the things you want in your life. You could reframe self-limiting beliefs by writing down a positive situation and its outcome.
If you're looking for a place to be able to reflect and reframe your mindset, consider using Journey to help you along this process! Being able to enter reflections according to the date and time allows you to keep track of and look back at diary entries, and thus your thought patterns as a result.
Every time a self-limiting belief strikes you, nip it in the bud immediately by journaling about and understanding why and what is causing it. Reframe it with the opposite assumption and the positive outcome, as aforementioned
4. The Need to be in Control
"Change is the only constant."
Be it the people around us, the situations we find ourselves in, or life in general. More than often, things don't go according to plan. In spite of the amount of preparation we put in, we are not in the driver’s seat all the time.
Events unfold in the most unlikely of ways sometimes. All we can do is to trust the timing of life, and that events are unfolding as they should be and in the way they are meant to. Release the grip you're trying to have over the things around you, and let time run its course. Some factors and elements are truly not in your control, and you don't have to exhaust yourself trying to have a hold on everything. Our attempts at control rid us of peace and any inner calm, and can cause us to actually take less constructive and productive action.
Embrace the unknown, as they say. Remember, some of life's greatest gifts and surprises present themselves at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected ways!
5. People who do not Bring out the Best in you
Throughout your life, you will cross paths with numerous people. Some people enter your life to fulfill a reason, some stay for a short season, and some stick around for a lifetime. The people you meet make and shape you, and allow you to grow as an individual in the process.
Life is too short to be investing your time and energy into people who do not reciprocate the same amount of love and belief as you do for them. Don’t consume yourself with trying to be available for people who will not be there for you during rough times, or would not celebrate your wins with you. You are selling yourself short if you attempt to change for them, and you would be wasting time and energy if you try to change them.
Spend time around the people who make you feel comfortable in your own skin, confident and self-assured, and loved!
If you look at the mistakes we make, life's twists and turns, the people who hurt us, and self-limiting thoughts as opportunities to learn and grow, you are already one step closer to finding the inner peace that you truly hope for. It may time a little more time and effort to rid yourself of these common hang-ups that can weigh heavily on your life, but it will be very well worth it.
Many of such beliefs often takes years of conditioning to cement themselves in our minds. So, take your time to learn how to completely let these go, and watch yourself blossom into the best version of yourself; at peace.