“Okay I failed, but I didn’t really try that hard.” I used to say that all the time. It was my moto for never achieving anything. I was a bums fo’ life kinda girl. Definitely not a shining moment in my life.
It’s what I said when I got a D in Chemistry in high school.
It’s what I said when I didn’t do my homework during that period either.
It’s what I said when I didn’t get into NHS the first time around.
It’s also the reason why I found myself disappointed in everything I did.
Because “okay I failed, but I didn’t really try that hard” doesn’t change or help anyone, especially you. Losers say it and I was a friggin’ loser. I was also an outcast in high school, but that’s a whole different story for another day.
You and I both know why you say it. Don’t get cheeky with me, I was there once. When you say “okay I failed, but I didn’t really try that hard” or “if I wanted to do it, I’d do it” what you’re really saying is I don’t want to invest my heart into this, fail, and be utterly ripped apart by devastation and embarrassment. So instead, you take the coward’s way out, you hold up those phrases as a shield to protect yourself, as I once did.
It’s sorta like failing on your own terms.
But the real truth to it is that once you commit you get so much power and energy out of that, that even if you fail, you dust yourself off and try again. Success will come over time, when you create a practice for yourself, dedicate yourself, and give it everything you got.
Amateurs say, “I failed, but I didn’t really try that hard.”
Professionals commit 100% and get superpowers. Their failures are setbacks that barely phase ‘em.
We all know it. There is a HUGE difference between that voice that strokes our ego and actually taking the action to move in the direction we dream of. It’s the beauty and beast of us. We have this beautiful inner sight of what we want our lives to look like, but in reality there’s more beast than beauty.
This beautiful version of ourselves currently lives only in our mind. That we’re these rebellious, yet naturally in tune people. That we aren’t fitting any stereotypical mold. That we’re doing something truly different.
There are so many articles and posts on why we should be this awesome, beautiful thing. Why we need to create this beautiful life for ourselves. Why we need to push the envelope and break the mold. I’m not saying those posts are wrong, they definitely make us all feel good and inspired.
But what about after coming to the resolution of making that change? We want it, so now what? What’s the first step? Where’s the guide for that?
Beauty vs. Beast
Every person has this beast manifested in them. It’s there. That part of you that lets you sleep in, that part of you that lets you veer off your schedule, that part of you that skipped your exercise hour this morning.
What do we do when we find ourselves in the position of a hidden beauty in beast mode?
I’ve recently took to study behavioral psychology because there were too many things I wanted to do, but my current habits didn’t reflect the person I was in my head. I knew I needed to change, so I’ve put every spare hour and thought into figuring out how to build a new mentality, new way of approaching life, and a new way of living. We all want to be that person that gets a million things done in a day. Say that girl you know who student teaches, is a personal trainer, a zumba instructor, and has a side business (ehm, ehm). Seriously, it’s a miracle this girls fits so much accomplishment in one day, mashaAllah!
I’m not one of those people that can start a new lifestyle tomorrow based off will power alone and I don’t think there are many of those people that even exist. However, there is a way to change. It’s by changing in absolutely the most ridiculous small steps you can imagine. I mean little, tiny increments and LETTING those small increments BE YOUR VICTORY. You need to let yourself know that what you did was amazing, spectacular, and life-changing for you. Know that you really did accomplish something, no matter how small it may seem. And then success leads to success.
When BJ Fogg, Stanford psychologist, wanted to start regularly flossing, he implemented triggers and felt victorious with small steps. He started by first keeping his floss right next to his tooth brush. This is placed as a trigger, you see it and you’re reminded. Then, once he was triggered, he would floss A SINGLE TOOTH and then go to sleep. That’s an example of making ridiculously small step I mentioned. And he didn’t feel shame for only flossing one tooth, but instead was victorious, “heck yeah, I flossed ONE TOOTH, YO!” (okay maybe not with the yo or the heck yeah). He eventually did more and more teeth. Yet, sometimes he regressed. Even if he was too tired to floss all his teeth, he would still floss that one tooth and let himself feel victorious about it, that he did do something and that he didn’t give it up!
THAT is how you build a habit. The magic of this is you can apply this to so many things and do an endless amount of experimentation.
Want to start exercising?
Step 1: Buy workout clothes and be victorious. Step 2: Buy a yoga mat, keep it close to where you’ll be right before you’ve schedule to work out (like near your bed when you wake up) and be victorious. [Location is a big deal because it triggers you, it reminds you!] Step 3: When the time of your exercise comes around, roll out your mat, sit on it for 5 seconds, roll it back up, and be victorious (repeat for about a week, whatever time increment feels right for you). Step 4: Add 5 minutes of exercise and be victorious (repeat for about a week). Step 5-?: Add a steady increment of time to your exercise routine over a period of days/weeks until you reach your goal and be victorious. Wow, you just became a regular exerciser in a paragraph, go you fancypants.
And if you ever regress, regress to a previous step, instead of giving it the boot altogether. DO NOT LET YOURSELF FALL BACK TO NOTHING! Go back to an old step and be VICTORIOUS!
Let yourself relinquish the beast and become the beauty. Start changing your life today, right now.
Start your step 1 today. What’s that habit you’ve been meaning to adopt and how can you break it down into ridiculously small steps? Let me know in the comments.
Everyone feels like poop sometimes. It happens. I’ve used the first few posts of my blog to talk about taking care of yourself. Why? Because it’s cool. Well, yes, it’s cool, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because if you’re hardcore about starting an online business, you, as a person, have to be hardcore. Ya, ready for some mind-blowing stuff?
Warning: Online Entrepreneurship is not for people who need deadlines or school/workplace culture to get work done.
Everything you do is for you. So slacking off will hurt you like no other. No one will come to remind you, send you an email, or update you. Can you trust yourself?
Exception: If the above warning applies to you, there is hope. You can change.
Woah, didn’t expect that one, did ya? I believe people can change themselves. Period. Want to know why? Because I did.
My “I changed because I could” Story:
In business, you’re super better off if you’re positive. Me + the past = I didn’t believe I could do it. TRUE STORY. But I realized I really wanted freedom and I would fight to get it, even if it killed me. So, I knew I needed to change, but wasn’t quite sure how to do it. I doubted myself, doubted my capabilities, and hated the way I was. Okay, fine! A lot of people have this story. It’s something that makes us human, a universal struggle we all face. I am glad to say that was my weakness and I got out of it.
So, how did I start seeing the best possibilities for myself by instinct?Instead of seeing the worst in everything, making excuses for myself, and saying it probably wouldn’t happen? (My usual instinct was “Poop, I can’t do this bye.”) How you say? By choosing to rewire my brain.
Shawn Achor, a professor from Harvard, calls it “The Happiness Advantage” and no matter who you are, you should really watch this video (ignore the weird music in the beginning):
This is the “happiness journal” he’s talking about, mine anyways. I call the “happiness journal” because I LOVE being dorky. You can call it the “gratitude journal” if you want, to be all sophisticated and what not.
He mentions you need 5 things in your life to become more positively minded: Noting three things you’re grateful for, journaling, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness. My journal takes care of the first two. Everyday I write three things I am grateful for and I journal about one experience within the last 24 hours that made me happy (so a positive experience). Quick and simple. Watch the video (it’s also hilarious). He explains his studies and how he’s worked with companies around the world to help their employees be happy and become more productive.
Why is this effective? You’ve attached a repeated action to it, making it more tangible. A thought is indeed powerful, but attaching something tangible to it, makes that thought stronger in your mind. Choose to be positive, make this action to align with that choice, and let it be part of your everyday. When you want a big change in your life, it’s good to keep yourself reminded and motivated with something tangible. Many people who try to lose weight put motivational quotes all over their room to keep them going. I wear a hijab, which keeps me focused on my religion (I actually wrote a whole post about this which you can read here: Wearing Hijab is Exactly Like Being A Superhero).
You’re the advocate of whatever business you decide on running. It’s your baby. In order to operate a successful business, you need to operate as the best version of you. Save yourself, save the world. I am a firm believer that by changing yourself, you can change the world. You know who else agrees with me? RUMI!
In order to succeed in business or in life in general, you need to genuinely care about the people you serve or have in your life. In order to properly take care of people, you need to take care of yourself. Broken people can’t fix broken people. You will have the strength to accomplish anything if you take care of these three things: your mind, your body, and your soul.
It’s important to keep your mind active and engaged in order to truly see the possibilities around you. This includes both what goes in it and how it works. Make sure you are surrounded by positive people who inspire you to push past your inhibitions. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Are they feeding your mind properly? TIME TO GET REAL! It’s time to reflect whether or not these people are giving you the right environment for you to grow. Do they discourage your ideas? Do they just gossip all day long? Do they never have an intellectual conversation with you? Do you get the impression they don’t want you to “surpass” them? If you said “yes” to any of that, things have gotta change! If they aren’t the people you want to be like, hate to sound evil, but they need to goand fast. Unless you like being mediocre and not living to your potential…jus’ sayin’…
Then again, maybe you have a great circle of friends, but your mind is the problem. The way your mind processes things makes your reality, so work on being more positive. Count your blessings, literally. Does that not sound like you, at all? Don’t worry, my next post will include what I do to keep on keepin’ on the positivity in my life. So, keep your eye out for it.
This is something I need to include way more in my life. When you exercise, eat healthy, and just take care of your body, you’re giving yourself the best advantage. Because what this does is it adds SO MUCH MORE ENERGY INTO YOUR LIFE. Giving your body energy, gives your mind energy. It also makes a connection between your mind and your body. It teaches you that whatever actions you make has a direct effect to you as a person. A pretty big idea, right?
I believe all humans have a spiritual side and our spirituality needs to be nourished. We all need something to feed our souls. Take a few moments every day and try to mediate. I’m Muslim and meditation is part of my daily life. In fact, I do it 5 times a day. If you’re not Muslim, this is something I also do: I like to do is sit in the elements of nature and appreciate every gust of wind that shakes the branches of trees and the way the sunlight hits the water on the lake by my house. Appreciating the beauty around you is a great way to meditate. This is so important because there will come a time when your energy is so depleted and you have to pull from something deeper. That something deeper is your soul. Strengthen your soul and it will build your endurance to take on more challenges.
Take the time to love yourself and take care of yourself; it’ll truly help you accomplish your goals…which reminds me of a really amazing line:
Save yourself, save the world. You can’t help people if you can’t help yourself. Simple. Take the steps NOW to get these parts of yourself taken care of and you’ll be amazed at how well you’ll stick to fulfilling your dreams.
Tell me what you think of the importance of taking care of these 3 things. What do you do to take care of yourself?