“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
Wherever you are now on your journey of life, your achievements brought you here and you‘ve also overcome some mistakes. In your future are your (as yet) unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. What have you done or achieved that you’re proud of – really proud of? Maybe it’s silently hugging yourself proud or boasting to your mates proud or even punching the air YES! proud. Whatever they are write a list of at least five things you’ve done that you’re proud of. Your list could include raising an amazing family, getting that promotion, supporting your friends, starting your own business, writing a story or running your first 5k! There’s no judgement here – just put your best achievements, as you see them, onto your list. This list will be useful to come back to any time you’re not feeling great. Use it to give yourself a boost.
Now think about what else you would like to do, that you haven’t yet done or achieved. Don’t restrict yourself by only writing things that seem reasonable or sensible – dream big if you want to! Write these down as another list of five things (or more if you want to).
Positive and Negative Factors
Your life is a journey and on any journey there are factors that can help us move forward or barriers that can get in our way. What are the positive factors and influences that are helping you on your journey? What adds meaning and what smooths your ride? Write down as many as you can think of. Include factors and influences within you as well as those outside of yourself.
Now write down the barriers or negative influences that could be getting in your way or slowing down your progress. What are the forces that throw you off route? What frictions or counter-currents delay or slow down your progress? List anything that’s standing in your way.
Time to Take Control
Here’s the fun bit! Look at how many of those barriers or frictions you can actually influence, to shift out of your way. You can’t change your genes or make yourself younger, but you can affect or change pretty much everything else, including your attitude to how you deal with what other people think of you.
There may be constraints in how much you can modify the world around you or change things about yourself, such as a disability or medical condition. But you can influence and change your outlook, attitude, approach, opinion, thoughts or point of view towards these issues. Your mental attitude is under your control and is a powerful ally when it’s working positively for you.
What do you want to be different about your mind-set? What do you want to change about how you think and feel about yourself? Take some time to consider what you have the power to change.
Qualities and Strengths
We all feel more productive and confident when we are using our strengths and making the most of the best of ourselves. You’re more likely to achieve your goals when you use your best qualities and strengths to work towards them. So knowing your strengths and qualities is a powerful positive influence for achievement.
Grab a piece of paper and make a list of all your strengths. Don’t be shy – this list is for you – include everything you can think of. If anyone ever said “You’re so good at …” or “You make that look so easy” put these things on your list. Include in the list your positive qualities as well – like patience, tolerance or courage. See how much of the paper you can fill up.
If you run dry ask friends, family or colleagues what they think you’re really good at. Also remember if you had a strength or quality in the past you can still own that and draw on it now, so make sure it’s added to the list, even if you haven’t used it for a while.
Just pause and notice your strengths and positive qualities. Now let’s put them to work. Go back to the things you want to achieve and search through your list for the strengths and qualities that you can use to take the first steps toward those goals or ambitions. Search particularly for the strengths and qualities you maybe haven’t used in a while which can become partners in achieving your goals. Also notice where your strengths and positive qualities can help you to overcome the negative influences or barriers you noted earlier.