1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others - I see this day in, day out. These days it is becoming almost impossible to not compare yourself to others. The reason is that people get so carried away at looking at what everyone else is doing and they forget what they set out to do themselves.
So what if someone has just set up the exact business that you were planning on setting up in 6 months time? (This happened to me only two weeks ago!) Use it as motivation to set up your business to be even better than theirs. Who cares if someone says you are copying them? It takes a lot more than a good idea to set up and keep a business running.
My point is that others will keep doing what they are doing regardless of whether you are watching them or not. Keep your eyes on your prize and you will cut out all the crap in between that will slow down your progress. Work towards your goals and not anyone else's.
2. Be Ambitious But Not Afraid - Without ambitions all you have are a few ideas floating around that will never go anywhere. You have to be brave and aim higher than you need to so that you have room to fall back a few steps if necessary. If you have no ambition for yourself you have no drive behind you to better yourself. If you let your fear of failure get the better of you, you will never take the first step in getting off your feet. Reach for the stars and you might land in the clouds!
3. Be Present In The Moment - Have you ever gone to a restaurant and looked around at the other diners and noticed how many of them have their head stuck in their phones? Do you think they are enjoying being in that restaurant as much as the people at the next table who are engaging in conversation and laughing? No way! If you are not present in the moment you are simply being pushed along in a world of non reality and missing out on all the things you should be enjoying right here and now.
I'm not just talking about having your head constantly in your phone, the same goes for day dreaming when someone is talking to you, or walking along by yourself and thinking about how much better your life will be in 6 months time when you will be sunning yourself on some beach in Spain.
Being present in the moment is about being grateful for what you have right now and taking in everything that is around you. It is not about hoping and dreaming about a better life that may never happen. Once you decide to be more present in the moment you will immediately begin to appreciate all the little things that are great about your life. You will learn to love yourself more and in turn be happier.
4. Stop Worrying - This one should go without saying but unfortunately we spend so much time worrying about things that we have no control over. Studies have shown that over 80% of the time we spend worrying over something, it never even happens..... and if it did happen the outcome was much better than anticipated.
Worrying is literally a waste of time. It leads to overthinking everything and builds anxiety where it does not belong. Overthinking is the biggest cause of our unhappiness. Think about the last time you worried about something. Did the worrying help to change the outcome? How many minutes or hours did you spend worrying about what was going to happen? Could you have spent those hours doing something else that you really enjoy like reading a book or making a nice meal for your family? The day you decide to stop worrying about things is the day you set your mind free and happiness takes over.
5. Become Proactive - Don't just wait for something to happen and then react to it, be the person who made it happen! Do you want to set up your own business or are you going to wait for someone else to take your idea and then you can just be an employee of theirs? If you want something get up off your arse and do something about it.
Every day I hear people saying something like "I really wanted to get fit this year but I'll wait 'til my exams are over, or maybe after Christmas". Why? Who's stopping you from being fit during your exams or in the run up to the holidays? You are! You are putting things off because you just can't be bothered right now, or "it's not the right time", or you "will have more time in a few months", blah, blah, blah.
Snap out of it! There is nothing stopping you from getting out of bed 5 mins earlier than planned and doing 20 squats, 30 seconds plank and 30 jumping jacks. Even though it won't make you "fit" necessarily, it will make you feel like you have achieved something in the first 5 minutes of your day before you have even brushed your teeth. If you don't get to the gym that day who cares? At least you got your blood pumping first thing this morning and got those happy endorphins released!
6. Surround Yourself With Positive People - We all have that Negative Nelly friend who is great for finding out the town gossip but can you actually say you feel good after meeting up with her? Probably not. When we surround ourselves with people who inspire us and people who are genuinely happy for us we are more successful.
The most successful people in the world will all tell you that they had great mentors and great support from positive people around them. From positivity grows wonderful thoughts and amazing ideas. When was the last time you had a eureka moment? I bet it wasn't while you were feeling down in the dumps. These moments happen when we engage in conversation and become excited about ideas that we share with like minded people. No one likes to share their new idea and be told it's crap by someone. These kinds of people are usually just jealous that they didn't think of it themselves.
You will learn soon enough who you can go to for good advice and who will shoot you down without a second thought. By surrounding yourself with positive people you become a more positive person and in turn a happier person. People will like to be around you too!
7. Have Fun - There are far too many serious things in this world that sometimes mean we forget to have fun. When was the last time you had fun? It doesn't have to mean going to a theme park and getting an adrenaline rush on the rollercoasters, it can be something as simple as playing a game of cards with your family or watching a comedy with a friend and laughing out loud. Your idea of fun might not be the same as the next person but that's ok too.
There are plenty of fun things to do on your own. Think about what you love to do and make sure you have fun at least once a day. Instead of binge watching Netflix with your partner tonight why don't you give each other a back massage instead? Maybe bake some cupcakes or take a dance class together. Have a game of hide and seek, make a fort in the living room or go on a mystery road trip and see where you end up. You never know you might just have fun!
8. Forgive Yourself - You are not perfect. No one is! We have all done things in our past that we are not proud of, some things are worse than others but that doesn't mean that we have to punish ourselves for the rest of our lives for them. Maybe we messed up big time but we've paid the price for it and learned from our mistakes and now it's time to move on.
What seemed like a really big deal to you at the time probably was not half as big to anyone else and they can barely remember it now or else they have moved on. You need to do the same.
Write down what you did that you can't forgive yourself for and ask yourself this. Is it as much of a big deal now as it was then? Does the pain or embarrassment still feel the same? It has more than likely faded quite a lot since it happened and it will continue to fade over time. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for your mistake and try to move on. You are not perfect and you never will be but neither is anyone else. We learn from our mistakes and we move. It's time for you to do the same.
9. Practice The Law Of Attraction - In simple terms the law of attraction means "like attracts like". So if you want to be a Negative Nelly you will attract the gossipers, the people who thrive on drama and what went wrong for someone else. Luckily the same thing happens for positivity!
Get into the habit for being aware of your thoughts and actions and turning them into positive experiences whenever possible.
- Visualize the days events unfolding in a positive way. If everything was to go great today how would that happen? What would it look like? How would you feel?
- Pick a goal for the day, the week, the year and focus on it so much that it becomes a reality (be realistic here, you can't make winning the lotto your goal for the day!).
- Repeat positive affirmations out loud. Say things like "I am choosing to be happy today". It may feel silly at first but saying things out loud somehow makes our brain believe them more.
- Be kind to everyone you meet. It is so easy to be kind yet we forget to do it more often than not because we are so engrossed in our own feelings. Have you ever made a judgement about someone you just met and treated them one way, only to learn that they are dying of a life threatening illness and suddenly you treat them completely differently? No matter how well you think you know someone, you don't know what is really going on in their lives. Be kind as much as possible and people will be kind to you too.
- Spread positivity. Watch what you talk about tomorrow and ask yourself if you could have said something in a more positive light or not said that last negative comment about that person. If you start speaking positively about others so will the people you are speaking to. Others will speak positively about you and enjoy being around you.
- Finally, reflect on your day. Before you go to bed each night, think about what you enjoyed about your day, what you might have done differently in hindsight and what you will put into practice in the future. This gives our brain a chance to catch up with our thoughts and revise what we have learned. Soon it will become natural to think positively about things and spread positivity everywhere we go (without sounding like a preacher!).
10. Respect Everyone - I touched on this slightly in the last point. Respect is earned, it is not just given. However, that doesn't mean you can't show respect to everyone you meet on a daily basis. You are not better than anyone else and no one else is better than you.
It is never okay to talk down to someone who is trying to do their job just because you don't like what the rules or regulations are. Chances are they have had someone else talk down to them already today and they do not need you to add more negativity. If you feel like you can't be respectful to someone remove yourself from the situation and calm down. By showing respect to others you gain their respect in turn as well as feeling happier about yourself and more confident in meeting new people.
By practising these steps on a daily basis you will see a major improvement in your overall happiness and life in general. Whatever life throws at you you are well able to handle it and will come out fighting every single time! Go get 'em!