Life can be messy, no doubt about it. I have lived it and I know this to be true. Being a woman is a blessing and a curse in the sense that we are capable of so much – the only problem is that sometimes we run ourselves into the ground trying to be all things to everyone. To attend every party. To wow the boss in every meeting. To look effortlessly put together but not too put together every minute of every day. To be the best friend, roommate, wife, girlfriend and ex-girlfriend… maybe even all the above at some point in time. Is anyone else exhausted?
No one is perfect and if I’ve learned anything, trying to be perfect only leaves you feeling sub-par and in desperate need of a (solo) vacation. We all have less than superb days but it’s important that we always like ourselves despite our shortcomings. We are human, after all, so while we won’t always get it right, we sure can make a point to be a little better tomorrow than we were yesterday. Who’s with me? Here are some thoughts to guide us in our pursuit for a better self tomorrow…
Radiate Positivity. Bonnaroo has taught me many life lessons but their motto is one that sticks with me 365 days a year. Not to go all Oprah on you, but the more positives you send out to the universe the more positives you receive. You know, love and appreciate people and you’ll feel the love returned. Also, frowns result in far more wrinkles than smiles so start radiating, y’all.
Create boundaries and honor them. Ah, the big B. Boundaries are tough to establish and consistently honor because that sometimes requires saying “no” – to yourself and to others. I struggle with not wanting to sound too pushy or too selfish but find that I am my best self when I recognize where boundaries need to be and nail them down.
Practice Forgiveness. Harboring anger only hurts you, the one harboring all the anger, so let it go already! Forgive the man who obliterated your heart and make the choice to remember him fondly through all the perfect moments you shared – it’s okay to keep a part of him in your heart indefinitely. You did love him, after all. Forgive that woman who cut you off on the interstate who had the nerve to flip you off. Maybe she was was having a rough morning, and who among us hasn’t developed a little road rage thanks to spilling coffee down our dress on the way out of the house? Forgiving others, whether it’s an instant fix or takes years, is an act of strength. You hold the power.
Ignore the haters. There will always be people trying to bring you down for whatever reason – my mom has always preached that they’re jealous, and you know, I like to believe she’s right. Either way, haters are going to hate. Ignore them and do you.
Listen a little more than you talk. I know, I know. I have a lot to say too, but there is a great deal to be learned through simply tuning in to those around us. Listen carefully to what others are saying. Learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it and pay attention to those you trust.
Know what works for you. Not everyone functions best on 4 hours of sleep and just because your best friend prefers to rock a 5:15 PM workout doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you prefer to go to the 5:15 PM spin class and that is OKAY! Figure out what works for you and get after it. Don’t try to replicate someone else’s life. Discover what makes you tick and implement that as much as possible into your daily life – watch yourself be happier!
Love people. Want to be a better version of yourself? Show love to the people around you, and don’t stop at your friends and family. Be kind to that person you work with that drives the whole office nuts. Compliment a tired mom in line at Starbucks. Go old school and send out thank you notes and “just because I was thinking about you” notes. Looking beyond yourself to be kind to others and genuinely interested in them is good for your soul.
Now to bring us full circle, one final thought – you are an incredible being. Specially designed to do big things. Don’t be too hard on yourself and in the words of the Avett Brothers, “Maybe I don’t have to be good but I can try to be at least a little better than I’ve been so far.”