Are you existing or are you living?
It’s a question that really causes you to stop and reflect on past achievements, regrets, and assess your current situation to see just how invested you are in your own happiness. At the root of it, the real difference between the two (beside the connotation) has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself. Insecurity and self-doubt can prevent you from living the life that you deserve to live: a fulfilling one. Here are 5 ways to become the best you:
1. Believe in Yourself
We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for! There have been so many times that I would find myself thinking about goals and immediately shooting them down, telling myself that I just couldn’t do it. Anyone else guilty of this? Every time we limit ourselves based on what we “think” we can do, we miss an opportunity to be a little bit happier. Next thing we know, we’re living in an intangible box and all of that doubt becomes accompanied with fear. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him that gives me strength” [NIV]. It’s time to start believing that you are everything that God says you are in his word. Believe that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.
2. Create your own Style
In all my life, I have never seen more people literally obsessed with following the crowd. Point and case —the Kylie Jenner challenge. Several people ended up seriously injured trying to emulate a look that God never intended for them to have. Trust me; it is okay to not be trendy! Every unique ability, interest, and quirk is all a part of your greater purpose. So dress, talk, and enjoy life the way you want to (obviously within reason and in ways that don’t dishonor God), regardless of what other people think. You’ll be much more comfortable and whole lot happier that way.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This is a big one. A lot of the time we will see someone get married, have a baby, or just purchase something nice and we start thinking, Man I wish I had that or I wish my life was like theirs. There’s a reason that God commanded for us to not covet our neighbor. With every one of those thoughts we become a little less happy with what God has blessed us with and we make room for envy and resentment. I’ve been here before and before I knew it, I was trying to keep up with the Joneses, reaching for a lifestyle that would never truly make me happy. God’s thoughts toward us are good and he wants to give us the absolute best— in his perfect timing. Let’s face it. Anything we do outside of his timing and his will, is settling. And if we’re being 100% honest, in a time where social media stunting is the new normal, it’s very possible that the thing you’re coveting after may only be an illusion. Just smoke and mirrors to cover the same unhappiness that you’ve been feeling. Learn to appreciate where you are in life and what you already have. You’ll find that your confidence will go to a new level and life will become a lot simpler.
4. Know your Strengths
Everyone, no matter who you are, has something that they do really well. It can be something as big as speaking in front of a large group of people or something as small as organizing a closet (which is not small at all because I still struggle). Whatever it is, take it and run with it. God designed us all with unique talents and abilities intended to be used for his glory. Your strengths are directly related to your purpose in life. For example, ever since I was really young, writing has always been a strong point for me. Throughout grade school and college I made exceptional grades on every writing assignment. It’s always come naturally to me and I never really understood why. Here I am, years later, using the strength that God has given me to encourage and inspire his people. It is not by coincidence or accident that you are talented. Use those talents to live with purpose. A purpose-driven life is always a fulfilling one.
5. Follow your Passions
If you could do anything meaningful in life and money was no object, what would it be? In your answer to this question lies something that you are really passionate about. Whether it’s travel, a medical career, or volunteering with children, it’s important that you do something that makes you feel both proud and fulfilled. There’s nothing worse than watching others live out their dreams while you’re on the sideline, sitting on your hands. Make a plan, set a few goals, and set out to do what you love.
God is absolutely still working on me. But since he has pointed out these five areas that I was struggling with in my life, I’ve worked to change them and I can honestly say that I’m a much happier, much better me. Hopefully this will help some of you as well.
Is there anything else that you would add to this list?