“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it”
Hardy D. Jackson
Over the last couple of months, I’ve spoken a lot about change on my blog. Some might even say a little too much and you know what, you’re probably right. That’s all I’ve been doing. I’ve been declaring these changes about myself online but I’m yet to see them manifest offline.
I believe many of us are like that. We write a list of things we want to change (sometimes out of emotion) and the moment we put down that list, life continues as it was. We forget what those changes looked like to us in the first place. That “out of sight out of mind” mentality. Or sometimes we simply fail to really understand what would be required of us if we wanted that change.
If you’re eating burgers and ice-cream to feel comforted, relaxed and happy, trying to replace them with broccoli and carrot juice is like dealing with a leaky bathroom tap by repainting the kitchen. What’s required isn’t a better diet, but an alternative way to feel comforted and relaxed.
Now, I’m not trying to stop eating burgers and ice-cream (not sure I ever will), but I have been trying to change the way I view myself. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts then you probably know all about that. If you haven’t, feel free to catch-up (why not start here). It’s something I’ve only recently come to realise I want to change and after last week, I’m ready to do something about it. I’m ready to walk the walk.
As I thought about this I remembered an episode of Criminal Minds from last week. In that episode, Emily Prentiss shared how a two-word mantra empowered her to endure the ordeal she went through when she was held captive by a psychopath. I’m not being held by a psychopath don’t worry, but the idea of using a mantra in the way that she did appealed to me.
So, what is a mantra you ask?
A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. You may have heard it in a yoga class or on TV (like me because I don’t do yoga) as a way of focusing your thoughts and up lifting your spirit. I thought, if I wanted to see a change in myself, why not start with the way I think?
I wanted to deter my mind from going into that place where I second guess myself. That place where I feel uncomfortable being myself around other people. That place where I question my own beauty and self-worth. That place where I feel the need to please everybody else at the expense of my own happiness. That sunken place.
I no longer want to be there.
After doing a little more research and finding some useful posts here, here and here, I was inspired to create some mantras of my own. I didn’t read up too much on the spiritual side of things (not sure I want to go that deep) but I wanted to find a way to to steer my mind towards something I want. To train my mind to believe and do what I say I believe and what I say I will do.
As far as I know there are no rules to this so here we go!
“I am beautiful” – A reminder that I do not need validation from others to know my worth. What I am on the inside will reflect on the outside. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
“I come first” – A reminder that I am responsible for loving myself just as much as I’m responsible for loving others and that love is all that I owe anyone else. (Romans 13:8)
“I will do what is right for me” – Search deep within myself to confirm if this is really what I want to do or if it’s what someone else wants me to do. (Galatians 5:16 and Romans 12:2).
“I am confident in my decisions” – Have confidence that the decisions I make are my own and that I stand firmly behind them without second guessing myself. (2 Timothy 1:7 and Hebrews 13:6)
“I’ll think about it” – Give myself time to process what is being asked of me before committing to a Yes or No. If it can’t wait, then it’s not for me. (Proverbs 15:1-2).
By chanting these phrases throughout the day and visualising myself in them I’m making an agreement to honour myself. It is nobody’s responsibility to honour me. It’s mine and mine alone.
The aim here isn’t to become self-centred and narcissistic about my time and energy but to be judicious on how I spend it. To stop basing my decisions primarily on someone else’s needs and to ensure I am honouring myself every single day. The moment I feel like I’m going into that sunken place I need to remember to say these mantras out loud.
I believe that our words have power and I’m encouraging myself to use that power both online and offline. I have no idea where it will take me but I have faith that something good will come out of it.
Till next time!
Have you ever been in a similar situation before? Do you find change easy? What methods have you used to bring about this change?
Feel free to share your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comment below.