You can work as hard as you want, you can impress as many people as you please, but are you okay? Are you satisfied with who you are as a person? Are you living up to your full potential and doing your part in society? No one can answer those questions except ourselves, so why do we look for validation from others in order to feel better?
It’s natural that we seek out help and inspiration from external factors. In fact, we spend too much time regarding what others are doing in order to take our next step. We use other people’s success and failures as benchmarks of our own. It’s much easier to compare ourselves to others, rather than compare ourselves to what we have the capacity to be and fill in the gaps from there because it requires hard work, consistent introspection, and sacrificing our ego.
We often turn a blind eye on the fact that some people tend to portray an ideal picture of themselves on the surface, but with time we may find that they are not who they really seem, it’s actually an image of them that we’ve projected based on shallow appearances, and qualities that we’d like to encompass within ourselves.
What if we told you that comparing yourself to others means you’re actually limiting yourself and what you have the capacity to become, because most of your energy is wasted on trying to level up to someone you drew your own picture of, when you can instead be investing that precious energy in building your true authentic self.
As part of our innate habits and behaviors, we are more comfortable with seeing the worst-case scenarios first. We are quickly affected by criticism more than we would by praise. We believe the negative, a lot faster than accepting the positive, and that is often draining. The problem lies in limiting ourselves with the excuse of our current circumstances, rather than working with them. We believe we don’t have much control over the actions we need to take in our lives because of those apparent or maybe even imagined barriers, so we try to settle with what or who is easily within reach around us. The good news here is that there are ways to direct these thoughts and obstacles into standards we set for ourselves, and therefore, navigate and take actions accordingly.
So how can you break away from the systematic habit of building your own identity based on external influences and circumstances?
The secret of it all lies in managing your own energy.
This may sound easier said than done, but it’s actually more attainable than you think, it just requires dedication and consistent source of motivation.
At ideas group and across our workshops, we tackle 4 bodies that pertain to our energy levels:
The emotional body
The mental body
The biological body
And the spiritual body, or otherwise, inner journey.
The goal is to harmonize all these bodies by paying attention to each in order to gain a much-needed balance that will set you on a wholesome path towards your best self. Let’s start with some highlights to kick-off this process.
Get a handle on your emotions
We’re human beings controlled by chemical releases that we barely have any understanding of, and our emotions can be a whirlwind that can make us believe everything is ending in a certain moment in time, but the mistake here is making permanent assumptions based on temporary feelings. Gain better control of your emotions by understanding them before acting upon them. Are you angry? that’s fine… embrace it. You may have all the right to be, though make sure your anger isn’t being expressed in all the wrong places, but rather being released by acknowledging it first. Try to get a grasp on what triggers your emotions and reactions and regulate your actions accordingly.
Tip for emotional handling: Turn to deep breathing for help, take a walk in nature, or divert your attention to something that nurtures you. Some time out and contemplation can do wonders. You can also always break a few plates in your private space if that’s something that works for you.
Set your priorities straight.
We all have responsibilities, a lot of them are critical to our survival and can’t be avoided. once you realize what the most important aspects of your life are, whether its family or health, you will naturally direct your attention on what needs your energy most. This means sacrificing what doesn’t. Discern the things that help you with those that don’t. If you feel you’re dedicating too much time on something that is draining you and isn’t giving you much in return, have the courage to walk away from it. Think about the things you cannot live without and nurture them.
Tip for mental handling: You don’t necessarily have to live your life based on agendas or to do lists, but a set of goals or a vision board could help you envision where you want to be and is a good reminder to stay on track. Communicate your priorities to your friends and loved ones so they don’t sidetrack you.
Watch what you’re fueling yourself with.
Are you inducing the right additives into your body for it to perform at its highest potential?
Whether you notice it or not, unhealthy foods can really deplete your energy levels, meanwhile raw and natural foods will greatly contribute to your vitality. Pay attention to how your body responds after eating certain foods. The more acidic your body is the less energetic you are going to feel. Try to alkalize as much as possible by having less caffeine and more water, less sugar and more greens. Needless to say and as many studies have shown, exercise will make you happier, less stressed, and more mentally focused.
Tip for biological handling: Start small, make clean-eating a habit and actually enjoy it. You can always spoil yourself with whatever else you like every once in a while. Try to get at least some kind of physical movement every day for at least 30mins, and aim to move it up to an hour. Do this ‘homework’ for 10 days as a challenge, extend it up to 21 days once it’s done, and you’ve developed a new habit.
Distribute your passions.
Do more of the things you love. Is it hanging out with friends? Is it staying on your couch all day? We all have our own habits that help us detach from heavy responsibilities. Ask yourself, what are you good at? What is it that brings more light into your life? What is it that puts a smile on your face?
Our passions might not make sense to anyone around us, but they do make sense to the person we strive to become so tap back into that person. When you don’t give the things you are passionate about enough attention, you’re not feeding your motivation. You can be doing ten things a day and feel drained, but you can also be doing them while feeling energized at the end of the day. Finding your passions can lead to building on your purpose. Refer to our social media post on ikigai: The reason for being.
Tip for your inner journey: Explore as many things as you con, some activities may turn out to be a vocation, while others might turn into amazing hobbies that will raise your energy levels while breaking you out from your weekly routine.
At the root of it all, you don’t want to be told who to be, you want to feel good about yourself, and to match up to no one but yourself. It’s a challenging world out there and competition is ever-present, and this can get pretty overbearing… but remember each person is set on their own path, purpose, and experiences and so are you. Don’t allow others to misguide you with their own timelines so you feel rushed to become something or someone you are not.
At the end of the day, you’re only as good as you feel. You can be regarded as the most successful person by society but deep down, when your energy is out of place and you’re dissatisfied in other areas of your life, you will always feel a lack within yourself and that means you’re not managing your energy well enough. It’s time to take back your power by nurturing and maintaining your own wellness.