Friday, September 14, 2018

How I am Bettering Myself

Sweater// Jeans (old, similar, similar)
Handbag// Lip Color (in babe)

Today I am getting a little introspective and sharing some deeper feelings. I'm chatting about self-love and self-awareness. I think self-love is extremely important. 

Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever really struggled with it. Not to make me sound like a narcissist! It's just that I have never really questioned who I am. I feel like of course there are things I would love to change about myself or work on, but for the most part, I am happy and comfortable as Sydney and have always had a sense of who I am. Sure, at times, I've felt confused or down or unsure. I've also grown and changed throughout my life and know that will only continue! But for the most part,  I've kept my self-esteem leveled and (for the most part) I am and have always been happy (which has always been a choice- but that's another story for another day). 

One of the things that I have done in the past few years is making a mental list of the things I don't love about myself. For a while, I didn't even realize I was doing this! I'm not talking about beating myself up inside, but more so giving myself constructive criticism. I target the things I knew I could work on and in turn would better me as a person. I am always trying to better myself and I know I will forever be a work in progress and that's fine by me!

I thought I would share some of the things I don't love about myself and how I've worked to change these things! I think it is always important to be self-aware and that is the first step. The second step is to treat yourself with kindness. The criticism in your head needs to be constructive and for the better. You can't just be thinking 'I'm not good enough', 'I'm fat', etc. Those thoughts will only bring you down!!

Being more flexible. 
This is one that I have been working on for years. I am somewhat rigid and I know that can be hard to deal with not only for myself by for others, too. I'm leaps and bounds more flexible now than I was even just a few years ago. In fact, now, I'd even venture to say that some would consider me flexible. This was a long road, but I knew that life throws curves. Even little things like a rainy day could warrant flexibility and in the past, I may have freaked out, but now I know 'in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. There's always tomorrow.' 

Being more active. 
This is SO different than thinking 'I am flabby', 'I am fat', 'I hate my body'. This is me saying I need to get outside, move more. Not to lose weight, not to get toned (these would be bonuses and great side effects), but because it's good for me. It's good for my body, mind, etc. Getting older, my health is important and increasingly top of mind each day. When I got Henry, it got me excited that I would become more active and sure enough, I did. I take him on longs walks and I love that it not only benefits me but also him! I've also been trying to do different things like going to the driving range, going to a trampoline park, etc. They're not workouts but they're just fun activities that keep me moving! 

Wasting time. 
This one can still be said of me today and I think it will always be a work in progress for me. I talked about this in my Productivity post, here. With social media and Netflix and more, there is just so much media to consume. It's hard to shut it down. Think about all the time you spend watching instastories, binging TV shows, etc. Successful people are not consuming as much because they are spending more time creating. This is such a basic concept! I've created windows where I allow myself to consume and when those windows are ended, it's over. It's a little like a diet! Even if I do have some downtime, now, I start to read a book or clean my apartment, etc. It's just realizing that too much media consumption is a pure waste of my time. 

Drinking more water. 
I think the first step was cutting out diet coke. When I was in college, we had these cups that we carried around campus. It enabled us to walk into any dining hall and fill up our drinks for free and also was supposed to cut back on the waste from paper/plastic/etc. Well, this lead to my Diet Coke habit. I would have several each day. Several. As soon as I graduated from college, I made a point to cease all Diet Coke. In the past several years, I drink Diet Coke occasionally (maybe once a month), but for the most part, I stick to water. You can see I have been working on this for a while because I have written a lot of posts on this topic! I've been so much better about drinking more water and I am proud of myself. 

Be accepting of aging. 
Aging is a very weird thing. It's things you notice not just physically but mentally and in the world around you. It's hard to see those fine lines start to pop up. It's hard to see people pass away. It's hard not being able to connect with certain friends because you're at such different life stages. But the thing is, it's change and it's inevitable and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This troubles me from time to time and when I get down because of it, this is when I really remind myself that I need to be accepting and choose to be happy! 

Being kinder. 
I don't want you to think I am mean. In fact, I would like to think that most people in my circle find me to be kind. But I want to be kinder. You can always be kinder. I think life is tough and hard and the more kindness, the better you make your life and others'. It's not just being kind to those you know. It's being kind to anyone and everyone you encounter. I really work to smile at everyone and be open and friendly. I try to help if I see a need for it. Even if you just see someone struggling with carrying all of their groceries or maybe their Starbucks app won't load and you cover their coffee. It's small acts that can brighten people's days and it's so easy. Not to mention, I really think it enriches my life by being kind, too. And even better, I hope that if people see me being kind, they will too! 

Overcoming fears. 
This is something that runs deep within me. I am terrified of medical situations/doctors/needles. It is an irrational fear but it affects me and has all my life. It's not a casual fear. It's something I will be working on for as long as I live but I know the fear is there and my family and friends do, too. This fear is kind of ironic because I have had so many stitches in my life from accidents! Sometimes even the smallest steps to overcome something that feels all-consuming can be a real accomplishment.

Setting financial goals. 
I've always been a good saver. I have always set financial goals and have always met them. I'm disciplined with that. But I really wanted to get into investments. Not for retirement but separate just as something extra to have. It's just not something I ever got around to doing until the past year. I finally made it a priority and am so glad I did. I love reading books about types of investments, I follow the news because I know how much it affects my investments. It's fun for me but I know it will also be a nice addition to my already lofty financial goals! It's also fun to see how this has changed my shopping habits. I buy fewer designer shoes/accessories because I know that means more I can contribute to my investments each month! Compounding interest is a very powerful thing and such a great motivator. 

Remembering people's names. 
I am the WORST at this. It's such a bad (and sometimes embarrassing) flaw. I work on this in every social situation where I am meeting new people. I employ tricks and everything, but yet I still forget. This is still a work in progress for sure. 

Be grateful. 
This is another thing I am always working on. I think in today's 'go go go' world, it's hard to pause and really reflect on the life you are living. Every night before bed, I try to name 3 things I am grateful for from that day. Sometimes I forget or fall asleep too quickly, but it's a good time to be able to practice gratitude. I believe that no matter what you are dealt with in life, you can always find something, anything to be grateful for.

Be accepting of things less than expected. 
I wasn't sure how to word this, but I like what I like. I know what I like and I tend to put myself in situations that I like. Does that make sense? When I get myself into situations that I don't like, I tend to flee or get really uncomfortable. This is something I have recently noted about myself. I want to be more open to experiences that are not what I expect. I need to work on being more comfortable outside of my comfort zone. 

Do you find yourself trying to work on things? Do you make mental notes on things you want to work on? I think the most important part is that you love yourself and love yourself because you know you are always working on yourself!


Laura Baker said...

LOVE this post! Lots of very meaningful things to work on, and great inspiration for myself, too! One thing I'm trying to work on is remembering that in the long run, very few things truly "matter." Not to say that there aren't very importing things going on in life at all times, but all the little things that bother me or trip me up on a daily basis won't matter in a year, or even a DAY from now. I tend to dwell on things that really DO NOT matter, so I'm working on letting things slide off and focus on what's really important. No matter what happens, everything always works out in the end!

Kelly said...

I love this!!! I go through seasons of being hyper-critical of myself and then the pendulum swings the other direction and I'm gracious and kind. I wish it would swing in the gracious direction more often! I'm trying to be more self-aware in general nowadays -- there are many things I have blinders on about that I'm working on facing headfirst. I'm with you on the avoiding situations I'm uncomfortable in (perhaps my worst quality is a tendency to overindulge in alcohol in social settings where I'm uncomfortable; it's a very unhealthy form of escapism and NEVER improves the situation... yikes!). I did the Enneagram test a year ago and it even remarked upon people with my personality having a tendency to avoid negative emotions and discomfort. All part of the journey! I'm actually looking into going to a therapist this fall to help fine-tune some of that self-awareness and work on more of the roots of negative behaviors I have. Thank you for sharing!!!

Ahly said...

I can definitely relate to NOT being flexible. I love having my set plans and schedule and sticking to them, but have be trying to be a bit more flexible for the sake of my friends :) Do you recommend any books about finance and investments? I feel like I try to research and understand the the finance language but get confused and give up!

Melissa said...

I can certainly relate to need to learn to be more flexible . As the years grow future from being out of college and friends from over the years are in various stages of life, I've learned that you definitely have to be more flexible. It's not always easy when plans change last minute or having to go with the flow. But the more and more I do it, the easier it gets. Thanks for sharing such a personal post. It's always nice to know that others are dealing with similar situations.

kristin said...

I can relate to so many of these. Thanks for sharing how you’re approaching these things you want to work on. I’m motivated to improve right along with you!

niamaria said...

what an excellent post!! I only had a chance to skim it but I found so much value in the small section I read. I'm very excited to dive deeper into this post when I'm home for the evening and implement some of these goals in my life. Thanks for gently encouraging us all to be better! Lots of love!


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