As the year is coming to a close and I am turning a new page in my life, I am ready to draft the resolution for 2019. The thing is that in Russia we have a nice tradition of writing down the wishes for the upcoming year, while the clock strikes midnight, and then burn it and drop it in your glass of champagne so that your wishes will come true. I know you are thinking this is crazy or just another superstition, but trust me it really works. For the past decade, I have made the same wish all over again, and every year I faced disappointment. Last year, I made a different wish and finally got what I wished for all these years in the past. I think it just goes to show that life gives you what you need when you need it most, even if you may not know it. It also goes to show that if you wish for something really hard, the forces that drive our lives make our dreams come true.
So, whilst I have decided to walk into 2019 with no expectations and my wishlist being limited to two items: happiness and health for my loved ones. I am walking into 2019 with a resolution to be better, to be fearless of being outside of my comfort zone, and this is what the list essentially comes to:
1. Apply for a job that I think I am not qualified for
2. Try something new each month, that I have never done before (dance class, fly a kite, writer's retreat, etc.)
3. Make amends and be forgiving
4. Less shopping (if at all possible, maybe it can be my something new each month)
5. Talk to a stranger in a coffee shop or a bookshop
6. Meet more people in person and delete my Tinder, Match.com, Bumble accounts - yes, I have all of the above and definitely #noshame
7. Let go of fear
8. Make at least a few steps in getting closer to starting your own business
9. Be more daring
10.Take more risks
11. Be more financially liable = less shopping
12. Make a difference at least in one's person life - leave a footprint/impact in someone's life
13. Travel more: alone or with someone
14. Forget the past and move on to the future and remember to live in the present
15. Stop making plans, and live day by day
16. Fall in love
17. Finally Find Myself - FFM
So, here is my draft resolution for 2019 - what about you?
It is slightly over a month before Christmas and New Years, and here I am sitting in a coffee shop with no idea what is going to happen in the coming months. My entire world is about to change and there is that "warm and fuzzy" feeling of excitement and fear blended together. I have now decided to take life into my own hands and finally take a leap of faith. Faith in myself, first of all, and believe that I am capable of becoming someone on my own: starting my own business perhaps or perhaps simply moving away for a few years. I have realised that it is now time to stop making a living and start making a life that counts. I was inspired by a few incredible women who have let go of their fear and have build up their own empires or maybe small business for a start and I want to be standing right by their side.
Am I scared? Yes, terrified to pieces with no idea of what is coming next. Yet when I put my feelings on a balance, the feeling of excitement outweighs the feeling of fear by far.
With nothing holding me back here in Switzerland, I am finally free to fly and my destination list is too vast, so where should I start?
Indeed, I am very tempted on going on an Eat Pray Love adventure, but I am not there just yet. For now,
The list is endless and luckily I have the time on my hands. I have been also thinking of just flying somewhere, anywhere, and building my life there from scratch. It is an incredible feeling knowing that your life can take any turn you want it to take.
The thing is that although, I do not know where I am going, I know that I am on the right path and I could not be more thrilled about the new adventures.
"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached." Mike Huckabee
*I do not own any rights to the image below, the image is used for the blog purpose only
We live in the shadow of our own fears and dreams. Sometimes, however, you need to take the leap of faith and trust that you are making the right choices. It is absolutely normal to fear the change and the challenge ahead of you and yet you have to remind yourself that it worth taking the risk.
Last week, I met a someone who has told me an inspiring story: he quit his job and decided to pursue his dream and passion of becoming a videographer or as he calls it a creator of moving images. The story is inspiring as he is bringing to life his dream and facing the challenges as they come, he is stepping over to the side, where he is no longer employed in a job but is following his passion.
It is normal to feel doubtful, insecure and unsure about the next steps but it is important to have a strong support system in form of family or friends that believe in you. You are lucky if you have that. Should you find yourself facing this alone, please do not let it stop you from going forward. Think about it this way: you being alone means you can learn from your own mistakes, make new friends along the way and make your dream a reality.
I am also inspired by the recent film "The Greatest Showman" - it is a film that touches upon a very important topic that we are all concerned by: secrets and insecurities - feeling comfortable with yourself and being able to never give up and pursue your dreams. So, ask yourself what would you do if you would decide to pursue your dream - what would it be?
When I was asked this question, I was surprisingly out of words for a minute and then ideas started flying around the room bouncing off the walls. So, by talking about this and opening up about my dreams and hopes for the future, I realised two things a) my ideas are actually worth pursuing and are not stupid as I thought they might be b) I need to structure and focus my thoughts because at the moment these are just a list of ideas. Lesson learned: do not be afraid to talk about your dreams and hear feedback, learn from this feedback and take into account for your next steps.
I am still learning how to overcome the fear in the process and there will be more posts coming on that. Nonetheless, one step in overcoming your fear of pursuing your dreams is to let go of the insecurity thinking that you are not good enough because this is the biggest con in history. You are good enough, you are unique in your own way and you have so much to offer to the world and you do not even know it yet.
So here are a few quotes from "The Greatest Showman" that could be little reminders for you and give you a little encouragement:
Step 6: Attitude & Perspective
I have embarked on this journey to a make over and one of the things that has once again come to my attention is attitude. Attitude towards this change: how do I perceive the change? How do I learn from mistakes that I have made? What do I take away from this experience? Also, attitude, towards my colleagues, friends and family, as well as the attitude towards the situations that I face daily. Perspective: is another thing has re-surfaced to my attention recently. We perceive same situations differently based on our backgrounds, upbringing, culture, values or bias etc. and it is important that we do not loose the sight of perspectives.
It is amazing how much attitude can change the entire situation because at the end of the day it is all about how we perceive things. In a way, attitude can set a certain tone to your behaviour and actions and keeping a positive and respectful stand in any situation cannot be underestimated. The question really is: how do you know what is the right path to take?
We are all human and we all make mistakes, and if you choose to learn from your mistakes then you will be less upset in the first place that you made a mistake. Also we have to accept that we are human and mistakes happen. If you have a problem, or an issue, and are challenged because it seems like there is no solution - think again and change your perspective and thinking. Look at the situation from a different angle. If you have worked hard on something and last minute changes happened that have completely overthrown your previous work and you have to start from scratch in the limited time span - do not start swearing off everything and everyone you know. If you think that it was probably for a reason and this situation has made you be more creative in a limited time, you probably took away and learnt more from this experience.
You know the saying "mind over matter" - it is true and it is all about the attitude and perspective. So, how do we change our perspective/attitude or thinking. It does not happen overnight but here are a few steps that have helped me and might be useful for you too:
So what is it that you perceive?
Step 5: Learning to Forgive
Forgiveness is often seen as a sign of weakness or an act of good heart and the importance of forgiveness is underestimated. One thing I learned in this couple of weeks is that you forgive someone for you and not for them. Holding a grudge or seeking revenge hurts you more than them. The person who hurt you, walks away I to thin air continuing their life as it was and perhaps they are hurt to but that’s their personal feeling that you can’t change.
What you can do is forgive and let your heart be in peace. Yes, with time it will be easier to forgive and eventually to let go but it’s important to say « I forgive you ». It is equally important to say « I am sorry » and there’s nothing shameful in that but this shouldn’t be expected of the other person. Just because you would do it for someone doesn’t mean they’d do the same for you, so let go of any expectations. In fact, let go of any expectations and you will have a happier life.
What happens when you finally forgive someone?
You can breathe again. There is no heavy cloud overshadowing your thoughts. You stop caring about their lives and what is happening because for you, the issue is resolved and you are able to move on.
What happens when you hold on to the feeling of pain?
You feel pain in your chest, have trouble sleeping, overtaking, panic attacks (as happened in my case) and your heart might be seeking vengeance. It is like you have to prove something to the other person, but why? You do not ever have to prove anything to anyone - you may not even be in the wrong at all, so why waste time and energy on something that is not worth it?
So if you are ever at this point in your life, just ask yourself: Is it worth wasting more time on someone or something that has brought you pain?
The situation is only as important as you make it be, so keep that in mind - it helps you to move on to something new. We give importance to the situation by talking about it all the time, bringing it up randomly in conversations, and simply doubting your own decision over this situation. Let go of any thoughts, your time is better spent when focusing on something that matters more. Mind over matter.
Personally, I have realized it was time to let go of any loose ends and start fresh completely. Even though, someone wise told me that I am perhaps still holding on a little bit to the pain in my heart, and he might be right. They say, time heals all wounds, right?
Learning to forgive takes time and a lot of reflection and when you reach that point, you have reached a certain milestone in your life, a new level of maturity and understanding.
I am into week 3 of this make over and feeling much happier, calmer, relieved and learning how to take things slow.
Step 4: Keep Yourself Occupied
As part of this endeavour, I have realised the importance of keeping yourself occupied. When I was little my parents made sure that after school, I had extra curricular activities such as language school, dancing, music classes, aerobics. At a time, I thought this was just to make sure that I do not hang with the wrong gang and get mixed up in something. Well, it is the same when you are grown up except you have to keep you own schedule up to date.
In light of the recent events and in attempt of becoming a better person, friend, colleagues and simply in an attempt to a make over of my lifestyle, I have started to find ways to keep myself occupied and active in more than one ways.
Why do I think it is important?
Well first of all, when your mind is occupied, it has less time to dwell on things and to indulge in any negative thoughts or overthinking. For some people, work takes priority - their main occupation is job and they work 24/7. Although, I am not supportive of taking your work home approach, it is definitely one way to keep your mind off things. Other people, choose sports and live in the gym after work - sports helps to release all energy and clear your mind be it by running by the lake or by simply going to the gym. Some others may sign up for extra courses or workshops after work to enhance their qualifications and focus on learning new things.
What is my strategy?
What are other ways to keep yourself occupied? Just a few ideas, here below...
Step 3: Nutrition Plan
For this step of the plan to a make over, most people would see a nutritionist first. I decided to take a slightly different approach: a) I came up with my own nutrition plan b) I am going to see a nutritionist in the coming months so that we can fine tune the nutrition plan and see what is missing. So how did I come up with my own nutrition plan and why.
I have reached a point in my life when I needed a cleanse from any junk food as well. As I said these are the steps to a full cleanse: body and soul. Some of you may wonder if weight loss is the primary goal of this steps, well no, the primary goal is to feel healthier and to have a different lifestyle to what I used to have. The eating habits and some of my other lifestyle choices clearly were not working for me before, so it is time for a change. To answer the question how I came up with a nutrition plan, well I have decided to eliminate anything that I felt was saturating my diet and in one case, in particular, I even had to given my favourite coffee shop. So here is what I have removed from my nutrition:
The nutrition plan does have room for a cheat day. I have picked Sunday as my cheat day and I can select one of the items listed above that I have removed from my daily nutrition.
I have implemented this nutrition plan for myself two weeks ago, and I am already feeling much better and healthier. I am tempted to cheat sometimes, I admit, but then I remember that I have made a decision, made a choice and that I am doing this for my own wellbeing. This year, I have truly realised once again, it is like I never learn, that your wellbeing comes before anything else.
Step 2: Social Media Cleanse
We live in a world of virtual interactions and somewhere along the way we have lost the sense of reality. Every moment is not only captured but also available to our friends and sometimes even strangers for display. I am an Instagram addict myself and am not planning on leaving Instagram but I am planning on reducing its usage and also on keeping it private from strangers. On one hand, you may laugh at me and say "well, it's already online so how can we even talk about privacy" - and you'd be right to do so. However, in the past year I have come across a few cases of jinx. It has become almost too easy for us to compare lives over Instagram or Facebook and perhaps it is only normal for feelings like jealousy to come along. So, I have decided to go through a social media cleanse.
This does not mean that I am giving up social media, it really just is cleaning up my account because in all honesty do I really need over 200 followers or 400 friends on Facebook? So, here is what I did:
Step 1: The power of your language
I have recently started to take a different approach to life and have a more positive attitude and mindset towards situations in my life. I have undertaken a new policy in nutrition, activities and also paying closer attention to the language and the words I use daily. In the next series of posts you will be able to witness and see these changes:
It is amazing how much words matter and how they can influence our communication skills. So here are some changes I have made so far, I keep adding something new to the list each day:
Some of you might wonder what happened, as I haven't written in a long while and all of a sudden boom one post after another. Well, I have heard it before that when one part of your life goes a-wall, the other part suddenly blossoms. I will leave this to your interpretation.
Today, I'd like us to talk about change. Heraclitus once wrote "The only thing that is constant is change", and although we recognise the truth in this - we struggle to accept it. Over the years we grow and develop our personalities, for better or for worse - let life be the judge of that. Yet we go through a life change, we meet different people on our way and we learn from such friendships, relationships, heart breaks, family reunions, career trial and errors and so on. We sometimes start on a journey to study one subject and halfway through realise that we are not made for this and change our mind. All of these decisions and things are absolutely normal, so why do we always doubt ourselves and are so reluctant to accept change?
Our life is not pre-set in stone and if we decide to go off trail for a while to pursue something else instead, than why not? At the end of the day if something is supposed to happen in your life it will and you might take a longer route to get there - but you will get there nonetheless. In your life, you will meet people that come to you with a temporary mission: to teach you something or to make you realise something and once the mission is complete, your lives will go separate ways. Sometimes we call this "outgrowing each other". Oh the number of times I have heard this phrase: "I have outgrown him." or "I feel like I have changed and he has not" - well it is not true because we all change and yes, some changes are more evident than others but the fact is that we all grow or alter our behaviour.
These changes are caused by our experiences, or behavioural patterns. In a healthy relationship with your significant other, you would ideally grow together: reach certain milestones together e.g. move in, have career promotions, or encourage each other to pursue the studies, decide to start a family, and so on - the list is endless. However, if a) we are unable to accept changes in our partners or support their new decisions and b) do not have the same timeline for events (he is ready to propose and you are still daydreaming about potential career paths and not ready for a family at all) - then you will be in a pickle.
At work, very often when a new strategy is introduced, you will always find people that are reluctant to accept the change. Why? Well why change something that is already working, right? In fact, you have to regard change as a possibility to make an improvement be it in processes or in yourself. Change is good and we have to learn to accept it regardless of what it may bring. Yes, it is scary because you do not know what is coming next - you are stepping outside of your comfort zone and you are entering the unknown. Just think about this for a moment though: what once was unknown, will soon become daily routine.