Studies have shown that the desire to avoid pain is stronger than the desire to move towards pleasure. This is why it’s often the case that we find ourselves entangled in coping mechanisms to avoid pain and fear instead of focusing on filling our lives up with things that make us feel purely nourished, alive and happy.
This means that your natural instinct is not to surrender to your own greatness, but to avoid falling prey to pain. For many people, it’s too easy to spend their entire lives concentrating on surface level stuff like obsessing over their bank account, their food, their body, their reputation, their wardrobe, and so on.
It takes conscious effort to surrender to your own greatness. You have to wake up every damn morning and tell yourself, “TODAY I’M SURRENDERING TO MY OWN GREATNESS,” or else you’ll continue to avoid anything that looks, smells or feels like a risk.
Here are 5 ways I’ve learned to consciously bring out my best, instead of hiding away hoping to cover up my worst:
1. Accept that you have greatness inside
The first key is to come to terms with the fact that yes, you’re great. You don’t need to be a famous performer or a life-changing motivational speaker in order to make a difference in this world. You can make an impact in somebody else’s life today in the line at your favourite coffee shop by acknowledging somebody’s existence. Never underestimate the power of your beating heart.
Accept the fact that you have a purpose on this planet if you really want to make a difference. Stop using shame as a mechanism to change yourself because that never works. Instead, fuel yourself by waking up every day and telling yourself that you’re effin’ unstoppable.
2. Stop using shame as a motivator for self-growth
Like I briefly touched on in the last point, shame is not an effective motivator for personal growth. If you’ve been trying to shame yourself into changing, I’ve got to ask you: how is that working out?
Shame is an unavoidable emotion. Don’t try to turn it off, because that won’t work at all. Instead, use your shame to avoid it using you. Be motivated by your shame to share and empathize with others. Chances are if you’re holding shame in some area of your life, somebody else is too. Shame can’t survive being spoken, so speak up to get shame to shut up. Don’t use it as a motivator to change yourself, but use it as a motivator to change the world.
3. Don’t wait for permission
You do not need permission from the world, your parents, your friends, or your boss in order to do anything. If you feel a calling (and we get many of them in our lifetime), you have absolutely every right to go after it regardless of what people think.
When I first wanted to quit my job and start my own business, how many people do you think said that it was a great idea and worth the risk?
(because risks are scary to most people, y’all!)
Sure, I had a few people say, “Oh that would be cool!” but I mainly received raised eyebrows and looks of concern. People would look at me as if I was a doughy-eyed, dreamy puppy, naïve of the world and its many disappointments.
In reality, I just knew what I wanted. I wanted to be my own boss, have freedom with my schedule, and make a big impact in the world. I wanted it so badly, I knew that I had to stay laser-focused on the big picture and not let others’ concerns distract me.
That was the best decision I ever made.
And what happened after I made that decision was incredible. I started to attract other people in my life that also took risks. I started to manifest strong, supportive friendships and opportunities. Doors began to open. I met the type of people I wanted to be more like. It was incredible.
What do you want in your life that you don’t feel like you’re receiving peer support for? Do it anyways.
4. Brag, and don’t feel guilty about it
Stop downplaying your greatness. Big or small, I want you to accept compliments throughout your day given by others, and even start to give yourself them. Celebrate your qualities, wins and accomplishments. Celebrate the mere fact that you got out of bed this morning. #winning
Celebrate the fact that you have dreams. You don’t need to make them “come true” to celebrate them.
Celebrate the fact that you have a life. You have a body, a mind, and a soul. Find any reason to celebrate and be grateful today.
The next time somebody else compliments you, don’t say, “Oh this old thing?” or “Ah, thanks but I’m really not that good at XYZ.”
Allow yourself to receive the compliment. After all, you can’t truly give until you’ve learned to receive.
5. Take one step today
What one step can you take today to inch closer to making your goals become reality? Even if it starts in the mind, it’s important to find one thing you can do to release your greatness all over the world.
Maybe you’d benefit the most from focusing on shifting your mindset from a place of lack to a place of abundance. Maybe there’s a book you know would serve you well. Maybe it’s about time to hire a coach to give you some much-needed motivation. Maybe you need to heal that relationship that’s been making you play small.
What’s ONE thing you can do this week?
I challenge you to find that thing and take action.
Every individual has greatness inside. The world, the media and our society may say otherwise, but don’t listen to them. The world may say, “There are two kinds of people: leaders and followers.” But I call BULL on all of that.
We all have a time to lead, and a time to follow. It’s up to you to decide where in your life you’re best suited for those roles. All I can say is that when it comes to who is the leader of your own life…well, spoiler alert: it’s you.
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