By Sue Rakowski
So many of us seem to have lost the bounce in our step. Our optimistic and enthusiastic selves are being beaten down in a quagmire of chaos. Formerly impassioned souls have been shut down, broken and frustrated by forces in life we can’t control: politics, the economy, embattled healthcare and the environment, to name a few.
We don’t want to just get by in life; we want to thrive. There are steps we can take to climb out of the emotional pothole in which we find ourselves.
The secret is to call up your inner healing superhero to pull you up from this dead end rut.
We have the tools within us to make dramatic change, to make a wish and dream new dreams. We can pilot our way to a wonderful life of positivity, hope and strength. I know because I did it. A series of defeats in life, bereavements and unfulfilled aspirations sent me into a downward spiral. No one was coming to save me. I decided to write my own no-nonsense, realistic manual to pull myself out of the quicksand. I went “From Sue to Suetastic.” If I did it you can do it, too.
My cure was to rock my inner superhero. I relied on fifteen basic techniques
to lift myself and my spirits out of a tired and uninteresting place. Use this blueprint to fight the mid-winter blues and keep your 2020 target goals on track.
1. Flip Your Script
Were you taught somewhere along the way by a parent, a teacher, a boss, that self-belief is arrogant and egotistical? It can be when taken to extremes. But being your own superhero is building a trust in yourself. Develop this new foundation of self-acceptance for your new attitude in life. Embrace your splendid self. Self-love will help you to flourish
2. Stop Apologizing
How many times do you say, “I’m sorry” when there is no clear reason why you should feel regret or remorse? You do not have to excuse yourself for the actions of others, either. Let friends, colleagues and family members explain themselves.
3. Clear The Clutter
Disorder can suffocate us. It can make us feel stuck and depressed. Look at your home, your car, your closet, and so forth. Spend even 15 minutes a day developing systems of order to clear out the muddle in your space. It will free your mind to move ahead with your plans and goals.
4. Learn Something New
When was the last time you picked up a new skill? Learning a language or playing a musical instrument can help build your self-esteem. Becoming goal-focused can help you see that dreams can come true.
5. Realize That What You Do Is Not Who You Are
You might be a dedicated caregiver to an aging parent. You might be stuck–for now–in a job that doesn’t fulfill you. You might be living a drone worker, bill payer life, but that is only what you do, not who you are. Make time to develop a new course of action to realize a new direction for your life.
6. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
No sunset can be duplicated. You are also one of a kind. Many of us were not given the advantages that others have: money, opportunity, connections. Therefore, don’t compare yourself to others who fall into the category of having a great hand of cards dealt to them. It will be a harder road, but stick to your plans.
7. Detoxify Your Life
Make changes to eliminate harmful influences in your life. Watch dietary indiscretions. Exercise and take steps to banish negative people from your circle of influence. Steer clear of naysayers. Socialize with like-minded people who share your values and who will support you.
8. Rock a New Look
When was the last time you gave yourself a makeover? A new haircut, a nickname, a new look? Consider developing your own logo to help rebrand yourself. I used an inexpensive online tool to create the graphic for my book cover. Get a new outfit that helps you feel confident. Remember, even Batman and Superman had one look that helped them to do their best work!
9. De-Stress & Download
Take even one minute from your busy day to de-stress. Try meditation for a few minutes at a time. We take so much information in throughout the day. We need to download several times a day in short increments.
10. End the People Pleasing
You have the right the say “no.” People pleasing is a destructive habit. You might have been raised to receive special attention as a child when you pleased your Mom or Dad. Practice saying “no” or at the very least, stall. You can say, “Can I get back to you on that?”
11. Incorporate Microsteps Into Your Day
These “too small to fail” steps help us transform our lives in very basic ways. Walk more, drink less caffeine, read every day, appreciate the little things. These are all examples of taking microsteps to make our lives better.
12. Develop a Mantra
Your mantra can be a phrase, a chant or even a line from a song that you repeat to yourself when you need to slow down or to motivate yourself. Take a well known mantra or develop your own–and maybe even write a song using it!
13. Listen to Yourself
We must learn to listen to our instincts, our gut, to assess situations. We need to learn the power of our “sixth sense” just as animals do. Have faith in your powers of perception.
14. Appreciate Your Worth & Value
Our self-worth suffers if we’re not loved and respected. We have to take stock of who we are and how we live our lives. If we are good people and can easily recognize the difference between what is right and wrong in any situation, then we are worthy of self-respect. We must embrace it and not be swayed by jealous classmates or coworkers.
15. Find Your True North
Your True North is your rock, your base in this spinning universe. What do you love to do? What are you good at? Where these two lists intersect might be your True North–the direction you were just meant to pursue. Realize your limitations, too. Don’t make promises to yourself that you won’t or cannot keep.
Work on a list, a proposal, a plot line for your life. Put timeline goals next to every target on your blueprint. Do something every day to move your life forward.
Celebrate yourself for taking the first steps to unleash your superhero and let her/him be your guide.
Sue Rakowski is the author of “From Sue to Suetastic,” a battle-tested manual she wrote for herself to jumpstart her broken and beat life. A professional writer and editor, Sue’s bylines have appeared in major media such as, The Wall Street Journal, buzzfeed, The Advocate, Insider’s Guide To Spas, Thrive Global, ElephantJournal and a series of how-to small business magazines she created and ran for two decades. She is a proud board member of the Foundation for New American Art, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit that brings art and music to underserved children in low-income communities.