It was a cold October day as I laid on my couch, still in my pajamas at 3 p.m., and stumbled across a post for a yoga retreat in Bali. It looked so luxurious. So warm. So inviting. So not me. But what if…..
Staying at home in my pj’s while scrolling social media was my normal. To many, my life appeared like I had it all together. Yet, unbeknownst to my tribe, I was crumbling on the inside.
When had I allowed myself to stop exploring? Why had I stopped dreaming? Scrolling the feeds of friends and influencers had me longing for something different. Something more adventurous. Something that called deep within my soul. If these other people could be out living their best life, why couldn’t I live mine? What did they have that I didn’t?
Here’s the thing. They don’t have a single thing that you or I don’t already have. That day a seed was planted. I wanted to live. And not just live, but thrive!
With a little grit and a lot of grace, I kicked my fears of “never being good enough” and “what if I fail” to the curb as I set off on a brave adventure to transform my life. My adventure found me quitting my cushy corporate job and selling every possession to travel solo around the world.
You can and will thrive, too, if that’s what you choose! Your best life is guaranteed to look very different than my grand adventure. However, there’s an art to living and thriving. The four steps I took to transform my life will work for you as well.
4 Practical Steps to Thrive:
- Take stock of where you are and where you want to be. What do you absolutely love about your life in its current state? Where is there a void? Make a list of all the roles and responsibilities you currently fill. Create a second list of where you want to be – the roles you want to take in life. Maybe you added “entrepreneur “or “traveler.” Blend the two lists together and then rank the top three leading roles you want to fill when living your best life.
- Learn to say no to things that no longer serve you. Listen, I’m a perpetual yes girl. Saying no was the hardest part of my adventure. However, when you determine where you want to go, it gets easier to say no to the things and people who no longer serve you. Let go of the guilt that comes with saying no. This doesn’t make you a bad person, friend, coworker, volunteer, spouse, etc. What it does is aligns you with the people and places that fit your desires. And, it opens everyone else up to receiving a friend, coworker, volunteer, spouse, etc. that better fits with their project or place. Next time you’re asked to do or give something, stop to evaluate the opportunity before you commit. Does this align with your purpose? Does it get you closer to those top three leading roles you want to play in life? If so, go for it! If not, consider responding with a polite no.
- Learn to fill your own piggy bank. We each have a proverbial piggy bank full of energy each morning. If all you do is give, give, give of yourself by driving a friend to work, bringing muffins for the office, picking up the slack when a co-worker is sick, taking your niece to soccer practice…again, and reviewing your neighbor’s resume before bed, your bank is suddenly empty at the end of a long day. Who or what refilled your bank? Take a minimum of 15 minutes each day to do an activity that brings you joy. You are the only one who can fill your bank. And, when it’s full and you’re happy, you show up in a new light offering more of yourself to the people and projects around you.
- Kick fear to the curb and go after your dreams. When you get down to the root of what’s holding you back, it’s always fear. Always. What will people think? What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I embarrass myself? What if I lose everything? There are so many excuses for why you don’t move forward living your best life. When fear shows up and hinders you from moving forward, it is simply trying to protect you – your heart, your ego, your reputation. Recognize it’s protective nature, then kick it to the curb. Replace fear with excitement for what could be. Replace it with love for this new life you’re living. Replace it with curiosity for what’s to come. Fear is simply one emotion, not the only emotion. And, you can replace it with others as you step into your best life.
These four steps don’t happen overnight. In fact, they’re collectively a process that I repeat frequently to ensure I’m still on the right track. To ensure that I am thriving. The moment I don’t feel it, I start with taking stock of where I am, where I want to go and repeat the entire process. You have to be willing to press pause, do some serious self-reflection, dreaming, and scheming. However, the reward is totally worth it if you ask me. Now, when I scroll through #livingmybestlife on Instagram, I know with certainty that I’m thriving online and off.