It’s easier than you think!
As a child I was really shy. I looked at other girls and admired their skin, hair, and brand-named clothes. I never felt like I measured up.
As a teen, I daydreamed of being more like everyone else — cooler, more confident, more popular, and just more. I sometimes even stared at myself in the mirror, so closely, until the features on my face no longer looked familiar. I scrutinized my thigh gap (or lack thereof), my olive-toned skin that seemed too “green,” my eyes that weren’t blue, and my clothes that were usually too big or out of style because I wore hand-me-downs 5 sizes too big. This is the awful self-critical cycle that is all too common, especially among young girls — and in this new age of social media galore, it’s more in-your-face than ever! I quickly grew tired of experiencing overall disappointment in myself, financial struggle in college, and not really feeling confident in my own skin.
During my second year of college, I was absolutely exhausted by this negative cycle. I remember the day that changed my life completely. I don’t know how else to describe it other than an epiphany — I finally saw clearly. It all started with a series of basic questions, a change in mindset, and a large dose of follow-through that ultimately redefined my past, elevated my present, and redirected my future.
Take a closer look at my 3 simple secrets to living your best life.
Ask Yourself 3 Simple Questions
- One day, when you look back at your life, everything you stand for and have accomplished, what do you really wish to see?
- Do you want to be proud of your life or look back with regret?
- Do you want to be happy or sad?”
It was that easy. I chose proud. I chose happy. I chose fearless. And that’s when I realized, “Your perception is your reality.”
The way in which each of us process an experience and connect it with an emotion ultimately becomes our reality. If you are unsatisfied with your reality, simply change the way you choose to process the experience. Regardless of a situation, your perception of the experience defines your reality. You are in complete control. Create your reality by changing your perception.
It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it? Yes and no. The power is in the training of the mind to alter your instinctual perception of a situation. No matter the circumstance, I became a glass half-full kinda gal. I looked for the silver-lining, the lesson that life was presenting, and always with a foundation of gratitude in everything I do have.
“To truly experience the vast potential of our strength, we must often be tested and stretched to feel the depths of our weakness.” — my truth.
Put Up or Shut Up
If something is causing you stress, it’s life’s way of nudging you to evolve.
Stop whining and DO something about it! In my case, I didn’t feel confident in my body and was tired of pinching my thighs back in the mirror to look like the Photoshopped fakers.
I felt propelled to begin my personal journey with this first initiative that was completely vanity-related, in all honesty. That semester, I signed up for a weight-training class, running class, walked miles from my dorm to class (I didn’t have a car anyway), and consumed food as my fuel, not my comfort. My body became healthful, toned, and I felt proud.
My second assignment was transportation. I was tired of begging for rides to the supermarket and feeling sorry for myself that I didn’t have a car. Later that summer, I decided to work and earn it myself. I worked 13-hour shifts as a waitress until I could afford my own “little red bubble” as I called it.
Next assignment was financial. My family paid for tuition and couldn’t stretch much else, after paying for my two sisters’ weddings 6 months apart. The stress weighed on me as I would often stare at my empty kitchen cabinets and empty bank account. One day, I called my dad and sincerely thanked him for paying tuition — and then I asked him to stop. I told him, “Thank you for working so hard to support me. I don’t know how, but I will get a job and pay for school myself.” I scoured the campus until I got a job at a bar. A full load of classes by day, two internships during the week, two extra jobs on the weekend, and a job as a waitress by night. I was determined to graduate within four years, with Honors, fill up my resume with work experience, and my bank account with savings. I reached my goals and then some.
I truly learned the power of intention and action. The power of a positive mindset and the creative initiative to always find the solution.
Learn, Grow, Evolve
I am always learning, evolving, manifesting, and becoming. Envision that each person who crosses your path was sent with a lesson and a message.
This ideology changed the way I perceived everyone around me, with interest, awe, connectivity, and a place of humility. Connecting with people fuels my soul, teaches me invaluable life lessons, opens my heart and mind, and enables me to empower others from a place of experience and understanding.
What lessons can you learn by those who enter your life?
Defying Odds & Surpassing Expectation
Win Charles has taught me about defying the odds, surpassing expectation, pushing passed boundaries, and succeeding with greater purpose and ambition. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Win Charles has defied the odds by becoming an author (I, Win: My Journey With Cerebral Palsy in a Non-Disabled World), a competitor in the Kona IronMan Triathlon, CEO of her own jewelry design company, motivational speaker, and founder of her “Ask Win” podcast. Today, Win Charles tours the country, speaking at schools and institutions to raise awareness about Cerebral Palsy and living a full life no matter what holds you back.
Perseverance & Commitment
Alexia Anastasio has taught me about perseverance and commitment by pursuing her passion in production, not turning back, and then giving back to empower others. As an independent female filmmaker and producer, she is best known for her internationally celebrated documentary Adventures in Plymptoons. Pushing passed a glass ceiling and beyond, she is also dedicated to mentoring the next generation of female filmmakers to fund their own creative projects, enabling them ultimate financial and creative freedom.
Empowering Body & Mind
Gregg Roberts, INHC, has taught me about empowering our body and mind with a positive mindset as well as the power in nutrition. He is an acclaimed author of Progress Over Perfection: 16 Simple Steps to Reclaim Your Health and Wellbeing and CEO/Founder of SimpleWisdom Wellbeing Solutions. Even though he is the owner-operator of multiple businesses, from fitness to food, he also demonstrates gratitude and unconditional kindness in giving back. Gregg serves on a variety of different boards including Stand Together Make A Difference (STMAD), a not-for-profit coalition whose aim is to help prevent substance abuse and addiction through education and awareness. He is a mentor for at-risk-youth teenagers through Pathways Danbury (CT).
Making a real shift in the way we view and ultimately experience our lives is all about perception, mindset, action, and evolving.
You are whole. You are beautiful. You are strong.
Start Living Your Best Life… one step at a time.
Ruthi Davis is a global multimedia editor/writer, author, speaker, empowerment coach, business & brand strategist, and consultant. She is also the founder of Superfly Supermom (www.SuperflySupermom.com), SuperKids Chronicles, and frequent contributor for Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, Mogul Influencer, Bonbon Break, Red Tricycle, Scary Mommy, the Mainstream Channel, and a panel expert for featured authors on Consumer Health Digest. Ruthi also serves as a Director for New Business Development & Client Relations, as well as Editorial Director and consultant of strategic brand communications for iconnectyou.today. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.