Lessons Learned From the First Half of 2018

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

It’s amazing how quickly a day, a week, a month goes by and now we’re halfway through the year.

Without further ado, here is my 6 month review and the lessons I’ve learned in the first half of 2018.

Mindset is Everything

If you take the time to stop, breathe, and think about what you’re thinking about, it’s amazing how many negative thoughts about yourself pop into your head.

I really struggled with my confidence this year and it’s probably no worse than in the previous years but maybe it’s because I’ve been more conscientious of my thoughts this year.

Mindset is everything.

Believing in yourself is everything.

It can take a tremendous amount of time to get into the right mindset, to finally believe in yourself and gain the confidence you need to burst through the barriers we’ve put up for ourselves and crush those goals.

It’s a real fight between who you really are and who you think you are.

Here are some ways I’m learning how to manage my mindset:

  1. Write them down
    I started this year by writing everything down, mostly the negative thoughts that appear out of nowhere. It’s amazing how many of those thoughts pop up when you least expect them. In order to deal with what’s holding us back, we must first acknowledge them. I carried a small notebook with me because physically writing them down vs typing them out into our phones seemed more personal and connected.
  2. Think about all the ways these beliefs aren’t true
    I find that we like to generalize how we’re bad at something by just saying “We suck”. That doesn’t tell us anything and it certainly doesn’t prove that we suck. That’s the problem with allowing the words to swirl through our minds, it twists those words into something we can’t seem to fully comprehend yet we believe them nonetheless.When we write them down and can physically see it, we start to question it. These are just lies we tell ourselves out of fear, for protection, to stay in our comfort zone. Think about why these thoughts don’t hold any weight by writing down examples and your achievements. Start believing the proof rather than the lies.
  3. Breathe and snap out of it
    When I notice a bad thought coming, I take a deep breath and tell it to go away and it snaps me right out of it. Be warned, it may come back and, at times, it’s a harder fight than others but the goal is to snap out of it before it becomes a downward spiral of negative self-talk. Self-image is a balancing act with an uneven amount of weight on the negative side. If we let it, the negative can and will far outweigh the positive.Breathe.

Courage is Better Than Confidence

The truth is we’re just waiting until we’re confident enough. We’re waiting for the day we finally believe in ourselves.

I’ve learned that courage doesn’t come with having confidence, confidence comes with having the courage to put ourselves out there.

I’m still working on this — the courage part. I’ve started to put my work out there, practicing writing in public and trying to connect with other bloggers. It scares me every time I hit publish for all the world to see but I do it because the art of writing is worth it to me.

When you find something worth doing, the courage emerges. Courage doesn’t come quickly though, it comes in steps and in different forms but it’ll come.

Courage beats confidence. Every time.

There’s Always A Payoff and A Sacrifice

If I choose to watch TV rather than write a blog post, the payoff is not writing (which is a huge benefit when I’m suffering from writer’s block) and the sacrifice is my writing and a blog post, or my idea gets lost or forgotten.

If I skip my workout for the day, I won’t have to sweat bullets and the sacrifice is my health., maybe I won’t feel myself deteriorating that day but eventually it’ll hit me.

Every choice we make and every action we take has a payoff and a sacrifice.

It’s human nature to go for short term gain rather than long term growth. Patience and waiting is hard; it’s hard on the mind and it can be hard emotionally which is why most people quit or choose to consume rather than create. It’s much easier to turn on the TV or watch a movie than it is to write yet another article or blog post that only a handful (or nobody) will read.

We have to decide if the payoff is worth the sacrifice.

Don’t Be Ashamed to Cut Your Goals

There are times when I’m hard on myself because I haven’t achieved what I hoped at the half-way mark of 2018. There are still habits to change and negative self-talk to disprove. The most important lesson I’ve learned from the first half of the year is how hard it can be to believe in yourself, to consistently and constantly work towards my goals and my growth.

The first half of the year was a lot more about retraining my brain than doing the work. That’s ok with me because if I can get my mindset right, I know I’ll be able to do the work.

Here’s to the rest of 2018!

Originally published at possiblepursuits.com on July 4, 2018.

Living life imperfectly and as creatively as possible.

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