Ever feel as if everyone else was given a guidebook at birth while you’ve been left struggling to find your way through life without a map? Well, author and self-love coach Marianne Vicelich says life is littered with lessons, some we heed the first time, others we struggle to move past. Here she shares the wisdom of her experiences and reminds us that it’s the journey that makes life beautiful
If you had the chance to go back to childhood where someone offered you a strict manual on how to live a life far greater than your wildest dreams, would you advise your younger self to take the advice? Or do you believe that doing so would only lead you to miss out on your story of transformation and self-realisation?
People often say, ‘I wish I had known that back then’. This list below is a part letter to my younger self, and part advice to anyone looking to improve the quality of their lives and realise their true selves. These are all things I am reminded of, or live by, on a daily basis.
1 Don’t save it for later
In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take. If you are constantly waiting for the perfect time, you’ll miss the right time.
Lean towards spontaneity; trust your intuition and go with the flow. Use your wisdom, learn from the past, but recognise that the future is already starting.
Don’t waste time waiting for a big breakthrough; try to chalk up some progress each day.
Build momentum and confidence by taking small steps. Resolve the little things first as doing so will shine a light on the main obstacles and will expose new possibilities.
2 Turn fear into growth
Fear can be a valuable asset. Challenge it. Look it in the eye. Turn it into a lesson.
When we overcome fear we take ownership over it. We convert it into an achievement and step up over it.
Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress.
In overcoming our fears we can move forward stronger and wiser within ourselves.
3 Evolve from your past
How can we know where we are heading if we don’t know where we have come from?
Isolate the lessons from the journey.
So many of the answers to future questions are held in your past experiences.
Value them, use them but don’t dwell on them. We don’t heal the past by staying there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.
4 You attract what you show to the world
Life mirrors you – find out what you want and reflect it.
Happiness, freedom and peace of mind are always attained by giving them out to others without expecting anything in return. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are eventually helped.
We have two hands; one to help ourselves, the second to help those around us.
Everyone is a reflection of us, and what we see in others, we see in ourselves. Send everyone you know thoughts of comfort, acceptance, support and love. Be aware that as you send out these thoughts, you’ll also receive them back.
5 You are strong
Most of us have an inner, untapped tensile strength that’s there when you most need it.
It enables you to rise above your challenges, so allow yourself to trust it.
When you become mentally strong, you will be at your best self.
Have the courage to do what’s right, and develop a true comfort with who you are and what you are capable of achieving.
6 Monitor your expectations
Keeping your expectations balanced is the key to happiness; expect too much and you are bound to be disappointed on a daily basis.
This does not mean you should reduce them to an impossibly low standard. You should still maintain expectations but limit them or keep them in check to make sure you don’t expect too much.
Expectations can be disappointments waiting to happen.
When we spend our time waiting for things to come to fruition we are not living in the now and we are setting ourselves up to be let down. The problematic thing about expectations is that they build our hopes too high. It’s wonderful to be a dreamer but it’s also important to be grounded and realistic.
Release your expectations, stay open to the journey, and explore what is right in front of you.
7 Remind yourself, ‘this too shall pass’
This affirmation can get you through most things.
It’s a powerful phrase that reminds you that nothing is permanent. Are you going through a horrible break-up? This too shall pass.
The other half of this is that it can teach you to cherish the good things you have right now, because that too shall pass.
8 Stop caring about what others think
One of the most debilitating fears that exists is the fear of what others might think of us.
At the heart of what holds us back in life is this very fear, so it goes without saying that overcoming it can be life-changing. Everyone is a protagonist in his or her own story. People are busy focusing on their own lives, and everyone else is a side character.
People are not thinking about you as often as you worry they are.
Practising mindfulness in your everyday life is the key to identifying where this fear lies and how to stop the fear overcoming your belief system.
9 Don’t look to relationships to make you happy
You should be happy with yourself first.
Putting all your expectations on your significant other is a huge burden on him/her and the relationship.
The expectations will be impossible to meet and you will be more inclined to act needy.
Be happy with yourself first so that you can be the best possible version of yourself for your special loved one.
10 Learn how and when to say ‘NO’
Being a ‘yes’ person can be draining, and being a people pleaser can be annoying.
Saying ‘no’ sets healthy emotional and physical boundaries with people – it’s not selfish. You will develop a better sense of who you are when you are able to make choices based on what’s best for you instead of what will prevent the most repercussions.
When you take responsibility for your own behaviour, you will become accountable for your progress towards your goals.
You will never be pressured into doing something that you don’t want to based on guilt trips or what you think other people want you to do.
You will be able to devote your time and energy to things you choose. You won’t have to blame other people for wasting your time or ruining your day.
Marianne Vicelich teaches women the importance of self-love, forgiveness, fearlessness and courage. She is also the author of Love, Love Me and its sequel Things We Love. Her latest book is the final in the Love Trilogy: Love Always. She is also the author of Bat Your Eyelashes and The Glossy Life.