An old friend of mine once said he gets up in the morning and ‘attacks’ his day. That made a big impression on me at the time. What he meant wasn’t running into the fray willy-nilly in a frenzy of chaotic energy. He meant that he prepares his next day the day before, knows what the day looks like, and goes for it. He’s a very organized and sought-after photographer in North America, with an agent and everything. And after over 30 years as a professional photographer he still attacks every day with fresh energy, optimism, and good will. He is a driven, award-winning professional with the portfolio to match. And the way that he’s succeeded over so long at such a high level in such a competitive industry is because of the energy and drive he has to tackle every day with enthusiasm.
I know what it’s like to not feel like one has the energy to do this every day. This week, as an example, I have met with some of my leader and career coaching clients who don’t feel like attacking their day. They might feel burnt out. They might be full of self-doubt and low esteem. They might feel their life and career is going nowhere, or that they have under-achieved so far in life, but have lost that vital energy and self-belief that drives us to be our best. I totally understand that this is the norm with most people. But I encourage you to try to push past all of those mental barriers and realize again that you are as good as anyone else, you can achieve what you want, and you shouldn’t let your past keep your future in stasis. Attacking your day, even if you have to force yourself, is a good way to focus your energies for the day to come.
Many of us are prisoners in our own minds and lives. We are the ones keeping ourselves back. And only we can be the ones to help ourselves move ahead. Your mind can be a terrible prison and a formidable enemy. Releasing yourself from the prison of your own making can feel like a difficult thing to do, if you think you’re not worthy, not capable, and undeserving of more. I understand how this happens and I can empathize with those feelings. But those are negative feelings keeping you down. Your thoughts about yourself are keeping you down. And outwardly, others might even be able to see this in you, by the way that you dress, the way you speak, the way you hold yourself, and the look in your eyes. How you feel shows through to others. So instead of beating yourself up right now reading this and feeling bad about yourself all over again, start replacing those negative thoughts and words to positive ones. Even if it’s a strain, try to get your inner voice to start giving you encouragement instead of reinforcing your negativity about yourself. There is no doubt that there are many people who appreciate you, care about you, and love you, and who only want you to see everything in yourself that they see in you.
The power to change your future is entirely in your hands. Day by day it can be very hard to stay positive about ourselves. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have ants (those automatic negative thoughts) running around their heads, digging holes in their energy and esteem. Tell the ants to take a hike when they appear in the morning. And instead of regretting that you have to get up and do anything at all, get up and say to yourself, out loud and in your own head, ‘I’m going to attack my day’. Say it over and over again if you need to. Make a list of things you’re going to achieve tomorrow and conquer your daily goals. They say it takes three weeks to three months to develop any habit, good or bad. So, try this habit of cleaning the clutter from your mind, be positive with yourself and don’t put yourself down. Make you morning and your day matter, they are your opportunity to show the world what you’re made of. So, up and at ‘em and make it count!
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