You tend to put the needs of those you love before your own.
Your children, partner, or best friend always come first.
You’re constantly trying to find ways to make their lives better.
You want the absolute best for them.
Their happiness comes first.
Does this sound like you?
Part of me is proud to say that this is me to a tee – I’d do just about anything to help make my partners life better in as many ways as I can, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. When we eventually have kids, I know that I’ll do the same for them. This is just who I am, but sometimes it concerns me. I worry that little old me will drop waaaay down my own priorities list once kids come along. Maybe I’ll eventually forget who I am, and what makes my heart sing. Maybe one day I’ll no longer be living for me; I’ll be living for them.
But then, I remind myself: I know better than that.
I know that putting myself last all the time is bad for my wellbeing, and therefore detracting from the wellbeing of the people I love. I know that letting myself become drained, tired, and worn out means I can’t offer my best self to those who need me. I know that settling for a life devoid of ambition promotes a lacklustre, uninspired attitude for my kids to adopt.
I cannot accept that.
I know that I have the power to be a positive influence; to show everyone how amazing life can be; to raise happy, confident, independent, inspired, kind-hearted children. I know that if I want to see a positive change in my world, then I can start with encouraging positive change within my family. It starts with me.
I need to be the example.
Research by Nicholas Christakis, Yale University professor, found that habits are contagious. The good and the bad! The habits and beliefs that children learn from their parents will help to shape the rest of their lives. If parents are optimistic and find the positives in any situation, their children will be optimistic and find the positives in any situation. If parents practice healthy eating and exercise habits, their children will practice healthy eating and exercise habits. If parents have a lot of self-worth and speak about themselves with respect, their children will grow up to do the same. But frighteningly, if parents are pessimistic, pick-apart their body image, and speak poorly of themselves, their children are likely to follow suit.
Nicholas Christakis also did a great TED talk on ‘The Hidden Influence of Social Networks’ (which you can view here. Highly recommended). In this talk, he mentions how social connections go far beyond your immediate circle. What happens in your life, what you do, what you believe, how you act, not only affects those closest to you (friends and family), but it also filters out into the network around you. Proving, you have so much more potential to influence than you ever thought.
So, if you want those around you to live their best lives and have that ripple throughout your social network, then you need to show them how it’s done.
To give the gift of knowledge, skills, and the power necessary to live a phenomenal life, you must first embody that gift yourself. Because ‘do as I say, not as I do’ just doesn’t cut it anymore. Become your best self, whatever that means to you. Here are some suggestions:
Work on cultivating self-love
Develop a growth mindset
Eliminate limiting beliefs (future blog in the works)
Follow your dreams and make them a reality
Learn about what makes you tick and what pushes your buttons
Nurture your relationships
Embrace life and all it has to offer – the good times and the bad (check out my last blog on exactly this!)
Practice good habits, like gratitude and meditation
Give to others
Be 100% authentically you
People will be encouraged to change their habits when they can see the phenomenal light that shines from within you.
Don't force anyone. They'll approach you when the time is right. Wait until they're ready. They'll start asking, 'what have you been doing differently?' Or become curious about the little things you've added into your routine. Just be patient.
While I wait, I strive. I strive to be the pebble that's dropped into the pond and causes the ripple effect to touch everyone around me. I want to do my part in this world. I want to be a good role model for my friends, family, future kids, and the beautiful children I teach. I will never try to 'change' a person, but I will always silently encourage them to live their best life. I do that NOT by telling them what to do, but by trying to live my very best life, every single day, in the hopes that I inspire them to want more as well.
To show them that it's possible.
To be there when they ask, “How can I do it, too?”
Your example may be the greatest gift you could give someone you love.
Love & Happiness
P.S Do you know someone who could really benefit from reading this? To give them the motivation and push they need to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of the young people around them? Share this post with them. Even if they don't embrace it straight away, you've done your part. Thank you.
The next step:
Commit to being the change, and get started on my IHH 10 Days of Gratitude Challenge. Sign up now to receive your FREE copy. I made it especially for you :) (and not once did I let Adobe InDesign beat me! Ok, maybe once…)
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