AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story was written in February 2020, before this season that we’ve all come to know as ‘unprecedented’. That said, this story speaks of less socially-distant times. We thought about editing it to suit today’s reality but we remain hopeful that we’ll be back to “life as usual” before we know it.
When we get back, these words will be helpful and will forever be available for your reference in our blog archive. Until then, we have an opportunity to establish new habits and routines that will set us up for success when we re-enter life as we knew it and so the show must go on. Enjoy the story!
Rock it like that girl!
Do you ever have a day where you feel like you absolutely rocked it? It’s like all the stars align and you even had a good hair day. On those days, you feel like the best version of yourself and you are! Nice work, Mama!
Not too long ago I had the realization that I define myself by that version of my “best self.” If you asked me to describe myself, it would be her, that girl that can rock it like a hurricane (and I know a hurricane when I see one). I mean, I know I’m capable of being her but, if I’m being honest, that version was not the version that showed up for my life MOST days. And so, I had to ask myself, “then, who am I when she’s not around and why can’t I be that girl more often?”
Let’s address that first question first. Busy mamas like us are quick to focus on the things that drain our energy. Think about when someone asks how you’re doing, how often do you sigh and answer, “SO busy!” or “SO tired!”? We have overscheduled kids who require us to be overscheduled mamas. Add to that the fact that we don’t get enough sleep and make little time for ourselves. Being busy and exhausted becomes our focus.
Consider a new approach.
What if, when someone asked you how you’re doing – regardless of the truth – you answered, “Never better!”? I’ve been experimenting with this. It does two things: first, it makes the other person smile. They even chuckle sometimes because they know you are just as busy and exhausted as they are. The second thing that happens is that their smile makes you smile. Suddenly, your brain is like, “oh, wow, look at us, we appear to be rocking it today!” It’s the beauty of the self-fulfilling prophecy.
A small change with a big impact
So that leads us to the second question: why can’t that girl show up more often? The answer: she can! Having awareness around my own limiting beliefs helps me get out of my own way so that I can be her more often! I’ve yet to be her all the days, but she’s started showing up more regularly and I attribute that to shifting my mindset and facing the “hard things” even on the hard days. For me, this started with getting really intentional around said “hard things,” i.e., my daily habits and routines.
The most game-changing habit I embraced in my daily routine was starting a gratitude practice.
It took some getting used to and was awkward for me at first because I felt obligated to write down the major things: God, my husband, my kids, my family, and my health . . . If I didn’t include those things, I feared I might be cited as ungrateful and arrested by the gratitude police. (Turns out, that’s not a thing, the gratitude police.)
I stopped not overthinking the gratitude practice and started being thankful for whatever moved me in the moment. Here’s what my new practice might look like on any given day:
- The sun is shining today
- I woke up and worked out
- It’s not a hair-washing day
- My favorite pen
Gratitude is the key to rocking it.
Gratitude opened up a whole new world for me. I realized I had an infinite number of things to be grateful for and those things were everywhere! It turns out, when you practice being grateful, you can’t help but start to approach everything around you with a grateful heart and mindset. I’ve found gratitude to be extremely powerful and starting my morning with it absolutely sets the tone for my whole day.
And don’t just take my word for it. If you inquire with the internet, you’ll find a tremendous number of benefits to practicing gratitude. Among them are improved health and relationships, increased energy, patience, optimism, and resiliency, and elevated mood. Gratitude can also keep you present, give you perspective, and make you happier.
Establishing daily routines and new habits like a gratitude practice takes persistence and consistency. The more you practice, the greater the impact. In time, they will become second nature. When that happens, you’ll be on your way to rocking your best you!
How will you rock your best you?
Do you have a premeditated approach or do you wing it most days? If you wing it, how often is she really showing up in your day-to-day life? Do you practice gratitude? Would you be willing to try it? There is always something to be grateful for – even on our darkest days – and that alone offers so much hope. It might even change your life!