“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy
Change is hard. Really hard. You know because you have a bad habit or 10 that you’ve tried to quit: overeating, smoking, saying negative things to your beloved ones, etc. Research shows that people, in general, experience extreme difficulty changing a single habit.
We spend our lives subconsciously trying to change others, trying to get others to see things from our perspective, trying to make others understand. If you are one of those who insists the world must change and one can do nothing about it, you fall into contentment and negativity. This is so easy to do. Self sometimes wants to feel like a victim. Like a “doing” of others. “When others change work will improve, life will improve, my relationships will get better.” But how are you contributing to the status quo???
However, we must understand that our world is a reflection of you – perception is projection. And the first step to change the world is to change how you look at yourself. To change your thinking, attitude and re-boot those limited beliefs of yours carrying them from your past.
Here are five steps that you can take today to change yourself and create a massive positive impact on the world.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
An orchid does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
Stop comparing yourself with others.
Just stop it!
Let me tell you what comparing yourself to others do to you; it is one of the fastest ways to feel bad about yourself. You see what others are doing at work, relationships, on Instagram, and compare yourself critically with them.
We must understand that we are all unique and have our strength and weaknesses. Therefore, by comparing ourselves with others, we are stripping the things that make us special and unique away .
I always get this question: If I need to stop comparing myself to others how to go about it?
Simply, Humanising others rather than Idolising…it is about looking at the complete picture. For example, you are jealous that your boss is successful, and he has reached such a position while being even younger that you! Well, you need to humanise him and see the whole picture by realising perhaps your boss is a workaholic, he simply lives for his work and has no social life. It is about seeing a balanced view of others, not the “perfect” view that may drive you mad with jealousy.
2. Acceptance is key to growth
You need to accept who you are, where you are, and move on at your pace. Don’t try to live some ideal of where you “should be.” Let’s give an example:
Maybe you had a friend in college five years previously. Due to “life,” you focused on your career after college, but he kept his relationship with his girlfriend and now he has two beautiful kids and a happy family. You look at his life and feel jealous.
But this is unfair. Your old friend has worked hard for five years on his relationship and marriage and is ahead of you in this specific matter. You can catch up, but you can only do so if you start over again from the position of a beginner—not from someone who has been working at it for five years.
3. Express Gratitude
Gratitude is an important concept that many people unfortunately overlook. All religions have taught us to be grateful for what we have, because when you are grateful for the things you have achieved, you also acknowledge your successes.
Taking this moment of reflection has shown to be one of the best tools for mental health, mental clarity, and happiness. It is hard to be depressed when you keep reminding yourself of all the good things you have in your life.
4. Life Is not a Competition
Life is not a game where you lose and win. It is something to be enjoyed and valued. Many who are super successful in one aspect of life may be complete failures in other aspects.
Since life is not a game, stop competing with others. It doesn’t matter if you are ahead or behind anyone. Focus on working with others in harmony so that everyone gets what they wish from life.
5. Be genuine and Authentic
Many people try to portray themselves in more favourable way that they normally are. This has unfortunately led to what I believe lack of authenticity among people in real-life. Fewer and fewer people are authentic those days. When we’re confronted with authenticity, it’s almost startling because it forces us to become self-aware of our own lack of authenticity.
So it is important to be ethical to your beliefs, not lying to make yourself look better, and stating how you actually think and feel.
The bottom line is, you play a big part in your happiness, and you can significantly increase it by acting and changing your attitude towards yourself. You are responsible for yourself. Your happiness (or your misery) rest on in a great part on how you treat yourself, how you value yourself, what you tell yourself, how you treat yourself, and how you understand your world.
Now go out there and make a positive impact!