The Kenwood Press
: 01/15/2014

Choosing a more purposeful and prosperous life

Donna Colfer

When beginning something new, whether it's a new year, a new relationship, or a new job, we often try to let go of old habits of thought and behavior to start a better version of ourselves. Try these suggestions on for size and see if you can create a more purposeful and prosperous life for 2014:

I can stand on my own two feet and not be controlled by others.

Knowing who you are and what you need without relying on someone else creates strength and confidence. Self-growth through workshops, classes, and reading gives you the knowledge and courage to live more independently. Action relieves fear and feelings of being overwhelmed, and helps release unhealthy relationships.

I will discover what I'm passionate about and take the first step.

We often identify ourselves with what we do for a living, whether we like what we're doing or not. We forget all the other skills and talents that got us here. Looking back over our experiences is a process that has organizing power. Make a list of all your accomplishments from childhood to the present. You'll be amazed just how much you've done so far. You may just find a thread that leads to your passion. Take the first step in following this passion and watch how your life changes.

I'm going to be kinder to myself.

We're often our own worst enemy with our judgments and self-criticism when we think we've done something wrong or imperfectly. Our negative thoughts can cause worry and anxiety leading to depression and a never-ending downward cycle. Stop thinking so much and go for a walk! Action replaces negative thinking. Being in nature regenerates on a very basic level. Be kind and gentle to yourself.

I'm willing to let go of the outcome.

All too often, we white-knuckle an outcome by grasping onto the process getting there. This creates a lot of unnecessary stress, sleepless nights, and headaches. It's an illusion to believe we're in control, and an illusion that always proves us wrong. If we realize that we are not and never were in control in the first place, we'd be a lot happier! I have experienced firsthand much more ease and flow when I've consciously decided to surrender to an outcome. The results are always surprising and positive, and I'm always grateful.

I will replace my fears by identifying my values.

Fear is often caused by change, by doing something you haven't done before. Since the brain's main job is to keep you safe, it doesn't want you to change or to vary your usual routine. Ask yourself, “Are my fears real or imagined? Are they what might happen or what is happening?” Then identify what you truly value. Now you're using your creativity and remembering positive experiences. Listing your values can be a great tool to become more excited about changes without causing so much fear.

I am perfect just as I am.

Meet yourself where you are right now and know that you have done your best, releasing the judgments and negative self-talk about what isn't “right” yet. Stop looking at what isn't working or what isn't done. Instead, look at what's right and good every day. That's success. “Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant,” wrote essayist, poet and novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson.

I'll take the first step without seeing the whole staircase.

We often experience fear when we take that first step toward the unknown. We use excuses: we don't have enough time, enough money, enough information. This is called putting your life on the lay-away plan. “Enough” is not a measurement. It's purely subjective. Take the first step anyway, one baby step at a time. We rarely see the whole picture and even if you have a plan and strategy to get there, it will often change. Have faith and patience that your purpose in life is like a great light illuminating your path... one step at a time.