I'm a creature of habit, structure and routines. While some dread the consistency of the same, I tend to create little daily rituals. Small actionable sequences that support larger and loftier goals. I'm never perfect at performing these rituals every single day, but by creating the routines, it increases the odds in which I accomplish them. We've all heard before that we have a limited amount of decisions we are able to make in a day, so the thought goes if we create better habits, defined as choices made without deciding, we can literally change our lives.
All that to say, that I'm creating some structure and routine for this space with a new monthly series called: The Focus Monthly
My hope is that this series will assist you in guiding your thoughts and actions throughout the month. You know I love to learn and grow and in some ways I've always approached each month with a mantra of sorts to either help me focus on a goal, or to help me get through a difficult season. This series will just formalize it a bit & allow us all to focus our thoughts, time and energy on the same things throughout the month. I have a lot of ideas about this series, but for now, we'll start with a post at the first of the month and see how it develops over time.
This month, my thought and focus is this:
Your difference is your strength.
Over a year ago, this statement was my mantra. It was in a season full of self-realization with a heaping scoop of self-doubt. A time when I looked around and all I noticed was how I was different from everyone around me, my friends, my family, even acquaintances. I'd look around, and all I'd notice was how I was different in so many ways and then I'd mentally criticize all of those differences. I found an old journal entry from that time that reads like this, "For years, I've diminished my abilities internally and questioned my decisions. Berating myself for pursuing a course different from so many around me. Wondering why I didn't just do what everyone else was doing, focusing all my energy on my family instead of pursuing outside interests. I've wondered why I tend to think differently than most. But you know what? Perhaps that is my greatest strength...
I think differently."
This was the moment I woke up, my 'aha!' moment, where I realized that instead of berating myself for seeing opportunities and pursuing them, perhaps I should celebrate them.
I think differently.
And so do you. We all do. We all think and process and learn and grow differently. Furthermore, It is actually in those nuances that our strengths lie. Unfortunately, the moment we realize our thoughts or ideas are different from the 'norm' we begin to discount them. Relying on other people to be experts of our ideas, sometimes people we don't even know! We vet them in our minds, based on our perceptions of what we think someone else might think. Read that sentence twice and realize how ridiculous that process is.
Your difference is your strength.
Instead of discounting what makes you different right away, lean into it a bit. Let it marinate and take shape, then vet it based on what YOU think, based on your own research and experiences, not what you think someone else might think. This is not to say that every difference is to be celebrated, but to say, be more comfortable in your own skin. Embrace what makes you unique, notice your own talents and develop them more fully.
This month let this be your manta. I've created a free download for you to print off. Place it where you'll see it everyday and when you find that inner voice being critical of yourself, stop. Hear what you're telling yourself and question it. Perhaps what you're being critical of is a crucial part of who you are and what you have to offer. Furthermore, when someone you love is critical of you, your shortcomings or ideas, stop again. Hear what they say, process it and determine if it is of worth. If their words aren't of worth, work to prevent them from playing on loop in your mind. Easier said than done, I realize.
Pay attention to those ways in which you are different and ask yourself how that might be an asset instead of a liability. Then think if it's a talent you can strengthen and develop. If it is, take some steps this month to enhance and grow that part of you & share it with us! We all want to grow together in different ways. Leave a comment telling me what you've noticed is different about you and let's see if it is in fact, a talent we can grow.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.