As some of you might know, I’ve been setting yearly intentions for quite a while now. Not just an intention, a motto, actually. One that I keep close to me throughout the year. I don’t have one for the year to come yet, but I took the time for a reflection on the 2019 motto and how it turned out differently than I initially anticipated.
You see, my motto was “own it” and my mind was very much focused on how that would relate to my mindset towards the business I set up. But over the year “own it” took on a whole different meaning. And I enjoyed reflecting deeper on this these past days. So, while I’m not where I would like to see myself in regards to my business – “own it” did a lot for me personally this year. And I want to share my top 5 “own it” take-aways:
1- Own your (life) story
Our lives are not always easy and pretty and smooth. But once you accept your story and share some of your struggles you actually realise (sadly) how struggles in various ways are the norm. Most of us have skeletons in the closet that we are too ashamed off or to uncomfortable with to share. But by opening a door and inviting others – and yourself – to talk about them a burden can be lifted and new, meaningful connections can be made.
It wasn’t an easy process at all. I prefer to keep it low, to myself and often say “I’m fine”. But you know what, by opening up this year, I came across some amazing people! Some personally or via video calls, others inspired me via their books and podcasts. And no matter how or where I met them – they all deeply touched me. In one way or the other, they all helped and guided me to release some of the stressors of life that weight me down.
Work with your (life) story, don’t let it block you – own your story!
2 – Own your ideas and stop overthinking
One of my favourite pass-times – spending a lot of time on overthinking and overanalysing and hence blocking my own flow and myself.
It’s such a tough one for me, but the more I work on that the better it gets. I’m not saying that I always feel comfortable in what I’ve been doing. But I’m doing it, giving overthinking less space and instead focus on the process and the experience. It feels good to take more action like that again.
Go out there, reach out, write the note, the letter, the email, call, ask questions, seek connections – try something, don’t hold back! Focus on the experience rather than letting the fear (of doing something wrong) block you.
Own your thoughts and ideas, don’t let the overthinking take away your flow.
3 – Own your well-being
We all have things that we need for our own personal well-being but put them on the back burner when life gets busy and crazy.
As you know we had the move this summer. And I was determined to not let that block me in regards to my well-being. I wanted to stay in track, on what is important to me. And that is exercise, my Expat Ease set up, (selected and limited) socialising and me-time. These are the things that ensure I keep my spark, keep my ease. And while I might have had to scale down now and then I made sure I never dropped the ball completely.
You are the most important asset you have, make sure to carve time for your well-being!
4 – Own who you are
I actually smile a bit as I write this down, because I do struggle with that one. I’m still working on getting more courageous and to really own my ideas and who I am. And I’m getting better!
For example – this year, instead of letting criticism get to me directly and let me doubt everything I do, I started to dig deeper.
I now use a critic as a challenge. If my mind gets all wound up and heavily defends on what I got criticised on, like a mama bear protecting her cublings, then yes I keep going. Such a deep reaction shows that I feel deeply about the chosen way. When I feel triggered in a different way, then yes, I take it on and see where I can adjust or change.
Overall, this helps me to not take it (too) personally anymore. After all, we all tick differently and a critic isn’t an attack towards who I am as a person. Sometimes we just have very different approaches and view-points and that is ok, too. We don’t have to be each others favourite cup of tea.
Don’t let others rattle you – believe in yourself and own who you are.
5 – Own your feelings and emotions
Last but not least I learned more and more to stand up to my feelings and emotions. We all have a right to feel what we do feel, may that be towards other people or experiences.
With this move, for example, I had the urge to take it slow, to not rush into things. That was in regards to socialising, sharing what I do and discovering the city.
We are four months into the move and yes I haven’t done as much as others, but it was the right thing to do. I might have missed out on a few things, but it was more important to listen to my body and mind. I managed to create some much needed headspace. And sticking to how I feel and not allowing others to pressure me into something did me good.
Don’t let others pressure you – own how you (want to) feel.
So yes, these are my top 5 take-aways on this year’s motto. Different than initially expected but I’m grateful for it. I’m curious what will come up for the year to come, stay tuned.
How about you, do you take time in December to reflect on the year?
I hope you find your ease, wherever you are,