25 Apr 12 Ways To Feel GREAT In Today’s Pressure Society.
Something we all want, to feel good…to feel great! If you are reading this, the chance is you are in possession of a computer, smartphone or tablet, you have a roof above your head and food on your plate. Hopefully you are healthy and that would mean you have everything you need to feel great, because your are blessed.
Yet in this society we keep on being pushed and pulled to have the need for more in order to feel great. We think we need to have more, do better, work harder, look better. We are never really content. It’s a giant form of peer pressure, that I am experiencing as well, to look a certain way and accomplish certain things, because it is expected. I do realize, that usually I’m my worst critic, so I’m the one putting pressure on myself. And I find myself in this rush and extreme need of being better (inside, outside, you name it, just better).
As much as this can be a good thing, because it keeps you sharp, and keeps you evolving and growing as a person, it can make you feel really insecure and just not great in general. Why? Because you are not ‘’there’’ yet. And in your mind, where you are now, isn’t good enough.
I’ve thought about this a lot, to find a way to deal with it and came up with 12 ways to feel great, while in the constant process of evolving.
- Remember you will always be a ‘’Work in Progress’’
We will always be a work in progress. We will never be ‘’there’’, we will never be perfect, because even if we would be, our head would be telling us that we still need this, and that to be perfect. (Let’s assume for this statement that perfection is even possible). A recent example: When I started with Fitness I had this picture in my mind of how I wanted to look. This mental picture kept me going, yet when I reached it, I didn’t even realize it. In my head this picture had gradually evolved, making me think that I wasn’t there yet. Most of the time, we are our own worst critics. When you accept that even when you’re old and wrinkly, you will still have so many things you would want to do better; you will feel so much more relaxed and confident about the progress you make, because it’s not something finite, there is no end to it, and anything is possible.
- Find balance between working on yourself and loving the way you are now
Change is great, growth is essential. Yet we have to stop thinking ‘’when I look like that, I will be happy’’ or ‘’only when I achieve that, I will be worthy’’.
Start loving yourself for the person you are now, even if you’re not the person you want to be yet. Identify the wonderful things about yourself, certain traits, abilities, achievements, things you love about the way you look . Despite the fact that you would want to improve, you are still a lovely, beautiful person with qualities. So embrace that, and keep on reminding yourself of these things while you are working on yourself.
- Stop Comparing
In today’s society, we get overrun by success stories, pictures and videos of others around the world. It’s not only the celebrities and magazine covers anymore, but technology has made it possible to follow the lives of many others. This makes it even easier to constantly compare yourself to others. You think you know their life, and you would love to have what they have; to do what they do.
First, let me tell you, everyone only shows off the great things in their lives, not their struggles along the way. Second, STOP, just stop! It’s good to look up to people and try to find out the strategies they use to get where they are. But everything beyond that is not healthy. You only have part of the story, and most of the time, thing just aren’t what they seem.
An example: Instagram is being taken over by the fitness hype, which is great because it encourages a lot of people to work out. But I see too many ladies around me obsessing with having abs, booties and muscles and having/wanting to look a certain way, that is in some cases not even possible to achieve naturally and they starve themselves for it, because they just don’t know the right way to achieve this. I will write more about this soon, but the message is to just stop comparing, because it does more harm than good. Count your blessings and focus on yourself, your own progress. The more energy you put into yourself, the more you will get out of it, and the greater you will feel.
- Do more YOU
Invest in yourself, whether it is by taking some me-time and just take a long bath, or a vacation. There are endless possibilities for this, depending on your personality. You can go from reading a book, taking up a certain hobby or activity, to taking an extra course or workshop in the area you want to excel in. As long as you do something for you, that you enjoy and know is good for you.
- Don’t wait for other’s approval/applause
This one is a hard one, for me at least. You know those people who always say, I don’t care what anyone thinks? Well I am one of them. Only I do care (to certain extent). I’m still working on finding out why approval of others is so important to most of us, even if we might not want to admit it. But when we accomplish something cool, we do like it when people around us acknowledge this. If you ask me, that’s the basic foundation of social media. Sharing the good things, the accomplishments, all in exchange for a ‘’like’’.
I cannot tell you how to get rid of this need for approval, because I am still working on it myself. I can, however, tell you how I deal with it. I’ve decided to value my own approval more than that of others. In the end we know ourselves better than anyone else does. We can be the best judge of ourselves, and we know how we’ve struggled and when we’ve stepped out of our comfort zone to achieve something. Therefore, applaud yourself, when you’ve achieved whatever it is you wanted to. If others do so as well, it’s a nice extra, but having that inner approval is so much more valuable and should be the most important.
- Celebrate victories, even the smallest ones!
Since we are talking about victories, I have found that celebrating them, no matter how small, really feels great. Even though it might be just a small step, it is a step in the right direction that you haven’t made before, and it might have required some to a lot of effort, so it is worth celebrating. It’s also motivating to get to the next step, and the next, and so on.
- Know your strengths and develop them
We are all good at something, some of us have excellent communication skills, others can persuade very well and others can juggle or draw or dance really well. Whatever it is, it is likely that you enjoy doing these things, because you have a talent for it, and it feels rewarding. Even if you might not be able to make a living out of everything, I would encourage you to invest time into these strengths. It will make you feel great about yourself, because you’re great at it and you will get better and better.
- Set Goals and most important Stick to them
Setting goals is easy. Sticking to them, well that’s another story. It’s not always easy, especially if the goal requires controversial change in your daily life or just lots of effort and time. Yet there is no worse feeling than regret of not having pursued the steps to achieve your goals. You’re always going to be busy, it will never be a perfect time, but just do it. Focus and go. You will feel great by putting it in the works, sticking to the plan, because the closer you get, the better the feeling. I personally love the feeling of checking that box next to the task on my to do list.
- Do good (for others).
Last Sunday, we had the privilege to receive a special 9 year old boy with severe diabetes at the Wulterkens Clothing office. In collaboration with the Make A Wish Foundation, we made it a really special day for him. He arrived in style, in a beautiful white limo, and got to create his very own design sport t-shirts with us. There were balloons, cake, and we had his family come along with him. Afterwards he went to the Ajax Stadium in Amsterdam to watch a soccer game and he got to stand on the side lines and see everything up close. There was no better feeling and I am extremely grateful for this experience. Just to see the smile on his face. Anyway, do good, because it feels great to give. Even if it’s just something small, as long as you give back.
- Realize that everyone else around you has Insecurities.
For some reason, when we know that others share the same struggle, we find some sort of peace with it. There is something in the collective that soothes us, as long as we are not the only one, right? Well in this case, this might make you feel better. Remember that all of us, even the greatest, have insecurities, struggles, pain, issues etc. That’s life, and we’re only human. So whenever you feel insecure, just know that you are not the only one and it doesn’t have to be a limitation, unless you make it one.
I don’t know if this is a direct incentive to feel great, but it does put things in perspective and makes you embrace life, the way it is, even if it’s not easy. If you think about the fact that even Beyonce has her insecurities, yet she is the amazing artist that she is, you know that you can be that amazing version of yourself as well, despite your insecurities.
- The power of thought
As I’ve mentioned before, we are our own worst critics. Try to understand and remind yourself that you and the way you decide to see and think about things create your reality. If you’re being too hard on yourself, you are the one making it difficult and making yourself unhappy. If you hold yourself to unrealistic standards, it’s you and your thoughts that make you feel insecure (not anyone else).
At the same time, you have the power to create another reality, one that makes you happier, more motivated, more positively driven and more acknowledged of the small steps of progress you make. Remember all limitations are self-imposed, by thoughts and fears that are created in our own mind and we choose to listen to them or not.
- Count your blessings, Be Grateful & Smile.
It’s cliché, but do it. Every day, when you wake up, count your blessings, thank for them & smile. It’s going to be a good day. There is always something to be thankful for, and acknowledging this can make you feel great. Life is all about the little things anyway. Learn to appreciate them. No matter where you are, it can always be worse. And if you hit rock bottom, you can only go up. Be grateful for the fact that you are alive and able to pursue your dreams. An attitude of gratitude will get you far.
Be great, feel great. Remember: Happiness is not a destination, it’s the journey.
Boots: Zara || Dress, Hat & Coat: Missguided || Bag: River Island || Bracelet: Hermes Collier de Chien.