“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and for others like me.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
I like to talk to myself. A lot. And by talk to myself, I mean lead myself through the day. I like to ask myself questions, and identify things that don’t seem right. I like to pump myself up, and remind myself that I can do it. The list is endless regarding how I personally talk to myself throughout the day, however, I have found it to be quite valuable and very beneficial for my personal growth.
I think of this “self talk” as more of a “self assessment”. This is simply a technique that I have began to embody because it allows me to check-in with myself throughout the day. Self-talk helps remind of where I am currently at in my daily thoughts, which then helps me decide if I should shift my focus or stay on the same path. It is almost a reminder to keep thinking happy, positive, and inspiring thoughts, which has led me to a more content lifestyle.
Therefore, starting everyday off with a simple “check-in” can be very helpful when it comes to personal growth and success. And what better time to check-in with yourself than the morning? Although, I personally believe that we should constantly be checking-in with ourselves, the morning is the best time to start apply this technique. This is the time of the day that I first began to do my check-ins at. My reasoning is that you are fresh, well rested, and ready to start a new day of goal chasing (most of the time). Granted, we all have bad nights of sleep or mornings we just don’t want to wake up, but, this can be a positive reinforcement to help start your day off strong.
With that said, here are 5 questions that I ask myself every morning for clarity, peace, contentment, and motivation.
How am I feeling right now?
First and foremost, right when you wake up ask yourself the simple question of “how do I feel today?” Are you excited to take on the day? Regretful of something that has happened? Wishing things were different? Immediately try to locate where your mind is at and decipher whether that feeling is more good or more bad. Understanding where your mind is at right off the bat is going to direct the course of your day. After all, you are in control of where you are heading. Maybe you are not in control of what happens in every circumstance, but you can control whether you use that for bad or for good.
Where is my focus at currently? Do I need to change it?
Now, it is time to ask yourself where your focus is at. Are you thinking about the fun this last weekend? The boy that won’t talk to you? The test that you have coming up? Whatever you are thinking about, decide if it needs to change. In order to have a successful day filled with peace and contentment, you must choose if what your brain is putting energy towards is worth it. Remember to tell your mind that you are in charge.
What am I grateful for and how can I use that to do “good” today?
Every morning, I find it very beneficial to name 2-5 things that I am grateful for and truly appreciate. Those 2-5 things could be studying that paid off, a new job you just received, a family member being in town, or even a significant other that supports you endlessly. Whatever you are thankful for, take a moment to acknowledge what it is and why you are thankful for it. Then, decided how you are going to use that blessing you have in your life to do something good in honor of what you are thankful for.
Am I being my own best friend and supporter right now?
Everyone tends to be their own worst critic. It is just a fact. You always believe that you “could have done better, or “this is not where you really should be in your life”, or even “I am not worthy of what I am being blessed with”… The list is endless. In our society, it seems that we often find it easier to shame ourselves than to praise ourselves. Therefore, always try to remember that YOU are your best friend and that YOU are your number one supporter. Personally, I always tend to feel more happy, relaxed, and/or accomplished when I take a moment and give myself a pat on the back for accomplishing something, or doing the right thing. Every morning, remember to ask yourself “am I supporting my own decisions, goals, and ambitions?” Yes, it is important to critique yourself, but it is more important to recognize what you are doing well so you can keep doing it.
How can I grow?
How can you be the best version of yourself today? Ask yourself, is there something new that you want to learn? Is there something new that you want to experience? Is there something that you need to do today in order to feel content and at rest for a moment? No matter how large or how small the task is that you have identified, go for it. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, or take a little time yourself. Whatever you need to do to work more towards your goal do it, and do it full-heartedly. When we stop trying to grow and become “too comfortable” we begin to wither. Stay motivated and stay content with where you are at, but also stay pressing towards your end goal.
As I previously stated, you are not going to always feel 100%. Some days will be better than others, and a lot of times you are not going to like the answers to your “check-in” questions. But here is the thing… At least you answered them! That is the first step in shifting towards a more positive and happy lifestyle, acknowledging that there are bumps, issues, or things that you don’t necessarily like about certain aspects of your life. However, acknowledging the good and the bad can only lead to better.
Try implementing these questions into your daily routine and watch your attitude vastly change towards anything that happens in your life, good or bad.
With all that I am,