Create the Life You Love by Exploring Your Community

Shedding self-doubt and letting go of overthinking will leave you with more motivation and confidence. When you truly appreciate yourself, fear will not hold you back in the ways that it can in times of self-loathing.

With this freedom, you can pursue activities and people that will fit into the life you want to live.

Jump In

Increase your understanding of the world around you by exploring more of it. This does not have to be taxing or time-consuming. You can start exactly where you are.

Start by observing what is around you throughout your day.

Put your phone down while you’re in public places, such as the grocery store or the bookstore. You can use these moments to participate in the world around you. Look at your surroundings, at the people around you, and observe yourself in this arena. Keep your head up and try to stay open to those around you.

By showing any willingness to engage in your community, you’re opening yourself up to new opportunities for connection. People are typically not as scary as we make them up to be in our heads. By attending local events and activities, you will have the opportunity to have a good time with new people while doing something you enjoy.

Consider these activities for getting involved with the world around you:

Be a tourist in your own town. Spend a weekend seeing the local attractions your town has to offer. Whether it’s large or small, pick an adventure and go with it. You can take a walking tour, go to a museum, or participate in a larger group activity.

Participate in a team sport. If you love getting active by playing your favorite sport, find a local recreational team that you can join. This will help you get to know people while doing something that you already enjoy.

Try something new. If you’ve never done a team sport, try one! If you’ve never been to a nice restaurant by yourself, try it! You can practice self-compassion while being kind and open to those around you.

Acknowledge the people you see frequently. If you have the same barista three days per week, or you see the same person at the gas station every time, acknowledge them. Though you hardly play a role in each other’s’ lives, you can always uplift each other’s’ days by having a pleasant interaction.

Learn a new language. Take a class or join a group that can help you pick up a new language. Choose a language that’s frequently spoken around you, so you can connect with more people. You can also choose a language of a country that you plan to visit.

Join a club. Look online to find groups meeting in your area. You can find groups for everything. Whether you like sewing, reading, painting, or protesting, you can find a group doing just that. This will help you connect with others that you have something in common with.

By embracing what’s around you, you can use your environment to help you thrive. Living your best life means putting yourself out there in new ways. Do the things you love and learn the things you’ve always wanted to learn. Shed self-doubt so that you can have frequent moments of fearless connection with others and your world.

Be Authentic

It is not always easy to be authentic. Being authentic requires that you reveal your true thoughts, dreams, and ideas. Gone are the days of people-pleasing. You can speak up for yourself, pursue the things you want, and talk with new people all while being totally authentic and kind.

Be nice to yourself and kind to others. Being your authentic self means that you’re showing the world who you really are by being conscious of your actions and taking chances to demonstrate your values and loves.

Follow these tips for embracing authenticity:

Continue to love yourself. Increase your self-compassion practice by improving the way you speak to yourself throughout the day. When you’re able to accept yourself in your head, that will show on the outside. You will feel confident and worthy. Your thoughts matter.

Make intentional time to get to know your community. Whether it’s once per week or once every few months, get out and get involved. As you continue to follow through on this commitment, it will get easier, and it will definitely be more fun than fear!

Practice gratitude. Gratitude is an excellent key to authenticity because it helps you get to a place where you feel grateful for your life and everything in it, good or bad. When you’re having these feelings of gratitude, you’re more likely to feel at peace with yourself.

Do what brings you fulfillment. Instead of doing or saying what everyone wants you to, take a pause and think about what is most fulfilling for you. That is what authenticity is about. It is just about you being you, exactly as you are. Love yourself for that.

Allow yourself to be inspired. Take a deep breath of fresh air, stretch your arms above your head, and listen to the sounds you love. When you’re feeling inspired, your confidence goes up and you’re more comfortable with yourself.

Increase interactions with those around you. By putting yourself in small, positive social situations, you can have even more practice with being truly you. Practice on the small stuff, like ordering the food you want to eat for dinner or picking out the movie for your group of friends.

You can build authenticity over time. At first, it can be a tricky concept to work with because sometimes it can be difficult to catch ourselves being inauthentic. If you notice that you’re people-pleasing or avoiding your truth, compassionately remind yourself that you have permission to be exactly who you are (and exactly who you are is enough).

Start by noticing the times when you’re inauthentic and thinking about what you could do or say differently in future instances. For example, if you chose music that you don’t like because you knew your friend would like it, you can decide that next time you will play the music you want to listen to.

Doing this on small things will build confidence to speak up when it really counts.

Let Go of Expectations

When you go out to a large concert or even a small dinner, do you find that you begin to play everything that you think might happen while you’re out? Do you imagine negative conversations, rejection, or a negative memory being formed?

When you’re excited about something, do you find yourself imagining how perfect it will be? Do you ever find yourself disappointed when things don’t live up to your expectations? This is totally normal.

As humans, we crave certainty. It sometimes seems easier to assume that the worst will happen than to accept that we have no idea what will happen. There is something a bit insecure about letting go of expectations. It can feel like a lack of structure or security.

Let go of perfection

First, let’s talk about the disappointment that comes when things don’t meet our expectations. Imagine you’re attending a party and expect to have so much fun, taking photos, laughing, and having the best night of your life. Your expectations set up your excitement for the entire night.

If you have expectations that things will be perfect, you will crash to disappointment as soon as things stop being perfect, even if they are still going well. Sometimes expectations are crushed even after a night that has gone wonderfully. Because it was not the perfect, exciting night you imagined, you feel a loss.

When you find your mind drifting toward expectations of perfection, take these moments as a sign that it’s time to pause and release these expectations. Instead, you can say, “I am excited for what this evening holds,” with a sense of curiosity instead of pressure.

If you find yourself disappointed when things did not go according to plan, reflect on the event and find what did go well. Maybe things that you had not even considered in your planning went well. Maybe it was just one thing that made the whole night seem terrible.

Let go of the worst-case scenario

It’s easy to assume that the worst is going to happen.

For example, when you need to give an important speech, you might find yourself assuming that you’re going to be a total failure. You may be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to be outstanding, and you may find yourself assuming that you cannot live up to the greatness that you want to live up to.

If you’re going on a first date, you might assume that your date will be horrible and that they will not like you.

How could you possibly know? By walking into situations with these negative attitudes, you’re more likely to feel stress and fear while you’re in that moment.

If you feel like the worst is going to happen, pause for a moment to remind yourself that you cannot tell the future. Remind yourself that you get to control yourself and your behaviors, no matter the situation. So, you can choose to walk into a new situation with a patient curiosity and an open mind.

Negative mindsets often take years to develop. It may be a habit that you picked up in an attempt to protect yourself from previous fears. You can find the beliefs that are not productive for you and choose to release them.

So, if you’re assuming that people don’t like you, or that things are not going to go your way, you can dive into that and learn more.

Focus on the moment

Letting go of expectations will enable you to live your best life because it’s another layer of weight that you’re removing from the things that keep you from being truly you.

Instead of having any expectations at all, positive or negative, learn to embrace the present moment for exactly what it is. You don’t have to obsess over the past or try to predict the future. You don’t have to try to read people’s minds or try to predict their behavior.

Instead, take a pause and bring yourself to the present moment. This present moment acknowledgement comes as a result of mindfulness and can be applied to every area of your life, every day.

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