One of my favourite sayings and something that I always have running through my mind is not “why is this happening to me?” but more along the lines of “what is this teaching me?” This single rephrase has changed my life so much that it has helped to shape the strong, independent woman I am today.
Since as long as I can remember I’ve always felt that I was different. That I never really fit in with those around me. It was as though I was a unicorn trying to find my fellow unicorns, but always struggling, desperately seeking something that was impossible to find. Or was it?
In school I didn’t fit in with the “popular” kids because I didn’t fit the mould. I wanted to be friends with everyone and that just wasn’t how the popular group worked. I also could care less about makeup and parties which didn’t exactly do me any favours.
I didn’t fit in with the smart kids because I wasn’t a brainiac. Nor did I fit in with the “rebels” because I was teetering on the edge of so many different things that I couldn’t be labelled as this or that. I couldn’t be put into a box and if those around me couldn’t place me anywhere in a specific category, then they either avoided or bullied me.
Because of this, I struggled to maintain long lasting friendships which lead to a lot of tears and an emptiness I couldn’t quite shake. And whilst I had some great friends and floated from one group to the next, I didn’t have anyone in my life who really understood me. Who was my ride or die so to speak.
So in my spare time, whilst my fellow peers were out shopping and attending parties, I worked, studied and filled my heart with books. I’d always loved to read (I still do) but it wasn’t until my teen obsession of tv series Dr Quinn Medicine Woman that I discovered Jane Seymour’s book Remarkable Changes, and as I read her story, it was as though everything I had been feeling (loneliness, misunderstood, different) no longer acted as a negative narrative within my inner self. I knew then and there that being different was a blessing and that I didn’t need to search for happiness or fulfilment from those around me because those things were already inside of me. I just hadn’t realised it.
Through her book, I learnt that when one door closes another one opens and that everything happens for a reason. I may not have had like-minded people around me then but I knew that one day I would and in the meantime, I just needed to be unapologetically me and take whatever life was going to throw my way.
As long as I keep a positive mindset on life and on myself, then nothing else matters.
When you put yourself in the drivers seat of your life, incredible things will happen. You’ll find resilience, happiness and success despite the many setbacks to cross your path. The day I stopped searching for a group to fit in with and embraced the unicorn that I was, was the day I found happiness. I realised that true happiness comes from within and I could either cry over a bunch of spilt milk, as the saying goes, or I could mop it up, pour some more and get on with my life.
I actively chose the latter.
Years later, I truly believe that no person can keep us unhappy, ashamed or unworthy if we are willing to take accountability, look in the mirror and say “the shape of my life is up to me.” By maintaining a positive mindset, you can take yourself from a victim who negatively reacts to a life you may have inherited, or a situation that roadblocks your pathway, to an architect who positively creates it.
I began to practice a positive mindset at a time when I was experiencing loneliness. All I had was myself and my mind. No matter who you are, what your background looks like or what your living situation is, you can can turn your mind into an abundance of positivity, which will transform your everyday life. You don’t need money or a fancy degree. All you need is what’s in your heart, your mind and your soul.
It’s about developing a relationship with your inner goddess and then learning to make new habits that lead to happiness by retraining your brain.
To delve a little deeper, it starts with observation. What we observe informs what thoughts we engage in, which leads to actions and actions build lives. Learning to be mindful of your thoughts and to stop engaging in negative habit loops and instead building ones that lead to fulfillment, is critical in creating an incredible life.
For example, observe your body as the temple it is, not what social media or magazines portray as “ideal” or “beautiful”. Get clear on what a healthy and sustainable body looks like for you and you only. Own it, show it to the world and let them re shape their mindset on what’s beautiful, not the other way around.
Inner happiness and inner peace is a never ending journey. At times it will be a walk in the park and other times, it will be a hurricane coming to sweep you off your feet. Be as brave in this process as possible. Believe in yourself, be kinder to the incredible human you are, who you’re destined to be because the only thing that stands between you and the happiness you want, is yourself.
So right now, wherever you are I want you to take a deep breath. Inhale nothing but positivity, hold it, now exhale all the negativity. Today can be the start of a happier more fulfilled you. So go get it! You’ve got this!
Love and kindness, Nerissa x