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Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.
10 Ways To Change Your Life.
“If you truly feel that self-esteem and motivation have to happen first before you can make changes in your life, then we’ll probably be sharing walkers at a retirement home as we talk over what might have been.” Shannon Alder.
I honestly believed that I needed to find the motivation to catapult me into the life I wanted. Truthfully, I was far to close to the retirement home before I figured out there is only one thing that will get you to the life you want – ACTION. I hope one or more of these action ideas can help you to get moving toward the life you want.
- Get off the couch or out of bed. As a bipolar sufferer, I spent a lot of time stuck to the couch or glued to the bed waiting for the motivation to come. I can tell you; it does not work that way.
- Practice Gratitude (Say Thank You). Yes, you can be grateful on the couch or in bed, but it seems to work better when you are up and, in the world, where you can see the things you are grateful for. To say I am grateful for something is fine, but to say thank you for those things acknowledges that a power greater than you or even another person made all of those things you are grateful for possible.
- Create A Dream Or Vision Board. Creating something that focuses you on the life you want has a power that is hard to describe. There are many better teachers on creating these boards than I will ever be. Check the blog of the week for a better teacher on how to construct a dream board.
- Decide You Want To Change. A decision is all that it takes to make a change. If you are like me, a decision to change will not carry you far. Years ago, I learned that the word decision did not have any weight with me so when I see the word decision, I automatically change it to “Commitment.” The word commitment carries more weight with me and causes me to make the situation more serious. For me, I made a commitment to change and that commitment has carried me an exceptionally long way.
- Practice Acceptance, Especially On Yourself. I know this sounds silly; how can you possibly accept yourself as you are right now? The starting point for the life you want is right here, right now. That life does not have any other place to start. Anything else is just putting it off. Something we as bipolar sufferers are masters at. Learning to accept yourself just as you are is one of the greatest tools to use in creating the life you want. Creating the life you want is not easy, the sooner you learn to accept yourself warts and all the easier it will be to accept you may make some mistakes along the way.
- Build Better Habits. For years I believed that goal setting was the way to change. The truth for me was I did not have the foundation to achieve the goals. That foundation proved to be better habits. Understanding that every habit, good or bad, is learned went a long way to helping me as I developed better habits for the life I wanted. With my bipolar disorder, I learned that it takes four to six months for a habit to stick. This is four to six times longer than the twenty to thirty days that the popular literature states. Also practicing number five as I developed those habits made a big difference as I no longer needed to do things perfectly. I just needed to do them.
- Create A Purpose For Your Life. There is research that shows having a purpose increases overall well being and life satisfaction. For me, living the life I want, that “Ducky” life, revolves around living with and managing my bipolar disorder and helping others to do the same.
- Commit To Learning. “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” Jim Rohn. This quote sums up the truth about getting the life you want. You have to learn to be better, to have the skills to tackle the problems, and have the experiences to grow wisdom. I always say, “the more of bipolar management is learning.”
- Create Inspiration Around You. When I wake up the first thing, I see is an inspiring quote. When I sit at my computer to write I am surrounded by inspiring, uplifting signs and symbols in for the form of quotes and my vision board. My entire space, from the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, and my office, does nothing but inspire me to keep going.
- Pay The Price. Change requires you to become willing to give up something. I learned a formula from Youtuber Sunny Lenarduzzi that really helped me to grasp this concept.
What you want + What you are willing to work for – Any distractions that stand in your way = The Life You Want.
I wanted a life that was worth living and I was willing to work for that life. I found that to get that life I had to focus and anything, people, places, things, or situations, that distracted me from that focus had to go. Harsh but true.
Here is the surprising thing about this journey, Self-esteem, and motivation do not come first as we seemed to believe. I found that as I progressed towards the life I wanted and I changed, my self-esteem grew, and I am motivated most of the time. This proves that you have to act in order to get self-esteem and motivation. I still have bipolar, and I manage it fairly well, but it still strikes at inopportune times and in new and surprising ways. That is OK because I have, or can learn, the skills to deal with it.
As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things. Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.
The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”
I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.
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BLOG OF THE WEEK:
Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well. This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you. I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by Christie Inge