2021 has been different. Different than everyone expected it to be. Different to every other year before. And different because it helped me to kindle my drive to create the best life possible again. Spending several months of the year between lockdown, always changing infection control laws and the hope for the whole situation to finally getting back to normal, 2021 provided me with a lot of time for myself. If you at this point want to know about my background and the reason I invented this blog, click here.
This year has been filled with a lot of valuable lessons. Lessons I’ve already learnt within the last year but of which I got reminded of again. New lessons I didn’t know I needed. And lessons that has been essential for the path I’m at: becoming the best version of myself, “that girl” of my dreams. In this article I want to share with you 10 of them, hoping that they’ll inspire you, too! #becomingthatgirl
Fundamental Lesson no. 1 – Always. Listen. To. Your. Gut. Feeling.
This first lesson has probably been the most fundamental one of the past year.
I’ve always been a girl who heard the “small voice” inside her, who acted upon her her heart instead of her head and who has been aware of her intuition. But if I’m honest to myself, during my 20es, I barely really acted on that voice within me. The main decision I made, for example where and what to study, when to travel, where to live, I made from the perspective of “What would make sense the most?” and “What’s probably going to be most promising for a good future?”. And even if I most of the time knew deep down that this was not really what I want or who I was, I still went for these decisions, influenced by the opinion of other’s.
2021 really changed that. It showed me again that I can trust my intuition, my gut feeling or however you want to call that small voice inside you, a 100%. In the end, it always comes down to your gut feeling. Even if you try to ignore it or really push it in the background of your head: It always will find a way to break through – so why not listen to it in the first place? It sometimes takes a lot of courage but as far as I can say it is ALWAYS worth it!
Fundamental Lesson no 2. – Believe that you deserve it
“It” can be everything in this case. Because it is true: you deserve everything you want! Sounds simple at first glance but haven’t you already had thoughts like “Why me?” or “Why should I get to live the life of my dreams? I’m not smart, pretty, …enough”. This is where you actively have to push aside the thought and think instead “Yea, why not me?”. You’ll see that most of the time you’ll have no answer to that question.
2021 has taught me to 100% believe in myself, my abilities and my right to deserve everything I’ve ever dreamed of. Because WHY FUCKING NOT?
Fundamental Lesson No. 3 – Make a decision first and then everything else will follow
This is a huge lesson I’ve learnt this year. Whenever you want something in your life, you have to actively and in fully awareness decide that you want it. Sounds easy but is it?
Making that one decision that will change everything (quitting your job and pursuing your dreams, buying a house, asking your crush for a date, leaving a relationship,…) seems scary and unreasonable at first glance. But this is just fear holding you back, trying to convince you staying in old patterns. When you’re brave enough to make that one decision that will change your current life situation, everything else will fall in place then and things will evolve faster than you may think.
If you want to read about how “that one decision” changes my life, click here to read the article.
Fundamental Lesson No. 4 – There are multiple ways to live your life
Believe it or not, it took me 29 years to really understand this lesson. When you grow up in a society that is build on strong beliefs and values which imply a certain way of how life has to look like, it can be hard not to lose yourself. Growing up in Germany, I had kind of a hard time realizing that I feel different about how life has to look like than society dictates. I tried to burry that small voice in my head saying “You don’t belong here. There’s more to life”. And don’t get me wrong: with the “German” way of living (which usually looks like school, studies, finding a partner, getting a 9 – 5 job, getting married, buying a house and having children) is nothing wrong! There are many people who find security and stability in this. But it is wrong for me. And this is where I realized that there are multiple ways of living your life. You don’t always have to work in a 9 – 5 job. You don’t have to find your partner before you turn 30. You don’t need to buy a house or have children if this is nothing you want. It is your life and you only get to live it once, so live it the way YOU want!
Fundamental Lesson No. 5 – Other people’s opinions are only based on their view on life
We’ve all been there: We listen to other people’s opinion about something we do, say or want to do more than to what we think about it. We think that especially people who are close to us know what’s best for us and forget that it is actually ourselves who get the “full insight” of a situation and therefore know ourselves best. The result is that we start doubting a decision we made or a goal we want to achieve. We tell ourselves “If everybody thinks this is a bad idea, I probably shouldn’t do it”. But what we forget is the following:
Other people’s opinions are only based on their view on life. Their opinions are the result of what they experienced and especially how they experienced it. It has nothing to with the situation you’re in. Sure, sometimes people can relate to a situation and give you advice on how they would act in the situation. But again: it’s based on their views, not yours. In fact someone else’s opinion on something going on in your life does not affect your reality – until you let them. Being aware of this you’ll soon notice a certain feeling of freedom. You’re free whatever you want to do, say, achieve or decide because it is your life. It is your reality. And it is your experience no one actually can relate a 100% to.
Fundamental Lesson No. 6 – Listen to your body & mind and put them first
Especially within the last two years, I got aware more and more of the importance of giving your mind & body rest on a regular basis. I learnt that it is not only totally fine to sometimes do anything but also necessary in order to recharge your batteries and preserve your energy. 2021 taught me to even go a step further and put the health of your mind and body always first. It is the basis for anything else. Whether you want to achieve your goals or live a balanced and happy life – your mind & body being at ease / well-rested in the key to it.
Within the last year I discovered some techniques and habits that helped me to really putting the focus on my body and mind. Read about them in the article “How to rest your mind & body on a regular basis”.
Fundamental Lesson no. 7 – Put your “higher goals” over current “caught in the moment” feelings
One thing 2021 taught me was to focus on my higher long-term goals instead of feelings that come up “in the heat of the moment”. So whenever I made a decision that affected me or other people in my life, I tried to act in the best way possible that serves my “higher goals”. To be honest, I’m still learning and I do not always succeed with not acting out of strong current emotions. But I try to ask myself before every decision “How does this decision affects my long-term goal?” and then go with the way that supports this goal.
Fundamental Lesson No. 8 – Find stability in certain habits
This lesson is one I really fell in love with with the past year. I’ve never really had certain habits or rituals and just started and ended my day without awareness. Listening to podcasts and reading books about the importance of creating your own habits, I really tried this out and what can I say? I love it! I for example established starting into the day with morning affirmations and a quick but powerful meditation. Also, I try to journal every morning to really start the day in mindfulness. Establishing habits doesn’t mean you have to change your whole life or routine. It rather means including small rituals or changes to your mornings (or even evenings). 2 small habits that have a huge impact on your start into the day are for example making your bed and drinking a glass of water as one of the first actions you do. It doesn’t take much time but effects your morning enormously.
And here come’s the lesson then: When you’re at the point of having included some habits into your life, they provide you with a certain stability. I found that whenever I feel a bit disconnected to myself it is those habits that help me to get back to my balance. And in knowing this, I feel prepared for every change that might come in my life, because those habits build “tools” to really connect me with myself again – no matter what.
In this article, I’ve collected some habits I established into my day in order to give you some inspiration to find your habits.
Fundamental Lesson no. 9 – Stop looking for “the catch”
This lesson is actually one I’ve learnt in the last days of 2021 and which I will take with me into this new year. Do you know the feeling when everything in your life seems “too good to be true”? When you’re looking for “the catch”, ready to be disappointed? Let me tell you now: Chances are high that there is no catch!
We are so used to always prepare for the bad in situations and to get into “fight” mode so that we sometimes forget that life actually IS good. You create the life of your dreams, why are you surprised then when it turns our to be as fucking great as you wanted it to be? Your dream life, the life you’ve been working on, is supposed to feel great! It is supposed to have no catch in it. So stop looking for it! You deserve the best life and you deserve to enjoy it at the fullest, without having to fear disappointment or disillusion. Remind yourself daily that you’ve created this “too good to be true” life and that it’s about time now to enjoy it!
Fundamental Lesson no. 10 – Some of our thoughts aren’t ours, it’s our “monkey brain” trying to trick us
I first heard of the expression “monkey brain” while listening to Jay Shetty’s podcast (On Purpose). Having been a monk for some time, he learnt that we all have a so called “monkey brain” which tricks us into thoughts that aren’t actually ours. Thoughts like “I am not smart / pretty / thin /beautiful enough” or “Why should I be the one who’s making a lot of money?” or even “I can’t do it”. We’ve all been there and that’S okay. It is actually pretty normal to have those thoughts. The important thing I learnt about this is that you need to get aware of your “monkey brain”, observe the thoughts it has and then let them go without starting to overthink them. Every thought you have can be useful to you, because it tells something about your wishes, fears, doubts or desires. In the end, it is all about observing those thoughts, noticing them but then letting them go again.