Each new day, season, quarter or chapter of life brings with it a myriad of opportunities to learn, grow, and explore. This quote by Steve Maraboli captures it perfectly: “A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.”
As we close off quarter one of 2022 and step into the second quarter of the year, best believe that it brings with it a new beginning, fresh start and renewal for our lives and the plans we have. But without overwhelming ourselves with what is upcoming and what we need to do, I want to highlight some of the things which can help us get started on making things happen in our lives.
1. Know yourself.
I believe that being fully acquainted with who you are is the first step to living out your best life. Knowing yourself encompasses an understanding of your strengths, your weaknesses, your threats and opportunities. Think about it as a SWOT analysis of your life. It’s about acknowledging your triggers, what makes your heart skip a beat and what doesn’t. It’s about owning your truth without shying away from it or shaming yourself for what you’ve been through. It is about a deeper understanding of whose you are and to whom you belong. If you aren’t sure where to start, remember Psalm 139 verse 14 says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Remember Sinach's song, I know who I am? In this song, Sinach sings about the fact that "we are a chosen generation that has been called forth to show His excellence". YOU are part of that chosen generation. Know yourself and take up your rightful place in the kingdom. Be curious and explore your innate being.
“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.” - Juansen Dizon
2. Set no limitations on yourself.
Once you know yourself better, it will get easier to not set limitations on yourself. This is a result of knowing that what is rightfully yours is waiting for you to reach out to it and grab it with both hands. Most times we set limitations on ourselves because of our lack of trust in our God-given abilities. We fear that our gifts will not set the bar for us. We disqualify ourselves, all in the name of "I don’t think I can do that or be that kind of a person". We play small while waiting to receive recognition or validation from those around us. And when we don’t get what we are waiting for from these people, we subconsciously confirm the untruths we’ve told ourselves. As a result, we move along life feeling inadequate.
"The truth is, we should not wait to be given permission to thrive in spaces that God has already commissioned us for. We should believe in the value of who we are, what we are about and what we have to offer." - Refilwe Ramatlhodi Ndhlovu
3. Be open to learning. How many times have we heard or even said, "this is how I’ve always done it", "This is what I know". I’ve said it countless times. For someone who wants to grow and make things happen for themselves, this behavioural tendency doesn’t contribute much except for continued redundancy and stagnancy. This is not to say that our perspective isn’t on par but to grow from where we are, we need to be able to change our perspective on things, especially upon receiving new information about them.
We need to allow ourselves to see beyond what we think we know. When we do this, our eyes open up to other things which will help propel us to an even greater place or position. Remember the O in SWOT from point number 1 refers to opportunities. Changing our perspective on things allows us an opportunity to grow and learn from everyone we encounter and everything we go through.
Learning is continuous but for it to be effective, we need to be agile and open-minded.
Repel scarcity. We tend to operate from a place of scarcity especially in instances where, we are striving for perfection, when we are afraid, when we don’t believe and when we are driven by apathy. Scarcity is a mind-set that imprisons the body from being active and taking decisive action about things that matter. When our scarcity stems from fear, we are crippled by thoughts of inadequacy and not good enough. We think “what if they think I’m stupid for asking that question”, “I don’t think anybody will be interested in what I have to offer”. These thoughts and more fill our minds and eventually our hearts with fear, leading to life-paralysis.
In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown defines life-paralysis as “all of the opportunities we miss because we are too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect. It’s all about all of the dreams that we don’t follow because of our fear of failing, making mistakes and disappointing others”. We need to repel scarcity by having a mind-set of abundance. Abundance in our thinking, our speech, and our actions.
To dispel any limitations or negative vibes from our lives, we need to feed our subconscious mind with the truth, life-giving words, affirming mantras, and so forth on a daily basis. We need to operate from a place of abundance and not scarcity. We need to be faithful. We need to believe in who God says we are, what we are about and what we have to offer. Failure to do this will lead us to life-paralysis, resulting in living a life unfulfilled.
This week, sit down, pen and paper and compile your personal SWOT analysis. Think about all the limitations you’ve imposed on yourself. Look out for opportunities to learn and grow. Repel scarcity and start operating from abundance by affirming yourself: who you are, what you are about and what you have to offer.
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