Strive to Thrive – 10 Suggestions To Help You Stay On Track
The December newsletter takes a break from Psychopharmacology to focus on 10 ways to help you thrive. Here goes with some suggested do’s and don’ts.
1. Run away as fast as you can from miserable people. They will drag you down into the muck and mire with them. There’s no joy in the lives of these people and they consistently believe that the world is plotting against them and that their plight is somebody else’s fault. Don’t just run away, stay away from this kind of toxicity.
2. Forgive yourself. You forgive others, right? Why not yourself? Transgressions — past and present – don’t have to mean sentencing yourself to neurotic jail. You’re not here to continually beat yourself down nor do you have to believe you’re unworthy, so quit telling yourself you are.
3. Stop making comparisons. Compare you only to you. Say to yourself that your individual uniqueness counts for something potentially big time. The only avatar you should have is the one you’re looking at in the mirror when you’re combing your hair. In fact, it’s hard to mimic being someone else, you may be able to sustain that for a while, but eventually you’ll come back to being you, so don’t waste your time.
4. Jettison negativity. Yep, it’s hard some days to believe that the deck isn’t stacked against you. It isn’t. There’s something positive to take away from the worst thing that happened to you today or the day before. As bad as that may seem, it can always be worse.
5. Don’t set expectations which even a super hero couldn’t meet. Accept the fact that you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a week, write a book in a day or get filthy rich overnight. Sure, you could win the lottery, but that probably shouldn’t be your long-term financial growth plan. Set expectations you’re likely to reach. Losing a pound or two a week and doubling your income within 5-7 years is attainable.
6. Get involved and take on something new. Try new things. What’s keeping you from learning to play a musical instrument or signing up for an improvisation class? Only you. Truthfully, what is there to lose? When you embark on anything new, the worst that will happen is that you won’t get better at it or decide that it’s just not for you. If on the other hand you stay with the new venture, you’ll get better at it. Eventually you’ll be successful and your self-satisfaction will increase significantly.
7. Quit people-pleasing. Don’t spend an inordinate amount of time trying to ensure that other people are pleased with you. Keep your personal standards high and never compromise them simply to be “liked” more. Be controversial, be contrarian where appropriate; doing so will make you stand out in a crowd. It is okay if some people are ticked off with you and don’t like you. Your personal value should never be gauged on being accepted by others. Personal value is a function of improving your self-mastery — nothing else.
8. Live only for the 24 hours of any given day. Sure, you’ve heard this one before. Still, it’s all too common to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of the past and the anticipation of the future. Your childhood is in the rear-view mirror and the rocking chair is a ways off too. Today offers opportunity, and that’s what is going to shape you. Know what you can’t change and move on. Period. How do you know what you can’t change? It’s easy, no matter the issue, if you don’t have the personal power or the means to advance a solution for it, you’re not changing it.
9. Don’t isolate yourself. Don’t be completely people-free for extended periods of time. You are not here to be alone. Isolation fuels negativity because there is no other perspective to consider other than your own, and that’s going to be skewed in your favor — as irrational and illogical as it may be. You need living and breathing support systems to sustain you — not social media, smartphones or The Real Housewives. Support can come from the obvious sources — family friends, colleagues. But it can also come from membership in trade associations, mastermind groups, sports leagues and people you strike up conversations with at the local coffee shop. It’s out there, but you have to find it, it’s not going to chase after you.
10. Refuse to be controlled. Don’t walk lockstep with what you see or hear others are doing. Stand out in the crowd; don’t be a follower. You’re here to make waves not tread water. Get in the limelight. This doesn’t mean you have to break out the leisure suit or resurrect the beehive hairdo. Just follow you own bent. Eschew unsolicited feedback and ask only for the opinions of those you respect. Base your worth on what you believe in, not externals. You are not your job title. Believe you’re a good person, and by doing so, everything and everybody around you wins.
With an ever-present attitude of the best is yet to come, there’s no stopping you!
Joe Wegmann is a licensed pharmacist & clinical social worker has presented psychopharmacology seminars to over 10,000 healthcare professionals in 46 states, and maintains an active psychotherapy practice specializing in the treatment of depression and anxiety. He is the author of Psychopharmacology: Straight Talk on Mental Health Medications, published by PESI, Inc.