The last few years have been extraordinarily difficult to manage what with the struggling economy, lame housing market, job losses, and dwindling hope that the American Dream will ever come back. Experts call it Recession Fatigue, that numb exhaustion derived from the gloom that has lingered over the economic recovery.
You’ve done your best through these difficult times to keep up a positive attitude, not hurt others’ feelings, watch your diet, your thoughts, your speech, your etiquette, your spending… You’ve worked so hard to be so good despite the fact that life hasn’t always been that good back to you.
There is some good news, things are turning around, and there’s even a little bonus this year to help you get into the spirit of the new you: This year there’s an extra day in the month of February – it’s called “Leap Year” and man, do you need this! It’s time to stop worrying about being good, and focus on being great!
But after such a long time of holding back, being conservative with time, money, and even emotions, you might have lost that pre-recession spark that kept you confident, large and in charge. Don’t worry, these five tips will get you right back to your old self – the self you may have forgotten about.
1. Remember Your History. They say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, but in your case, remembering yourself in your former glory is exactly the right way to get you back on your feet. Get out old photos, journals, or zoom back in time on your timeline in Facebook and get back in touch with the crazy you that took risks and believed in miracles.
2. Leap before you look. Despite what anyone tells you, taking risks is still the best way to make your mark and advance yourself to the next level. Yes, you’ve had to play it safe through these dark times, but you didn’t have to stop living your life! Call the person you have a crush on, ask for more time off if you need it, share intimate feelings with those you trust. No recession can rob you of the person you are, so surprise yourself by doing or saying something really powerful before you talk yourself out of it!
3. Trust. Yes I know, “Once burned twice shy,” I got it. It’s easy to withhold trust from someone or something, especially after a difficult experience. But trust is not something to be earned, it’s a gift that you give knowing that you still may be disappointed. If you know all possible outcomes, you should never be surprised.
4. Display Your Trophies. It’s easy to forget the positive things in our lives if we allow them to be overshadowed by the negative ones. In my house we have an accomplishment wall. On it are framed diplomas, certificates of achievement, soccer trophies, running medals, and first grade drawings. Everyone in the family posts something they are proud of – reminders that anything is possible with determination and persistence.
5. Be Your Best. Yes, you still have to be good, because you know its who you are –the best of you comes out when you are there for someone else, either by assisting someone in need, or by living as an example of someone who knows that true strength is knowing when to ask for help. And remember… being your best means treating yourself with the same compassion and acceptance you would give a friend.
It’s been said that when you’re at the bottom, there’s no way to go but up. So don’t slowly pull yourself out of where you’ve been, LEAP UP and make this new year and your new life the absolute best it can be. Imagine where you’ll be four years from now!