When I first started working with a coach and creating my business she asked me to create a timeline of my life’s biggest events. For each event she asked me to list the lessons I had learned and things I know to be true.
This turned out to be one loooooooong list. I think I had written something like 150 things. I guess I’ve learned a lot in the 30 years I’ve been around. She told me to narrow it down to my top 10. This was extremely difficult because there were so many good ones to choose from! However I did it and now I am so thrilled to be sharing them with you.
So without further ado here are my top 10 guiding principles for life, love & relationships:
- Always follow your intuition
This is a HUGE one and has guided me through so many difficult decisions. That little voice in your head is there for the soul (see what I did there) purpose of guiding you to where you need to be. It has NEVER steered me wrong. That is when I chose to listen to it. The older I get the more I rely on it and the closer I’m getting to where I want to be.
- Know what you deserve
Know that you deserve someone who loves you for you and doesn’t want to change who you are. You are YOU for a reason. Your unique gifts and talents were given to you so you can share them with the world and with a partner. You deserve love, respect, compassion, happiness, and joy and should never apologize for wanting those things.
- Your thoughts create your reality
Another HUGE one for me. Our thoughts create our emotions which then create our actions and form our reality. Take a look at the relationship you’re in now or were in in the past. Each one of those relationships are a DIRECT REFLECTION OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF. I know you want to blame the other person for lying, cheating or just being a shitty boyfriend, but the reality is you created those situations by believing your thoughts. By changing our thoughts we change our reality.
- Be with someone who compliments you not completes you
I don’t mean literally compliments you (but hey who doesn’t love a compliment?). I mean someone whose happiness is your happiness. Someone who supports you and wants to build you up. Someone who gently and lovingly pushes you because they believe in you. You are your own person and you don’t need anyone to make you whole. They are in your life because you WANT them there, not because you NEED them there.
- Love yourself first
I hate when people say this. It sounds so corny. But low and behold it’s true. In order to fully love someone else we have to love ourselves first. How do we do that? Think about the type of partner you want. Are they needy? unhealthy? low self-esteem? negative? Probably not. Become the person you want to attract. Take care of your body by exercising and eating healthy. Spend time with your friends and family. Take time for yourself. Create boundaries and learn to say no. Do things you that make you feel alive and bring you joy. Accept compliments by sincerely saying “Thank you”. This is what loving yourself first looks like.
- Forgive them
This was a tough one and you have to be ready. It took me 10 years to forgive someone who hurt me so deeply and changed my life forever. It was a long 10 years living in that victim mentality. The forgiveness happened organically. It was like my body knew I was ready. And while this may not be for everyone I talked to him face to face. I told him I was ready to forgive him, not for him but for myself. I knew I was ready to close this chapter in my book and start a new one. And I was able to do just that because IT FELT RIGHT AND I WAS READY. It will always be a part of me but it’s not ALL OF ME anymore.
- Speak your truth
How many times did I say I liked something because I felt a guy would like me more? How many times have I stood on the sidelines because I didn’t feel what I had to say was important? The answer is too many. What I’ve learned is to speak my truth because my opinion does matter. What you have to say is important. Be honest about what you want, what you like, what you don’t want and what you don’t like. If you start a relationship based on a lie, even a small one your setting yourself up for disaster. If a guy is telling you he’s just looking to have fun and you’re looking for a serious relationship, it’s never going to work. Don’t hope he’s going to change his mind once he gets to know you because that never happens. Be honest and upfront about what you want from the beginning.
- Don’t do anything because you think you SHOULD
The word “should” is one of my least favorite words ever created. I should be married by the time I’m 30. I should be want to be with this guy because he has a great job. I should stay a virgin until I get married. “Should’s” come from our parents, society, media, friends, our culture and religion. We are constantly being bombarded with big ones, small ones and ones we didn’t even existed. Don’t listen to them! Just because we think we SHOULD be doing something doesn’t make it true. Listen to what YOU really want and need. I guarantee what you want and need is very different then what you think you should.
- Be the heroine of your story
It is really easy to be the victim of your story. I get it. I was a victim of my story for so many years. I come from a long line of victims. People who all think that things happen to them and everything is a terrible tragedy. Don’t get me wrong, terrible things do happen and there are tragedies, but it’s how you view your story that changes things. I remember listening to my mom constantly telling me how this and that happened to her and always feeling sorry for herself. I remember thinking there has got to be another way. In coach training they teach us to do this with our clients and it has helped change my view of my own story too. Write your story how you see it. After you’ve written your story go back and pick out 2-3 things. Write about how these situations have helped you in some way. After you’ve done this rewrite your story as the heroine. This will help you to see that your story happened perfectly and exactly the way it was meant to. Your story helped teach you the lessons you needed to learn the most.
- Practice gratitude and mindfulness everyday
Being mindful is so so so important I can’t stress that enough. It helps to keep those negative, pestering thoughts at bay. Being present allows you to see things more clearly. Practicing gratitude helps retrain your brain to think positively. Sitting in traffic is one of the most annoying things in the world. But look around and start to notice what is perfect about this situation right now? Maybe you missed an accident. Maybe you got to hear your favorite song on the radio. Maybe you got to enjoy the sunshine instead of being inside a cubicle for a few more minutes. Practicing mindfulness and gratitude will help attract more positive things into your life.
These 10 guiding principles have literally shaped my life, my relationships and the way I feel about myself. I live and swear by them every day like Hammurabi’s Code. They have created my life today and will continue to create my life for the future.