Mindful Living, Other, Self-help

Renew Your Mind: How to Start Living Life for Yourself

It’s a strange word. Renew. Maybe when you hear it, you think about a passport or your driver’s license. But you can renew yourself, too. It’s a foreign concept to us as human beings; we’re constantly chasing that high of uncertainty; the rush of ravishing, untouched perfection in the thrill of a new job, the eyes of a new lover who hasn’t really seen us yet, the excitement of a new hobby we’ll throw all our time and even money into until we’re burnt out and right back where we started.

Because you can never really escape yourself, can you? You can never start over no matter how many New Year’s resolutions you make or promises you vow under the comfort of a dark room when you lie awake and will say anything against the gunpoint self-doubt and regret gnawing at your thoughts.

Starting your life over from scratch becomes a dark fantasy, depressing but addictive. You zone out on the way to work, in your room by yourself, any soft moments when no one cares who you are or what you’re doing. You fill your ears with Spotify playlists filled with songs that sound like the person you wish you could be.

The good news is that starting over doesn’t mean erasing every bad memory and painful experience you’ve ever had. As damaged and broken as you might feel, you can renew your mind, recover from the past, and grow. You are capable exactly as you are, no matter what you’ve been through. 

The bottom line is this: You can’t chase happiness while running from yourself. A fulfilling life has to be developed from the inside out. If you feel like a victim of your own emotions, fearful of your next depressive episode or anxiety attack, trapped by your fears of intimacy, dominated by insecurity that turns your passion into sadness, it’s time to make a change.

The Power of Choice

You don’t need anything but desire. And that desire has to become a decision. To begin renewing your mind, regaining control over your thoughts and living positively, you have to stop saying, “I want to get better” to “I am getting better.”

Notice I said I am getting better and not I will. Saying “I will” puts your mind in the future. It creates an expectation to improve that can scare you from even starting. Every negative thought or bad day feels like a slip up, and you’re left dealing with disappointment on top of the feelings that brought you down to begin with.

When you decide to say, “I am getting better”, you’ve made a choice. You’re living in the present. You’re in control of every moment, even if you can’t control the things that happen to you or thoughts and feelings that move through you. But guess what? That decision, that definitive statement to get better and start living for yourself, is irreversible.

You’ll have bad days. You’ll still have sleepless nights. You’ll cry sometimes and feel like a failure, wonder if it’s all for nothing or if you’re a lost cause. But you aren’t. Remind yourself, “I am getting better.” Every day. Even when you feel like you’re at your worst, cause that’s when you need to remember it the most.

This life is yours, and this is only the beginning.