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4 Life-changing Lessons I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

life changing lessons wish when younger

What am I still believing?

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers” – Thich Nhat Hanh

When you find yourself feeling stuck, frustrated, and anxious or in overwhelm –look deeper into this. Explore it by asking yourself ‘What am I still believing?’

In the beginning of lockdown (which would make no sense trying to explain it to you in this letter), I had an expectation that I would have more time available to myself but quite quickly I realised I had less time and the amount I could do in a day was dramatically reduced too. After 13 weeks of resisting the situation with daily phrases like ‘I should be doing X or this is not how it should be’, I knew it was time for some serious introspection. We are as A-type as it gets, a 1 on the Enneagram and it was time to accept that this situation was way beyond my control.

I sat down and meditated on the life-changing questions ‘What am I still believing?’ It turns out, I was measuring my self-worth on my work achievements and outputs only. This unique period of time required me to shift my priorities and accept I have a limited number of hours available to me. The bulk of my time had shifted into managing my kids schooling so naturally I could accomplish less than before.

My beliefs had to shift in order for me to appreciate that this role is equally powerful and I am still adding tremendous value. I didn’t stop my work commitments but the volume had been affected.

I was believing something that didn’t serve me and unless I altered the belief, I would hold myself hostage to an unrealistic outcome. I had to re-evaluate what value means and ask myself some serious questions:

  • Who do I want to be during lockdown?
  • How do I want to show up to my family?
  • How do I want them to remember this time?

Then I gave myself permission to shift my beliefs and embrace my new way of being and how service, contribution and worth can be derived outside of work too. It was also accepting that my self-worth couldn’t be based on an external locus of control like finance or workshops or talks. I had to get into a space and it sounds so clichéd but there’s a reason for every cliché – it holds deep truth.

Related: 3 Key Questions To Ask Yourself To Help Make Any Decision

This was moving into a space of unconditional self-acceptance and being enough. Now. Today – with or without the work achievements. There are going to be times where you succeed and times you feel like a complete failure, accept yourself unconditionally irrespective of the outcome and keep appreciating the lessons that it brings.

Thich Nhat Hanh speaks about the value of ‘inaction’ in his beautiful book, The Art of Living. He says how sometimes we perceive people as not doing anything because they appear inactive. Yet the power and influence that person holds can be so powerful.

He explains how just their presence can yield a sense of calm, empathy and serves as a diffuser for the energy of the house and their absence would impact the situation negatively.

I had to adopt the same belief – not that I was being inactive in a literal sense. But that being able to operate from a space of calm confidence as opposed to stress and overwhelm could significantly influence the mood and energy in the house.

When you move through your journey, remember there will be times where you may feel inactive or that you are not doing enough but remember the power you yield and how this role can bring great contribution and value.

Related: Is It Solitude or Loneliness?: 4 Questions to Help You Tell

Does this contract or expand me?

“Spend your time on those that love you unconditionally. Don’t waste it on those that only love you when the conditions are right for them” – Unknown

When you aren’t sure what to do about an opportunity, this is the benchmark question to identify what you should say yes to and what you should politely decline. Very simply – if it energises you, do it. If it depletes you, find the courage and compassion to walk away and say no. This is not only about opportunities but clears up who you want to spend time your precious time with.

life changing questions
4 Life-changing Lessons I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

They either deplete you or help recharge your battery. Surround yourself with the people who grow you, encourage you and support you. Reciprocate back and be that person for someone else.

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Lori Milner

LORI MILNER is the engaging speaker, author, coach and trainer. She is passionate about empowering women and equipping diverse teams with the tools and skills to fulfil their potential in their careers and personal lives. Her full-service consultancy, Beyond the Dress (BTD), helps individuals to build harmony into their personal and professional lives. Lori’s expertise is self-leadership; her focus areas include smart time and goal management, stress management, inter-personal skills, personal branding, mental mastery and leadership – and the result is happier and more productive people. Lori is married and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her 2 children. Lori delivered a talk for TEDxLytteltonWomen in December 2018 on the topic of ‘How to Create Micro Wins’.View Author posts