I speak with so many women who are overwhelmed and burnt out and when I asked them what brings them joy, they struggle to answer the question sometimes. We have lost our way and put ourselves on the back burner. We tell ourselves, “when I get this done” or “when achieve that” then I will take time for myself. Then that list is never done. So many of us were told as a child that we could play after we finished our chores. Now, our chores/work are never done, and we forgot how to enjoy the little things in life.
We need to get back to the things that light us up and make us happy. For me, it's in simple things like spending time with family, laughing with a friend, gazing at the stars at night reminding me of how small we really are, hearing a child laugh, watching the sunrise or sunset, smiling at a stranger or getting a nice compliment from a client or coworker.
Things that light us up or bring us joy don’t have to big like a vacation or a spa day. We can learn so much from watching babies or dogs. It is the smallest thing that brings them joy.
Here are two things I do to help shift my chaos to joy:
1. Create a daily mindset practice.
When you wake up in the morning, you set the tone for the day. Don't allow the world to tell you how your day is going to go. We don't want to start our day with grabbing our phone and scrolling through social media or watching the news. Those things can sometimes trigger us in fear or comparison trap. We get to set the intention for the day by asking ourselves what we want to experience that day. In my daily mindset practice, I start the day with gratitude, prayer, daily scripture and journaling. It is the quiet time that is so sweet and I allow room to hear from God.
When I was younger, I would ask why we pray if God already knows the plan and our prayers. I realized we pray because it puts us in a position to hear from Him. We are creating space to deepen that relationship.
Creating a daily mindset practice doesn’t need to feel like one more thing on the to do list. It doesn’t even have to be lengthy. Start with 3 to 5 minutes and do what feels right to you. There is no wrong way to create a practice. Find a rhythm that works for you. Remember, if you don’t slow down, life will make sure and slow you down.
2. Tame your inner critic.
Sometimes the chaos is in our thinking or overthinking. I know that is true for myself. Your inner critic is the negative thoughts you tell yourself, like: who am I do to this kind of work; who am I to deserve these good things in my life; I am not worthy of that job or promotion; I am not smart enough to figure this out; and on and on. My inner critic gets really loud when I am not doing my daily mindset practice.
My coach helped me to understand and name my inner critic. Give your inner critic a name and voice that makes you laugh. This way you can interrupt the thought before it spirals out of control. When your inner critic gets loud, you can say, “I am not going to let you steal my joy today (insert your inner critic’s name).” Our inner critic is really our brain saying that it doesn’t feel safe. Your inner critic is not original either. It will stay in the same loop for years if you let it. Capturing our thoughts is all throughout the Bible. It must be important if it is highlighted in the Bible.
Tell us what you do in your daily practice or what you named your inner critic.
Kendra Ramirez is CEO of Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency where they help clients get the most out of their business development efforts, extend their marketing and recruiting initiatives to get real results from their digital efforts. To learn more, check out her book, Micro Shift: Small Mindset Changes for Big Results.