COFFEE CHAT: THE ART OF MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Bare with me while I ramble on for a bit, but I think this is an important topic to discuss. A few weeks ago before my social media hiatus (more coming on that soon), I posted this status on Facebook:
Imagine how much better we’d all be as individuals if we just minded our own business, and focused on improving ourselves.
I’ve been meditating on this very idea for the last few weeks, which is what stirred something in me to write this post. After the Create & Cultivate Conference (see the full recap here), I’ve been feeling more energized than ever before to start focusing on self-improvement, my happiness, and going after the goals that I’ve set for myself. But in saying all of this, I’ve had to be real and ask myself why it took this long to get to this place. What was the “thing” that was holding me back from doing everything that I’ve wanted to do. The answer was simple: I’ve been so caught up in what other people are doing and what other people think, that I didn’t have the time to focus on myself. And that is the “thing” that keeps me from going after what I want.
Aside from the Create & Cultivate conference, I’ve been dedicating myself to myself ever since my 23rd birthday. I’m currently re-reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and I’m finding that this book resonates with me more now as a 23-year-old than it did when I first read it at 21. Feeling deeply inspired about this book has led me to want to say yes to everything concerning myself. Yes, to going after my goals. Yes, to making healthy lifestyle changes. Yes, to doing things that make me afraid. Yes, to ridding my life of toxic people. The list can go on and on. As I began focusing all of my attention inward, something profound happened when I took a second to look outward. I noticed that I no longer cared what people thought and what other people were doing, because I was so consumed with making myself better.
I wonder how different many of our lives would be if we took on that same attitude. What if we all (in the least selfish way possible) became so consumed with working on improving ourselves that we no longer have room to judge and critique what other people say and do. It’s amazing how we as humans spend so much time worrying about other people, and we don’t realize that it makes us feel more and more empty. I find that the unhealthiest people are the ones who can always point out what others are doing, but cannot recognize their own flaws. The reality is this: I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the person who can only gossip and point out other peoples flaws. I want to be the positive, God-fearing, compassionate person that I know I was called to be.
The point is, stop meddling in other people’s lives. All of us have daily struggles that no one knows about, and it’s our job to be compassionate and understanding, not judgmental and cynical. But more importantly, stop worrying about other people! I promise you that when you turn your attention inward and begin to allow God to work on you, other people’s problems and issues will no longer concern you. All of us have things we need to work on, and the sooner we start that process of self-reflection, the sooner we can begin the journey of becoming better people. In other words, pissing in someone else’s yard won’t make yours any greener(yes…that was a Kacey Musgraves references..don’t judge). So, what are some of the practicals for minding your own business? Well…
Take A Break From Social Media
I don’t want to go into too much detail on this because I’ll be doing a post about this next week. But yes, social media can become toxic if you are over consuming! I was reading an article in Forbes that talked about the affects social media can have on your mental health. I saw that some of the issues that I struggle with (more coming on that soon) started to flare up, and I knew taking a break from social media was exactly what I needed to recharge.
Find Your Passions
The best way to work on self-improvement is to identify the things that you’re passionate about. Start searching for the things that ignite a fire within you, and chase after those. I am very rooted in my faith and I feel that God reveals to us what our spiritual gifts are. For me, I quickly learned that being creative is where my passion lies because it allows me to escape my reality. I love writing, photography, reading, drawing and everything in between. Because of this, I’m trying fill my life up with more of these things so that I can be my happiest self.
Confront Your Demons
Oftentimes when we focus on other people it’s because we don’t want to confront the issues that we’re dealing with personally. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, I’ve had to face my demons head on, and really dig to find out the root cause of why I was feeling the way I was. What you don’t take control of will eventually end up controlling you, and it’s so important to make sure you’re taking care of your mental health. Seek out therapy, have prayer with people in your church, or even talk to people you trust about what you’re feeling.
What are some of your go-to tips for self-improvement? I’d love to hear your thoughts!