Happy Thanksgiving my lovelies!! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. I know I say this all the time, but seriously guys… the year is almost over and I have no idea how we’re already here, thinking of Christmas, gifts, New Year’s resolutions and plans for 2019.
Looking back on 2018 so far, it has been a full year for sure. Lots of ups and downs, challenges and changes, transformation and self discovery. I feel like I learned and grown a lot, but also got closer to “my roots” and rediscovered things I loved from the past.
Natalie Cole – Be Thankful
Especially with the resurgence of 90’s style I rekindled my passion for a lot of brands from back then, when all I really knew was my obsession for music (my walkman and I were basically inseparable), my dreams to “one day” become an artist/creative and a nagging curiosity about the world. But I digress…
This post isn’t about my love for the 90’s or memories from my childhood. The point is that remembering all those little things I used to do or wear – like my oversized FILA t-shirts that my parents basically forbidden me to wear because they were bought from the male section and not nearly “girly” enough; or the fact that I had a sketch notebook hidden under my math books and I used to pretend I was working math problems but in reality I was drawing – made me think of the gratitude I have for having experienced those times and gratitude for everything that lead me to this point in life. So, since this year I’ve tried doing these random 30 day challenges, I wanted to share what I learned from my favorite one: the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I’ve done this challenge a little while ago, at the end of September, but I wanted to share this here now because what better time than Thanksgiving? 🦃
1. The most important thing when doing a challenge is to have fun with it
Might sound counterproductive, but every time we start a new challenge I think it’s important to not take it extremely seriously. Many times we shoot ourselves in the foot and sabotage ourselves – even before beginning – by making a HUUGEEE deal out of it and totally overthinking it. And that’s usually what costs us motivation along the way. It’s not something fun we’re excited to try anymore, it’s this chore that now we’re stuck with. No, no! Time to make it light and playful again.
Even when you’re having fun with the challenge, there will still be days when you’re not going to feel it and have to either force yourself or skip a day. I know for me there were some days when I was so tired at night that I couldn’t think of anything besides my bed, let alone writing down what I’m grateful for. So in those days I waited until the next morning when I was clear headed again and wrote my list twice that day.
2. There will be days when you're not going to feel it
3. You should be your best supporter instead of your biggest enemy
It’s funny because during those days when I simply didn’t feel like I had anything to be grateful for and life sucked, I learned that I wasn’t exactly my best “coach”, motivator or even friend. If it was anyone else besides myself, I would’ve had such a different attitude. I would’ve been compassionate and thoughtful and I would’ve tried to understand the situation instead of pressuring the challenge regardless of at what costs. But why couldn’t I show myself the same type of understanding?
I was totally expecting myself to be bullet proof when it came to this and I completely forgot that I was still a human being and while, yes, I did skip a day or two, I was still doing pretty good and continuing with my original goal. I was scared that by skipping a day I would destroy my “groove”, but just as with many anxieties, the fear was unjustified until put to test. And the test showed that even though I felt guilty and was beating myself up over it, the world didn’t end and I also didn’t fail the challenge altogether when I allowed myself to skip a day.
Perhaps this doesn’t work for everybody and there are moments when you should push yourself over the limit, but I think it’s also important to find the ways to trust yourself that you’re going to achieve your goal even when you’re having a vulnerable moment. Balance is key!
It’s also important to realize bad days are going to happen no matter what and sometimes the challenge is finding a silver lining even in the darkest of times.
It’s easy to think that you know exactly who you are and what you stand for, but trust me when I say that this gratitude challenge really helped me gain a lot of clarity!
After the 30 days were over, I looked back over my posts and I realized certain things about myself I wasn’t sure of before. Like for example that I really appreciate the little things just as much as I do the big things and also that I value certain things I didn’t think I was, more than others. Like I valued genuine connections and quality time way more than career advancement.
4. Going through this 30 Day Challenge helped me define myself and my values better
5. You already have more than you think you do and you're more capable than you think
Being dedicated to finding things to be thankful for every day can be really eye opening to how much we really have. It might sound super corny and cliché, but you already have more than most people in the world.
It’s a bit easy to forget this when we’re in the middle of pursuing goals and wanting new and bigger things for ourselves, and believe me, I’m not trying to invalidate or make any less real anyone’s struggle. But what I’m saying is that sometimes we can forget about all the great things that are going for us, even when we’re faced with tough challenges and the whole world seems like it has turned its back on us.
It’s crazy to think that even basic stuff like hot water, food, a place to stay, clean clothes to wear and access to information are not granted to ALL the people in the world, including in developed countries. I remember first coming here and being so ecstatic over having a dryer, because in many countries in Europe clothes lines are still a thing! Or in certain neighborhoods where you have to drive for a few miles to find a laundromat. Seriously, it’s a big deal, but yet so easy to take for granted!
I can think the same about human potential. I wonder how many children there are out there that grow up to never fulfill their dreams or their full potential just because nobody encouraged them to or told them they can. I think the best thing we can do is try to be the best role models we can be and truly appreciate what we have and what we have the possibility to achieve as well, no matter how simple or small.
Thank you so much for reading! Much love, as always, and thank you for being on this journey with me, I wouldn’t be here without you my wonderful readers. You definitely make everything more meaningful and inspire me to constantly be more creative, to continue growing and overall to be a better human being. ❤️ #gratitude