20 Most Valuable Life-Changing Lessons Everyone Should Here – What 2019 Has Taught Me.

most valuable life lessons from 2010

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Life Is A Lesson, Right?

20 Most Valuable Lessons 2019 Has Taught Me

20 Life-Changing Lessons You May Need To Hear

If you have read my last post “My 2019 Year In Review” (you can read it here) where I’m sharing the best of the best and the worst of the worst moments I’ve experienced in 2019 you know that I’ve also mentioned what those particular experiences have thought me. Now I want to go into these powerful life lessons in more detail. So here there are 20 most valuable life-changing lessons my life taught me in 2019! I hope you enjoy it!

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Tweet
we create our reality

1. We Feel In Terms Of How We’re Thinking

So often we don’t realize that we create our reality with the power of our thoughts. Because we think based on how we perceive the world. We feel in terms of how we think. And then we act in terms of how we feel and what we’re thinking in a particular moment. In other words, our behavior and our feelings are actually our thoughts brought forward into the physical world. How crazy is that?!

We tend to let our thoughts to control us rather than the other way around. We are so strongly attached to what we think that we do not only identify with our thoughts but also confuse them with actual facts. We assume that what we think is true especially if we think in negative terms. So we indulge in this horrible negative self-talk that creates a negative state of mind that eventually results in a specific behavior. And this is how we let our thoughts control us.

If you don’t believe me just do a little experiment. Sit with your thoughts and analyze them without judgment. Observe your thinking patterns without labeling your thoughts as “good” or “bad. I am sure that what you’ll notice is that most of your thoughts are really strong, extremely negative, very loud and unpleasant to hear. It’s like having a bully inside your head that is constantly bringing you down with the difference that you’re are that bully! So maybe it’s time to evict them and start indulging in serious positive self-talk instead of filling up your mind with extremely negative, super exaggerated and in most cases not even true thoughts?

So if you’re feeling upset or down you should pay attention to your thoughts. Ask yourself a question: What am I thinking right now? And if you are in a good mood you should also become aware of your thought because next time when you feel down, upset or anxious you could recreate those thoughts that can easily put you in a positive headspace. It’s time to use the power of your thought to create positive feelings and positive reality.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”

― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose Tweet
create space for the new

2. Perception Is Everything

Perception is everything because every person has a very unique set of personal experiences and types of background knowledge that form their general outlook on the external world. And since there are no two different people (not even twins) with the exact same set of life experiences, the perception of what everyone experiences through their senses varies from person to person. We think that we look at the same thing but then when we share our observations with others we realize that we all see something completely different. Why? Well, because our individual perception of the world is being filtered through our own mind’s eye and translated into a completely different understanding of “what’s going on here”. That’s why you should never assume that what is obvious to you is obvious to someone else. You should also „Never assume the obvious is true” because there is always a huge possibility that your mind is confusing facts with your personal opinion. 

"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes."

3. Your Stories Shape Your Reality

We create our storytelling that directly affects our state of mind and personal well-being. This basically means that stories and narratives we make up to describe what we perceive through our five senses can trigger pleasant emotions like joy or happiness or unpleasant feelings like anger, fear or sadness. As pleasant emotions tend to do no harm even if they have nothing to do with the real situation (the present moment) the trouble starts when your dramatic storytelling causes negative emotions that create suffering that wasn’t even there at the beginning. Sounds crazy right? That’s why you should always pay attention to how you describe your past experience, current situation or our future self. If you tend to speak about yourself and your life experience in negative terms you will constantly put your self in a negative state of mind and creating a negative experience. So next time when you shape or communicate your narrative use positive or neutral words to describe a certain experience. Use the power of your words to create a positive state of mind and positive or at least neutral experience. You will be surprised how often you create your suffering using negative words to describe quite a neutral situation. 

anxiety
stop putting labels on people

4. Labeling People Makes Us Feel Safe, But...

Putting people into categories is something we all do because it helps us to feel safe and make sense of our world, but is that really useful? I highly doubt it. The truth is that labeling people gives us an illusion of feeling safe in an insanely chaotic world but at the same time, it opens the door to too much misinterpretation. Not to mention how these broad labels and categories we love to put ourselves and others into to limits our worldview. So maybe it’s time to stop doing that? We really should stop labeling ourselves and others by some strange completely irrelevant society terms and standards. We should be more open-minded and focused on what we can learn from each other.

5. You May Need To Punch That Pillow

Pillow punching is a great technique for anger management especially if you’ve built up a lot of anger and rage in a relatively short period of time. Also screaming from the top of your lungs works remarkably well, however, if you’re living in a condo like me it may not be the best way (for legitimate reasons) to release tension and negative energy from your body. Of course, if you want to do it go ahead but don’t be surprised if your neighbors call the cops on you. So if you feel the need to release anger and you want to do it in a healthy and quick way I highly recommend you punching a pillow (but not your favorite one). Bit it to a pulp! 

pillow punching
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6. Facing Your Fear Is The Only Way To Overcome It

Face your demons and they will stop chasing you. They like a poison that spreads right through the system any time you try to escape them. They linger inside us like ghosts… haunting the corridors and deserted rooms… And the truth is that you will not get rid of them by denying their existence. Well, that would be great but unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that. That would be just too easy. Mainly because our demons represent our deepest fears, doubts and insecurities buried deep below the surface. But if you don’t want to be under their rules anymore you need to face them first. Expose yourself to your fear. Put yourself in a situation that scares you. Of course, I am not encouraging you to put yourself in danger. What I mean is that the more you put yourself in an uncomfortable situation the more confidence you will get. Instead, if you’re avoiding your fear will only make it worse. So make a list of your all fears, plan how you’re going to expose yourself to them, take intentional action in order to overcome them and start feeling powerful!

face your fears
think less do more

7. Think Less, Do More

Overthinking and overanalyzing not only prevents you from taking action but also makes every situation much more complex than it ever needs to be. If you want to achieve your goals you need to stop creating worst-case scenarios and start taking action towards your goals. Just because you don’t have everything figured out to the smallest detail it does not mean that you can’t take action. You CAN and you SHOULD! You can still create an amazing outcome without knowing exactly what you want to achieve. But there is more! Action creates motivation! Yes, it’s true! So if you’re waiting for motivation and inspiration to strike you, you’re only wasting your time and energy. It’s not how it works. It’s not motivation that creates action but the other way around. So if you want to become insanely self-motivated you need to take an action. Because waiting instead of doing leads to procrastination and procrastination leads to poor decisions. How simple is that? So if you came to the point where your anxious mind is inventing ten thousand excuses for taking action and creating problems for every possible solution it means that you should stop thinking, move your butt, take intentional action and start creating results. You don’t need to have everything figured out to create a great outcome but you need to take action and put yourself in motion for opportunity and progression.

8. Never Leave The House Angry

The same applies to phone calls, email and any type of communication with people you care about. Trust me, I know exactly what I am talking about. When my dad got diagnosed with ALS and his health condition got worse I promised myself that no matter what I will not argue with him. That was the best pact I made with myself. I wish I could talk to him again but at least our last phone call was quite a friendly one. I’m so glad I haven’t said something bad or stupid that I would regret for the rest of my life. Of course, this advice applies to your conversations with everyone you care about not only with people you know that are terminally ill. Life is unpredictable and really fac*king strange…

never leave the house angry
always look people in the eyes

9. Always Look People In The Eyes When You Talk To Them

…and you will know with whom you’re dealing with. As many people study body language if you pay attention only to someone’s gestures instead of studying someone’s facial expressions and EYES you may not be able to figure out the actual intentions of that person. But if you try to keep eye contact with the person you’re talking to and you pay attention to what vibe they give you I can assure you that you will never be fooled again by the so-called “first impression”!

10. If Someone Is Being Unkind, They May Be Projectile Vomiters

Have you ever talked to someone so convinced that they know you better than you know yourself that it made you feel extremely uncomfortable? I mean this kind of conversation when you speak openly about your thoughts and emotions making yourself clear and then the person comes up with something about you which is completely ridiculous and does not fit who you are at all? And what’s worse, the more you try to correct them the harder they try to prove you’re wrong. What a pain in the neck.

This sort of situation occurs a lot and it’s called „psychological projection”. It’s a defense mechanism we all employ to defend ourselves against undesirable qualities, emotions and thought by denying their existence in ourselves while accusing others to have them. We use this mechanism to reduce anxiety, embarrassment, and discomfort without even realizing this. However, the problem comes when psychological projection employed by one person harms another person. Examples of this kind we can find easily in both online and offline worlds. It becomes particularly clear when you read savage hate comments full of obnoxious and ridiculous accusations that clearly have no basis in facts. People project their own issues and difficult emotions they cannot deal with others all the time. And trust me once you learn how this psychological projection works you will spot an emotional projectile vomiter a mile away. But most importantly you will never fall into their trap again. Because the only way to win with the emotional projectile vomiter aka hater is NOT to play!

psychological projection
keep pushing forward

11. The Gray Rock Method Rocks!

The Gray Rock Method is essentially about coming across as a boring, uninterested, indifferent and monotonous person. It is intended to make a toxic person lose attraction to you. Negative people love creating drama because they feed on negative energy. They feed on your emotional reaction that’s why they try to get you into twisting exhausting mental spin of argument.

That’s why when dealing with a toxic person you want to present yourself as someone cool, indifferent and almost bored. You cannot give them any type of emotional reaction even if they push your buttons like nobody’s business. You want to cultivate neutrality and come across as a calm, confident and strong person. If you show a toxic person that you don’t dwell into drama they will lose interest in you. If they cannot provoke you into getting angry, make you emotionally react or act impulsively they will not be able to feed on negative energy. In other words, they will lose their sick game. Being able to use the Gray Rock Method is a great skill in general because sooner or later you will have to deal with a negative, difficult or extremely toxic person. And when it happens, don’t feed a toxic person with your emotional reaction, starve them with your indifference!

12. Speak Less But More Wisely

Words have incredible power but only if you use them wisely. Many people think that talking fast, loud and of course, a lot makes them appear more intelligent and confident while it is quite the opposite. You’ve probably noticed that people who speak really fast usually try to cover their insecurities or fill the empty space with their words. So they say a bunch of words with no connection and not making any sense at all. 

However, the truth is that people tend to listen to those who choose their words carefully and speak with intention. 

So if you want to use your language as a way to feel more powerful and confident here is how you can easily do it:  

  • Speak less, but with more meaningful words
  • Choose your words wisely and speak with intention
  • Organize thought in your mind before you speak
  • Know which direction you want to go in with your language
  • Find your confident boss persona  
speak less but more wisely
listen to your intuition

13. If It Feels Like A No, It's A No

Always trust your intuition. Intuition is your inner wisdom, your instinctive awareness, your “gut feeling” that when it’s heard and accepted becomes your internal guidance system. The answers to your questions are within you but to be able to find them you have to calm your anxious mind and listen to your inner voice first. And most importantly if it feels like a “no” it’s a “no” and when it feels like a “yes” go for it!

"Excuses will always be there for you, opportunity won't."

14. Victim Mentality Stands in the Way of Accountability

Let’s be honest: We all play the victim card sometimes to achieve a specific goal without putting any effort. And as far as I don’t see anything wrong if this “victim game” is used as a little excuse or a momentary lapse of weakness from time to time in minor matters only, I do think that having a full-time victim mentality is an extremely self-destructive habit that keeps us stuck in blame, extreme pessimist and overwhelming negativity. That’s why you have to be careful not to fall into this trap of making up excuses every single time you feel vulnerable, insecure or just not in the mood. Trust me I know what I am talking about. I used to suffer from victim mentality for most of my life until I chose to assume responsibility and regain control of my life. So be careful with making excuses, because you really don’t want to pass for a truly miserable person who would rather drown in self-pity than find a solution to their problems. 

ditch the victim mentality
be unapologetic

15. You Don’t Owe Anybody An Apology If You Don’t Feel Sorry

What’s the point of apologizing when you’re not sorry? I don’t know about you but I hate insincere apology or an apology with “but”. Honestly, if you use “but” in your apology, you can put this “but” in your bu*t because I really don’t need it. What I mean is that, if you feel the need to apology just do it but do it right like an adult. Otherwise, it’s just pathetic. A real apology is genuine and sincere and certainly without “but”. A non-apology instead is expressed without remorse so it’s meaningless and worthless. I know how hard apologizing is. No one likes it because with this one word you admit that you did something wrong. And who likes to be wrong? No one! But we all make mistakes. We are all sinners 🙂 But you can be forgiven only if you are truly repentant. If you’re not sorry it means that you shouldn’t apologize. Trust me I know what I am talking about. I was a people pleaser for most of my life and you know what? It wasn’t worth it because people were only taking advantage of it. And I was the only one to blame. Please don’t do it because it’s the easiest way to lose respect for yourself. Trust your gut. And remember you don’t owe anyone an apology when you don’t feel you did something bad. Sorry, not sorry!

16. Life Spares No One

Life spares no one. We are all fighting our inner battle. We all struggle. And believe it or not but most of us experience pretty much the same stuff during our lifetime. Sounds crazy but here are some life experiences that everyone ‘must-have’ like having a disease, losing someone we love, having a life-threatening experience, realizing that our lives are completely out of control or even experiencing heartbreak. Do you want to know what’s connecting these things? Their common denominator is PAIN. And you know why? Because life without struggle and pain would be an empty and completely meaningless existence with no possibility of growing and evolving as a person.

Pain is an indicator designed to help you challenge yourself in ways you may not have thought of before. So instead of feeling sorry for yourself, playing a victim card, comparing your pain to someone else’s pain be mindful. Focus on your experience, stay in the moment, observe your pain without judging it. Let yourself feel your emotions instead of ignoring or suppressing them. You have to feel it to heal it. There are no shortcuts to happiness and success. Besides without pain and sadness, there can be no happiness and pleasure. Because we create meaning and make sense of our experience by comparison and contrast. We search for similarities and differences to discover how people or things are similar and how they are different. We recognize happiness as a “lack of pain” and sorrow as a “lack of joy”. This is the way we make sense of what we experience daily.

life spares no one
binge-watching netflix

17. Binge-Watching Netflix Is A Form Of Mental Self-Care

Did you know that watching a movie or a tv show can be actually good for you? Yes, that’s true! Researchers have found that watching your favorite tv show can help lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins. This basically means that binge-watching Netflix makes you feel high without the use of drugs. Furthermore, television narratives became pretty complex, very informative and in the case of documentaries, even educational! What definitely throws a different light on tv that used to have a pretty bad reputation that could only make people dumb. Well, that’s good news!

But before you take some time off to hole up at home to binge-watching your favorite 10 season tv show wait a second. While watching an episode after episode of your favorite show it’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety it can be highly addictive, just like any other pleasure that makes your brain constantly produces dopamine. So use your Netflix mindfully! Engage in binge-watching only on special occasions or as a remedy after a long, hard day. On a typical day limit yourself to watching one or two episodes of your favorite tv show!

18. There Is No Such Thing As “Good” Or “Bad” Emotion

Emotions and feelings are natural to human nature. They are like a signaling system. True, they have different roles, functions, and purpose but they are all needed. Some like anger, fear, and anxiety protect us, others like joy, happiness, and pleasure help us to make social connections and create relationships. So if you think that some emotions are negative and others are positive you’re wrong. You just need to learn to use them as a tool, observe, interpret, acknowledge and accept them. Take some time to detect what they are “telling you” and let them guide you. If someone or something triggers you emotionally don’t act immediately because most probably it will be an emotional reaction that always comes with a cost. Instead, learn to listen to your gut, observe your emotions and respond consciously to the situation you’re in. In other words, use your emotions to your advantage don’t let them control you. And remember that whenever you feel, it’s real. Acknowledge it. Accept it. Let yourself feel it. Your emotions are always informational and relevant. Don’t beat yourself up when you feel something you don’t wanna feel. Instead, try to understand what your emotions are telling you about yourself and the situation you’re in. Stop over-explaining and justifying your emotional state. Be mindful and trust your gut!

emotions are natural phenomena
pain is inevitable but suffering is optional

19. Accept Your Pain And It Will Hurt Less

Trust me, I know how it sounds. But the truth is when you keep resisting or fighting your true reality you cause more suffering to yourself. And let me tell you something, it’s not what you need when life is tearing you apart.

What you need in moments like this is to realize that you’re going through a phase that will end. The pain that you feel today will not last forever. That’s exactly what you need to repeat yourself like a mantra.

Accept your current reality and focus on what you can do in the present moment to make it easier to get through. Accept your pain and it will become “only” a part of your life, not your whole life. Because living a painful life and living with pain are two very different things. The first option, if we can call it that, is living in the mental prison of your own creation, while the second option is accepting that pain is necessary for growth and success. And remember that your pain does not define but the way you deal with it does.

20. Draw Lines, State Boundaries, And Exude A Sense Of Personal Respect

Personal boundaries are our guidelines for what we will and won’t accept in our interpersonal relationship interactions. They not only protect our individuality, personal values and beliefs but also separate our physical and mental space from others. Without them, we run the risk of confusing our feelings, beliefs, needs, and responsibilities with others which is a real threat to our integrity.
So as you can see setting personal boundaries it is not an option but a necessity. You need to establish this clear-cut view of what kind of treatment and behavior you will and will not accept. You need to show people how to treat you and what to expect from you to be able to build and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. And we’re not talking here only about setting personal boundaries in real but also in the online world.

protect your personal boundaries

Have you checked my FREE printable workbook on self-care? If not, you can DOWNLOAD your it here, just CLICK on the photo!

Stay Positive

Be Mindful

And Stelf-Sabotating Your Happiness

xo Kate

 

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Aixa
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Never leave the house angry is one of my things! And facing my fears I think is my strong point, but I have to work on Talking less. Maybe that will be my 2020 goal…

Very thought-provoking. I definitely have to read Eckhart Tolle about living in the now. That will be my next book.

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Hey, I’m Kate. I am a blogger with a holistic & mindful approach to life. If I am not here it’s because I’m enjoying my creamy cappuccino in one of my favourites coffee shops… 😎

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