We often look to others to provide a safe supportive environment in which we can grow and develop. At first our parents and school teachers, and then our friends, employers and our partners can be called upon to give us guidance. But the ultimate responsibility for getting the most out of ourselves as we get older has got to lie with us. Let us look at some of the key areas for your own personal growth and fulfillment.
– Emotional needs. To get the most out of yourself you need to be emotionally engaged. This can include having a satisfying relationship with family, friends, colleagues. Even animals and pets can come under this banner. Resolving disputes honestly and effectively, keeping channels of communication open and clear and investing time and care into these important relationships all helps to support emotional satisfaction and well-being.
– Physical needs. These needs include health and energy levels. Taking care of yourself with good nutrition, exercise, allowing yourself to rest and recover when required, learning to identify when your personal stress levels are rising and knowing how to manage stress well is all part of getting the most out of yourself physically and as such, supporting your physical needs.
– Spiritual needs. Feeling connected to yourself, your inner sense of who you are, your sense of self in a balanced, calm way is part of being spiritually balanced. Keeping in contact with nature is important and is another part of this process. Walking on a beach, or through woods, tending to your garden are all ways of keeping in touch with and nurturing your spiritual needs and, as such, feeling the balance and the groundedness that comes from these places. The experience of nature, the sounds of the birds, waves, leaves rustling, the feel of the warmth or the rain on your skin, the smells and the tastes all serve to make this experience special and life enhancing.
– Personal needs. Feeling that you have time for yourself, from a quiet half hour with a book or time to have a pleasant bath, this is about being able to do the things you want and not being overwhelmed by other peoples priorities. Learning to be more assertive comes into this as it is a positive way to manage stress and gain control of our choices. Saying ‘no’ in an appropriate way can re-educate our friends, families and business associates to be more respectful and appreciative of us, of our personal needs and of our time, as we learn to value these more.
– Be decisive. Think through the available options in difficult situations, rather than letting things slide and drag on. Even if you ultimately choose to continue as before you will be clearer as to why , rather than just drifting because of inertia. That clarity of thinking improves your self confidence and helps you to manage your personal stress levels more effectively. You are becoming more in control of your choices.
– Challenge yourself. Getting the most out of yourself does not mean pushing yourself to the limit, but rather feeling satisfaction and accomplishment at what you are doing with yourself and your life. A challenge can be simply having a go at something new, saying ‘yes’ to a new opportunity. It lifts us out of our daily routine and changes our mindset into a more positive, receptive way of thinking.
By paying attention to these key areas of our life we can help ourselves to get the most out of ourself and, as such, support our personal growth and fulfillment.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist