Written by Founder and CEO, Sara Potler LaHayne
Last year I had the opportunity to speak at the 2016 World Future Summit, a congregation of future-minded citizens united by a shared desire to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. For my session, “Imagining The World As Your Safe Space”, I wanted to challenge attendees to go inward and reflect on how they can create positive change in their communities by strengthening their own emotional wellbeing. The tools we need for social impact are right at our fingertips. The key is understanding how to use them. Join me as I highlight five ways to transform the world into your own safe space:
1.) Listen to the fire burning inside of you.
Change begins with us, we know that. We are the catalyst. We first must commit to the self work, the self examination, the desire to understand what’s going on inside ourselves and then better ourselves. If we aren’t aware of how we’re feeling, how do we know what action to take or where to go for help? In order to be fueled by our flame, reflection and self-awareness is crucial. Take the time today to examine, contemplate and digest.
2.) You have the capacity to be inspired.
We all have those days when nothing seems to be going right. These are the days when it is most important to seek out those positive elements in our life. Positive thinking has proven benefits on your physical, psychological and social health. Gratitude helps to shift our perspective from a place of lacking or deficit to a place of fullness. It’s important to practice showing gratitude regularly in order to stay positive and remind ourselves why we are thankful for each and every day. Inspiration is what drives us to soar to new heights, surpass limitations and change perceptions.
3.) Go towards the pain, sit in it awhile, then move on.
Stress follows you everywhere and it’s important to remember that similarly to any daunting task, the best way to move through it is to deal with it head on. In short, it requires that we be proactive instead of reactive. We must have the difficult conversations with ourselves. Research shows that suppressing or avoiding your emotions can make them stronger, causing them to bubble up and explode in an unproductive way. We have to feel our pain, not numb it. We have to embody our emotions, not bury them. There can be great comfort in consistently facing the uncomfortable. In embracing the discomfort of unfamiliarity and vulnerability, we use difficult situations to grow, transform the mind and build resiliency.
4.) Embody resilience every day, not just when you’re failing.
Failure is inevitable. It’s crucial to remind ourselves that we are human and what we are experiencing now will serve us in our own growth and development. In order to embody resilience, we must first learn to accept responsibility for our life, our wellbeing and in turn, our success. Own your failures and be proud that you took a chance. It’s important to remember not to let negativity set in and affect your actions and perceptions going forward. Our mistakes are part of the journey.
5.) You are not alone.
We are all on this journey together. We are all searching for a method. We’re all looking for ways to find head and heart clarity. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. We all come from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, yet we all share the common desire to be nourished.
We all have the tools at our fingertips to dig deep and better understand ourselves and those around us. It’s time to make the world a place where we all feel safe and empowered to thrive and reach our full potential.