“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou
What does it mean to thrive?
Thriving is feeling empowered and abundant. Thriving is living life on your terms and acknowledging that you can achieve whatever you desire.
You might be thinking to yourself, I wish that were me.
Perhaps, instead, you feel powerlessness? Scarcity? Like you’re following a plan somebody else prescribed for you?
If this is you, it’s important to be aware that you do have power over your circumstances. You can develop yourself. You have the ability to thrive.
And thriving begins with cultivating your six pillars.
It isn’t enough to maintain one or two pillars. You need all six.
Each pillar contributes to a solid foundation on which you can build the life you desire. When all of your pillars are strong and well-maintained, you feel energized, inspired, and empowered. Your purpose is clear, and you’re able to manifest the life you desire.
But when any one of these pillars is neglected, your foundation becomes shaky… and collapses. This is when you start feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and stretched thin.
As you read on about each pillar, reflect on the condition of the pillars in your life. Are they fortifying your foundation? Or do you need to give two or three of those pillars more attention?
These reflections will help you understand where to focus your efforts this year.
Are you ready to learn how to stop enduring and start thriving? Let’s begin.
The 6 Pillars of Well-Being: How to Thrive in 2021 and Beyond
#1 The Pillar of Self-Care
Self-care is about tending to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Without self-care, your other pillars will certainly fall.
Because putting your needs secondary to others and playing catchup with your health puts you on a continuous swing between stress and ease.
When you maintain your pillar of self-care, YOU are the priority.
- You care for your body through nutrition, sleep, and exercise.
- You tend to your mind and emotions through journaling or meditation.
- You nurture your spirituality through faith and prayer.
A strong pillar of self-care will bring greater ease as you work on your other pillars.
#2 The Pillar of Self-Acceptance
Self-acceptance is about embracing all aspects of who you are, and that includes your not-so-favorite traits.
When you accept yourself, you tell yourself that you are worthy of love, support, and kindness. Self-acceptance can lead to more confidence, optimism, and attracting better relationships.
So, how do you accept yourself unconditionally?
Start with keeping your inner critic in check when it tells you that you’re not worthy of acceptance. When you overcome your inner critic and recognize your value, your shame and guilt diminish. In its place, love and acceptance can flourish.
#3 The Pillar of Self-Worth
The pillar of self-worth is about knowing your existence carries inherent value.
You don’t have to do anything to prove it to yourself. You don’t need to look a specific way, have a certain amount in the bank, or have some title attached to your name.
You are worthy as you are.
Recognizing your self-worth begins with reclaiming the power you’ve given away. Each time you put self-care on the back burner or let your inner critic win, you surrender some of your power.
To reclaim your power, return to your pillar of self-care. Each act of self-care reminds you that you are worthy of care and love. And when you can internalize this belief, you will slowly recognize the self-worth stirring within you.
#4 The Pillar of Self-Preservation
Self-preservation is integrated into our core DNA because it focuses on what is necessary to survive.
Yet, women often overgive their resources — time, money, energy, mental bandwidth — and suffer the consequences.
This is counterproductive to your survival.
Think about it.
Does thriving look like signs of burnout? Does thriving feel like you’re stretched thin in every direction?
You know the answer.
You may not realize you’re overextending yourself because you haven’t established boundaries that protect your interests. By clarifying, “This is what I need to feel balanced, and this is how I will do it,” you can know when a decision crosses those boundaries.
This distinction can help you begin saying no to others and yes to you.
#5 The Pillar of Self-Advocacy
Self-advocacy is about using your voice to ask for what you need.
Too often, you struggle in silence. Yet, you say nothing. Instead, you quietly wish for things to change.
If there is something you need, ask for it. If you need accommodations at work, ask your boss. If you need to change something at home, ask your spouse.
Stop asking if you even “deserve” such a request. You don’t ask if you deserve to breathe. You just do, because it’s natural to your survival.
Similarly, you don’t need to ask if you deserve to feel empowered, or centered, or heard. If the desire is there, the only thing left is for you to initiate the change.
Return to the pillar of self-preservation and enforce those boundaries when you or other people cross them.
#6 The Pillar of Self-Love
The pillar of self-love is exactly what it sounds like: loving yourself.
This pillar is often the most difficult for women to maintain.
Because self-love seems selfish or greedy? Caring for yourself means you’re not caring about others?
Self-love is anything but.
Rather, self-love is the pathway to achieving everything you desire in life, including supporting others.
When you love yourself, you take actions that improve you. And when you improve yourself, you become a more empowered woman. When you’re a more empowered woman, you have greater resources to share with others.
But when you fail to love yourself, you engage in behavior that sabotages your well-being — whether or not you’re aware of it. How can you love others when you’re not in the right mindset or conditions to share your love? Your cup is empty.
Loving yourself is a pillar to thriving. Tend to this pillar, and you will eventually manifest the life you desire.
What Does It Mean to Thrive?
You will probably agree that thriving is about living life on your terms.
- Before, you felt stretched thin. This year, you will feel fortified and empowered.
- Before, you followed the whims of others. This year, you will create and follow your own plan.
- Before, you felt like you never had enough. This year, you will have more than enough to share with yourself and your loved ones.
Take a moment to reflect on these six pillars of thriving. Which of these pillars need nurturing in your own life?
It may be one. There may be two. Perhaps even all of them!
The true blessing in life is that you have the opportunity to create the changes you desire. And this article offers a starting point for your self-development journey.
Isn’t it time to acknowledge that you’re the captain of your own ship? Only you can decide that you have the power to do whatever you want with your life.
To help you start making tangible changes in your life TODAY, I’m offering you this free gift: Your Building Blocks For Personal Empowerment Checklist.
When you develop your personal strength and resolve, any life you choose is within your reach. This checklist will provide:
- Stepping stones for building your reserves of personal strength.
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- Tips for enhancing your own sense of personal empowerment.
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Do most days feel like a struggle just to make it to the end?
You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Even laying your tired head against your soft pillow does little to diminish the buzzing in your head.
Deep down, you know the remedy has nothing to do with the softness of your pillow. The more likely culprit is that you’re neglecting your well-being.
You’re not making YOU a priority.
You already know that taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is critical. Each is a pillar to well-being — when one falls, the others are soon to follow.
So why do you continuously swing back and forth between periods of overwork and overwhelm to “catching up” on sleep and relaxation? Play this game for long enough and you’ll seriously burn out.
Follow the tips in this article and you could finally break that cycle and make self-care a daily priority.
Truly Understanding the Consequences of Self-Neglect
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms of self-neglect?
- You’re on autopilot: Your day feels like a blur. You’re going through the motions, each action absent of creativity, purpose, or joy.
- Other people’s needs come before yours: You continuously serve others before serving yourself. Now you’re noticing that your well is drying up and you have nothing left to give.
- Every day feels like playing catch-up: It feels like you’re always behind in attending to your responsibilities, and you just can’t catch up. This frantic pace keeps you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
- Your mind swings between haze and chaos: Some days, you feel like you’re trapped in a thick brain fog. Other days, you feel like your mind is racing at a thousand miles an hour.
- You’re physically burned out: Long-term stress and overwhelm lead to body aches, muscle tension, and low energy. Your mental and emotional overwhelm have become physical manifestations.So often, we get stuck in autopilot, scrambling to get things done, and we don’t notice muscle tension or mental exhaustion until it’s too late.
So often, we get stuck in autopilot, scrambling to get things done, and we don’t notice muscle tension or mental exhaustion until it’s too late.
Recall the times within the past few months when you’ve experienced these symptoms. Remember the heaviness in your lids as you pushed yourself to work another hour. Experience the haze in your mind as you reread the same sentence over and over. Feel the intense desire to stay in bed, so you could hide from the day’s responsibilities.
I ask you to relive these scenarios because this is what happens when you neglect your body. These are the risks you assume when you “postpone” self-care.
Maintaining your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health is not a chore to push aside. It’s not a thing on your to-do list that you’ll get to “when you have time.”
Your body is a living organism worth honoring — not another item on your checklist.
Yet, why do you continue in these self-sabotaging cycles?
Why Do We Continue to Neglect Our Well-Being (Even When We Know Better)?
Much of it has to do with guilt or shame around valuing yourself.
Often, people mistakenly believe that self-care and self-compassion are selfish. After all, shouldn’t you focus your energy on helping others rather than yourself?
If you’ve been putting self-care on the back burner, you might be feeding this negative stigma. However, this mindset is working against you.
“When we fill our time with responsibilities and constantly prioritize the needs of others over our own, we can drain ourselves of energy and desire,” says Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. in Psychology Today.
Caring for yourself is one of the most incredible things you can do for yourself and others. When you empower yourself, you’ll have greater strength, energy, and desire to share your gifts with the people around you.
Each time you find yourself feeling guilty, tell yourself, When I care for and love myself, I am better able to care for and love others.
But self-care isn’t going to magically weave itself into your daily life. These tips will help you take conscious actions that make your well-being a priority every single day.
3 Tips That Encourage You To Make YOU a Priority
#1 Check in With Your Body More Often
A common reason why you might be pushing yourself too hard is that you don’t listen to what your body is saying until it’s too late. This often happens when your brain runs on autopilot — each day blurs into the next, as you focus on checking things off your to-do list.
A mental body scan helps you tune into your body. Follow these steps to help you experience what your body is telling you:
- Lay down.
- Take several deep breaths into your belly, breathing in through your nose and exhaling slowly from your mouth.
- Bring awareness to your toes. Observe any sensations such as tingling, pain, or tightness.
- As you become conscious of these sensations, breathe into them and notice what occurs. You may feel the sensation subside or even receive a message from this area.
- Repeat this process throughout your body, moving from your toes to the crown of your head.
Try doing this once each day – find a time that works best for you.
The more you listen to your body, the better you will understand what it’s asking of you. For example, a tense neck and shoulders might tell you to stretch more if you’re sitting at a desk all day. Or you might get the message to drink more water.
#2 Make Weekly Appointments with YOURSELF
Lack of time is one reason why so many women fail to take care of their bodies. That’s why I recommend putting it as a non-negotiable event on your calendar.
You make appointments with your doctor, attend meetings for work, and show up for family-related events.
You’re always showing up for others. What about showing up for yourself?
Prioritizing yourself is about putting YOU on your calendar and showing up on time, ready to care and love yourself.
Therefore, set a dedicated time for self-care. I’m serious! Go to your calendar and write in “self-care”. It may be your entire Saturday, or it may be for an hour every day after work. Try experimenting and choose what works for you.
But most importantly, stick to your self-care appointments. Some days, it may be tempting to cancel on yourself and squeeze in another hour of work. However, self-care will only make a noticeable difference when you declare it as a non-negotiable practice in your life.
#3 Seek Support When You Need It
Earlier, we talked about feeling guilt or shame around valuing yourself. You may feel similar emotions when asking for help.
Instead of relying on the help of others, you attempt to shoulder everything yourself.
But receiving help isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, asking for help can be one of the kindest things you choose for yourself because it helps you show up even more for those you love. If you’re still struggling to make yourself a priority (even though you’re aware it’s what you truly need to do), getting more support may be exactly what’s required for you to experience more balance and fulfillment.
So, if you’re practicing self-care regularly and not experiencing the peace and renewal you desire… Or if you need more guidance to bring additional structure and balance into your life…
Ask for the assistance you need and allow yourself to receive it.
If you’re ready to overcome self-neglect and embrace self-care as a lifestyle, and require additional support, claim a Complimentary “Prioritize Yourself Breakthrough” Discovery session with me.
In this 60-minute consultation, you’ll:
- Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you’re no longer neglecting yourself
- Get simple and practical tips for how to prioritize yourself with ease (starting immediately)
- Tap into self-care for greater energy, ease, and joy
- Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.
Click here now to claim your Complimentary “Prioritize Yourself Breakthrough” Discovery session.
Special note: I’m so excited to unveil a preview of Accelerated Evolution, my most effective coaching tool! Accelerated Evolution has changed my life and can change yours too. That’s why, at the end of the month, I’ll give you an opportunity to have an experience of these tools firsthand. So stay tuned…
And in the meantime, if you’re ready to find out how these tools can help you now, click here to schedule a “Breakthrough Struggle to Claim Ease” Discovery session with me.