Elevate Exclusive: 2017, Happiness and Mindset Transformation

Hey all! Kirstie here.  I want to share with all of you something pretty major that has recently impacted me. It started as a very personal journey and has quickly turned into a deep passion of mine, so much so that I want to share my experience with all of you, because sharing is caring. 

2017 was a challenging year for me.  Almost one year ago, I made the the choice to quit my full time job at a law firm to dedicate more of myself to Elevate.  I knew it wasn't going to be easy because I am very much the kind of person who prefers to feel safe and secure, so upon leaving the structure, routine, and comfortable salary that I had, I felt SO much anxiety.  Over time, the anxiety grew even stronger and I found myself questioning my worth and my calling more than I ever had before. 

I recognize that the mid-20s is a time for some serious soul-searching, and I'm definitely more comfortable with embracing that concept than I was a year ago, but man, talk about a rollercoaster ride.  I think my situation post-college graduation was unique in that I was blessed to walk right into a good job following finals week and start making money right away.  But, after a year or so, I already felt like that's what I was supposed to be doing - I was supposed to be saving up for retirement, a house, a car, new furniture, etc. and doing all of the "responsible" things adults do as they grow up, including holding a full time 9 to 5. (Trust me, I still want to be saving up for those things but I'm coming to terms with the fact that it looks a little different for me right now.) 

Suffice it to say, the majority of my 2017 was a combination of me feeling idle, jealous and confused. I found myself looking at every single person wondering how much money they make, what makes them successful, and wondering what makes them happy.  It got to the point where I was so bothered by my negative thoughts and feelings, and complaining way too much that I finally said to myself, "Alright, Kirstie. You NEED to change your mindset and you NEED to choose happy, whatever that means." So, after digging deep within and talking to a few of my closest confidants, I decided that the first thing I needed to do was pick up the journal I had purchased MONTHS ago that sat on my dresser collecting dust and just...write.  I decided to write about my current thoughts just to get them out there, but to also include several things I was feeling grateful for at that specific moment to try to shift my focus to gratitude over negativity.  And, lo and behold, picking up my journal again after years of not journaling was immensely therapeutic for me.  I realize that journaling isn't everyone's thing, and that's okay, but it certainly became the first benchmark in my journey toward shifting my mindset.  On top of that, I also picked up the book "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero (which I had actually bought awhile ago but didn't do anything with until recently), and holy cow, folks, this book has IMPACTED. MY. LIFE. 

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Jen's motive for writing "You Are A Badass" (as listed on the back of the book) is to help you: 

• Identify and change the self sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want.

• Create a life you totally love. And create it now.

• Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.

Pretty much everything I needed, right? Let me first say that for some people, this book may seem unnecessary for you if you have regular conversations with positive, spirited friends or goal-oriented and driven people.  While I certainly have those types of people in my life, and a ton of entrepreneurs that I look up to who also share their personal goals, it's not all that common for me to have positive, energetic, and frequent conversations about what fuels us and what it is we LOVE about life.  I suppose that my mind was so bogged down with negativity and excuses that those fruitful conversations stayed buried and were never really brought to the surface.  

Anyway, for me, this book truly was everything I needed in 2017.  I needed someone to force me to get back into goal-setting and to create a big, fat, and juicy life.  Jen talks all about loving yourself and not comparing yourself to others because "comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life." SO TRUE. Goodness, in this day and age, comparison is around us everywhere we go, especially through social media, which also happens to be a major platform we use for work (and play) every. single. day. So comparison inevitably sneaks in every. single. day. Talk about toxic and taking the fun out of life. 

Besides the general themes of positivity and happiness throughout, I also love how Jen's conversational approach to this self-help book makes you feel comfortable  and eager to be happier.  After finishing this book, I have caught myself on multiple occasions stopping myself when my thoughts get ugly to remind myself that, hey, I can CHOOSE to be happy. It's always within reach and you just have to believe it and train your mind to get over the negatives in life and kick some booty.  It really is so simple IF you shift your mindset to believe that it is.  If you believe that you can have what you desire, then you're going to get so much further in life, both in overall happiness and your personal successes.   

In sum, if you're ever feeling down, unhappy, unmotivated or just generally "meh" about life, I strongly encourage you to 1) try journaling, 2) read this book and 3) LOVE YOURSELF so gosh darn hard because you seriously ROCK. I know it, and you know it, too. If you do these things, you can have all the happiness you desire. I'm sure of it.   

Cheers, friends. 

P.S. - I loved "You are a Badass" so much that I decided to add Jen's book, "You Are a Badass at Making Money" to my list, along with "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" by Mark Manson.  So far, so good. :) 

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