As I celebrate another birthday, I have been reflecting on a recent conversation I had with a friend on a hike. She let me know that each year on her birthday she picks one thing that causes her anxiety and stress and she intentionally works to let it go. Each year her gift to herself is giving one less “f.” Genius!
We all want freedom and peace. A life free of anxiety and fear. For many of us, it’s our own thoughts, words and actions that keep us from that freedom and peace. We don’t need more…we actually need less. The second half of life is about letting go.
What type of freedom do we want? What do we want to be free of?
When we know ourselves well, we know what we need to do to be free. I want less stuff because that’s less to worry about. I want to do less so that I can be fully present and enjoying moments instead of feeling rushed.
From a mindset perspective, I have always had a tendency to make decisions and choices to protect myself. This caused a great deal of anxiety and fear. I was operating from a limiting belief that I was not safe and I could not trust others. Because that was my baseline, I wasn’t my authentic self in words and actions and I was constantly worried about what others thought of me. By holding back and covering up what I really thought or how I really felt, I created anxiety in myself because I wasn’t acting in my integrity. Once I learned to be truthful and allow who I really was deep down to be seen and heard, fear and anxiety simply fell away. I no longer worried about what others thought about me, because I was true to myself.
From a time perspective, I believe that discipline equals freedom (thank you Jocko Willink). I am also a person who needs structure to maintain healthy rhythms and be my best. I spend consistent time planning and reflecting on how I use my time, money and energy. I follow a consistent morning and evening routine that keep me grounded and are good for my overall wellbeing. I schedule in rest and fun activities. I even think through who I want to spend time with and make an effort to get time blocked on the calendar with them. Restriction that fits your nature gives you freedom, and that freedom brings peace.
What kind of choices are you willing to make to be free? To have peace?
How will you give one less “f” this year?