Updated: Nov 17, 2021
How did this post come about? Well... On Monday November 8th, 2021 I posted a story to my Instagram account asking the audience what they would like to read about in the month of November 2021.
Within twenty-four hours two suggestions were generated which were:
a) Managing and taking time for sickness as an entrepreneur: 4 votes (1 Facebook/3 Instagram)
b) Publish a list of problems that your customers face: 6 votes (2 Facebook/4 Instagram)
The votes indicated that the audience wanted to read about problems that others are facing on their personal development journey and how we as a company -Articulate Tee- provide solutions to these pitfalls.
Before we get into the details of this article, I'd like to thank everyone for voting in the stories and helping to choose this months blog post. Following @articulatetee on Instagram and interacting with the account has improved and tailored content, products and services being offered to the community to benefit from.
So for that, a huge thank you dipped in gratitude is being served to you! We appreciate you, your feedback, your readership and your belief in Articulate Tee as an emerging company located in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
Let's talk about it... we all have strengths and weaknesses that are as unique to us as our fingerprints. Some days we play up our strengths to the highest degree and other days our weaknesses get the better of us. Whatever day you experience know that we can all relate to feeling the high's and the low's of personal development through practicing self-awareness.
Confidentiality permits me from discussing my followers answers as to protect their identity and privacy but I created an avatar with a mashup of their answers.
You just got home from working a long shift at your underpaid job. You're too tired, lacking the energy to cook a meal for the fourth time this week so you order take-out for delivery instead. As you're waiting for your food to arrive, you take a hot shower and stand there with the water beating down on you... thinking to yourself - when am I going to level up in life? When am I going to get my sh-t together so that I'm not struggling emotionally, financially, mentally, physically, and/or professionally?
You step out of the shower, dry yourself off, moisturize your skin with your favourite lotion/body butter/ oil and slide into a cozy pair of pj's. Your phone rings. The display shows that it's the lobby buzzer...food is here! You buzz the delivery person up for no-contact delivery, head to your front door, and look through the peep-hole as to not miss the drop off. You open your door, pick up the food and close the door. You eat dinner quietly as you binge watch your favourite show on Netflix...again.
As you wind down for bed -two and a half hours past your bedtime- you walk past your nightstand look at your journal (which you haven't entered a reflection in weeks), remove your house slippers and enter your bed. After spending another fifteen minute mindlessly scrolling through social media, the blue light has you feeling wide awake but you're overdue in getting some shut eye. You set your alarm for six-thirty a.m., take off your light on the nightstand and close your eyes for the day.
And just like that six and a half hours pass by as you lay in a slumber dreading tomorrow.
One thing that you can't bypass is personal accountability and holding yourself to higher standards in order to experience opportunities you never thought you could.
In the narrative outlined above the avatar has many behaviours that are holding them back from living a fulfilling, healthier and more productive life. What are the behaviours that are holding this individual back in life? How can this person use self-awareness to undo bad habits that are blocking their blessings well... let's break it down.
Number one: I'm not here to knock the sixty percent of individuals who work for employers nor the thirty-five percent of those who work for themselves. I am however going to say that you'll need to know your worth in both scenarios. The avatar in the narrative above knows that they dread their current employment but what steps are being taken to advance themselves professionally? If you're not making moves to better your situation then you're being complacent with your goals.
A survey by monster.ca titled " An International View Of Happiness At Work" (read here) revealed that nearly two-thirds of Canadian employees like/love their job a lot compared to one-third of Canadian employees who don't like their current role. Compare this to international results and it will show that Canadian workers are the most satisfied labour force. This means that if you are finding yourself in the minority it's time to move onto brighter horizons, Time is a non-refundable commodity, so trade your time for job(s)/contracts with better pay, benefits, training/development opportunities, job titles, and/or leadership opportunities.
A solution to working this crappy job and feeling weighed down by the daily hustle is to use the s.m.a.r.t goals printables by Articulate Tee available here. You've got to pay the bills but want to level up professionally right? That means that you'll need a strategic plan to get you from point a (crappy job) to point b (better job). The s.m.a.r.t goal printables were designed with proven methods to complete goals from beginning to end. Learn an optimal way to convert your thoughts into action leading to more successes in your professional life.
Number two: The choices we make today play out as our future tomorrow so understand that this is fact. The avatar has a low-paying job, yet has ordered take-out for the fourth time this week. Now, I'm only here to talk facts with everybody. Ordering take-out basically everyday is overconsumption of a want. Wants are not essential in your budget especially when you literally cannot afford to spend money that you don't have. Studies show that over-consumption of fast-food leads to physical symptoms such as: headaches and migraines, outbreaks of acne, dental cavities, raise your LDL cholesterol, increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, retaining excessive water -leading to bloating, and lethargy to list a few side effects.
Let's look at how the avatar is being affected negatively in the financial and physical areas of their life. For starters their credit score is being impacted by the large balance carrying over month-to-month because of poor financial choice of ordering take-out excessively. By preparing meals ( or meal prepping) at home you will be eating healthier, fresh, colorful foods that contain the needed vitamins, minerals and fiber for a healthier you starting from the inside out.
I collaborated on a blog post discussing this very topic with an amazing health and fitness coach named Danielle. We co-wrote the article Meal Prepping: A Financial & Nutritional Cheat-code to Success in order to inform the community about the financial and health benefits of meal prepping which you can read here.
There are also the Financial Accountability to Financial Freedom printables which were designed as a printable financial planner to keep you on budget every month so that you'll increase your confidence with money, increase your credit score and manifest your way to financial freedom.
This 37 page document is ready to be printed off and used right away to make budgeting a lot easier while optimizing your money management skills which you can view here.
Number three: We become what we think of and do most of the day/week/month/year. So with that being said your mindset is a huge determining factor as to how you will overcome your hardships in life. Your mindset also determines if you can learn, develop and grow from each situation that you've experienced whether good or bad.
The avatar was thinking "when am I going to level up in life? When am I going to get my sh-t together so that I'm not struggling emotionally, financially, mentally, physically, and/or professionally? ".
The truth is nobody will have the answers for you besides from you and your tangible efforts.
This first starts with understanding that your mindset and views of the world will aid or hinder you from achieving successes in your lifetime. Remember that just because you are struggling in one area of life don't mean that you're struggling in life overall. More than likely there are other areas of your life that you are succeeding in. Therefore, you can cut the focus on what's going right to focus and fix what is going wrong.
Overstand that mindset is the only difference between those who are successful and those who are not. So, if you are experiencing issues in your life take a step back and start with the solution then work your way backwards to reverse engineer the situation.
This tactic helps you find a fitting solution that you can break down into smaller steps to accomplish your goal and overcome your struggle. This may take weeks, months or even years to overcome. Let's not get it twisted. This is not an add water type of recipe and poof life is great. It takes consistency, courage and strength to face your struggles head on and battle them passionately everyday.
I was able to overcome my limiting mindset and false narratives by understanding the states of mindsets one may be in. I went from hitting homelessness three times to creating a stable environment for my family in 4 years. See, overcoming hardships that create ripple effects usually take years to overcome. I am still fighting my way to financial freedom however I am proud to say that I am humble and grateful for a place to call home. By learning about a growth mindset I fostered a new perspective on my situation and reverse engineered a solution to my problems through design thinking, if-than statements and learning about a growth mindset from professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University.
In April of 2021 I released a course called " Foundations of a Growth Mindset" on teachable. To access the course click here. Three months later I was contacted by a major company to convert my course in to an audio course on their platform. This course is life changing and has been adapted by post-secondary institutions, major corporations, learning institutions, correctional facilities and more!
- "You binge watch your favourite show on Netflix...again".
- "As you wind down for bed -two and a half hours past your bedtime".
- "After spending another fifteen minute mindlessly scrolling through social media"
I'm not here to scold you on what you should and shouldn't do in your life. I am here though to deliver scientific facts and data to explain why certain choices that we make hinder us from achieving greatness within our lives.
I created a resource in the form of a book titled "Articulated Growth Toolkit". In the book I go over fifty strategies, actionable resources and tools to replace unhelpful behaviours with more productive and helpful ones. You can find the book here.
Well let's be real, there are some day that rest is more than deserved and a binge on your favourite show is in order as a treat. However, this is a behaviour that once again indicates overconsumption. This time the culprit is screen time. Studies show that having too much screen time may lead to obesity, sleep issues, chronic pain in your neck and back, and mental health issues like depression or anxiety. It has been recommended that adults and children limit screen time (outside of work/school) to 2 hours maximum a day. Fill your time by consuming enriching content that feeds your brain and does not drain it.
- You walk past your nightstand look at your journal (which you haven't entered a reflection in weeks)
Self reflection is the biggest gift that you could give yourself in this lifetime, yet you haven't touched your journal in months because you claim that you have no "time" to write an entry. Looking back at the avatars time spent we can see that the priorities are not in favour of self-care and self-reflection. But ask yourself... are your priorities looking like the avatars? Many of us prefer things that allow us to mindlessly engage but most of the time they leave us feeling unfulfilled and empty inside.
if you had taken some time out to reflect in your journal you could have reaped benefits such as strengthen your self-awareness by first recognizing your beliefs. Maybe one of your beliefs is that mental heal is the key to optimal health so you want to focus more on improving yours. This is just one example of becoming in-tune with your pattern of behaviours and reactions to situations to better understand how you operate as a human being. The insight you get back from self-reflection is used to revise, adjust and retry skills, habits or build self-awareness until you achieve your outcome.
If you're interested in learning more about this foundational soft skill which is the basis to all skills then sign up to beta-test my upcoming course here; titled " Self-Awareness for Better Leadership" coming out in Jan 2022!
Now is the time to make changes to become the person you want to be and start doing the things that you love, faster. Not because you are in a race against time, but because you now have plans, direction, clarity and vision to move forward.
Continue seeking understanding and perspective from others around you as they share valuable insight into creatively solving your problems. Our brand articulatetee.com fits into your personal development journey in several different ways from journaling, to strategizing ways to replace unproductive habits, to creating courses to reset mindset and self-awareness, to community via blog, public speaking and collaboration with like minded businesses.
The future is a mysterious and oftentimes scary thing to think about. A great way to flip those feelings of uneasiness due to uncertainty is to plan for the best and worse case scenarios that you may encounter while bettering yourself and think of three way that you can better prepare yourself for what's to come. Nobody can tell you for certain how things will turn out for you in the long run. You can gauge how things are going in the short term by seeing if you have been achieving your mini-milestones along the journey to habit changing and skill building.
Thank you for your readership and we appreciate your likes, comments and shares!
- Until next month...