By Basia Alicia Powell
I have spent the greater part of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 introspecting. This action has allowed me to discover a better version of myself. I took a vulnerable look at the areas of my life that were not delivering the results I need. What I learnt from my introspection is the fact that I will not grow unless I am willing to let go of extras and bad habits.
This self-actualization process began with my closet. There I met clothing and accessories I did not remember I owned. Over the years, I filled my life with so much stuff I did not need. The justification for me was the fact that I worked hard and I was in a position to buy them, so I continued to do so without asking myself, “ Do I need this?” All of a sudden, we are in a pandemic and I have clothing I don’t really need to have. I now realize that I enjoy seeing less in my closet, as it helped me to co-ordinate my style and brand better. Particularly when it is all color coded. I took a further decision to hang clothes in my closet seasonally. So during the spring summer months, I will remove my winter clothing. This allows me to remove clutter and decide if I really want an item to return the following season. Sometimes we hold on to clothing and accessories for sentimental reasons , even when they don’t fit or go out of style. (This rule does not apply to my wedding dress or some of my children’s baby clothing)
Then I visited the pantry and the refrigerator. I discovered that I was a food addict. If you know anything about me, you would know that I love food. However, I did not know that I was a food addict, because my outward appearance and my metabolism has been very kind to me over the years. However, addicts all have a different outward appearances, but on the inside they are all addicts. So even though, I maintained a healthy diet for the most part, I was still eating too much of my healthy diet, as I was addicted to food. I took a decision to eat less, particularly in the evening and that made a huge difference in my sleeping pattern. It was transformative, as I began to sleep better at night and think clearer. I suddenly realized that I was giving my body more food than I needed. Essentially, I have been addicted to food my whole life.
My final step was to examine how a typical workday was structured. What did I spend the majority of my day doing? Was I reading,exercising, talking on the phone, working on business deals? The answer was not what I wanted to hear. Who was I surrounding myself with? Were these people thinking bigger than me? Did they truly want to see me happy and succeed? Can they help me to get to my destination? The bottom line is, I was not taking the steps to engage in the activities and surround myself with the people who would support and enhance my dreams.
Upon closer reflection, I recognized that the only person who was really holding me back from living my dream is me! This was due to my personal choices. So many of us want a desired career, marriage, lifestyle and the list goes on. However, many of us are reluctant to relinquish the dead end job, the bad marriage, and sabotaging habits that are holding us back. It is not the job and your spouse holding you back. You are allowing them to hold you back. You are a sum total of the people you hang around and what you spend most of your time doing. As a result, it became clear that the barrier was within.
I am so grateful for the results of my introspection. I take full responsibility and accountability for not letting go of the things and people who were not adding value to my life. I actually allowed myself to be held back in the process. Today, I have a different approach towards my future. I will only fill my days with the activities that will advance my mind, improve my body and feed my soul. Prior to now, my approach would have been to fill my life with lots of things I don’t really need. Now I shop for things that I can use for a longtime, or that would bring me joy. I also have a new rule that states, “If I am bringing a new item into my closet, another item has to leave. My closet is my branding office and some items no longer reflect my brand, or where I am going, so they need to go. More than anything, I am moving forward much lighter, happier, and a better version of myself.