Working on my mindset was one of the most valuable lessons I learnt whilst living and working in London. I have learnt first hand how you can turn your life around for the better and create a life you’re proud of and excited to live. I want to share my story of how I turned my life around, made a complete 180, and how you can too.
It’s true, when I moved to London I believed I had landed my dream job. But unfortunately within just 6 months of working my “dream job” I knew I couldn’t live the way I was for the rest of my life. I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle.
That unhealthy lifestyle was working 60+hour weeks. I would work until beyond 8 or 9pm, therefore get home much later and not have time to cook fresh meals every night. Then it would be straight to bed to do it all over again the following day. I found myself living for the weekends which seemed far too short when they did eventually come around. It was after a few months of doing this that made me evaluate why I had moved to London in the first place and whether this was really the lifestyle I wanted for the rest of my life.
It’s important to say at this point that I don’t regret moving to London to start my career in Interior Design – far from it! It was one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had, but it really opened my eyes to the bigger picture of what life is really about for me personally. When I was younger, I had this image of how I would be with a high flying job in the city – just like Victoria Beckham in how she dresses and tackles her work seriously. I was determined to make this happen for me in the design industry. However it’s not until you start to live that life (or see first hand what those roles are like) that you come to realise what is really involved and whether it’s really for you or not…
Aside from the job itself, there was a lot of stress with living in the city – there’s people everywhere, at pretty much all hours of the day. I found that even though I had lived in Manchester previously for three years and hadn’t experienced any anxiety, I would get an overwhelming feeling of anxiousness every morning on my way to work on the tube. Some mornings I would have to ring my mum to talk me through it and calm me down before getting on a train. I remember one morning in particular, I had to get off the tube three stops early because I was so overwhelmed, and walk the rest of the way. Luckily though, within a week or so I realised what was causing it – the unknown of what the day ahead held and other areas of my personal life that I wasn’t able to sort out by living over two hours from my hometown.
It was the lifestyle in which I slipped into as a result of living in a city with the added stress from my job that opened my eyes to whether it was really how I wanted to live my life. There are a few things every morning that I was able to do that helped me realise what was most important to me and motivated me to make a change.
I also learnt that it’s okay for your “dream job” to not actually be your dream job. It’s not the end of the world to change your mind and go after something else. I think the real lesson is to not lose your passion in the process of making that change. This makes it sound as though I changed careers completely but I only changed the niche of interior design to something I hoped I would enjoy more and enable me to live life how I wanted to.
Here’s some key changes I made to my day that enabled me to learn more about what I value in life and helped me to make a change…
Make a List
Make a list of everything that you’re not happy with in your life. Whether it’s work related or something in your personal life, get it written down. Next, decide whether these items on your list are things you can change, or aspects of life / work that you cannot change. After you’ve done this you can make a plan of ways you can change all the things in your life that are not making you happy, serving your purpose or don’t align with your values.
If you’re unsure of what your life’s values are and what is truly important to you, take a look at the next section…
My Morning Routine
My top tip for improving your mindset starts from the very beginning of every day. Waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal. This may seem extreme, especially if you already wake up pretty early for work, but this immediately buys you the first 30 minutes of the day to focus on nothing but yourself and your mindset which sets the tone for the rest of the day.
So, what should you do with these extra minutes every morning?
- Drink a glass of cold water; to wake up, feel refreshed and hydrated. I find by adding lemon or lime really helps, or have your morning coffee at this point.
- Spend 20 minutes reading a book on mindset. My personal favourites are The Secret & The Power by Rhonda Byrne, Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck and The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters.
- Write at least 3-5 things you’re grateful for in your life. This can include what you already have, and what you aspire to have in the future. Start small with family and health related things, then expand to being grateful for how you’re working towards creating your dream life. For example, I was grateful for the new opportunities I was attracting into my life, before they appeared or came to my attention.
- Watch 10 minutes worth of motivational videos on YouTube. I do this whilst doing my hair and makeup before going to work. By listening to these videos every morning, it gets me fired up and ready to take on the day ahead. You can even do this on your commute to work each morning if you’re unable to do this at home.
By incorporating the above steps into my morning, before even stepping out of my flat I had shifted my attitude and mindset towards work into a more positive one that dramatically improved my day despite not enjoying the deadlines at work.
Monitor Your Thoughts
This may seem really ridiculous but when you think about the amount of times you drift into negative thoughts throughout the day, it’s actually worth your while working out what drives those thoughts to change. Is it the way someone spoke to you? A driver not indicating on your way to work? Anything can change the way you’re thinking throughout the day, but by becoming more aware of what is actually impacting your thoughts – shifting from positive to negative, you can start to re-evaluate how you react to these situations. For example, if a conversation is moving towards being more confrontational I will always pause to think properly before responding to comments.
I can guarantee that by implementing the above you will start to notice a big shift in the way you lead your life. Trust your path and have confidence in the changes you want to make.
I hope this post has inspired you to re-think your values if you’ve been struggling recently, and given you some helpful pointers on how to improve your mindset and keep on top of it to make some changes in your life.
Here’s to living our best lives!
*The links shared in this post are not linked to any affiliate programmes (I do not get paid to share the books), these are shared as starting points for you to improve your morning routine and mindset