You are an amalgamation of your choices. There are, of course, aspects of yourself that weren’t chosen by you (sex, height, eye color, genetic disposition, etc). But your depth of character and how you live are determined by you. You can argue this statement for days or you can own it, you can argue any statement for days if you’re passionate enough and can go for long periods of time without snacks. We are largely a fleshy, energetic being made up of stories and priorities.
Our stories are the things we say about ourselves so often that we believe them to be true. They can even stem from things other people say about us. If we believe what we hear and someone else thinks we are (fill in the blank) then we must be (fill in the blank). Your thoughts are the largest influencer of your story. Just because we think a thought does not make this thought a fact. For example, one of my stories (we all have many) used to be that ‘I’m always late’. I was always late - I was too cool to show up on time or I packed in 67 errands before I had to be somewhere. Because I told people I was always late, I justified that as being okay. When I thought about why I was always late it factually came down to the fact that I didn’t respect other people's time. That feels gross to say out loud, but it’s true my time was more valuable than theirs. Because I no longer wanted to be someone who disrespected the time of others - I changed my story. I’m certainly not one of those people who show up early for everything (or anything) but I’m 99% more on time than before.
We spend so much time in our heads. Our ego feeds off of the thoughts that run on a loop inside our big, beautiful, messy cerebrums. Just because you have a thought, does not mean you have to give it attention. You can acknowledge that thought and simply move on or replace it with version 2.0 - a bigger, better, less buggy thought. It’s worth repeating - a thought is just a thought, it’s only as real or valid as you allow it.
Don’t let the stories other’s have about you creep into the definition of who you are. What they think isn’t any of your business. You cannot control the thoughts or actions of another person so any time spent thinking you can is wasted energy. Direct your energy and thoughts toward the version of yourself that you strive to be. What you tend to grows. Feed the positive characteristics and water your desired traits. Maybe even set your strengths out in the sun for some vitamin D. You have a choice to believe what you want to believe. You have a choice to become what you want to become.
Priorities are the things that you feel are important enough to spend your precious Earth minutes doing. What do you care about enough to put in the work? We are all busy - this is true in the sense that we are all constantly doing things. But we get caught up in the story of being busy and use it as an excuse to steer clear of doing the things that are hard. It’s really easy to scroll Instagram for an hour, but it requires a significant amount of effort to exercise, build a website, have an uncomfortable conversation, or examine why you do something (like the real why). There are only so many hours in the day but if you get honest about what you really want and what you say you want - there may be some wiggle room. To determine what your priorities are, you should first decide what you want. What do you want in this life? What type of person do you want to be? Then set up priorities that align with these goals. Maybe these priorities involve a little more reading or working out and a little less Netflixing. Maybe they don’t! It’s a choice that you get to make!
Does your day to day living match up with your endgame? Do your daily actions show what you value? Do the characteristics you possess feel good to you? If not, you have the ability to change all of this. How you spend your day is your choice. Yes, we have jobs and responsibilities - but you get to choose your job. Confidence is a choice. Power, strength, the way people treat you, liking yourself, whether you’re a good person, and capability are all choices. If you don’t like your job - get a new one. If putting in the time and work to find a new job are not a priority to you then you can prioritize finding more things that satisfy your needs in your life outside of the office. If you don’t like the way people treat you - fix it. You teach people how to treat you, but first you have to treat yourself with respect and grace. If you don’t like the fact that you feel unhealthy or tired or sludgy all the time - prioritize moving more and eating better. We over-complicate things. Change is not easy, but when you break it down into those small, daily choices you can initiate change pretty quickly and comprehensively.