So often in life we hold back. As we grow up, we are taught to live with a little bit of reserve, always keeping some energy for later. Particularly in Australia, we are taught from a young age not to stand out too much – to not be the tall poppy. We are conditioned to not be too much, so at times, we become too little. This means we hold ourselves back from achieving our full potential, starving the world and the people around us from being inspired by our energy.
I hold back when I’m stressed. And even though I do it to protect myself, it’s both stifling and limiting. So what would my (and your) life would look like and how would it affect those around us if we lived as if we could not run out and could live at our maximum? This would mean living with complete confidence that you would not run out of love, time, energy, encouragement, wealth or creativity. Imagine the fulfillment that you would experience, knowing that you gave life your all?
If we looked at this situation pragmatically, we would discover that you can’t actually run out of encouragement and you can’t run out of love. So why do we hold back from giving away these things to others? Sure, we have all run out of time, energy and money at times, but we live in an age where we can do something about these things. We have choice about our lifestyles that can greatly influence the availability of such aspects in our life. What if we chose to believe that we have the capacity to live in abundance in all areas of our life, including being the best version of ourselves?
The fact is we can’t control everything that happens to us, however we can control how we choose to respond. For example, imagine it is the end of a long week and your partner has had a tough time at work. You know they need some extra TLC, encouragement and a listening ear. However, all you want to do is be alone and chill. You are tired and need to re-energise. I get that – it’s important. But you are faced with a choice. Do you meet your partner’s needs knowing that you can rest afterwards with the understanding that we all go through times when we need someone to help and support us? Or do you decide that you have nothing left to give because you are run dry and need to replenish? I have a favourite quote by GB Stern that is perfect here – Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. So if you think something positive, encouraging, affirming, kind – SAY IT!
Please hear me when I say, we need to ensure we have proper boundaries in place to live well and safely. I know this very personally, as I have some chronic medical conditions that require me to be very careful with my health and control many variables in my life. Whilst this has meant that I can live a relatively ‘normal’ life, it has also meant that this controlled way of living has spilled over into other areas of my life. Always being safe, careful and to a degree selfish to ensure that I have what I need to be well. But, if you allow strict boundaries to hold you back from living in abundance of joy, love, freedom, encouragement: it will not bring you a life of fulfillment. It can’t, because you are missing out on all the good stuff. Boundaries are important and necessary, but get the balance right so you don’t sacrifice what living in abundance can give you and those around you.
So how do we live from a place of abundance and make the choices that are required to enable this kind of lifestyle? Firstly, you need to be really clear on what your values are. Knowing what you value helps you to know what to focus on and prioritise so you can make choices that enable you to live in abundance. If you value your health, then you will know that you need to get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis so that you can then live life with more energy and as a result be in a position to give yourself away more freely. The clearer you are on your values, the easier it is to make these decisions. If you are unclear on your values, then it is easier to be confused about decisions that need to be made and will affect how abundantly you live. You may find that you are never really sure where to put your effort and so you end up procrastinating or self sabotaging any attempts that you may have.
Secondly, be thankful. Start a thankfulness journal – either formally or informally – and start recording all the things in your life which you are thankful for. When you start recognising how good your life is, it is easier to be more generous. You recognise how much you do have and so you have the perspective to embrace building up others. When you live in a threatened state or a space of scarcity, you hold tightly onto what you have, fearful of losing it. Your energy and encouragement stores are reserved for emergencies.
Thirdly, celebrate more. Don’t just celebrate the big milestones but celebrate the little things too. Celebrate Fridays, celebrate finishing exams (not just the results but the fact that you completed them!), celebrate achieving a fitness goal and celebrate the people in your life. When you are in a state of celebration, you are reflective on all that you have achieved which can then remind you to choose to give away more abundantly, so others learn to celebrate their achievements too.
Lastly, don’t let the fear of not having enough stop you. Maybe something happened to you that has resulted in you feeling this way. If that’s you, my encouragement to you is to risk vulnerability to open yourself up to a different outcome. You are probably a very different person than you were when this happened – older, wiser and more connected to get the help you need, if required. Push through this fear because it won’t go away by just avoiding it. Fear only goes away when you actually go through the experience and have the personal proof that you survived. Lumi is a great support for those wanting to push through barriers like this in your life.
Living from a place of abundance is much more fulfilling and purposeful for you and for those around you. If you aren’t living from this space, what is holding you back? You can choose to change it and I can promise you, it will be worth it.