By Toya Nicole
Confession: I’m happy.
You may say, “well being happy is no confession” but for me it is. This time last year I wasn’t. A series of circumstances, a negative mindset and distractions got me off track. I still traveled and socialized with friends, posting all my happy moments on social media. I had major professional accomplishments and still prayed over women as leader of a small group bible study.
Too bad I was a fraud.
These days I truly am happily living a wholehearted authentic life.
It wasn’t easy but there were three key habits I had to implement to get there:
1. 1. Choosing faith over fear
Having fear of what your future holds instead of hopeful expectations can be a recipe for disaster. Instead of choosing to trust God in my life, I often operated out of fear. Manipulating people and situations to make sure I was in control. As long as I was controlling a situation, it left no room for God to work a miracle in my life. When I finally learned to surrender and totally trust God with my life my whole world changed. Opportunities came my way, my purpose was revealed and love found its way back to my heart.
2. 2. Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle
I’m overweight. I wasn’t always able to admit that. Shame really can keep us in bondage. It wasn’t until I was able to release the shame from gaining 60 lbs over the last five years that I could finally start making some effective lifestyle changes. I had to re-wire my mindset. I gave up meat, added green smoothies to my diet, dialed up my personal trainer and kicked donuts to the curb! Everyday isn’t perfect and chocolate is still my weakness but my waistline is whittling down, my energy level is higher and my mind is clear. Squeezing back into that size six skirt in the back of my closet won’t happen overnight but I’m well on my way!
3. 3. Eliminating negative self-talk
Our inner critic is our worst enemy. Forget what your “haters” are saying about you, it’s what you are saying about yourself that really matters. At my lowest point unfortunately I said things to myself such as, “You aren’t qualified for that!” and “You don’t deserve real love.” No wonder I wasn’t happy! I was talking myself out of my own destiny and not acknowledging the confident woman God created and my momma raised me to be. I started to replace my negative self talk with positive affirmations like: “I am free of believing that my options are limited; Everything is possible;” and “I am loved and accepted completely by my partner.”
Life and death are in the power of the tongue and what you believe you will become.
Life is far from perfect. I still get emotionally overwhelmed and frustrated when plans fall apart; however, going back to that dark and miserable place is not an option!
Peace and purpose are at the center of my life and love is my foundation… so happiness is here to stay!
Toya Nicole is a savvy marketing consultant, storyteller and jetsetter from Chicago who loves Jesus, chocolate, music and handbags! Stay in touch with her as she blogs about life lessons and all things travel on her blog: www.mstravelchic.com andTwitter @MsTravelChic.