4 Steps for Living an Epic Life
What I want most for my clients is that they get to live epic lives. As I tell everyone: this is real life. There’s no dress rehearsal, so make it count.
Living an epic life simply means living a life you love… on your terms. It means not making excuses, blaming others, waiting on others to make stuff happen for you, or playing the victim.
It means reclaiming your power and peace, and connecting more deeply with who you really are and loving yourself at your core, regardless of what happened in the past.
Sound nice? It should. To me, an epic life (as described above) is the ultimate freedom.
You can live an epic life, but it’s a choice. A daily choice. It’s a choice to read this article or not. It’s a choice to do drugs or enter rehab. It’s a choice between stagnation or complacency and getting unstuck. It’s a choice to keep quiet when you should to speak up. Etc.
Let me give you an example:
Growing up, I believed that I was dumb, black and ugly. Well, black, I am. But dumb and ugly was a lie that I was fooled into believing.
Because that was my narrative for a long time, many of my choices were based on that premise, and I overcompensated through people pleasing, perfectionism, self-doubt and caretaking. I prioritized others’ needs and wants over my own thinking that I’d eventually get what I wanted, needed.
Instead, I ended up stressed, trapped and living with a mentality of lack and not enough-ism. Finally, like a rubber band being stretched - beyond my coping capacity - I popped. My hair started falling out. I suffered panic attacks, battled guilt and depression.
After a lot of inner spiritual work, therapy, mentors, coaches and self-help books, I reinvented my life. I made a choice to be authentic. I made a choice to set boundaries. I made a choice to take 100% responsibility for my life. I made a choice to take back my control. That’s why my mantra is #epiclifebychoice.
I don’t mean to make it sound easy. It took me years and plenty of starts, stops, and restarts. But in looking back, I can see very clearly that the keys to achieving my own epic life were four things: clarity, confidence, courage, and effective communication skills.
These now make up my 4-Step Formula for epic living and I’d like to share them with you:
My 4 Step Formula for Epic Living
“The first step to getting what you want out of life is to decide exactly what you want.” - Jack Canfield
Everything starts with clarity. If you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you’ve found it? So, living an epic life starts with being really clear about who you are, your value, your worth and what you will and will not tolerate in your relationships, career and in life.
Ask yourself “What do I, in my heart of hearts, really want in my life, career, relationships?”
Write down whatever comes to mind. Don’t judge it, don’t think about what’s possible and what’s not. Just clear your heart and mind by writing it all down. Trust yourself. Start there.
Confidence is a state of mind - a state of being - that keeps you from being too distracted by perceived limitations to pursue your potential. It’s the palpable energy that affects how others perceive you.
You can think of confidence as a cousin to self-esteem, self-worth, self-concept and self-efficacy. You need this in pursuit of an epic life because it helps you to reduce or eliminate NAT (negative automatic thoughts), the thoughts that talk you out of something good before you even act on it.
One trick that’s worked for me over the years to build confidence is looking people in the eye when talking to them and silently telling them (in my head), “I am worthy and valuable. And I expect you to treat me such.” It might sound goofy at first, but it works! The boldness that you’ll feel just from saying it in your head will show up in your presence and demeanor.
Even if you’re clear and confident, it will take bold action to go after what you want. Just believing in yourself isn’t enough if you don’t have the courage to act on that belief.
For example, you’re clear you want a raise and you’re confident that you deserve one. Now, it will take courage to act - to ask for a raise - which may mean being uncomfortable and being prepared to hear “no”. And if you’re told “no”, it means having the courage to ask what would increase the chances of you getting a raise or promotion in the future or looking for another position elsewhere if you feel you’ve outgrown your current employer.
To start, write down your ‘why’. Why do you want that promotion, companion or to leave that relationship or friendship? Then write down how you or your life will change for the better if you took action. Then write down how you envision yourself feeling. Finally, write down the actions you’re prepared to take to get what you want.
To be successful in your relationships, career and life, you must learn to be an effective communicator. Your ability to communicate impacts your ability to prevent, manage and/or resolve conflict, drama and disappointments.
I created a short video, Speak Up and Communicate with Care, that shares some useful insights on learning to communicate more effectively. You can watch it here.
Remember It’s a Process
I’ve found that practicing my 4-Step Formula or the 4-Cs on a daily basis is key to your peace, freedom, abundance and living an epic life.
But you have to remember that it’s a process. Very few people successfully change their lives overnight.
Photo via Pixabay.