Written by Tara of Slightly Sorted
Did you know that the third Monday in January is supposedly the gloomiest day of the year? Apparently, it’s the day when many of us are most likely to feel down in the dumps after the excitement of Christmas has worn off, and we’ve started to break our well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions!
I don’t know about you, but at this time of year, I certainly find it difficult to get up off the sofa and do something worthwhile. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the fact that Christmas burned a hole in our pockets, or maybe it’s something to do with settling back into the same old routine after the holidays. Whatever it is, it’s a pain in the behind!
So, in the spirit of keeping positive, I did a spot of on-line research to find some motivation from other women, in the hope that I can find the elusive ‘get-up-and-go’ that seems to have gone AWOL! I hope these quotes, from five amazing strong women, will inspire you too… and remind us all that there’s a lot to feel good about, even in January!
Setting the example – Michelle Obama
Whatever your politics, there can be no denying the Michelle Obama is one inspiring lady! Her intelligence, class, and strength always shine through, and she’s never been short on inspiring advice.
There are so many inspirational quotes from Mrs. Obama to choose from, but I really love this one…
“I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life, who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”
Maybe you’re wondering how that might help to motivate you – after all, you can’t change who was or wasn’t around when you were growing up! What it made me think about though, is how helpful it can be to shift the focus away from ourselves when we’re feeling a bit glum. It’s amazing how quickly you can start to feel different when you start thinking about the impact you’re having on those around you, rather than your own negative feelings and thoughts.
Try to take a step back from your own feelings, and focus on being an inspiration to other women (and men!) around you. Strive to be the person that helps them to feel better, and someone they look up to in a positive way. It could be your best friend, your mother, or a lady you hardly even know! We can all look for tiny ways to give others strength and happiness.
For me, this has the most impact when I think of my daughter. Do I want to show her that a rude comment from someone will put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day, or do I want to let her see that it’s not really about us, and we can still be kind to them and keep smiling? Do I want her to learn from me that the way to deal with a setback is to sit in front of the TV and eat cake, or do I want her to watch me dust myself off and try again? And most importantly, do I want to uplift her or bring her down? I know that if I focus on being a role model for her, I ultimately feel better about myself too.
And maybe one day she’ll be running the country and giving out wise words about the strong women she grew up with!
Forget the guilt – Angelina Jolie
As not only an Oscar-winning actress but also a United Nations Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie certainly knows a thing or two about striving for greatness! I love this quote from her about judging ourselves, and others…
“I don’t believe in guilt. I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person. And don’t judge people in your life.”
When you feel a bit down, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking patterns. That includes beating yourself up about things you have or haven’t done and thinking or saying negative things about others. In either case, the result is that you end up feeling rubbish.
So your New Year’s resolution was to run three times a week, but you’ve yet to dust off your trainers? Don’t worry about it! Feeling guilty will make the problem much bigger than it needs to be. Think about what you’d say to a friend in the same position. Would you berate her endlessly for her laziness and tell her she’s never going to be attractive to anyone ever again unless she loses five pounds? Hopefully not! So don’t do it to yourself. It’s easier said than done, but just being mindful of the guilt you’re carrying around can help to shift the direction of your thoughts.
And, of course, we all think or say unkind things about others now and then – we’re only human. But apart from just not being very nice, negativity of any kind just brings everyone down. So let’s not do it.
As Audrey Hepburn, another amazing woman, said, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Beautiful words to live by.
Look after yourself – Beyonce
You don’t need me to tell you what an amazing and powerful woman Beyonce is! One of her many admirable qualities is her determination to look after herself and to be independent.
While there’s nothing wrong with depending on our loved ones for support, it’s easy to slip into the trap of waiting for someone else to lift us up when we’re feeling down.
So, as long as we’re talking about regular old ‘down in the dumps’ days rather than something more serious like depression, try to remember that only you are responsible for your happiness and well-being. Never fall into the trap of believing you’re a victim!
Take your lead from Beyonce, who says, “I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.”
Be Brave – J.K. Rowling
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve” – while it might be easy to dismiss this as trite advice from a multi-millionaire, let’s not forget that J.K. Rowling went from living on state benefits to earning millions of pounds within five years thanks to her Harry Potter novels. And, that twelve publishers rejected her first Harry Potter book before one publisher finally took a chance on her. So maybe she does know what she’s talking about!
On days when you feel despondent, it’s easy to underestimate your own abilities and how far you can go. Try to think of a time you’ve achieved something you didn’t think you’d be able to, and remind yourself of it when you need a boost.
Out of all the things that have happened in my own life, the one thing that reminds me of this more than anything is climbing a rock-climbing wall! Stay with me here, I have done several things in my life that have been a bit more interesting than this, but for some reason, it brought the point home to me that I can do more than I realise sometimes!
It’s not a very exciting story. Basically, I just 100% believed that I wasn’t going to be able to get to the top of the wall and was ridiculously scared, but then I just did. I didn’t stop, even though I believed it was impossible for me to do it, and I got to the top. As you may have gathered, I’m not very physically adventurous, and what would have been a pretty insignificant moment for most people was quite a memorable one for me!
So don’t think that you have to have accomplished anything too momentous – just remember that you can do more than you might think you’re capable of, and then go for it.
You’re a wonder woman – Queen Hippolyta
Wondering who Queen Hippolyta is? Wonder Woman’s mom, that’s who!
If you take nothing else from all of this, remember her words when you need to feel happy, strong, and powerful!…
“In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a wonder woman.”
Yes, you are. Now go get ’em!
Written by Tara
Tara is a content writer and creator of Slightly Sorted an idea and inspirational blog that motivate and inspire people within their daily lives.
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