The Battle for Better.
Most of us want to be better than we are. That’s why “self-improvement” is a thing. A big thing at that. We want to get better, be better, do better. We want to be healthier, happier, more spiritual, more confident, more peaceful, more authentic, and so on.
There are a lot of ways and people out there telling us how to do it. It’s tempting to dive in. Admittedly, I’m a self-growth/development junkie, and I write on the topic. Guilty as charged.
Hold Your Horses.
But every now and then, we need to pull the plug on our striving and take a loving look at the long road we’ve traveled. To see and appreciate just how far we’ve come.
I am not the person I was a year ago. Neither are you. Think about it. Picture yourself last year at this time. Think of everything that has transpired. The joys, the heartache, the challenges, the success, and the failures. The times when you were pushed to your limit. The times you tried and made mistakes. The times you were scared, but pushed on anyway.
That’s a lot. There’s a lot to acknowledge and, if you’re ready, to celebrate. Or perhaps this moment doesn’t feel like a time for celebrating. Maybe you’re disappointed or feel like you’ve fallen short. Maybe you wish you were further along. That’s ok too.
You are still stronger, wiser, and more experienced than you were last year. That means something. Recognize how far you’ve come and the ways you’ve grown.
Cowgirl (Level) Up.
Sometimes I like to think of the areas I want to improve in my life as a video game with different levels.
Ok, so I’ve only played one video game in my adult life and that was years ago. It was a thrilling and geeky Lord of the Rings game with 10+ levels. As you developed your skills, you leveled up.
According to Urban Dictionary, leveling up is: “When a player of a video game has earned enough experience points to acquire a new level in a skill or skills. Often is accompanied by the ability to wield new weaponry, access new places, or begin new assignments.”
So, when you’ve earned enough experience you acquire or develop a skill. That’s followed by greater empowerment and new adventures. That’s how to level up as a cowgirl.
Identify Your Target.
Choose an area you want to improve.
Here’s mine: I want to be more courageous. In order to be more courageous, one must face fears. Looking back over the last year, I faced a lot of fears. That was my Level 1 of Developing Courage: Facing Fears. And, I mastered the manure out of it.
It wasn’t always pretty, but I showed up and saw things through. I rode into battle, even though my boots shook in my stirrups. The point is, I didn’t let fear stop me. As a result Level 1: Complete.
Now, before I demand or wish for more courage, I stop and acknowledge the distance traveled. Then, I saddle up for Level 2. Level 2 will be a whole lot like Level 1, but I’m equipped with greater skill and can face new challenges and adventures. Maybe it’ll get a little easier, a little prettier – thanks to completing Level 1.
And that’s how it goes. Step by step. Level by level.
The Cowgirl Way.
Identify your target. Where do you want to improve? If you find yourself wanting to be better, braver, or wiser. Stop. Reflect on how far you’ve come in the last year. What did you learn? How’d you grow? Celebrate it. And then decide what the next level looks like.
Remember, you are a cowgirl and life is your frontier. Explore it.