Once upon a time, two people—your parents—decided to have a baby. You had no choice in the matter and your personal life journey began without the perfect manual. If you’re human, then there are days when you might feel knocked off course and just plain uneasy because [insert any of the many triggers here]. In those times, what steps can you take to start finding inner peace?
Frankly, there are so many pressures, stressors, choices, and unknowns that scare (and scar) us in ways that prevent us from living a prosperous, happy, and purposeful life. Our goal is to counteract those by channeling our inner peace—a place of physical, emotional, and spiritual stability in the face of challenge.
Let me just say this: If you don’t feel you are in a place of inner peace right now, it’s not because it’s not possible for you. It’s likely that you just need to be more deliberate and intentional about seeking out strategies and ways to create emotional and spiritual peace. Life is filled with ups and downs, peaks and valleys, highs and lows, and lots of tears and laughter. The good news: With intentional work, you can begin strengthening your capacity to channel your inner peace.
One thing is certain: The journey to self-discovery, success, and personal empowerment requires the possession and sustainability of a strong sense of inner peace. But how can we begin that journey?
Here are five steps to start finding inner peace now:
1. Do the work to start overcoming and embracing your past.
It is inevitable that there will be some areas of your past that you wish you could redo or erase. Well, that is NEVER going to happen unless you have a magical time machine that we don’t yet know about. All the mistakes, happy times, successes, losses, challenges, and experiences are what they are. They happened and we have to take the good with the bad. While we can’t change the past, we can influence how we allow it to affect our present and future.
We have two choices: 1) become obsessed with trying to change the past (an impossible task) or focus on things within our locus of control right now. Inner peace looks like accepting that your past informs your present, but does not control it. This perspective allows us to embrace the positive influences of our past—those things that gave us strength and courage—while empowering us to release any shame, guilt, and regret associated with things we wish could have been different. The longer we live in our past, the longer we delay what is possible in our future.
2. Take inventory of areas you want to improve.
When you’ve started working on coming to terms with your past, it will probably reveal places where your past is still weighing on you and impacting your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development. Take some notes about things you notice and areas you want to improve. Honestly, this process can feel like looking in the mirror at our naked truth, the parts we don’t really show the world.
The goal is to complete an honest inventory of where you are now without destroying your self-image in the process. One way to do this is to approach this inventory with gratitude. Write down the lessons that you are grateful for from your past. As you begin finding the positive lessons and gratitude, it will help you accept the fact you may not have everything you want but you have everything you need within you to take the next best steps forward. Finding inner peace takes courage, strength, and WORK because it’s not a destination, it’s a way of being. We already have the strength and power within us to embrace ourselves with honesty and grace yet push ourselves toward self-improvement.
3. Embrace your unique story as a step to finding inner peace.
Being different can feel like the greatest blessing and the greatest curse at times in life. People encourage us to be different and unique, but at the same time, the world can send us explicit and implicit messages that there are specific standards and norms we should conform to in order to be successful or happy. However, the longer we spend comparing ourselves to others is the longer it will take to truly find balance and peace within ourselves.
Your inner peace is personal and unique to you. Embracing your differences might take a lifetime, but it’s necessary to truly experience the life that was created for YOU. Inner peace allows us to begin the process of embracing our differences and seeing them as the most beautiful part of our personal story.
4. Face your challenges and opposition.
Everything takes work, life included. As I said earlier, life does not come with the perfect manual. There will be challenges that rattle us and people that will grind our gears. Inner peace helps us return to a place of reassurance, stability, and rest.
When I watch UFC with my boyfriend, I always get upset with how this fighter or that fighter does not look “intense” enough. He always has to remind me that being intense before a fight is not necessarily a good thing. They are supposed to fight focused yet relaxed and in control. What a great life lesson! Good fighters right relaxed. When life feels overwhelming, inner peace can be an anchor and a place of faith. When challenges arise, our inner peace can be our greatest weapon, both physically and mentally.
5. Find your WHY
How will finding inner peace help you accomplish other goals you have? Why is this important to you? Having a strong WHY can act as a guiding light in hard times. Generating a few answers to these questions will help you recommit to the challenging self-improvement work when times get hard.
From personal experience, I’ve found that inner peace is the best friend of confidence. With confidence and inner peace I truly believe I can accomplish and survive anything. When I’m in a place of spiritual and emotional balance, I am better able to embrace life with fervor, direction, purpose, and perseverance. Working on finding your inner peace enables you to move forward boldly to paint your life’s masterpiece(s).
So, what can you do right now? First, set aside time to reflect and write down your why. Take that inventory and start noting places of gratitude and areas for growth. Then, start doing the work, day by day.
Start examining and creating your inner peace. Then, you will uncover new possibilities for your life…