You have the power within you to change your life.

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I had the opportunity to speak with licensed psychologist Dr. Lauren Hazzouri, PsyD, founder of the online community for young women called #HeyLauren. This is the advice that I found impactful in my everyday life and want to share with our community.

Thoughts only have value if you give them value.
Thoughts → Feelings → Behavior. Each of us has many thoughts, up to 70,000 per day! The goal is to get so familiar with your thoughts that you can instantly recognize the thoughts making you feel scared or worried. Once you know which thought patterns cause the unwanted feelings, you can change them! If you change how you think, you can change how you feel and how you behave.

Prioritize taking charge of your thoughts and taking care of your body
When you stay balanced from the inside out, you decrease the desire to keep life balanced from the outside-in. There is no way to balance all areas in your life at once, dive into one area wholeheartedly for weeks at a time and then dive into another. Strive to do this without compromising self-care, always eat, sleep, and get moving.

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Set Strict Boundaries
Know what works for you. Trust your gut. If your life feels unnatural, lose the parts that shut down who you truly are to become who you think you’re supposed to be. 

Use your village. 
We women need our tribe, our girl gang, our coven. Rely on the women around you to pitch in with your mission. We’re all in this together. 

Let go of who you think you should be to become who you are. 
We all want to be liked as humans. This is okay, just don't morph into something you THINK you should because then you won't like yourself. 

When you fall into your chameleon, ask yourself what the motivation is for your action. If you don’t feel like yourself, remember what makes you unique is a special gift to the world that only you possess. 

Only you can do what you do the way that you do it. You have a mission in this world, do not miss it trying to fit into what others like.

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Walk through it—Exposure, exposure, exposure.
If you're afraid of it, you need to do it. It's as simple as that. You cannot will yourself to courage. You have to exercise the emotional muscles that flex when you walk through the fear to overcome it. Avoidance adds to the anxiety by reinforcing it. There's no easier, softer way. You don't need it to be easy and soft. You need it to work, and exposure does work. Promise.

Stop. Breath. Get Present.
→ Reduce Stress
→ Increase Mood
→ Decrease Anxiety

You do not have to search high and low for your purpose. You are your purpose.

The goal is to bring all that you are into all that you do. That’s “The work”. You are “The work”. Once you’ve got you, life gets easy.

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For more from Lauren, visit @dr_lauren and sign up for her weekly newsletter at HeyLauren.com.

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