Thursday, April 04, 2019

I once saw a Yogi who told me I should stretch everything but the truth, focus on the out breath, worry more about what I give than what I get, and a whole host of other ways to help keep my mind from flying away to where the darkness lives. However, when I listed to my bones, I heard them say, "Go easy on yourself. You've still got time."

Sometimes life is hard. I've been hospitalized twice this school year, dealing with residual effects from my disease, chronic pain, a battle with MRSA, and dropped a ceramics class (of all classes). In my mind, I hear the voices of others, from my family to friends, telling me how I should think and feel and act. I worry about my future. I worry about the unknown. Regarding college education, as Jen Glantz said in the Elite Daily, "I waited on the edge of my chair, hoping that someone would ask me what my GPA was [in college]. But they didn't. Never. Not even once. Some of the questions they did ask were: Where do you see yourself in five years? What NYC Subway stop best fits your personality? Who is your favorite superhero?"

According to the American Psychological Association, "Self-compassion is defined as attitudes and acts of self-kindness, self-acceptance, and mindfulness." Self doubt is a dangerous habit because, if left unchallenged, becomes self-defeat.

When you take this negative position towards yourself, 

You destroy your self-esteem
When you think negatively about yourself, your self-esteem goes down. First and foremost, you are your main champion every day. Your self-esteem depends on you having a positive relationship with yourself.

You suck the fun and excitement out of both life and those around you

You will perform poorly

It keeps you focused on what's wrong with you, thereby decreasing your confidence.

It makes you afraid of failure which hurts your performance, makes you give up more easily, and leads to poor decision making.

It makes you less resilient in the face of failure and less likely to learn from mistakes.

When striving to be kinder on yourself, some ways you can go about it are:

Start each day with a positive thought.

Stop caring about what other people think/may think.
Ask yourself what you think, and only use the opinions of others as a reference that you sift through. I don't care if the person is a parent or family member, a friend, or a total stranger. Stop caring. Now.

Schedule one day a week where nothing is urgent.
Unless someone close to you is in a crisis situation, carve time out of your week where nothing will be urgent. Use this time to rest, to reflect on your goals for the rest of the week, and to renew your mind.

Celebrate progress.
No matter how big or small, celebrate your success. You owe this to yourself.

When you utilize self- compassion, care, and mindfulness, you will begin to live in alignment with your own personal convictions and beliefs rather than the beliefs of others. This will allow you to establish a solid foundation for your own identity.

The only person that will remain constant in your life is you.

As with your GPA, Glantz also said it best, "Your GPA just shouldn't be the only thing you focus on. The internships you gave your prettiest 40 hours a week for free doing, the organizations you wasted your evenings with, the football games you lost your voice screaming at, and the community service projects where you found yourself painting houses or sorting through cans of food are things that will come in handy."

Take a step back. Breathe. Hush the hurry and the worry and the noise. Go easy on yourself. You've still got time.

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