Feeling behind in life. Staying motivated.
For the past month, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the meaning of life. As a natural introvert, I generally spend a lot of time thinking, but this time I felt refreshed with a new mindset to tackle life.
One eye opener I had was life comes at you fast, really fast. One moment you're a kid wishing you were an adult with endless freedom, the next day you're wishing you were a kid again without having to deal with all these responsibilities. If you're like me, you start to feel discontent with life, as if you're falling behind. You see your friends moving on, achieving their own dreams, going to graduate school, securing their dream job, and getting to travel all over the world you can only imagine going to.
Let's be real, life after college isn't easy for most of us (I'll most likely touch up on this topic and my own experiences in a future post). Actually.. "adulting" is extremely difficult in general, whether you went to college or not. We're living in one of the most competitive eras where it's harder than ever to stand out, and sometimes you can't help but feel like you're not good enough, we're only human after all. Some of us are wishing we got into our dream school, having jobs we actually enjoy going to, or owning a successful business. Whatever it is, breaking the cycle of getting by and taking steps to achieve your own dreams takes a lot of courage.
Here are some tips I've learned that helped me take necessary steps to chase my own dreams:
1. Don't compare yourself. The only competition you have is yourself.
Comparing yourself is one of the most toxic things you can do to yourself. I feel like one of the biggest problems we as humans have is we get too caught up on what others are doing, wishing we have what they do, when we should purely focus on ourselves. As cliché as it sounds, we are all unique in our own ways. The only competition you have is yourself, so be the best version of yourself, everything else will fall in place.
2. Surround yourself with what makes you happy.
What really makes you happy? Surround yourself with that. Whether it's being around your family, spending time at the beach, dancing in your room, take time to do things that make YOU happy. When you are happy, it is then you are able to make others surrounding you happy as well.
3. Be kind to yourself.
You need to be your #1 fan to fully believe in yourself. Be in a relationship with yourself. Gain that independence. Be so confident that no one can pull you down. Make your haters mad while you shrug them off. When you're older, you're going to think a lot about what you wish you did. Don't let your insecurities and what people say about you prevent you from achieving your dreams.
4. Get in touch with what drew your inspiration in the first place.
Similar to how listening to upbeat music gives you energy to work out, for me, listening to certain music inspires me to get up and work. Sometimes I'll dig up old playlists that reminds myself of a younger time when I would dream of my future, then it gives me motivation to work at it.
5. Focus. Don't get caught up in small things.
Hustle now, party later. Time is the most valuable thing we have. Because of this, I'll often times turn down invitations to go to parties and outings to spend time focusing on my future. Your real friends will understand.
As for not getting caught up in small things, don't spend time being down on things you can't control. Whether it's the guy who cut you off, the nasty comment you heard about yourself from someone who doesn't even know you, or the guy/ girl who won't give you the time of day. Don't sweat the small stuff. Focus your energy on what's important in your life. Being at peace with yourself goes a long way.
6. Accept your weaknesses. Focus on your strengths.
We are all human, no one is perfect. Know what you're strong at and focus on that.
7. Be optimistic.
Instead of worrying what the future holds for you, see it as a blessing in disguise. You might not have a set plan, but that's the best part. You can be anything you want. The future is yours. Go and grab it.
As a science major, I was always intrigued with the human body to be intuitive with what your mind and body goes through. One of the things I learned is that endorphins, hormones that triggers positive feelings, are released when you work out. So whenever you're feeling a little down, try to do some light exercise to release those endorphins!
9. Don't be afraid to fail.
As long as you're trying, that's all that really matters. It's definitely hard to put our ego aside and be vulnerable, but seriously, what is more courageous than someone trying? Seeing someone try is the most motivating thing to me. Even if you do fail, you will learn so much that it wouldn't even be considered failure.
10. Be patient.
This is the most important tip and what I struggle with the most myself. We have to remember that life is not a race. Talent really is evidence of a lot of practice. Nothing easy comes overnight. Take baby steps forward, whether its learning something new everyday or reaching out to people in your field. Make your dreams a reality. Invest in yourself for the future, but don't forget that the hustle, dirt, and grind is necessary to make us who we are.
The next time you ever feel like you're falling behind, realize that you're not, you're just following your own journey. You're in full control of your future, so go out there and get it.