IMAGE: @ILOVEKOTBONKERS / INSTAGRAM
For an immense amount of time, I have been wanting to blog, or to just get my voice out there. I feel like I have too much to say but fear just stunted the progress I could have made. You could call my behaviour self destructive, not on purpose, but my lust for perfection and fear of judgement outweighed my desire to share what I'm creating or what I'm thinking.
Now the year is coming to a close and I'm in a different headspace so here's my first real blog post: I’m going to let you in on why I'm a little bit happy to leave 2016 behind.
Before you start reading I'd suggest you give yourself time to digest this post. It's quite a long one so don't read it in a rush!
Like many forward looking individuals, 2016 was taken over by thoughts of my future. I was in sixth form for half the year preparing to take exams that were made to seem like the be all and end all; meanwhile, I had to juggle the rest of my life around this one priority - my future. This really frustrated me as I am a true believer of living in the moment. At times it would even depress me: Am I going to get anywhere? What if I fail? Have I done enough? Am I doing enough? Why are they at this point and I'm not there when I'm just as capable as them? I thought we were working at the same pace so why is their result better? I really let negative thoughts consume me at times.
I often have this discussion with my friends, and nowadays it ends up being positive, as I have grown to understand what I was going through.
When you're facing an assortment of changes and loosening up from dogmas*, you are at war with what you should be doing and what you want to do. You realise everything you do now will intrinsically effect your future but you want to live in the moment because you’re young right? Being young is all about having fun, right? This issue is perpetuated by social media showing you people, some of them even at your age or younger, living how you want to live and therefore you start recognising the gap between where you are at and where you want to be.
noun: dogma; plural noun: dogmas
The gap between your dreams and aspirations should inspire you and not be a negative weight on your shoulders. The only reason you may feel frustrated or upset is because you have a burning hunger for success and indirectly, happiness. When we want to be successful in our careers want our careers to be fulfilling and make us happy. When we want to have a successful relationship, we want reciprocated love and happiness within the relationship.
A primary goal within life is happiness and (as cliché as it sounds) happiness only comes from within. I completely understand it is easy to say, “Happiness comes from within.” when you are happy but, you and your mind are powerful. Instead of dwelling on how much further you have to go or what you are lacking, showing gratitude for what you do have and what you have to look forward to is a much better perspective to look from. Identify what your true end goal is and embrace the hardships that come with it. Be grateful for these hardships as the journey to success was never said to be easy. Re-adjust your perspective.
(Disclaimer: All of this is especially daunting when you have parents who see education as the only route to success, luckily mine are rather understanding. However, I am in education and was pushed to take an educational route.)
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
- African Proverb
All we are trying to do is develop ourselves and a support system is so vital when you’re trying to do this!
Now, lets not get it twisted. Not everyone you know is here for your success (but I’ll save that for another blog post) so weeding out the unsupportive, negative energies within your life is the first step. This helps you cultivate positive thoughts and therefore your actions. A plant can receive all the nutrients and water in the world, but where would it be without light? When you are in a positive state of mind, everything you carry out will be much more successful than if you were in a negative mind-frame, for example upset or angry. One of the main principles within The Law of Attraction (and again I'll talk about this further in a future post) is that positivity attracts positivity and your thoughts must be in line with what you want to bring into your life. Think positively!
You have to start making choices that make you happy now, with your future in mind, but not dwelling so much on your slip-ups. You are human. You are allowed to make mistakes.
Yes, your future should motivate you to the point where your current actions are aligned with what you want to achieve; however, do not get caught up. You will end up scrutinising yourself to an unhealthy point. Make the right choices at the right times and become more organised. Procrastination is my personal weakness but I will (try to) choose to start an assignment a couple weeks before it's due so that I am not rushing at the last minute. I also might make personal sacrifices sometimes - preferring to miss the best club night of the term, so I can get some sleep and wake up for my lecture the next day, so I don't fall behind (or just leaving early).
It's important to know yourself and know what works for you. Just because your peers can drink heavily for four nights in a row and make it to lectures doesn't mean you can! It will be you falling behind whilst they carry on as normal.
We can all win, just find your own personal way to do so.
One really important thing I realised is that comparison will kill you. When I took a break from checking up on what my social media favourites were doing, what expensive fashion trend I couldn't follow because I spent all my money on nonsense/ did not have enough of it, or what the other "creatives" my age were doing, I reflected on myself. No two journeys to success are the same. We are part of a generation of over-sharers and watching other people share their "happiness and success"*, while you wallow in self pity about your current situation, is unhealthy. Very unhealthy. And the thing is, we're doing it subconsciously.
Look on to others for inspiration and not as a benchmark for where you should be.
*Everything that glitters is not gold and I am going to blog about this in more depth too later. (I know I have a lot to "blog about later" but I'm very excited and I hope you are too!)
You must identify your strengths and your weaknesses. Praise yourself for your strengths and work on your weaknesses, then also realise that you cannot be perfect! My weakness is often organisation and time management. Should I work on it? Yes. Have I tried? Yes. Am I still slightly unorganised and struggling with time management? Yes I am, but I have got better and its okay not to be all the way there yet. Why should I pressure myself to be a complete circle when I haven't even experienced a quarter of my potential life span? Be proud of how far you have come and take some time for self reflection. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Why would you compare yourself to someone on a different path to your own? When did you decide that you are deserving of their current situation? Your blessings are your blessings and they are meant for you! Re-focus on you and your growth. The universe owes you nothing, remember that. Everything you have and want is earned, whether it received today or in 10 years doesn't matter because there is no time limit on your success.
The focus point of this VERY long post is to awaken you to the fact that success is subjective. Your journey to success is personal but do not completely go it alone if and when you are struggling. Of course there is always something more to be done right now, or something more you could have done in the past but do not lament, take care of yourself and take a break when necessary! Do the best you can. Strive for your ideas of success and no one else’s. Be ambitious. Be brave. Be bold. Cultivate your happiness!
So, a quick summary of what I really want you to take away from this post is: