Happy Saturday! We’re 11 days into May and I feel like I’ve already learned so much in such a short time. I still can’t believe it’s almost summer…feels like January was yesterday. I’m growing and learning every day, and while I still make mistakes I’m working on not beating myself up about everything. Navigating relationships, career, and personal life is a never-ending process, but as I near 27 I can’t help but feel more connected than ever to the journey. I decided to make a list of 11 things I’ve learned so far in May that have helped me continue navigating life.
What you put your energy towards is what you’ll attract
The more you think about something the more it’ll begin to manifest your worries and concerns. Putting energy into something that’s simply a growing assumption that was made up in your head will only lead to chaos later on. 9.5/10 times, what you fear isn’t what’s true. My overthinking comes into play when I feel that I made a mistake or I upset someone by my actions. Asking questions and confronting the situation head-on will alleviate many issues down the road, and when you talk to the other person you’re giving them a chance to express their own feelings and concerns. How that person then decides to respond to your question is entirely up to them and has nothing to do with you.
You don’t have to hide your feelings from people who care about you
I’ve been doing a lot of personal development work over the past few weeks and it’s been met with some resistance on my end. I’m pretty great a repressing emotions and deflecting, two traits I’m working on alleviating. I don’t want people to know when I’m not myself or in a weird mood, but I’m changing that. Because holding onto emotions that no longer serve us will hurt us in the end. The side effects of this work have been sadness and insecurity. I’m not a sad person but when things come up for me I haven’t been shutting them off like I used to, so I’m semi out of whack. I’m learning that it’s okay to have days when I don’t feel like myself. I have a tendency to hide but last week I had a close friend bring up that I’ve been acting “more depressed” lately which made me realize how poorly I’m hiding. This is both good and bad, but I appreciated having this brought to my attention because that means I’m growing in the right direction. We all have off days and I don’t want to hide that anymore.
Pay attention to how you feel in different situations
Becoming more aware of when you’re feeling depleted and uplifted is crucial for a healthy life. There was a time when I’d spend time who whoever, whenever. And while it was exhausting I kept doing it because “I was that girl”. I was the girl everyone and their mother talked to about anything and everything and I took it all in. I say this with love, but not everyone deserves your time and energy. April and so far this month I’ve become consciously more aware of who I’m spending time with and where my energy is going. In some ways, I feel like I’m isolating myself, but I need to recharge. At the same time, it’s also important to be aware of how you’re energizing those you’re spending time with.
Take a moment to look around and take it all in – Life can change in the blink of an eye
Last night I was eating dinner with a few friends and watching the game when my gaze drifted to the back window. It looked like it was raining as the liquor sign illuminated the busy street outside. I began looking at all the other people in the restaurant, wondering what their stories were. What connection did we have that brought us to the same spot on a Friday night in Culver City? Life can change in the blink of an eye and I think we forget this. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. It’s easy to forget what matters. Taking little moments throughout the day to look around and be present can change your life.
One trick I learned a few years back is that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself where your feet are. This might seem strange, but asking yourself where your feet are will bring you back to the moment and it calms you. You’re here, right now. You’re not anywhere else, so just be here and focus on what’s in front of you.
Venting isn’t the same as gossiping – but there’s a line
Sometimes you need to let it all out and talk to someone about what’s bothering you. There’s a line between gossiping and venting though, and I often freak out that I’m crossing it. I don’t like talking about people unless it’s something that’s really eating me up inside. It’s okay to have moments of word vomit, but you need to keep in mind what you’re vomiting about. I’ve found myself pulling back more and more if the situation has nothing to do with me. I’ve decided that if venting leaves you feeling guilty afterward it was probably closer to gossiping, and you need to reevaluate your intentions.
Laughing at yourself is often times the best medicine
We’re all deeply flawed individuals, which is what makes us who we are. We’re quirky and human and there’s nothing better than embracing that. Laughing at yourself can be healing and makes life less serious than it can be. Just make sure you’re not bordering on self -depreciation – because there is that line.
People will make assumptions about your actions
We all make decisions that cater to what’s best for us at that moment. We’re not always thinking about others when we do things which can lead to issues in relationships. Intentions behind a decision are only known by you, but that won’t stop others from assuming. Let them assume because it helps you figure out who’s right for you. Assumptions happen to all of us, but it’s also a clear indication that communication skills are lacking and that you and the person making the assumptions need to talk.
Learn to remove the noise and do what’s right for you
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to do something else with my life, move to a different city, tell that guy how I felt, etc…I’d be a whole lot richer. I used to let other’s opinions of me dictate my decisions in life. I’d go against my gut feeling and guess what happened? Chaos. I’m learning to do what’s right for me even if it upsets those around me. This is challenging and will be met with a lot of resistance, but you’ll thank yourself later.
Be aware of how your actions affect those directly connected
We’re all guilty of making a decision that later hurts someone else in some small or big way. It’s never our intention, but actions are powerful. Before posting, saying something, or eating food that you’re allergic, ask yourself what your intended outcome is. Will this hurt anyone directly? If the answer’s yes, don’t do it.
Don’t tie your self-worth to anything or anyone
I was talking to a friend the other day about a situation and how I felt that I wasn’t good enough at it when it dawned on me, “Why the hell am I tying my worth to this ONE thing?”. I’m worthy whether or not I’m successful at this, I’m talented regardless of any outcome. Because who I am is worthy enough with or without my current impression of success. I’m already successful by being who I am and that’s something powerful. We all have a uniqueness that we bring to the table, which is why comparing is so detrimental and unhealthy to our growth. Don’t tie your worthiness to a person, job title, project, etc. We’re going to fumble, but we have the choice to get back up again.
Saying “no” won’t make people like you less
Saying “no” used to scare me because deep down I believed that it would make me a bad person, and I never wanted to be seen as anything but good. But I was wrong. Saying “no” is the opposite of bad, and people who genuinely care about you won’t think any less of you for saying it. They might joke and be slightly annoyed, but they’ll never leave you over a no. Not if they’re your people.