This semester has been a doozy and it isn’t even halfway over yet. I’ve learned a lot of lessons so far and I decided today to impart one of them onto my loyal blog readers (hi mom!)
Lesson One: Be Kind to Yourself.
Chances are you are your own worst critic. I know for sure that I am.
I am so quick to not give myself credit for anything.
For example, in my head, I had planned to write this blog post on Wednesday and publish it then. However, Wednesday turned out to be far busier than I expected and I didn’t have time. So, I was getting mad at myself for already messing up a brand new schedule and I thought, “well now there’s no sense in posting anything I’ll just wait until Friday.” And that thought could’ve stopped there. But then I thought, “no that’s dumb, be nice to yourself, it’s okay that you didn’t post anything, you can still write now.”
And that may seem like a frivolous example, but it’s just a small instance of something that I do all the time. I beat myself up over small mistakes and slip ups and then don’t allow myself room to recognize that I’m human, and most importantly that the schedule in my head is only in my head and it’s okay to deviate from it.
Everyone moves at their own pace. Just because you perceive yourself as further behind your peers doesn’t mean that you actually are. Or even if you are you’re moving at your pace, for you. There are people that move slower than that, and people that move faster. The point is to focus on your own personal growth and not constantly compare yourself to others. And believe me, I know how hard this is. I constantly look at my fellow students here at UF and go: “Wow they’re doing so much with their lives and I’m just sitting here.” But if you look at your own life, and the small goals you accomplish every day and delight in those, and give yourself credit for those you’ll feel much better.
Focus on the here and now. Don’t look five years into the future and be upset that you’re not there yet. Future You is very very proud of Past You. And you will get there. (Even if it takes making little baby steps every day.) But if you constantly get upset at not seeing progress now it will make it so much harder to get to that Future You(™) and you’ll spend so much time as Present You being sad and anxious and unmotivated.
I’m learning every day to delight in small successes and it feels so much better than beating myself up about small failures. Because at the end of the day it is both the successes and the failures that make us who we are, so why not focus on the positive parts of you rather than the negative?