Don’t rely on others for your happiness.
This is one lesson I struggled with throughout college. As someone who likes to constantly surround herself with her friends, ultimately no matter how optimistic you keep, people may disappoint you. I’m absolutely not taking a cynical perspective, but for ultimate peace of mind, find happiness and honesty within yourself. In the end, you’re the master of your emotions and actions, so it’s up to you to fuel your soul with– first yourself– then who and what makes you happy.
Don’t try to please everyone.
If you try to please everyone, you’re going to spread yourself too thin. When you try to please everyone, it’s easy for others to take advantage of you, even if they don’t have any ill intentions. Do your best to help others, but when you simply cannot do more, take it slow and prioritize.
Expectations can mislead you.
I cannot stress how many times I’ve allowed myself to be carried away by my expectations, and I’m still learning how to master this. When you build expectations, whatever it may be, you’re barricading yourself from reality. And when you have a skewed perspective, you’re ignorant to what’s actually right in front of you. Those expectations will tint and alter your presence, clouding your experience in the present. Expectations can often mislead you, making something seem greater, or worse, than it actually is. Take it easy and live in the moment.
Listen to your gut.
I honestly can’t say I’ve learned this lesson one hundred percent, yet. It’s happened to me countless times in academics, in life decisions, everywhere. For some odd reason, in my experience my gut feeling is my subconscious evaluating the field for me. It’s your instinct, after all. So try to listen to it when you’re doubting something, it’s most probably right.
Don’t worry about what others say about you.
In college, I had a quote pinned to the whiteboard on my desk which read: “Don’t worry what people think, they don’t do it often.” The author of such a beautiful quote is left unknown, although everyone that talks about him, or her, doesn’t really know who they’re talking about. I think the whole saying goes full circle, you shouldn’t care what others are saying about you, because it really doesn’t matter. People gossip out of boredom, lie, and cheat. It’s only human nature. So what they say about you, often untrue, shouldn’t be worth any weight on your persona. You are greater than the words that are said about you. You build your own legacy. You did your part, human nature, naturally, will exaggerate the rest.
Be realistic with yourself.
This goes hand in hand with setting expectations. If you’re not realistic, your vision will be fogged by a fictional perception. Being true to yourself and being honest with yourself is the first step to understanding yourself. Having illusions of reality can trick you to believe the unreal.
Be confident in yourself first, or you simply won’t ever be.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve fallen in love with every aspect of myself. In my early years of adolescence, I used to pick on myself for my appearance, or any petty flaw that I saw. But in the end your flaws are not what define you. My belief is that people see the bigger picture, not the negligible imperfections you build up in your mind. If you’re not confident in yourself, it’ll be hard to convince others to place their confidence in you. When you’re confident in yourself, you’re exonerate this aura of hope, stability, and approachability. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
This post was originally written in November 2013 but has been edited and reprinted in 2017.
Header image courtesy of aconsciousventure.com.