No matter what we do, someone will always find something to pick at. Criticism can be hurtful and debilitating, whether it comes from someone we trust or a complete stranger. But there’s only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. So we might as well do what we want, say what we want and be who we want. If we cannot please everyone, we might as well start by pleasing ourselves. Because the only person who has to live with our choices is ourselves – not anyone else. Don’t let criticism stop you from going where you want to go. Worse than facing criticism would be ignoring your heart.
Who is pulling the strings in your life? You? Or someone else? Sometimes we have to sacrifice, compromise, and put others first. But that should nonetheless be our own decision. We should never feel forced, controlled or trapped. We should never feel tied to a particular journey or a particular future. We don’t need anyone’s approval or permission. Nobody owns us, our life or our heart. We know ourselves best and what makes us happiest. Happiness in life is the most important. Make yourself a priority and pull the strings in your own life. Don’t leave it up to someone else.
Positivity isn’t about ignoring the worse parts of life nor is it about suppressing our negative emotions. Because we cannot avoid them. It’s rather about refusing to let those moments drain the colour out of life. Let’s have faith that things will turn out alright.
Gratitude might sometimes be in short supply. It’s natural to look at what we don’t have, reminisce about how things were or wonder about how things could be. But there’s a lot to be grateful for right on our doorstep. Let’s not take those for granted.
Self-confidence is something we’re always working on. Think about how many different choices we might make if we actually believed in ourselves, our worth and our beauty. Think about what we would attempt if we knew we wouldn’t fail. Let’s live confidently and be richer for it.
Sometimes the only person we can count on is ourselves. Sometimes we forget and neglect ourselves. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough time and energy. We need to start investing in ourselves, because we matter. Whether that’s to study further, put the time in, set expectations, take a break, try something new, cut out mouldy relationships or practice a sport, there are little choices we make that favour us or hinder us. And choosing to lessen our worth will never get us anywhere. The seeds will only grow if you keep watering them.
To reach the top of the mountain, we have to walk through some gruelling terrain. Sometimes that means making difficult choices. Sometimes that means enduring monotony and exhaustion. Sometimes that means falling down. Because sometimes we have to do what we have to do in order to be in the place we want to be. So take it in. Look around. Test, learn, and adapt. Keep going, because the view at the top is worth it.
Regret can be bitter, distressing, and fierce. It gnaws at our pleasure, our time, and our sense of self. But we are always making decisions and taking paths. To regret one of those choices is to assume that life would be better if we had made a different one. But really, that’s just holding onto a possibility to avoid facing reality. Our reality isn’t something we should regret, no matter what circumstances we’re in. We wouldn’t be who we are without all the moments that have led up to now. And these are the moments that turn tragedies into joy and fortune. Our reality now doesn’t need to be our reality tomorrow. We are always capable of learning and changing. If we care enough to regret, then we should care enough to act. Life isn’t over because we’ve made a mistake. It’s just another beginning.
Mistakes. Some might say that they lessen with age. But truthfully, as we get older, we just get more afraid of trying and failing. So we stop putting ourselves out there. But we need to let go of this perception that mistakes are bad. There is no such thing as a bad mistake – with only one exception. The worst mistake we can make is to not forgive others or ourselves for mistakes. Sometimes good people make bad choices. Sometimes people make mistakes with good intentions. Sometimes people don’t mean to at all. Including us. If we try to avoid making mistakes, we’ll just end up avoiding life. And life goes on, whether you want to follow it or not. Make sure it doesn’t leave you behind.