Recently I have started listening to the podcast Creating Happiness with Ana Wolfermann. I haven’t been into many podcasts lately, but being a follower of Ana Wolfermann on TikTok, her podcast enticed me! I’ve been loving hearing Ana reflecting on her life as a college student and sharing her perspective.
Being on summer break has given me some time to reflect on my growth through this past school year and to examine where I am in my life mentally, physically, socially, academically, and career-wise. This past school year was my first year in person but was actually my second year of college. I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself through finally having the “typical” college experience. I wanted to share some of these “revelations” of sorts that I have discovered, as well as goals I have for myself. While I do not view myself as someone who has it all figured out (and honestly no one should) I often choose to write about mental health and goals as a way to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and to be more self-aware.
Not comparing yourself
Not going to lie, this past year I could’ve been nominated for an award for this or something. While I try not to regret things or wish things were different, I kind of wish I had not developed this negative habit. Comparison was not anything new to me, but I felt like my lack of security in myself was then placed into not only comparing myself to others but also idolizing or viewing others as better than myself, or what is otherwise known as imposter syndrome. While it’s good to have humility, believing that others are somehow all better qualified or put together than yourself is quite self-destructive. Recognizing that everyone’s life is different was frankly a hard pill to swallow, and while this seems like an obvious fact of life, recognizing that everyone is at a different point in their life and provides value in their own way is so important. No two people are alike, and that also means that no one person has “mastered life.” We are all trying our best wherever we are.
Comparison and imposter syndrome can get in the way of one's abilities to be present, resourceful, and appreciative of where they are in life. When I say the word resourceful, I mean taking the opportunities you work for and hopefully receiving and using them to the best of your advantage. When you are caught up with what everyone else is doing, you’re often ignoring what you can do in your own life. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone comes from a different financial situation, so I do not want to ignore that in any way or brush off financial concerns or privileges. There’s a difference between wanting to improve your financial situation and constantly wanting more wealth and being unsatisfied. I just wanted to quickly mention this as I mention being appreciative of what you have and where you are. Not everyone is in a great situation in life and I don’t want to come off as oblivious to this.
Giving myself a break
We tend to be harsher on ourselves than we would be with other people. Pushing yourself too much and being overly critical of yourself are not fair circumstances to put yourself in. You need rest. You need to invest time in taking care of yourself. This isn’t negotiable; you can’t sacrifice this and expect to feel amazing. You may succeed materialistically, but your mental and physical health will not be taken care of. Treat yourself like a heartwarming mother would. Get enough sleep, eat intuitively, move your body, and do not be overly critical of yourself. Take care of yourself! Give yourself forgiveness and room to grow.
Accepting your situation but also wanting to grow
This can feel like a balancing act. While I want to practice having more gratitude and being grateful for what I have, I also want to maintain goals in my life. Yet at the same time, I don’t want to be pessimistic and believe that I never have enough. This balance of gratitude and setting goals is tricky to balance. I would like to get to a point where the goals I set for myself—whether that be for my career, relationships, or health, are not rooted in ungratefulness or resentment. I want to be open to growing as a person in various aspects of my life, while also being thankful for what I have experienced and am experiencing at the moment.
In short, I hope that reading this has inspired you to reflect on the outlooks that you carry with you. It’s important to recognize what mindsets can be healthy and unhealthy. Your outlook toward life is everything! These mindsets will affect your behavior and the relationships that you have with others.