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The one thought that has crossed my mind quite frequently in the past few days is about letting myself down when I know there is so much that I want to accomplish. However, I feel like all the past mistakes that I am trying to heal from weigh me down in phases and make me question if I am capable of accomplishing my goals. Sometimes, I feel like I have grown and other times, I feel stagnant. At the times that I feel stuck, I do feel lost because I don’t know if I am doing all that I can to truly be myself. That’s when I notice that at times, I ask everyone else about what I should do to not feel as lost instead of asking myself. 

Sometimes, just being yourself and going with your intuition can be the scariest thing to do. Maybe it’s not because you know you can do it but because of the thoughts of the people that you love or the community that you think you belong to that can prevent you from going with your gut. It’s worrying about doing something unfamiliar in the eyes of everyone else that stops you from being the best version of yourself. I think that healing from past mistakes may need you to ask yourself what you think about the situation at that moment before asking anyone else about what they think you should do about it. 

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Chasing for other people’s approval is not respecting your integrity. There is a limit to how much effort you can handle into searching for other people’s opinions, and you need to understand that limit to take a step back and put all that energy into taking care of yourself first. That process of stopping yourself from seeking external validation could look different for everyone. 

It could mean reflecting on what you need to improve on, like your values or your communication skills. It may mean identifying and distancing yourself from the people who don’t support you or make you feel uncomfortable being yourself even if you put so much time and effort into making those friendships work. It might also mean being alone at times when you know you need to be there for yourself just so that you could hear yourself better.

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I don’t want anyone to believe that they need to invalidate their gut feelings about the things they want to improve about their lives. Maybe the most important advice you need is from your inner self. Just take the time to breathe and reflect on whatever is going on in your life. Even if you think you still need the help of those that are supportive and actually care about you after taking the time to reflect, please do so! Just don’t forget how much value there is in asking yourself first before anyone else. 

Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.
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