The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
We’ve all heard the cliches: Life is hard. Life is heavy. Life is scary. After internalizing these ideas for so long, it’s no wonder for us to think of life as a huge load on our shoulders that we’re doomed to carry forever. Although, for many, this sort of thinking is considered the norm, we don’t realize these thoughts are actually holding us back and may even be slowing us down.
If I were to make a list of everything you should let go of to live a lighter, mentally healthier life, it would get too overwhelming. Let’s start with the three most important things that might be holding you back from living in peace, or at least a great deal of it.
The pressure to have it all figured out
This is something that I’ve had to work on ever since I can remember. Having your whole life mapped out is freaking impossible! Life changes course as does the person living it does; and there’s nothing wrong with that. Let it go. I’ve come to realize that the need to have my whole college years, future job, and future living conditions planned out is an unnecessary amount of pressure that I don’t need. It’s exhausting. How long will it take me to graduate? At this point, I just don’t know. Despite my lack of answers, I’m learning to make peace with it, because I’m only going to be a college undergraduate once, and I might as well enjoy it as long as it lasts. This is where living in the present comes into practice. You don’t need to fill up the whole canvas with colors today. Just paint as you go; no rush. Only then, will you be able to see the whole picture someday.
The internal race with everyone around you
So what if your best friend graduates in four years and you take six years to end your degree? So what if that person from your high school class just got engaged? When did this internal race even start? What is the finish line? Spoiler alert: I don’t think you’ll like the finish line. Things take time. You will achieve everything you wish to achieve in your own time, because, here’s the thing: Time is completely subjective. Allow yourself to breathe and focus on your own path. Don’t rush your progress and don’t compare it to the person next to you.You don’t deserve that. Life isn’t supposed to be a competition, I don’t know why we decided it was. We already have so much pressure to be successful, we don’t need to rush this, because… then what? What happens after the race is done?
The need to make everyone happy
People-pleasers, this one’s for you. Stop wasting your energy on placing a smile on everyone’s face and on making sure everyone is satisfied. It’s impossible and exhausting. People-pleasing has the potential to become a burden that gets too heavy to carry. Last summer I was watching this show called The Summer I Turned Pretty, and when one of the characters was having a panic attack due to all the family pressure he was carrying, the person that helped him through it said: “It’s not on you”.
Let me tell you: I cried.
Let me say it again: “It’s not on you”.
It’s not your job to make everyone happy. It’s not your job to save anyone. At the end of the day, you can only really save yourself. The world will not end if you say no every once in a while. It won’t end by setting a few boundaries here and there. You have to protect yourself, your time, your energy, and your heart. It’s not on you. And that ‘s okay.
You will be okay, but you gotta take care of yourself. Life doesn’t have to be burdensome. Remember that you can rest, you can breathe, and you can let go.
Lots of love,