Stuck in a rut

As humans, it’s in our nature to always want more. More money, more status, more days in the weekend. Therefore, it stands to speak that we aspire to be like those who have more than ourselves. We get jealous of others that have what we want, and feel frustrated when we feel like we are not moving up in life. 

Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I am guilty of all of the above. During my school years I had always been quite a high achiever, making me feel secure that I was progressing in life and hopeful for the future. However, after finishing University and struggling to find a career, my self-esteem took a massive hit. Coming to the realisation that I was now at the bottom of the ranks in the career world, made me feel insignificant and I started to doubt myself. I began comparing myself to others around me who I viewed as more successful, and became fed up with how my life was going, focusing completely on the negatives. 

After deciding I’d had enough of feeling unmotivated and unhappy, I came to the realisation that not only did I have to try and change my lifestyle, by continuing to pursue my dream career, but more importantly I needed to change my mindset. If I didn’t believe in my own abilities, why would any employer?

These are some of the ways I changed my thinking patterns to stop holding myself back:

I stopped comparing myself to others

Everyone has lived a completely different and unique life, they have had different experiences and have different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, no two people are going to achieve the same things in life, or be in the exact same situation. You don’t know how much effort has gone into someone else’s success or how long they have been working at their goals. Once I started living my life at my own pace instead of trying to keep up with others I saw a massive improvement in my mood and motivation.

I re-evaluated my definition of success

Although I will always be a fan of the finer things in life, there is more to being successful than wealth and status. Realising that I had invaluable experiences and friends and family that care about me, made me appreciate how well I am actually doing. Although these things can’t be measured by an amount in pounds, or a number of likes on social media, they’re still important and in my opinion are more of a measure of the people we are.

I wrote down all of my achievements and strengths

I stopped being such a pessimist and wrote down all of the things that I have achieved in my 21 years of life, rather than those that I was still working on. As much as complimenting myself cringes me out more than the idea of my friends and family reading this blog, writing down my own talents really did help boost my self-esteem and made a real impact. Having more self-belief helped me to improve my CV,  finally adding in all of the things I was proud of rather than toning it down in fear of looking boastful, and actually resulted in me getting two interviews.

I used the rejections to motivate myself

I used the feelings of frustration to gain back my motivation to improve. Giving up on my goal would only result in me continuing in the state of discontent I was in. My Mum has often told me ‘if you don’t like something, change it’, so I decided to finally listen to my parents and stop moping around.

I made a plan

Not only did making a plan help me to keep going with my goals but it created a sense of achievement when I could tick of each completed task, which really improved my mood; being productive makes you feel significant. Having a written plan also reminded me what I was working towards, inspiring me to keep going and keep my morale up when I felt fed up.

I stopped being so hard on myself

Most importantly, I cut myself some slack and realised that I was trying my best. Just because I wasn’t actually getting positive results it didn’t mean I wasn’t trying. I stopped beating myself up and reminded myself that somethings are out of my control and take time. Not only did this help me become happier, but also made me less stressed as I wasn’t rushing to see results. 

Everything is so convenient these days that people often forget that some things require work and time to be achieved. By stopping putting pressure on myself to achieve the same as others instantly, I have become happier, more confident, and more hopeful, and got back on track with pursuing my goals.

My friend’s shoes (and legs) after she literally got stuck in the mud on a walk in the Yorkshire moors

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