After a lot of soul searching and alone time, I've discovered that I feel so much better about myself when I'm not putting pressure on myself to look a certain way. I have just as much confidence on a day where I don't necessarily feel pretty as I would when I get all dressed up. I used to really base how my day would go how I would feel on my physical appearance, then thankfully I got some clarity. "Pretty" is so subjective anyway, so chasing it leads to a dead end every time. It's not that I don't occasionally put in extra effort to improve my appearance, it's just that I don't feel any less myself when it's not a part of my routine.
Because more often now, I'm working on things that are more definite. I'm not perfect, but I do try to be mindful of what's most important. And for me, that's 20 key things to focus on. Just like anyone else, I slip up and get moody or snappy or impatient, but I'm learning.
I'm good at holding grudges and cutting people off. I've been petty and bitter. But it's shocking how weighing a chip can be on your shoulder. Forgiveness feels better 100% of the time. It is hard sometimes and it may take a while to find it, but it's easier to learn from it than anger and bitterness.
Of all the things we have to learn and are expected to achieve, patience may be the most difficult. In a time where everything is so immediate and continuous, it's easy to want everything to happen and come to us right away. Sometimes life gets in the way or things take their sweet time and that's okay. Our outlooks are the only things that can change. But instead of waiting for a rainbow, we can choose to play in the rain. Make the most of what we do have, rather than waiting on what we don't to appear.
Whether it means accepting defeat, accepting that not everything can last forever, or accepting a certain kind of love, it's all important. It's a lot like forgiveness, where the alternative just doesn't feel as nice. Just being able to say "it is what it is" takes a lot of weight off. There are certain things we can't change so we just have to accept it and move on. And if it's something that can be changed or fixed, then fix it.
Admitting to our mistakes and owning up to what we messed up is a big step in becoming a respectable person. It's all part of understanding we can't be perfect so that we can learn for next time when we're lucky enough to get a next time. Even if it's just admitting it to ourselves where we went wrong, it's something. It can be a simple fix for something broken.
Wearing my heart on my sleeve and being open to life outside of my comfort zone is something so important to me. I haven't fully achieved vulnerability because it means throwing logic out the window, and that can be scary. It requires us to expose our emotions instead of concealing them and comes from trusting in something just because our hearts want us to.
Fearlessness goes hand in hand with vulnerability in my eyes. Fearlessness is the ability to have fears, and live in spite of them. The idea of accepting the inevitable and dealing with it, rather than hiding in a corner waiting for it to go away while life passes you by. It's letting love in when it scares you or losing someone you love and moving on. Fear can take so much away and prevent us from growing into who we're supposed to be.
This is the most important thing to me, personally. I'm always looking to see all sides of everything. I want every option, every detail, all the sides of every story. If it's within reason, I want to support whatever someone believes in for the sole purpose that they believe in it. I'm a big fan of individuality and letting people make their own way. If everyone was the same and did everything the same way, life would suck. So to make things more exciting, we can open our minds up to change
Chasing passion is the only way to successfully find what will make our hearts happy, and then everything else we need comes along the way. It takes some risks, but passion is the one thing we can work toward that won't go away, which is why it's so important. Money and vanity and anything material can fade or completely disappear. But even when our passions change, it'll always be something we can hold onto.
9. Dreaming big
Trusting that anything is possible can be the best way to stay motivated. I remind myself that no dream is too big, if I'm willing to entertain the idea. Dreams are just goals with some imagination sprinkled in with it. People will be condescending and doubtful when they think what you want is impossible or pathetic, but the pursuit of dreams is supposed to be entirely self-fulfilling so it doesn't matter.
It shouldn't really have to be said that overall health trumps appearance. Emotional, mental, and physical health are all so much more important than being pretty. Looking great doesn't matter if I don't feel great. Becoming a certain shape does more harm than good if it isn't being achieved in a way that's safe. Risking health to keep up appearances may not come with consequences immediately, but it may later.
Laughter is the best thing in the world. Being able to laugh about my shortcomings, or letting out a little giggle at life's hilarities, or cackling with my friends until my face and stomach hurt are all blessings. I never want to get so in my head that I can't just step back and find some humor in something. It saves a lot of frustration and anxiety.
Faith is important because it has the ability to take away a lot of stress. It doesn't have to mean believing in the gods if that isn't something everyone wants to do. But putting trust in a higher power, a force of nature, or just in the universe can take a lot of weight off.
Everyone can learn something from the innocence of the youth. Young people have so much to believe in and there's so much light in their eyes. There's a beauty in how accepting and trusting they are. No knowledge of hate so no grudges to be held. That isn't something that has to go away, but maturity tends to come with so much bitterness. We can stay excited and thrilled and wonderstruck as long as we choose.
14. Comfort in solitude
Only boring people get bored. The ability to enjoy your own company is a superpower. It's how you really get to understand yourself. And it makes it easier to figure out what good company is really like because you can finally realize who makes you feel like you'd rather be alone than in their presence.
There is beauty in allowing knowledge to be neverending. Something can be learned from everything and the ability to make a lesson of anything comes with much reward. All of life can be a journey with an open mind and an open heart.