I've done a million self-help quizzes, participated in dozens of "30-day challenges" and read a fair share of "8 steps towards self development" articles.
I've even attempted so much as to write them. Like so many of us, I've found myself stuck, time and time again on the white-lined crosswalk between where I've been and where I want to be. It's a familiar scenario, even a debatably normal position for someone at the peak of their college career.
But for as long as I can remember, I've been trying to cross that dull, overlonged, underestimated intersection, in hopes that it'll take me somewhere that actually feels normal. I wish I could confidently write that every self-help novel or E! News 20 step quiz was as life-changing as the publisher promised, finally taking me inches closer to a destination that wasn't complete madness and self-loathing. If I'm honest with you, and myself, they never did.
So, I give you a listicle of tips on what I've realized from 20 years of unproductive self-development, that (hopefully) will help you to get your shit together.
You'll never have your shit together.
No one does. Not Ellen Pompeno, not Barack Obama, not your snobby WRT120 professor or the girl that sits next to you in Com200 with a color-coded day planner. Once you realize that the consequence to life is for it to be completely chaotic and unreasonable, you'll find peace in the chaos within your own. It leaves you room to enjoy the moments where it at least feels like things have fallen into place (if those moments ever come).
If you're waiting for things to go your way or for better days to come, I can firmly tell you they won't. Not unless, you make better days for yourself. If you start looking at life from the perspective that good days and accomplishments are something that have to be achieved, than you might encourage yourself to put the real work in. There's no use in waiting, not now and honestly, not in any situation. If your waiting for him to finally take you on a date, he probably isn't worth your time at all, find someone else. If your waiting to hear back for that job, they might never call, apply somewhere else. Waiting just puts a problem off to deal with next week. Handle your storms as they come to avoid the hurricanes.
Take Yourself Into Account
Is the self development you want to achieve really found in that job or that degree or that sorority you're forcing yourself to stay with? Is the self development you want found in that person? You only live your life for yourself, stop wasting your time trying to please and save the feelings others. There's no "sweet and salty" way to say it; if it has left you bruised or crying or working a 12 hour shift to pay it off, if it does not constantly make you smile, it does not deserve a seat at the table of your life. Read that again.
Stop Putting Yourself Down.
Every step is a leap. Especially in terms of developing a better mindset for yourself, be reasonable that you will not always be able to handle what life throws at you. Sometimes, just getting up in the morning is an accomplishment, you can only go up from there.
Learn to LOVE Change.
People change. Things change. You can change, but that's only if you allow yourself. You might not want to ever quit your job at Target or leave your hometown or admit to yourself that he just isn't good for you anymore, but the only way you're going to improve yourself is to change your lifestyle. Most times it's the hardest realizations that make a difference in whether or not you'll ever (somewhat) cross that white-stripped crosswalk. Don't let the fear of new beginnings blind you from where you want to go, and you'll get there.