I saw this quote the other day on Pinterest, and it inspired me to write this article. The message is this: do better.
Although this is a simple phrase, it can be difficult to practice this. In times of stress, anxiety, chaos, and instability, the default way of thinking is to react emotionally. When something doesn't go our way, we are bound to let anger control what we say and do. If someone wrongs us, we instantly want to give them a taste of their own medicine.
Don't get mad, or sink to their level. Don't get even. Don't let them be the reason why your blood is boiling. Don't waste another thought, word, or breath on negative energy that will not help you grow. Rise above; leave that conflict in the rear view mirror.
The more you dwell on what happened, the more power you give to the problem.
I have had a couple of major life changes within the past few weeks. They taught me that not everyone is going to value you as a person, worker, student, or significant other. Despite this fact, it does not determine who you are, your worth, or your contributions. At the time, I resorted to internalizing both situations—I believed that I was the reason why both of these events occurred.
A voice in my head kept telling me that I was unworthy, incompetent, and unable to receive the treatment that I deserved. It made me feel small, like I was in Alice in Wonderland when she ate the food that made her shrink. It also left a bad taste in my mouth. It made me wish that those who wronged me could see things from my perspective to understand how I felt.
The more energy you give to a negative thing or person, the more it will manifest itself. Do not let something that happened consume you. It is trying to bring you down with it; don't let it. You're worth so much more than what happened to you. Only you can control your actions, reactions, and thoughts. Transform that resentment, irritability, vengeance, bitterness, and malice into something pure. Transform it into something hopeful, optimistic, wise, and resourceful.
Whatever you're going through may be tough, but there is another side.
So what if there is a setback? So what if you failed? Every situation you encounter, decision you make, and person you meet comes with a lesson. Take what you can from it, and learn from it. Analyze what you could have done differently, and what strengths of yours shined through.
The best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. If you played part in what happened, acknowledge it. If what happened to you wasn't your fault, realize that it wasn't. Understanding and accepting it is what is going to help you move on. It will remind you that no matter how tough it gets, every obstacle is temporary. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Don't let this person or thing chew you up and spit you out. You're stronger than you think you are. Take the bad with the good. Realize that life is a balance of the two: the yin and the yang. Everything will work out how it is supposed to; don't give up. Don't lose sight of what you want.
Do what it takes to become a better person and/or get closer to what you want.
Do at least one thing a day that will expand your horizons. Do something that scares you. Do something that is outside of the box. Forgive, but don't forget. Let go of anything that is not serving you in this moment, and from this moment forward. Reflect, then keep on going.
It all starts with you. Nobody else can give you the results you want. Nobody can do things in life for you. Those who achieved their goals worked on it, and themselves. Push yourself to your fullest potential. This may include embracing the parts of yourself that you despise, or are insecure about.
When you are where you want to be, praise yourself for how far you've come.
Once you've done what it is to better yourself and your life, don't forget about the journey that led you to where you are. Someone you know may be going through what you went through, and your story may help them. Appreciate the process, even if it is a gradual change. Enjoy the present, while being excited for what comes next.
Allow yourself to be thankful for the struggles, because you will not be who you are supposed to be without them. It is where we flourish. It is where we find ourselves. It is where we improve.
If you have the option to sink lower or rise above, rise above.
Again, it is natural to focus on the negative instead of the positive. I understand how hard it can be to combat it. When you have the chance to make an impact on your way of dealing with adversity, rise above. Do better. In fact, don't do better—do extraordinarily.
You may not be able to control what other people say or do, but you can. I hope you choose what is best for you, and not anyone else. It is okay to be selfish and take care of yourself. It is okay to not want to settle. It is okay to want more. It is okay to not want to have a fixed mindset. It is okay to not want to be stuck.