When I look back at myself a year ago today, I barely recognise who I was. I have learned so much over the last eight months that have helped me live a happier life and grow my relationships with people, so without dragging on for any longer, here is the rules I now live my life by!
If it won’t affect you in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes thinking about it.
Lets start with a classic. We’ve all had them moments where we can’t stop cringing at what we’ve done, but what if I told you I haven’t had them in months, and don’t think I’ll have them again? This rule has helped me overcome nearly every form of embarrassment and live a more care free life. I can dance, shout, sing and literally do whatever I want because at the end of the day you’re going to come out of it with a good story and you’re never going to see them strangers around you ever again, so who cares? Why would I put myself through the mental torture of replaying a minor scenario in my head when it is going to have no affect on my life. I would say to take this with a pinch of salt, don’t ever feel like you can’t be upset over something and on the other hand, give issues like your job, uni and relationships a good amount of thought before taking action.
Understand when you need to apologise, and when you definitely do not
I used to apologise for every single thing I did because it was the easier thing to do. In the last eight months, I have said sorry about six times. Each time was only when I genuinely meant it and not because it would make life easier. Never apologise for your feelings, saying ‘sorry I got upset’ is a big no. You are entitled to your feelings so instead of apologising for them, explain them. Explain why you got upset or angry and if the person on the receiving end of it is mature and is a value in your life, they will then have a discussion on how to prevent it happening again and work through it with you. Saying sorry when there is no intention to fix a situation is giving someone hope that things will change too, so if you’re saying sorry just to make someone else happy, go and work on yourself before you develop your relationships.
What is meant to be, will be
I am a massive believer in this phrase. I know some people who are not, but believing this has made my life so much more relaxed and I honestly think it’s the truth. Didn’t get that job? That’s because something else is heading your way. Relationship has broke up? They weren’t meant to be in your life forever, you’re about to meet new people who value you more. Of course, you also need to be putting in effort too, for example applying for jobs and putting in equal effort in a relationship. If you have tried and what you wanted has not happened, it just wasn’t meant to be. I believe in fate and I believe better things are always coming, you will find your place in this world, just be patient.
Understand before being understood
A lot of people, from my experience, will start debates just to get their opinion out and not listen to others. If you are going to start a debate or ask a controversial question, make sure you’re doing it so you can understand people’s opinions and not just so they can understand yours. Unless I’m speaking to someone who is giving me false facts, I will always sit and listen to why they have the opinion they do, it has made me a lot more open minded. On the other hand, also learn to say ‘I don’t know enough on this topic to have an opinion’. People who are worth having a debate with are going to appreciate telling their side and hearing yours, debates aren’t a space for an argument they are a space to learn new information.
Not everyone is going to grow at the same pace as you
This one is super simple to understand, just because you are growing doesn’t mean the people around you are. Inform them that you are growing and changing, as long as they support you as you grow and don’t try to change you, they are worth having in your life.
Treat your friends accomplishments like your own
No matter how big or small, if someone close to your has had an accomplishment or has overcome a personal milestone, you go all out and treat them as if it was your own accomplishment. Recently a girl I know told me she stopped smoking and I was ecstatic, I literally thought it was the best news all day and I was so happy for her. She said I had the biggest reaction and it made her feel like she had actually achieved something, if I could give that feeling to everyone i’m close to and everyone I love I would. Oh wait, I can. Make big deals out of people’s achievements and they will give it right back to you.
You don’t need to know what you want to do with you life
I never wanted to go to university, I never wanted to work in retail and I certainly never wanted to decide what to do with the rest of my life at 17. I did all three of these things because I was told I needed to so I can set myself up for life. I took law at university and have worked in retail since I was 16, the only law I know is Charlie Kelly’s Bird Law and I now work behind a bar thriving off social interaction. It wasn’t until after almost four years of leaving secondary school I finally found something I enjoy, nutrition. But in reality, I still have no clue what I want to do with it, you don’t need to have everything in line before you are 20.
Find the positives in everything
If some of you had of met me a year ago today I was the most pessimistic person you would ever know. I constantly thought something bad was going to happen and always looked on the worse side of things. This one is difficult to keep up with, even recently someone said I drain them with this personality trait but I could handle it because I know I now have a positive outlook about 85% of the time. Get yourself a gratitude journal and somewhere to write down all the positives that happened that day, you will soon be finding yourself seeking out the good in things so you can write them down later on that day.
Get out that comfort zone
I am very all or nothing, I do not take little steps into doing things. I overcome a lot of anxiety by getting fully out of my comfort zone and into situations I am completely not comfortable with. Now, if this isn’t your style of doing it I do not blame you at all, but you need to at least be taking small steps out of your comfort zone to show yourself what you can actually do. Never did I think I would write a blog, or start pole dancing and sometime’s I am still amazed at the fact that I can go to bingo with my nana (this one was worth stepping out my comfort zone for). You will be surprised at how much your brain can handle. I don’t want to give the old ‘if I can do it you can do it’ because everyone’s brain is different, but I was once at a point where I couldn’t leave the house for eight months due to anxiety and stepping out my comfort zone so drastically has helped me more than anything.
Living by these rules for the last eight months has changed my relationships in my life for the better and my outlook on situations in my life. I have grasped so many opportunities recently and I don’t regret a single one. I know how difficult it can be whenever you are living with depression/anxiety/ED ect and I do have a few coping mechanisms so feel free to ask me about them, me and my dm’s are always open.