How Social Media Can Ruin Your Relationships

Don’t take this the wrong way, but social media can be a bitch. It can literally destroy a relationship. It can cause anxiety, unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It can also create jealousy, FOMO and guilt. Those late night rabbit hole lurking sessions can bring you so far down that you forget what is really important.

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On the flip side, social media can bring people together, who may otherwise never have connected. It can be used as a way of branding (insert a little self promotion here…) or advertising for your business. It can be used to catch up with old friends that you’ve lost touch with, or have moved far away. Social media can be an excellent tool to do all of these things but the issue arises when it starts to control us, and our actions, rather than the other way around.

My title is extreme, but so is my viewpoint. I sincerely believe that social media can, have, and will ruin relationships if you let them. A few examples to chew on:

  • A potential couple meet on Tinder, start talking, and decide its worth it to meet up. Great! A connection made that otherwise couldn’t have happened without the internet. The issue: Prior to the date, each person creeps the other’s social media, generating a first impression that is not only fabricated but limiting. Maybe he sees she has too many clubbing photos for his taste so he shows up late and acts disinterested the entire time. Maybe she bails an hour before because he has a photo holding a fish and she’s not into that. Neither of them even had a chance…
  • Two friends make plans to see each other the following week, nothing too extreme, dinner and a movie maybe? They decide on a time and a place and leave it at that. The issue: The day of one decides she isn’t feeling up to it and cancels. She proceeds to take a nap and upon wakening, finds her roommates being rowdy in the living room. They convince her to go to the bar, “for one drink”. At the bar, a snapchat is taken of her and posted to someone’s story. The friend she canceled on sees this and is pissed, followed by anxious: “why would she say she didn’t want to go out when she obviously did?”. This friend proceeds to act cold for a while, not feeling entirely comfortable bringing it up, while the other friend wonders why, when she went home at 11 to watch Grey’s…
  • A couple have been dating for a while and have been going strong. They’ve had a couple of bumps along the way but who hasn’t? They both follow each other on all social media platforms, as is the norm. The issue: The constant updates. The jealousy. “He liked that girl’s photo…I’m no longer his snapchat best friend…Why are there girls in that photo when he said he was having a boys night??” It’s enough to drive anyone a little crazy. When you’re provided with that much information about your significant other, all the mystery is gone and replaced with suspicion. Social media literally makes it acceptable to stalk everyone…even the person you’re supposed to be able to trust more than anyone else… 

Now, I’m not one to poke holes without providing any solutions so see below for some of my tips for not letting social media take over:

  1. Keep social media “check ups” to a minimum. When you’re not with your significant other, don’t feel the need to keep tabs on them via their social media.
  2. Don’t believe everything you see. Always remember, people are showing you the bits they want you to see, the best possible outcome of a probably mediocre situation.
  3. Trust in people, not in social media. Rather than jumping to conclusions immediately when faced with a potential lie (see example 2) believe in the relationship you have in real life, not online.
  4. Use social media genuinely. When you’re mad at your girlfriend or boyfriend don’t try and make them jealous by liking certain people’s photos or commenting inappropriate things.
  5. “You don’t have to post it to prove it”. Don’t feel panicked because your significant other didn’t post a photo professing their love for you.
  6. Unfollow those who upset you. If someone’s posts upset you, don’t be afraid to unfollow for fear of what they will think. If you’re following an ex fling’s new girlfriend to be nice, cut that shit out.
  7. Don’t read into everything. Try not to get upset when your friend posts a selfie on Instagram but hasn’t responded to the group chat about making plans. Let other people make their own priorities.
  8. Disconnect when you’re with friends or your partner. Give them your full attention and don’t make them feel second in line behind your smartphone.

Thanks for reading,

Shelbs xx

Taking Control of Your Life

I find myself in a difficult situation. I finished my undergrad, and rather than going home to the safety of mom and dad, have decided to stay out on my own. I know that more often than not, most undergrad students return home immediately after finishing their degrees, but for me, it’s just not possible.

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I love my parents and my home town (enough to write a post about it even…) but mentally, I just couldn’t do it. I felt like going home would be like taking three steps backwards, reversing any kind of personal progress I’ve made in the last four years. This is because I still need to learn how to maintain a level of control, while in the comfort and safety of others.

There is nothing wrong with going home. I know several friends who have done it: for financial reasons, for lack of an attachment to their University town, or because they simple desired to. I don’t think there is anything wrong with returning home to live with your parents after finishing your degree, as long as you’re still in control of your life. 

Maintaining your control at home

When moving back home, lines of communication must be made, boundaries set, and freedoms established. It might be easy to just jump right back into the life you had in high school, but for your own sake, try and avoid this. You aren’t the same person you were back then, you’ve grown, you’ve experienced, and you’ve changed. Celebrate these accomplishments by continuing on your path, with the reigns grasped firmly. 

Accept the fear, and all that comes along with it

If you have decided to stay out, congratulations! Welcome to one of the scariest experiences of your life. There is no comfort of returning to school, no mandatory routines set for you, or even constant human interaction. It’s all up to you to keep up your life and keep trudging towards your dreams. But that’s what’s great.

You have the authority to do whatever you want/need to do in order to achieve your goals. The flip side to that is you also have a responsibility to yourself to uphold as well. Make sure you stay focused in this tumultuous time, when you’re riddled with anxiety and fear. Have the courage to put yourself first, and maintain a good balance in all areas of life. Call your mom often, don’t cancel on your friends and remember: pancakes for dinner are always a good idea.

Shelbs xx

17 Ways to be Mindful in 2017

If 2016 was the year of realizing things than 2017 is going to be my year of being mindful of all those things I apparently ‘realized’. Mindful of my surroundings, mindful of the people in my life, mindful of my choices and mindful of my life. I don’t plan on wasting a second of it!

If you’re looking to add meaning into your everyday routine, check out my 17 ways to be mindful this year.

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  1. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than you normally would (excruciatingly hard for me but I’m gonna work on it) and spend the extra time just lying there. Don’t check your phone, just think about your day and find something to be excited about! Find your reason for getting out of bed – even if it’s just to eat a kickass breakfast.
  2. Before bed, do some stretches, think over your day and ask yourself what you accomplished. It can be as little as making it to all of your classes, or that you managed to call your mom, or it can be as big as landing a new job. Celebrate these little steps towards your goal and you’ll go to sleep feeling grateful.
  3. Do not mindlessly consume social media. Cut back on the amount of time you spend scrolling through feeds, or use an app to track your consumption. You can even set specific times during the day for when you want to check your social media, rather than reaching for your phone every ten minutes.
  4. Be mindful of your television habits, i.e. don’t watch tv while you’re eating dinner. Not only will you eat more, but you’re multi-tasking and won’t enjoy your food as much if you’re not focused on actually eating it. Likewise, don’t check your social media while you’re eating either.
  5. Be mindful of what you put in your body. Although McDonalds is a lot easier than cooking yourself dinner, you’ll feel a lot better after making your own food. Plan your meals out and pack a lunch a few times a week to reap the benefits to your waistline and your wallet.
  6. Shop when you need something, not when you feel the itch to buy something for the sake of buying it. It’s so easy to click that Amazon button and have that shit delivered right to your door, (hello – Prime) but try and avoid being the mindless consumer.
  7. Be mindful of how you spend your free time. Take advantage of the spare minutes and do something that adds value to your life like a quick home workout, or a meditation session or a scroll through the Globe and Mail.
  8. Make plans with another person and stick to them. Don’t cancel because you both don’t feel like leaving the house – make the effort to see your friends. You’ll both be happier afterwards.
  9. Be present when you’re with other people. Don’t take out your phone as a safety net if the conversation gets quiet. Don’t make to-do lists in your head for the next day. Just be present in the moment.
  10. Keep your life balanced. Be mindful of spending too much time on one of your priorities and not giving enough attention to the other ones, i.e. make sure to spend time with friends when school gets busy, or make sure to schedule in a workout when your weekend is jam packed with social events…
  11. Unplug for an entire day… make no plans, just see where the day takes you. Or, unplug a couple hours before bed to really get in a good sleep.
  12. Get outside. Go for a walk after dinner and leave your phone at home. Notice your neighbourhood and the area where you live. Take the time to appreciate how lucky you are to be alive. Your mood will be elevated in seconds.
  13. Create something. Paint or draw or write or whatever gets your creative juices flowing. Set aside some time to just see what you can create, you may surprise yourself.
  14. “Unitask”. Work with only one browser open. Use one app at a time, rather than switching back and forth between them. Focus on one thing you need to get done and work at it until it is finished – no checking the time or your phone. You will be much more productive this way and find your mind to be a lot clearer.
  15. Be mindful of your emotions. When you feel upset or angry at something, take the time to notice why you’re feeling this way. Acknowledge it, do whatever you need to do to feel better, but most importantly, let yourself feel those feelings. Being aware of your emotions and not attempting to control them is beneficial.
  16. Be positive. Try not to get too upset by the actions of others, those you cannot control. Try and look at the world with an optimistic point of view, good karma will come your way. When people are trying to cause trouble – just don’t engage. Be aware that they might be the type of people who prefer drama and know that you don’t need that in your life.
  17. Practice gratitude. We need constant reminder of the good things in our lives, to keep us grateful for the time that we have here. Make a legitimate list and carry it around with you, with all the things, little or big, that keep you feeling grateful. If you start to feel sorry for yourself, remember all the good things you have to be appreciative of.

My Favourite Vegetarian Recipes

Since becoming a vegetarian, all I think about is food. What I want to eat, what I wish I could eat, and what I can actually make. Because I’m a student, I do eat a lot of the same foods, to save time. But now I have my favourite recipes that I can easily make in no time at all! See below for some of my go-to vegetarian meals.

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Jalapeños and Bean Soup

Toss the following into a crock pot and leave on high for four hours:

  • Mix of beans you’d like (I normally put in: black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans…etc.)
  • One can of corn
  • As many jalapeños you’d like! (I leave the seeds in because I like the burn)
  • Half an onion (cut into small pieces)
  • Box of vegetable stock
  • Cup of water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

I make this soup at the beginning to the week and eat it almost every day for lunch! So spicy!!!

“Gourmet” Grilled Cheese

(please note the intended joke here…)

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Upgrade your regular grilled cheese by adding avocado, spinach, garlic powder and a slice of tomato if you’d like! Just adding the spinach makes it feel so much healthier…

Roasted Potato/Corn Salad

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Photo from Aberdeen’s Kitchen

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An excellent dish to bring to a party or to impress your friends and family…

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Tofu

Made this pasta the other week and have been loving it!!

  • Heat up some chopped up garlic and olive oil in a pan
  • Cut up some sun-dried tomatoes and toss them in (adding more oil if necessary)
  • Add in any vegetables you like, I use mushrooms, onion, spinach
  • Crumple up the tofu and toss in with the vegetables
  • Let simmer until all the vegetables are soft
  • Add more oil and add the cooked spaghetti noodles (I use rice noodles)

Serve with parmesan cheese on top!

Thanks for reading,

Shelby

 

 

 

“Did You Like My Photo Yet?”

“How did your photo do yesterday?” 

“Not very good, didn’t even reach 100, but I posted it at a bad time”

“Delete it and post it again tomorrow!” 

“Yeah, I should probably wait until prime time, probably around 7”

Is any of this familiar because I feel like these exact words have come out of my mouth several times in the last couple months. When did “prime time” mean something other than television? Why do I feel inadequate if my photo did not do as well as I expected? How do I know that photos with myself in it will get the most likes? WHY DO I CARE ABOUT ANY OF THIS?!

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Story Time

The story goes: take a million photos of the same thing, edit the crap out of it, post it online on some kind of forum and then await the validation.

And it comes. It really does. I wish I could say it doesn’t, but it does. When I reach that 100th like, or I get more than 5 comments, my confidence soars. I feel like the baddest bitch around, a girl that can conquer anyone and anything. I feel wittier (even though it took me 20 minutes to come up with that caption, with the help of my friends in the group chat), I feel cuter in my outfit (even though all of it is borrowed and took me forever to put together, making me late for work), and I just generally feel like a better version of myself.

But the kicker is, I do feel like these things even when I haven’t just posted a photo on Facebook or Instagram. I feel witty when I make my best friend laugh, I feel cute on my way to the gym (weird, I know), and I feel like a better version of myself when I plan a great event at work and I can see my hard work paying off. How do we hold on to these sentiments without feeling the need to post?

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Balance

With a balance, I think that social media validation is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re feeling yourself and you want to share the world, post a photo! Or better yet, post your photo and then go meet a friend for coffee. If you like a quote, post a screenshot of it and then go tell someone how much it spoke to you!

I think that when social media becomes your only source of validation, there is an issue. If you turn to social media to fix your problems, I think that’s an issue. Ideally, we’d all like to be able to pull ourselves out of the self-esteem hole and feel confident all the time. This is not realistic, we need other people to help us. Just make sure those people are your close friends and family, rather than that girl that you followed three years ago, have never met, but you like all of each other’s photos.

Slowing Down

I think another good idea is to try and view social media for what it is. I wrote a post a couple years ago about the truth behind my social media and I stand by my points that I made then. Social media is not always what it looks like, no one’s life is that perfect.

Once you realize that, you won’t feel the pressure to post every two days, at the perfect time with the perfect outfit. You can go back to enjoying social media without resenting it.

I will still post my selfies, outfits and photos with friends on my Instagram. I will still edit my photos until I am happy with it, but I won’t place the primary source of my validation on it. It’s fun to get likes, it’s fun to get comments, but they aren’t everything. Once you take the pressure off, you can use social media in a healthy way. I love taking photos, I love editing them and I love posting them, none of that will change, but my perspective definitely has.

How to Travel Your Hometown

I love a good international flight as much as the next person (kidding – I actually hate flying but love to travel… not a good mix) but sometimes that trip to Europe is not feasible and you have to settle for your hometown!

I recently went home for a week long visit (longest I’ve spent at home in almost a year) and had an amazing time! I did a bunch of stuff that I have never done before because I had deemed it “too touristy” but I regret not doing it sooner. See below for some tips on how to travel your hometown.

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Lose the ‘tude

I never wanted to see the sights in my hometown because I had grown up with them being right there. I figured they couldn’t be that special because they were just…there. As soon as I went though, I wish I had been before! Look at your city with an open mind- it will literally open your eyes to all the sights that have been there the whole time, you were just too cool to see them.

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Amazing architecture in downtown Ottawa

Act like you’re a traveller

Unless you live in a town of 1000, chances are you can be as unknown in your city as you would be anywhere else. Keep the fun traveller attitude when it comes to visiting your hometown. Talk to locals, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to look a little tourist-y.

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My first beaver tail in 5 years! 

Take advantage of your knowledge

Whenever I land in a new place the first thing I try to establish is how I am going to get around. In London it was the tube, in Ireland it was the bus, in Leeds it was Uber…etc. When you know your way around your own city – use that to your advantage to save money. That being said…

Go off the beaten path

Don’t take all your favourite roads, don’t visit the restaurants you’ve been to a million times, don’t just go to the movies. Walk down streets you’d normally drive past, try the chip truck down the road, and go to the old fashioned theatre! Do the things you wouldn’t normally do and you’ll learn so much more about your amazing hometown.

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Hope this post helps all of you wanderlust babies that are currently stuck on the ground!

 

 

Dealing With Toxic Friends

One of the greatest compliments anyone can give me is, “you have such a good friend group, you all seem really close!” Why yes indeed I do. Within my closest friend circle, I feel like I have a place. I can literally count on them for anything and I know they will be there. We fight sometimes but it is always squashed immediately because we know each other too well and appreciate one another. Even when we eat each other’s food, wake each other up way too early in the morning, or text 10 times in a row to get a response, we really do love each other.

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I am also grateful that I have a lot of other great friends from many different areas of my life and I appreciate them all for everything they do for me (and for putting up with my constant whining!). I love my childhood best friend who lives a million miles away, I love the friends I’ve made through work, I love my sisters from my sorority, and I love my middle school best friends who know me way too well…

But it has taken me a long time to get here and a lot of really fake people before I found my #squad. I have dealt with the worst kinds of people and a lot of the time, it was my fault. I surrounded myself with people I thought I wanted to be like, and got burned in the end. So if you feel like you may be in a similar situation, keep reading.

You find yourself exhausted after hanging out with your friend(s)

Friends should lift you up and make you feel positive and grateful after spending time with them. If you find that the conversation seems to always be about something negative, or this friend never has anything nice to say about anyone, it could be time to have a chat… Some people tend to be more on the pessimist side (myself included) and sometimes need a reminder of all the good things they have in their life.

They are shady

If a friend is constantly being shady or sketchy – take this as a warning sign. Example: you lend them money and they are always making excuses about giving it back. Or they cancel on plans without a reason and you’re left wondering why you bothered in the first place. Try and find honest, genuine people to surround yourself with.

You never know where you stand

Ever feel like your tip-toeing around friends? Nervous you’re going to say the wrong thing and be deleted from the group chat? Upload a photo and wonder if your friends are making fun of you behind your back? Well I have and it sucks. Don’t be around people that make you question your self worth.

Passive-aggressive behaviour is a no

This is one of the biggest things I have learned since living with my best friends. There is no time for passive-aggressiveness in true friendships. No, that does not mean you have to confront them about every little thing, but if something is bothering you enough that you find yourself talking behind their back, bring up the issue with them! Don’t let it fester and ruin the relationship. This kind of toxic behaviour is negative for both sides.

If you’re reading this and you see any of these traits within your friend group, that does not mean you need to drop your entire circle and start over. It takes time to find a good support system.

If you do decide that enough is enough, you are allowed to cut ties. It is always hard to say goodbye to a friend but in the long run, you will be better off. Slowly decide who you value in your life and who values you.

That being said, always try and see the good in everyone and a little honest communication goes a long way.

Why You Should Study Abroad

…if you’re able to that is. Studying abroad for even a semester does not come cheap. Once you’re in your destination of choice, there is so much around you that you want need to experience that having a good financial situation is necessary.

If studying abroad is your dream, there are ways to make it happen. Bursaries through your school should be available, taking out a loan (either through a bank or through your student assistance program) or using savings.

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If you’re on the fence about it, see below for my interview with one of my best friends, who spent last semester in Leeds, England (she’s back now, thank god).

Hey Kels, what made you decide to go abroad and leave all of your awesome friends behind (not bitter at all I swear)? Studying abroad has always been something I wanted to do every since I was in high school. ‘Leaving my friends behind’ wasn’t a deterring factor for me because I knew I that when I came back at the end of the five month- or however long, my friends would always be here. For me, I wanted to go on exchange because I love traveling also because everyone I have ever spoken to about going abroad has had an amazing time.

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What was your first thought when you got to Leeds? The first couple of weeks in Leeds were very different to what I am used to back in Canada. The two nights I remember being in my dorm room and my neighbors playing god awful music up until 5 am and thinking, ‘oh god, what have I gotten myself into?’ But then as the week progressed I barely  spent time in my room and went to events held by the university. The first weekend there was definitely a culture shock in terms of nightlife. The going out culture is just so different in England compared to Canada. In England, the people are rowdier and more aggressive, however they are harmless and as time went on, I got used to it and even grew fond of the English crowd.

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Was it difficult to make friends? Not at all. You first and foremost need to keep in mind that you really need to put yourself out there and be open to new things and meeting new people from different walks of life. Going to Leeds I did not know anyone, including the people from Mac- that is in part my own fault because I bailed on the mandatory pre-exchange meetings, oops. I made my first friend at the airport in Toronto because I recognized a Mac sweater and found out that she too was studying abroad at Leeds. Once in Leeds, it was very easy to make friends through exchange events and parties. I met some of my best friends by accident on my way to a pre-drink when they asked me and my other friends if we were lost and needed help. Ever since then we became really close and traveled around Europe together. 

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What did your typical weekend look like? To be honest my weekends were not as wild as my weekdays. For kids on exchange, the weekends meant rest, local day trips or weekend trips to different cities/countries. I barely spent any weekends in Leeds because my friends and I would travel. When I did spend a weekend in Leeds, there would usually be club events on Saturday nights that would be held from 9pm up until 5am- those were a lot of fun and my personal favourite kind of nights. Sunday would be ‘recovery’ day and brunch that would usually take place at no earlier than 1pm.

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What was different about studying abroad than studying at our university? The main difference for me was the grading system and the fact that as an exchange student my classes were pass or fail. Obviously I still tried to do well, but at the end of the day all I needed to do was pass, which was a 40% according to the grading system at the University of Leeds. Also, the attendance was taken in every single course, or as the English say ‘module,’ and if you miss a certain amount of classes, you were called to a meeting with your parent school. I never had to attend such a meeting however I did receive a warning email-whoops.

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What was the hardest part about leaving home? This may sound a bit harsh, but it honestly wasn’t hard for me to leave home at all. I consider myself pretty independent and I already live in student housing during the school year, so while moving to another country for five months isn’t exactly the same thing, it did help me prepare for living on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I missed my parents and my friends a lot but I FaceTimed them to make the transition easier.

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What was your favourite memory of being abroad? There is not one single memory that I would consider my favourite. I think for me the best part about studying abroad was making lasting memories with my new friends. Its nice to have made friends with people from all over the world and how you could become so close with someone in such a short amount of time. You see these people basically everyday for five straight months, travelling and living with them, so you really get to know them- perhaps even more so than the friends you have back at home. My favourite memories-nothing in particular, would be the nights going out in Leeds either to my favourite club called Mission (Thursdays are the day to go) or grabbing ‘a pint’ at Hyde Park Pub, as long as the company was good, every night was sure to be memorable.

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What have you learned from studying at Leeds? Academic wise- not much. Personally, I’ve learned a lot about myself while studying abroad. I really learned to become more self-reliant and self dependent- I cooked and cleaned for myself all the time. I feel like going abroad has changed me as a person, for the better of course. I feel like I have a better attitude on life and I’ve realized what’s important. I definitely value things differently after going on exchange. I self admittedly valued material things beforehand but now I would much rather spend my time and money on experiences with the people that I love because those mean more to me than any material object. Most importantly, I’ve learned that I truly can do anything I set my mind to. For me, studying abroad was nothing but positive learning experiences and having successfully completely 5 months abroad (I passed all my courses-yay!) I know my next adventure awaits.

For more amazing pictures check out Kelsey’s Instagram here 

 

 

How to Stay Motivated

Whether you’re right in the middle of your studies, or you’re in between jobs, or you’re trying to lose weight, staying motivated is key to achieving anything. Having drive is the catalyst to making the life you want. I know that some people get really lucky and their life seems to just fall into place, but most of the time, behind the scenes, a lot of time and hard work is in place.

Staying motivated can be difficult when there is a gap between what you want and what you think you deserve. I see this a lot with my family, friends and myself. For some reason, people are satisfied with the status quo and are content doing the same thing over and over again, to achieve the same, mediocre results. People hate change, and I get that, but the only thing constant in life, is change. Why are we selling ourselves short of amazing? Because we think we can’t get anything better or because we think we don’t deserve it?

I find comfort in the fact that I do deserve happiness, I am capable of greatness, and I am in control of the outcome of my life. That’s not to say that shit doesn’t happen – it does. But when it does, I’m confident that I will be able to roll with it. It’s how you react to circumstances that shape you, not the circumstance itself. Now that I’ve decided that I am worthy of a great life, motivation is what will get you everything you want. And that, in itself, motivates me.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

I like making lists as much as the next human, but what really bothers me, is when I have a giant list of crap to get done, and I make it through three, sometimes two, sometimes none of those things. Nothing makes me feel worse than knowing I haven’t accomplished anything I wanted to. Keep your to-do lists small and realistic. Yes you can look into the future towards all the upcoming commitments, but focus on the really important stuff and you will feel a lot better when you’re able to cross everything off.

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Prioritize your life

Whenever someone says, “I don’t have enough time for that”, what they are really telling you is, “It’s actually not a priority”. This isn’t a bad thing and can be applied to your own life. If you’ve been wanting to lose weight for years and years and aren’t accomplishing it, it’s probably because it really isn’t a priority. If something is that important to you, you will make time for it. Do a little life auditing – figure out where you’re spending the most time and why, and then rearrange to fit in your new goals. Make the time for the people that matter and spend less on the stuff that doesn’t.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

I cannot believe I just wrote that title, my friends and family are probably laughing at me right now but this saying is so true! Yes I did read that book by Richard Carlson and yes it did infact change my life. Nothing could be more true – do not worry about the small stuff, and it is all small stuff. In regards to motivation, don’t let small setbacks deter you from your overall goal. Missed a workout? No big deal, try again tomorrow. Failed a midterm? No worries, put in a bit more work next time. Don’t let the little failures (and I hate to use that word) of the day, make you feel less worthy of success.

Stick to your values

If you’re the most successful person in the world – but you had to mow over everybody else to get there, you’re not going to be very content with your life, I guarantee. While it is important to do what is best for you, always keep in check with your values. Do not do anything that makes your heart uncomfortable in order to get ahead. Be motivated by the idea of happiness, the idea that by being a genuine and honest person, will lead you down the right path, regardless of the end point.

Do not compare

We’re all on our own journey and even though your end goal might be the same as someone else’s, your path to getting there is going to be totally different. We’re all unique individuals, looking at life through our own lens, and approach life in different ways. Even if you do the exact same things as your mentor, you will not find yourself in the same place. Accept that you have your own way of doing things and that things happen for a reason. You will get there!

Look at the big picture

If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself when looking at your goals, make them bigger. Look ahead into the horizon without scaring yourself and realize that there is a bigger plan set out for you. You’re meant to be great, and this time in your life is one step in that plan. Keep checking back to the bigger picture – it makes all the challenges stepping stones rather than boulders to climb over.

Thanks for reading!

How to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self doubt is probably one of the worst things ever. It’s a self-inflicting mindset that prohibits you from doing the things you want to do. It keeps you from even trying anything new for fear of failure. And when you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to fail, you will never learn.

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It’s all in your head

When self doubt kicks in, do your best to try and kick it out. The thought of failure shouldn’t scare you, the thought of staying the same, never improving, should. Know that these thoughts you’re having (feeling not good enough, feeling left out or rejected…) are normal, but also only in your head. Once you realize that you’re in control of how you feel, you will be able to push past the self-doubt. Nobody else can dictate your feelings, no matter how hard people try.

Stop comparing

We’re all on our own journey, our own path. You may have similar end goals as someone else but in the end – we’re all just trying to find happiness. If your path doesn’t line up with someone else’s, don’t sweat it; you have your own obstacles to overcome, your own triumphs. Try not to compare your life to anyone else’s, this is your story to write, not theirs.

Stop asking people for their opinion

Have you ever wanted to try something, suggested it to a friend, only to be scoffed at and told that’s not cool? I bet that made you feel less inclined to try it! And I can tell you that’s wrong. Don’t let anyone else get into your head and make you doubt your abilities. Real friends will support you and your crazy ideas so don’t worry about what they will think.

I think people depend too much on what their friends and family think. Don’t look for reassurance in other people – find it within yourself. Yes their opinions are important – but we rely too heavily on their idea of what success is. Next time you’re unsure if you should pursue a passion, weigh the pros and cons and then just do it. Don’t accidently persuade yourself out of doing it because you had a long talk with your best friend who told you that one time her friend’s friend tried to do the same thing and it didn’t work out for her and now she’s struggling to get back to where she was and blah blah blah…

Don’t be afraid of humiliation

I am perpetually embarrassed. My face turns bright red in a matter of seconds at the mere mention of high school (I try not to think about that phase in my life). But really – what is the worst thing about humiliation? That you feel a little anxious, or that you start reliving the past? No one else is thinking about it, and even if they are, that’s not your problem. Don’t let the fear of embarrassment stop you from going out and trying something.

Leave the past in the past

Always keep looking ahead – never looking back. If something happened in the past that is making you doubt your abilities, your character or your worth, leave it in the past. Keep learning from your mistakes, but don’t hold onto them in a negative way. Let them teach you the lessons they need to – and then let that shit go.

Thanks for reading!

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