The world will infuriate you sometimes. Instead of turning to destructive behaviors in an attempt to release these pent-up feelings, opt to find productive ways to channel this aggression. We can’t choose how we feel, but we can choose how we act on our emotions—so choose to do something that will help, not hurt.
There will always be someone who expects too much from you. Constantly trying to fit into someone else’s mold with only ever leave you feeling lacking and small. Please believe that you don’t need anyone else’s validation to know that you’re doing great—do the best you can, and that’s enough.
There are people who care about you that may not always know how to voice their feelings. That doesn’t make their love for you any less valuable. Please know there are people who want the world for you, who are rooting for you. You make their lives better.
When you fall down, get back up. And every time you fall back down, you just have to keep getting back up. It’s okay to sit for a minute, to rest, to catch your breath. Strength always leaves room for softness, for vulnerability, for healing. But once that moment passes, please, please choose to get back up.
Look for the bright side in every bad situation, no matter how buried it may be. I’m not asking you to give into toxic positivity, I’m asking you to make the most of every situation. There are lessons living all around you, so choose to find them and learn. At the very least, you may find an unexpected moment of beauty.
If you break something, pick up the pieces. If you make a mistake, do your best to undo it. Just don’t prescribe any more meaning to these hiccups than necessary. We all mess up every now and then, but it doesn’t make any of us less worthy or competent or good. Beating yourself up over your humanness only leaves behind an even bigger mess.
Look for opportunities for kindness in every interaction. If you like someone’s shirt, tell them. If a small favor will help out an acquaintance, offer to do it. Tip a little extra at your local cafe and congratulate a friend when they do something well. When you put positivity into the world, it can transform reality—and more often than not, that positivity will be returned to you in one way or another.
When presented with an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, say yes. You may find your new favorite activity, or meet a new friend, or realize that maybe you want to expand your horizons a little more than you thought you did. Even if you don’t like it, you’re learning something new about yourself, and that’s always valuable.
When you feel tempted to put your guard up, instead choose to be vulnerable. It will always be easier to run away, to close off your heart, but there’s more to gain from authenticity. Be brave enough to wear your heart on your sleeve and speak with honesty.
The world will always feel like a lonely place if you never leave your own little island. There are so many kinds of interesting people out there, but if you only ever choose to associate with the ones that are seemingly most like you, you’ll miss out on so many other kindred spirits. People will surprise you, but only if you give them the opportunity to.
There are infinite paths to take in this life, and there’s no such thing as a wrong one. We are all just explorers trying to map out our own destinies. If you don’t like where you’re headed, try another path, or another, or another. Don’t feel confined to one direction, because you can go anywhere.
There are some downsides to going with the flow. Sometimes you’re so afraid of disrupting the waters that you struggle to ask for what you need. But people can’t give you what they don’t know you want, and you’ll never find help if you don’t look for it. You are not a burden for clearly communicating your needs. Doing so will not only make things easier for you but for everyone else around you.