Stepping Out of Harm’s Way

Health, Psychology

There may be certain people in your life that you need to let go of. Your love and relationship with them doesn’t counteract the way they treat you. Some people don’t deserve to be in your life, even how much you want them to be. Each time they betray your trust and mistreat you, you find nostalgic memories, unable to understand your own emotion. A basic human need is connection. Letting go of that connection is a painful process, particularly when that connection is with parent. You find yourself missing them, wishing they aren’t like what everyone said, and most of all wanting to believe that they wouldn’t hurt you.

There is a different kind of hurt that can only come from a toxic parent – someone who is meant to love you. Kind of like being broken from the inside out.

How to Heal from a Toxic Parent by Karen Young

The abuse that you had as a child leads into your adult life because you still crave that affection, attention, and affirmation that you were denied in your childhood. You have issues with your self-worth and confidence. You grow up not knowing your value since you always thought of yourself as lazy, selfish, and not good enough. Yet as you age, you forget and forgive the person who told you this in the first place. You understand that people are human, and more than anything, you wish to create the relationship you never had.

How many times can you keep forgiving someone whose hurt you? When you sit down to think about it, the person whose hurt you the most has never said sorry. You let it go for the sake of love, and occasionally, they showed the side of them that gave you hope. You held onto those seldom, carefree moments, using them as an excuse for their bad behavior toward you.

We are more strongly motivated by intermittent reinforcement — having what we desire happen some of the time — than we are by getting what we want all of the time, or even never getting it.

Healing From a Toxic Childhood? The Two Words You Need Most by Peg Streep

Maybe, the person you love that you need to let go is broken themselves. Maybe, they never knew how to love and have since treated you as a reflection of how they were treated. You feel empathy for them, but you can’t fix them. It’s not your job to. It’s not your fault they couldn’t be the person you wanted. No matter how much love and kindness you give to them, they’re never able to return it because they don’t love themselves. You wanted to see everything good you could in them, but there comes a point when you must face reality.

It’s okay to grieve.

Don’t try to be strong and hold it in. It hurts to lose someone, even by choice. It’s okay to miss them and want everything to go back to the way things were—familiarity is a comforting state. You’re allowed to worry about them and pray for them. But it’s time to think about yourself. You cannot control other people’s actions, despite wanting to. It’s time to start concerning yourself with your future, your happiness, and overall well-being.

Lessons in Love

Health, Psychology

People are selfish creatures by nature, and their selfishness harms those around them. Within every human relationship, there is some type of power dynamic. Parent and child. Older and younger sibling. Good and new friends. In all these scenarios, the balance for dominance is ever teetering.  The thing that holds it together is love.

Love is shown in various forms and levels. Love, or the hope there for it, keeps you going every day. You love your spouse, your parents, your children, you pets, your job, your friends, and sometimes, you love yourself. Your vision and ideas of love came from your upbringing and will forever follow you, infecting every relationship you have. Your love doesn’t let you see past this.

Wise trust assesses the probability of betrayal, in recognition that we are all frail creatures capable of betrayal in weaker moments. Realistically, it’s possible that any of us could betray a loved one. Blind trust denies this darker characteristic of human nature; suspiciousness exaggerates it. Wise trust is an assessment that the probability of betrayal is low.

Trust and Betrayal by Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

You grow up and find out the real world is something you were never prepared for. Everything’s hard and conspiring against you. Just when you pick yourself up, something knocks you down again. It’s easy to give up and satisfy your mind with meaningless activities and redundancy. You find the only constant in your life is your family, and your love for them.

If this love betrays you, you find yourself believing somehow, it’s your fault, as if you can control the actions of another. No matter how many times you say it doesn’t matter, it does. Memories of good times and adventures flood your rationalization. It must be something you’ve done, because why else would someone you trusted break that trust?

Not everyone in your life is who you wanted them to be. Your parent might not be the parent you’ve always wanted. Your siblings might not reciprocate the same concern you have for them. Your friends might only care when it’s convenient for them to do so. People are selfish because it’s safe. It’s safe to look out for just yourself since caring for others leaves you vulnerable and that vulnerability can be misused.

People with negative developmental experiences involving intimate relationships may opt to avoid closeness and isolate themselves. […] But healthy relationships with other people are crucial for personal development, presenting opportunities for growth and change.

6 Ways That a Rough Childhood Can Affect Adult Relationships by
Grant Hilary Brenner MD, FAPA

Love changes people, for better and worse. It’s a tough journey to let go of those you love who may be a negative aspect in your life. Everyone has a someone whose hurt them so deeply that barriers form. You can’t believe that not everyone is out to get you because the ones you did give your heart to, took advantage of it.

You forget that not everyone’s like that. You forget that you’re worthy of unconditional love, and that some of love you were raised with had strings attached. There are good souls out there, in a sea of many. It’s scary, but if you give them the chance, they can show you a love you’ve never known.

Conforming to Social Norms

Philosophy, Social

Fake, phony, exaggerated. “Your child is so cute.” “You’re gorgeous.” “They’re so nice.” Aren’t you tired of lying all the time? Smiling through your teeth, saying things that have no weight. Frankly, you can’t figure out why people find the need to talk about nothing. No one cares about your coworker or child who is “so smart.” No one cares about your friend who lives across the country that they’ll most likely never meet. All of it is bragging, gossip, and jealously. Let’s all be honest with each other. You don’t really think that child is cute, nor do you think your coworkers’ best friend is gorgeous. You’re just trying to get through your day, minding your own business when you’re forced to engage in mindless small talk with others.

You have your repertoire of questions in your back pocket that as soon as you ask, you tune out the answer. “Where are you from? Do you live around here? Do you have children? How long have you been married?” Blah blah blah, it’s all nonsense. Most days, it doesn’t bother you all that much, and you’re able to move forward without the mind-numbing nothingness keeping you down. On a larger scale, you pretend to care about issues you don’t really care about because for some reason you like to complain about injustice without doing anything about it. Oh, it’s so easy to be offended.

You’re Acting

In the past, you’ve found yourself constantly being questioned for the things you say and do. For every action you perform, the world demands a reason, when sometimes there is no reason at all. You change your hair, you switch careers, you start a new hobby, you don’t like something. People ask you why, and instead of saying what you’re really thinking, you give a generic answer because after all the years of questioning, you’re tired of defending yourself.

Society, including you, places pressure on peers to act, think, talk, and response in an acceptable or predetermined way, and if you are one to deviate from these standards, people think you’re crazy or stupid. That’s why you stick to the superficial conversation; it’s easy. You don’t have to enter in philosophical debate or use rhetoric and research to answer where you’re from, or what you do for work. Plus, using this form of communication works well since most people are selfish.

People love talking about themselves. They love to talk about their children, their pets, their career, and in the rare occasion you talk about something that requires deliberation, your counterpart will most likely only listen to what they want to hear, arguing for the sake of validating their own opinion. This all goes back to the standard. The same societal standard we were raised believing in and grew up enforcing with our peers. Conformity of social norms.

Normative conformity involves changing one’s behavior in order to fit in with the group.

Informational conformity happens when a person lacks the knowledge and looks to the group for information and direction.

Identification occurs when people conform to what is expected of them based on their social roles.

Compliance involves changing one’s behavior while still internally disagreeing with the group.

Internalization occurs when we change our behavior because we want to be like another person.

How Does Conformity Influence Behavior? By Kendra Cherry

Conformity, in its respect, is a necessary element to a functioning society, but there are times when you don’t have to conform. You don’t have to think that child is cute. You’re not mean if you think that person isn’t attractive. You’re not wrong in being uninterested in someone you’ve never met and never will meet. You shouldn’t feel pressured to say things you don’t mean and act in ways that aren’t true just to please and be accepted by others, because if you don’t accept yourself, people can see right through it. They can see you projecting your insecurity onto others in the way you treat them and the way you act. And the people closest to you are the ones that get the brute end of all those fake smiles and laughs.

Forget it. Forget all the politics, beliefs, and social acceptance. It’s okay for someone to disagree with you and not like the way you think. That’s the beauty of being a human and living in a place that allows us the freedom to do so. Instead of offended, be grateful that you’re able to express your opinion. It’s your right, and everyone else’s, to exercise freedom.

Dealing with Divorce, Still

Psychology, Social

Fighting off the world with insecurity is a tough thing to do. It’s impossible to ignore. There’s something in you that craves constant validation and reassurance because of the part of you that doesn’t believe that the truth could be happy. Imagine this: your parents divorce during your pubescent years, you go through middle school with everyone smelling your family’s dirty laundry. You ignore every bit of hurt, and pretend like it’s all “normal,” whatever that means.

Over a decade later, it still affects you, despite all your resistance. Some days, you feel on top of the world. People look at you like you’re someone to admire. You convince yourself you’re confident, and there are moments that you truly believe you are the person you’ve always wanted to be. Then something happens, you find old photos of when you were younger, you remember what your dad said that one holiday, and the pain comes back like a shot, coursing through your veins. You’re reassured what you really are: flawed.

These kids often present as being mature, but in truth they are emotionally and often socially immature. They are frequently more emotionally needy then they come across and they are behind their peers developmentally. They have spent a large portion of the lives learning how to please others without really learning how to master fulfilling themselves. This mask leads adults to misread the kid’s sense of self worth; thinking they are doing fine when in actuality, they are hurting inside.

How Children Cope with High Conflict Divorce: How are they harmed and what can parents do to help them? By Bob Livingstone

Growing up, you wanted nothing more than a normal family. You wanted a mom and dad who showed up to games or rehearsal together, and after you wanted to have dinner with them both without conflict. Then you grew up, you let the pain fade, tucking it away in the attic of your brain. You’re an adult now, you go to work and pay bills like everyone else. But you’re not like everyone else. You notice the difference between you and the peers around you who have parents that are still together. It doesn’t matter to you if they’re happy or good, what matters is that is something you never had.

Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are 300 percent more likely to need psychological help within any given year than teens from intact, nuclear families. Children from divorced homes may have more psychological problems than children who lost a parent to death.

Statistics About Children of Divorce By Wayne Parker

You have to help yourself.

Some days, the thought crosses your mind of your parents still being together, grieving over the figurative “death” of your first family. Doesn’t matter, everything that unfolded was necessary, and the way to heal is to recognize the feelings that have been ignored for so long. It’s a painful, ongoing process, but one that must be done in order to have successful relationships with others in the future.

If you can’t help yourself overcome your own demons, seek help in others. You have friends, family, professionals, etc. There is an endless support chain wanting to help you heal, because believe it or not, people want you to be happy. Your parents, even if they don’t say it, wish they could’ve been better to you. Yet there is no point in ruminating in the past, the thing to do is face the present and change the future.

It’s possible to trust, love, and share with others. It’s something you may have to spend a lifetime working on. You’re so used to “dealing” with your emotions yourself, it’s scary to open yourself to others. Ironically though, sharing your truest feelings in turn makes you more confident, comfortable, and relatable to others. So yes, you didn’t have the conventional idea of a childhood or parents, but you still have you. You have the ability to accept yourself, the parts that are bruised and scarred along with the shiny other bits.

Shame on All of You

Health, Psychology

It’s hard for humans to communicate. We spend all day talking to each other, but how often do you say what you’re really feeling? Either you spend your time thinking of various ways to express your emotions, or you don’t express them much at all. You put on a smile and nod, playing pretend in a superficial world where it not only matters how much better looking you are than others, but also how cool and smart you are. So, it all makes sense. When you point the finger at someone else, when you’re angry at the world for wronging you, when you ask yourself, Why don’t they like me? That you feel shame.

Shame is an incredibly painful and self-deprecating emotion. Shame hurts so deep that for some, it goes unnoticed. The thing is, just because you ignore an emotion, doesn’t mean it goes away. If you ignore shame, it will project onto others because having someone to blame for why you feel shame provides a false sense of control and superiority. The emotion is still there.

If the shame remains unacknowledged, a person may decide to focus on another emotional state, an act of emotional substitution. For example, a shamed person, unwilling to acknowledge the feeling of shame can become angry with someone else, making other a kind of scapegoat for self-blame. […] By not focusing on the shame and attending to other emotions, we lose the opportunity to understand the forces at work around us and within us.

5 Factors That Make You Feel Shame by Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.

In a previous article, I talked about how shame can cause hubristic pride, believing yourself as better than others, acting as if they were inferior. This pride is a coping mechanism for shame. You wonder where all this shame comes from. When you were a child, there were times you make a mistake or forgot to do something. Instead of focusing on the action or how it affected the people around you, your parents would tear down your self-worth. That’s a stupid thing to do. You don’t listen. You’re going to fail if you don’t do this correctly.

Still, it’s not just your upbringing. Shame is also related to your self-confidence and your need for control. It’s natural, the urge for some type of control over out lives. We want to know a reason. We want solve problems. We want control, and shame is unfortunately a byproduct of that. Because when you blame yourself for why bad things happen to you or why people treat you poorly, you think that you can fix it by changing yourself. Controversially, if you’re someone whose manifested your shame into pride, you’d blame everyone else for the painful feelings of shame you feel, and spite them because that’s how you’re able to control your emotions.

When we feel shame about something we’ve done, we’re probably much more reticent to speak about it or acknowledge it in such a way that we can rectify our mistakes. Guilt, however, is much more of an actionable emotion—when we feel guilt, we are more motivated to undo any damage we’ve done or try to make up for our errors.

Strong Leaders Experience Guilt Without Shame by Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

Many people transpose shame and guilt. The main difference is that shame is about one’s self, whereas guilt is the result of your actions unto others. A person who feels shame from an action tears at their core thinking, I’m stupid, I’m lazy, I’m not good enough. As person who feels guilt about their action thinks about others, I let them down. I made them feel bad. Sometimes, you can feel both shame and guilt.

There is no way to prevent these emotions from flooding into our mind, they are every bit as necessary to our psyche as happiness and pleasure. Don’t ignore these emotions. Understand them, work through them, know why you feel that way. Allow yourself to feel the pain of shame and guilt. Let it flow over you and dissolve, like most other emotions. There are things you can and cannot change. You can’t control everything, but you can work on understanding yourself, and why you feel the way you do, especially when you don’t like it.

You Do You

Philosophy, Social

Persistence is key in following the path to success, but along the way, you may put too much value on others for guidance. Whenever you’re unsure of something, rather than trying it yourselves, you’ll ask others for advice or assistance. You forget, however, that despite their knowledge in wisdom, the situation of others differs from your current state and you must try things your own way in order to know what’s best.

There are only so many hours in a day, and days in a year to accomplish everything you’ve ever wanted. Most days, all you want to do is forget the world and avoid your personal responsibilities. It’s easy to judge others because it distracts you from your own faults. You care about what others think, and how to present yourself. You don’t allow yourself to try your way due to the risk of failing.

“What one person considers to be true about you is not necessary the truth about you, and if you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.”

Five Ways To Make Peace With Failure by Susan Tardanico

For example: I’ve never golfed in my life, and recently, my husband has been learning how. We went to the range. I’ve never been good at sports, so naturally my expectation for myself was low. My husband gave me some tips on how to stand, hold the club, and how to hit. I’d go through the whole process in my head: straightening my back, breathing deep, and keeping everything else in check. And of course, I’d miss.

The heat was peaking on a Saturday afternoon. There weren’t many others there besides us. Suddenly, something inside snapped. I cared so much about doing things right and not embarrassing myself, I hindered my own ability to do better by not fully trying. I let go of my insecurities. I pulled the club back with the twist of a hip on an inhale. Then, swinging with exhale, and I hit the ball, straight. A sense of accomplishment rushed over me and I accepted that I was indeed capable of doing it. I still missed many shots, but when I was able to do it correctly, I did it right.

After our practice that day, I learned something about myself. Because I cared so much about not letting myself fail in front of others, I was too afraid to try. I didn’t trust myself or my own ability. Isn’t that something we all do? You don’t want to pursue your dream because you don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of others. You want to fit in, even subconsciously.

Stop caring and be self-reliant.

“People who act with self-reliance feel more in control of their environment, and feeling this way is an important ingredient of well-being. […] Being self-reliant means doing things for yourself. “

How to Let Go of the Need to Be Perfect By Ilene Strauss Cohen Ph.D.

There are certain things in life to care about, like family and friends, but most things in life don’t require that attention, especially negative things. Take all those negative thoughts that are buried in your subconscious and push them out. Don’t dwell in your mistakes, regret your decisions, or fear your failure. It can be difficult. We are human and it is in our nature to questions and probe, especially our own rationale.

Often, you allow ourselves to care too much about the opinions of others. You let them decide what’s best for you because they must know what they’re doing. They’ve lived longer and have a certain level of success you find admirable, so when it comes to trying something outside your expertise, you look to others. You forget that although their situation may have been similar, it’ll never be the same as yours.

Do what you want and don’t apologize for doing what’s best for you. Of course, that doesn’t mean to be malicious and do wrong upon others for your own benefit. Rather, when you stop caring so much about pleasing others and being perfect at what you do, you’ll succeed.

Pride and People

Philosophy, Social

Humans are guilty for succumbing to the innate vices born within. While most of us know the seven deadly sins that derail us from our daily venture, we often neglect that they exist, believing that we aren’t wrong. Perhaps, the most difficult part of being a creature with emotion, is admitting when you’re wrong, especially when your pride is hurt.

Having pride in who you are isn’t necessarily a bad thing, rather it turns negative depending on the founding reason behind it. It’s natural, considering all that you’ve been through to achieve what you have, to convince yourself you know what’s best. The hardest may be admitting that in certain situations of which you’ve been wronged, that you weren’t exactly right.  

Out of the seven deadly sins: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Sloth, I’ve found Pride to be the most psychology damaging. Pride takes away the faults you see in yourself. If you are unhappy and angry at the world, it’s because of everything else around. Your actions then morph around the idea that you are simply better or “different” than everyone else. Of course, you’d never say that, but it comes out in how you treat others.

A more genuine and stable self-worth is based upon validating, affirming, and valuing ourselves as we are. Self-worth is a function of living with dignity, which exists apart from any accomplishments. Achievements are ephemeral and can become a trap. If too much of our attention goes toward accomplishing bigger and better things in order to feel good, then we become addicted to external sources of gratification.

Why Pride Is Nothing to Be Proud Of by John Amodeo Ph.D., MFT

Two Types of Pride

Authentic pride. People who are confident, agreeable, hard-working, energetic, kind, empathetic, non-dogmatic, and high in genuine self-esteem would draw inspiration from others and would want to be emulated by others.

Hubristic pride. [People who are] associated with rocky relationships, low levels of conscientiousness and high levels of disagreeableness, neuroticism, narcissism, and poor mental health outcomes. [Their] subjective feelings of superiority and arrogance may facilitate dominance by motivating behaviors such as aggression, hostility, and manipulation.

Pride and Creativity by Scott Barry Kaufman

In seeing this, someone with hubristic pride would consider themselves to have authentic pride because ironically, it would be their pride that kept them from viewing themselves in a negative light. How do you know what type of pride you have then? Here are some signs:

  • Incessant need to teach others: You impose your way of learning onto others, rather than letting them find their own way. You genuinely feel as though it’s helpful, “sharing your knowledge,” but doing it consistently, particularly when others don’t ask, is a form of asserting your dominance and superiority.
  • Ignore advice: Despite all you debate about regarding a decision or situation, you don’t consider the words of others because understanding other people’s perspective is not of value to you. You talk about it only to self affirm you’re right.
  • Constantly Critical: You point out the negatives in people and their actions, yet these critiques don’t apply to you. It makes you feel better to point out the faults in others because of the shame you feel for your own.
  • Obsessed with Aesthetics: Vanity is a type of pride. When you equate your physical appearance to self-worth, you demand the attention of others. You want affirmation and attention to feel of value. You find passive aggressive ways to make others feel guilty about your condition like, “You could be fit like me,” or “I look so fat.”  
  • Avoiding efforts of communication: Holding grudges, resentment, and cutting people out of your life are all evidence that you have hubristic pride. By ignoring people, you deem them not worth your time, disregarding them as a person and labeling them as inferior.

In the divided opinions of today, people are quick to label others without understanding their perspective. There is a right and wrong, and if someone doesn’t agree with what that means to you, then they’re immediately lesser. We all deserve to be treated with respect, so we must treat others respectfully. In letting go of superiority and accepting humanity for what it is, we uncover the truth about ourselves.

Freedom, Independence, and Loneliness

Philosophy, Social

Outside, the sun shines through clouds, tempting those stuck behind a window, wishing they could feel it on their skin. As a prisoner of responsibility, one is never free of anything. There is always something keeping you back. When we think of freedom we think of it as having the capability to do whatever we want, whenever we want. Of course, the case isn’t true with the average person: there’s work, family, pets, bills, and so much more that we’re responsible for.


Freedom consists of three main principles:

1. The absence of human coercion or restraint preventing one from choosing the alternatives one would wish.

2. The absence of physical constraints in natural conditions which prevent one from achieving one’s chosen objectives.

3. The possession of the means or the power to achieve the objective one chooses of one’s own volition.

Rashan John, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India

What happens when you don’t feel free? You feel helpless, ashamed, weak, and hateful. Worse, it’s a feeling that you don’t often recognize. I know, because I’ve been there. Out of the three principles of freedom, I’ve felt most influenced by human coercion. Then again, who hasn’t? We all have family members or friends who tell us what we “should” and “should not” do. Everyone thinks they know better and constantly impose their way of thinking onto you.

At first, you’re rebellious, but after countless comments and hours of influence, you give in and become a person you never wanted to be in the first place. Better than that, you’re not allowed to dislike it. You’re not allowed to oppose others on how you want to be or act for they “know better.” You’re told that this it’s good for you, that these people care about you. In losing your ability to say no, you become miserable because you never thought you’d end up the way others wanted you to be.

Most people aren’t free, so they don’t want you to be. Your dream isn’t realistic because someone older and wiser couldn’t achieve theirs. You should care about making money more than doing what makes you happy because that’s what everyone else did. You can’t do what you want because you have other responsibilities. When you give into these notions, you normalize the negativity and spread it to others.

For a while, I thought freedom and independence were symbiotic. If I gained independence from others and control over my life, I’d be free. While it’s true that these two things coincide with one another, there’s a fine line to walk along when trying to find yourself without losing relationships. The pursuit can be lonely. Loneliness is life threating to a person’s psychological and physical state. A person can feel lonely in a room full of people, in a marriage or family. Being lonely means to feel disconnected, unable to share your thoughts.

“That solitude which we often lament in our life with others betrays our misunderstanding of its meaning. We live together failing to recognize what unites us. Thus even the smallest offense becomes a pretense for breaking down the bonds of trust.”

2019 An Epidemic of Loneliness

It’s difficult to share the pain with others. Especially the type of pain that comes with feeling out of control of your life. There are so many things we are all blessed with, and to express some negativity about how you feel in your current state, makes you feel guilty. You convince yourself that everyone around you is right and you are wrong, thus disconnecting from them because they couldn’t possibly understand.

Take Control of Your Life.

Humans have limits. If we aren’t capable of knowing our limit, our body will do it for us. Breaking the hold of those keeping us back is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough just to set yourself free. You need the support of the ones you love once you make your decision. Without people to share your highs and lows, you can feel lonely. But your loneliness is dependent on you. People do want to listen. They want to help. There are those out there who do love you and any decision you make. You have to just have to allow them to.  

Chasing Daydreams

Occupational, Psychology

All of us have a dream or vision of what we want to achieve or who we want to be. Before the kids and marriage, before the real world forces you to face the grueling truth of what it takes to live. Making that dream a vision and turning it into reality takes work.

When you have a dream, you fantasize about the things you want to happen now. Tomorrow, you want to wake up, look in the mirror, and see a version of yourself that you love. Your parents teach you to dream, the world tells you to dream, but when you hit the real world, you get stuck in monotony and mediocrity. You feel guilty you’re not working toward your goal, you feel lazy you’re stuck in one place, so you put your dream off till a better time and the cycle continues without you changing a thing.

“Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.”

Napoleon Hill

“Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.”

Mick Jagger

After a while, the pressure from your family, friends and society wears you down and you tell yourself, that it’s okay to give up on your dream. That you’re happy with where you’re at, that sometimes you have to know when to give up. Why do we give up on ourselves? Whether your dreams are big or small, their worth pursuing. In striving for your dreams, here are a few reminders:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s difficult, we all do it. When you see a person of similar age and opportunity whose reached the success you’ve always wished for, you either wonder how they were able to achieve so much while you weren’t, or believe they don’t deserve it. Instead, change the way you view them, use them as inspiration or healthy competition.
  • Make a decision and stick with it. My dream is to be a published author. Throughout my college career and current adult life, I’ve had people suggest a repertoire of things I could do. I admit I get suck into these deviations and wonder who I would be if I followed a different path. Despite the fact that your loved ones may not approve or even share the same enthusiasm you have for your dream, don’t let that sway you.
  • Keep at it, positively. Working toward the vision you see for your future is a treacherous road riddled with obstacles to stop you. At times, it’ll feel like the entire world is conspiring against you. Finding the motivation and time for your goals between the mundane tasks of daily life can feel impossible. Look yourself in the mirror and tell the doubt that you will be who you want to be.

I haven’t achieved yet the vision I have for myself, and still there are times I wonder, what’s the point? The point is that this is for me. This is who I want to be. I don’t want to be old an regret not going after something because I didn’t want to play the game of life. If you keep doing what you want to do, you’ll eventually find success. Like Eli Young Band sings, “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.”