How To Be Positive Without Feeling Fake

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The “fake it ’til you make it” technique when it comes to positivity is total BS. Plastering on a smile when your lips want to naturally curve downward. Posting an overly uplifting quote on Facebook when you don’t fully believe it. Telling yourself that everything is great, when in reality, everything is falling apart.

All of these things are only temporary solutions to long-term issues. You’re not going to become a genuinely happy and upbeat person if you do these things. You’re going to feel like a fraud.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to become positive. There are many things you can do to transform yourself and your thoughts without feeling fake. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create realistic goals. Have a list of both short-term and long-term goals that you know are achievable. Make sure your goals are things that will help you grow as a person. Personalize your goals as much as possible to assure that you’re not copying general goals that people have. Having things to work towards will help you build up your mental strength and it will change your whole perspective on life. Additionally, once you reach a goal, the feeling of euphoria is a feeling that no fake smile can obtain.
  2. Have full awareness of your problems. Many people believe that ignoring a problem will make it go away, or it will make it seem like the problem just isn’t there. Ignorance is not bliss at all. If you are constantly lying to yourself and claiming that nothing is wrong, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Sit down and take a moment to identify anything on your mind that is bothering you. You can either write everything down on paper or just sit there and think. Sorting out everything that is wrong will help you to add to your list of goals and it will help you figure out productive solutions.
  3. Remove negative people from your life. If a friend is having a negative impact on you because of his/her attitude, you should reconsider having that person in your life. It’s pointless to have a person in your life who just provides drama and stress, rather than comfort and happiness. It can be difficult to cut a friend out of your life, but in this case, you need to put yourself first. You need to truly think about the negativity this person is bringing to your life and how much it’s affecting you. In the end, it’s not worth it to stay friends with someone for his/her sake. Only keep those in your life who lift you up.
  4. Engage in “feel good” activities. You have to figure out exactly what activities make you feel happy. Exercising can naturally make everyone feel happier because of those awesome endorphins. Engaging in your favorite hobby is important because doing what you love will give instant gratification. It’s also fun to explore new hobbies and activities in order to maintain personal growth. Search the Internet for a new, unique hobby that looks interesting to you. You can even find something new to do with a significant other or a friend. It can feel great to be doing things you want to do outside of things that you have to do. Live your life the way you want to and you’ll be a lot happier.
  5. Accept failure. It’s easy to feel down after something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to. While it’s perfectly OK to let yourself feel sad about it, don’t let that feeling last forever. You have to realize that no one is perfect, and that things will not always work out. Sometimes you’re going to fail at a goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously we all crave success over failure; however, if we never accept failure, we will never accept ourselves. The good thing about failure is that it will force you to work harder. It will make you want to change the way you do things because you don’t want to see failure again. Once you are able to accept failure, you’ll be able to have more faith in yourself to keep persevering.
  6. Allow yourself to feel every emotion freely. If you’re only forcing yourself to feel happy, all of your other emotions are going to be trapped inside you. If you never let those other emotions out, you’re going to feel even worse. It’s OK to feel negative emotions. If human beings were only capable of feeling happiness, we’d be really boring and stagnant creatures. Just imagine you’re watching a movie and the characters were always smiling and nothing ever seemed wrong. Do you know how lame that would be? Allow yourself to fully embrace every emotion that you feel, even if you aren’t used to it. If you are able to adapt to expressing all of your emotions, it’ll help you become a stronger person in the end.
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The TwentySomething Chronicles: Finding Yourself

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Many people have the notion that you have to find yourself by the time you reach your twenties. This isn’t a realistic approach to life. You can spend your childhood thinking about your dream career, and you can spend your teen years gaining experience for the future, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to figure everything out by your twentieth birthday.

Your twenties is actually the best period of time in your life to find out who you really are and who you want to be. Whether you’re a college student, college graduate, or are going in a different route, you’re at a very important age in life. You’re on the verge of adulthood and anything is possible.

There aren’t set rules or steps to take in order to find yourself, but here are some basic guidelines:

1. Find out what is important to you.

If you care about a certain topic or organization, go ahead and do something about it. Find volunteer opportunities or research various ways to help a cause that is close to your heart. If you’re doing something worthwhile, you’ll find your calling in the midst of everything. It’s just a matter of putting yourself out there and figuring out your interests.

2. Use your hobbies to your advantage.

Delve deeper into your favorite hobby or take a new one for a spin. Hell, take on multiple hobbies at once. Actively involving yourself in your passions will spark a huge flame in your life. You will feel more satisfied with life if you are constantly doing things you love to do. Additionally, you might even find a new path you want to go down.

3. Cherish meaningful relationships.

You’re at an age where you’re finally finding true friendships and relationships. This is very crucial to your soul searching. If you have people in your life who truly care about you, this support system will back you up whenever you find yourself falling. These are peers who are working on finding themselves as well, so you won’t feel alone in the matter.

4. Don’t feel rushed. 

You don’t need to follow the standard “rules” of life. You don’t need to find your ultimate career in your twenties and get married before your thirties. Make your own rules and set your own standards. You have to understand that it’s perfectly okay if you’re not doing exactly what you want to do yet. You’re younger than you think you are.

5. Be open-minded.

Always be up to try new things in life, whether they work out or not. You learned at an early age that if you don’t try something, you’ll never know if you like it. This lesson will always be true, no matter what your age is. If you go for anything and everything, you’ll not only gain experiences, but you also might find something new that you like.

 

Another thing you should realize is that a part of finding yourself is creating yourself. You create yourself through both your positive and negative experiences, through your successes and your mistakes, and through your happiest times and your darkest times.

When you’re in your twenties, you can’t let personal or societal pressures get to you. You have to use the power of your own mind and your own heart in order to be you.

The process of finding yourself can be quite terrifying. But, as the cliché people say: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Let’s face it, your twenties would be boring as hell if you already had everything you want in life. So enjoy the ride and endure the crashes along the way; it’ll be worth it eventually.

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How To Be Yourself (It’s Simple)

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Why are we so afraid of being authentic? Is it because we fear judgment from others? Is it because we don’t think we’re good enough?

You need to stop caring what others think of you. First impressions are made out to be overly important, when, in reality, you should never have to try so hard to impress someone. Being 100% yourself is impressing as it is. In such a harsh society, a person who is unabashedly herself should be viewed as a role model for everyone else out there.

You need to stop overthinking before speaking. Be mindful of what you say, but don’t rack through too many negative side effect of sharing your thoughts. You shouldn’t hold back from stating your unique opinions because you deserve a voice in this world. If you went your whole life without speaking up because you were too worried, you would be left with many regrets and your brain would reach its full capacity of trapped thoughts. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in a small room all alone, so why would you allow your thoughts to be locked away without coming out for air?

You need to stop questioning why you are so weird, and instead, embrace your quirks. It might be hard to believe, but everyone out there has at least one wacky quality that stands out from the norms of society. If you realized how crucial this quality is to yourself and to life in general, then you would go run outside and let your freak flag fly without any second thoughts. If there is someone who doesn’t appreciate your weirdness, that just means that they are having a difficult time appreciating their own differences.

You need to stop being so self-conscious about your physical appearance. Contrary to popular belief, beauty and attractiveness don’t come with a specific set of guidelines. Fashion doesn’t have its boundaries; you should express who you are through your own personal fashion choices. Hair and makeup are forms of personal art that are created for your own interpretations. You shouldn’t be worried about how others will perceive you through your appearance, but instead, you should own how you look. Put yourself together based on your own expectations and walk out that door knowing exactly who YOU are.

It doesn’t make sense that being authentic has become a crime in society, but sometimes you just have to push society’s “rules” aside and make your own. This is the story of your life, and you don’t want to write in any false information or embellishments. It’s a straight-forward nonfiction story about you, and it deserves to be a bestseller.

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The Monster That Lives Under Your Bed Is An Illusion

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When you were younger, you would lie in bed at night, afraid to put your legs over the edge because the monster underneath your bed would grab them and pull you under. But as you got older, you realized that your paranoia was all for nothing, because the monster only lived in your mind. But even though your childhood fears have left you a long time ago, you might still have different monsters in your mind.

We, as people, tend to overthink situations all the time. We hope for the best, but usually anticipate the worst. This is because we create different scenarios in our heads of all the terrible things that could go wrong. We do this so often, that we begin to believe that these bad things will actually occur to us. But like the monster under your bed, these bad things are usually illusions. They are counterparts of each of your worries put together into one giant monster that takes over your brain.

As adults, we lie in bed at night, stressing out about life. We lie there wondering when life is going to stop attacking us, and when we will finally get what we want. We constantly have all these thoughts spinning around in our heads, that we don’t know how to just put our minds to rest. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming, that we don’t even remember how to think about something in a positive light.

The cool thing about humans is that we have such vivid imaginations. We can direct a whole movie in our heads that no one else can see because it’s personalized. But why give every mind movie a tragic ending? What if we decided to put positive twists onto every negative vision? Most pessimistic thoughts that run through our brains aren’t even realistic. This is because we worry too much about things that haven’t happened to us yet, and might not ever happen.

Sure, technically your brain controls everything you do, but you can’t let it take over your soul and your heart. You shouldn’t let these illusions take over your feelings and emotions. You’ll feel silly when you realize that you’re overanalyzing a situation in your life. Even though the monster is so vivid in your mind, you’re always going to find emptiness underneath your bed.

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Expectations vs. Realities: The Life Of A Twenty-Something

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Life in your twenties is filled with a variety of emotions and experiences due to the fact that this is when adulthood truly comes into play. But the thing is, we don’t actually know how to be an adult until we do adult things. But the other thing is, we tend to go into our twenties with certain expectations, yet we come to realize that reality doesn’t quite match up to our expectations:

Career:

Expectation: Getting your dream job off the bat and being super happy about it.

Reality: Realizing that searching for a job is like trying to find your way out of a corn maze; you confidently walk in, then get excited when you turn a corner and see an opening, then you come to find that there’s actually more corn in your path, so you’re stuck. (Yeah, I know, it’s a great visual representation)

How to deal with the reality: It’s tough, but you have to keep trying. You can’t give up that soon because who wants to be stranded in the middle of a corn maze? Keep on keeping on and things will fall into place eventually. You might have to start with a job you don’t like, but by enduring a bad job, you’ll be able to build up your skills for your dream job.

Social Life:

Expectation: You feel like you’re still young enough to party whenever you want just like you did in college.

Reality: It’s somewhat socially unacceptable for a twenty-something to party as much as a college student, plus your alcohol tolerance is slowly but surely getting lower.

How to deal with the reality: This doesn’t mean that you can’t party at all, you just need to tone it down a bit and act more mature. You’ll also come to find that there are so many other fun things you can do with your friends that don’t involve getting wasted every weekend. Go be an adult socialite!

Health:

Expectation: You’re an adult now, so no one can tell you what not to eat.

Reality: You realize how important your health is and you realize that you should probably do something about it.

How to deal with the reality: It’s honestly not that hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat more fruits and vegetables and workout more. It doesn’t have to be this huge burden that takes over your life; just slowly incorporate healthiness into your life and it will soon stick with you. Go be a healthy adult!

Relationships:

Expectation: Since you’re in your twenties, you automatically need to find the person that you’re going to marry; time is running out!

Reality: It’s still okay to casually date people in your twenties.

How to deal with the reality: Don’t worry so much about finding the person you’re going to marry! It’s perfectly okay to go out on dates with people in order to figure out what type of person you want in your life. You’re still young, whether you believe it or not, which means you have plenty of time to find your husband/wife. If you happen to find that person in your twenties, more power to you! But it’s okay if you don’t!

Friendships:

Expectation: You’ll continue being friends with everyone you met in college and it’ll be great!

Reality: You will not be able to maintain every single friendship that you have made in college/in life in general.

How to deal with the reality: You have to realize that each friend you make won’t be a friend for life. You will have some amazing and special people who will definitely be in your life forever, but that can’t always be everyone. People get busy and move on with their lives, because that’s what happens when you get older. Appreciate the friends that have stuck with you and be open to new friendships, because you can definitely make new friends no matter how old you are!

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Dating Is A Game Of Chance

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Think of your life as a metaphorical game board. Each day, you roll the dice to see what impending situation will occur. You never know what will happen because it’s impossible to predict anything that happens in your life. You might have to conquer some obstacles some days, and other days you might get to lay back and relax with a nice alcoholic beverage of choice (assuming you are of age). Just like games, you never know your outcome of a situation until you get there and see what happens.

Narrowing life down even more, dating is a game in itself. Now, we typically don’t like to “play games”, in the immature sense, when it comes to dating, but the dating process is comparable to a game. Think about slot machines for a second. Yes, I know, your mind automatically jumps to Vegas and now you’re thinking all kinds of things, but just bear with me for a second. Slot machines are pure luck and chance, you don’t really have much control over what turns up on the machine. The same thing goes with dating. Dating is a game of chance because you never know who you’re going to meet and you never know what is going to happen. For instance, you can meet someone and think that it might turn into something, but then you realize they’re a dud after the first date. Or, you can be in a relationship with someone and think that they’re the one, and it might not even work out in the end.

These situations aren’t meant to be seen as anything negative, but rather, they should give you realizations about how life works. You can’t just give up after a bad relationship, and you can’t just swear off dating after one bad date. You have to get back in the game, and fight for your chance to win, because who doesn’t like winning games? Dating isn’t as simple as black and white because each person you encounter is going to be different from the last one and the next one. But this is what makes dating exciting! New experiences and new people can teach you many lessons about the dating world as a whole.

So, as you roll your dice for the day, don’t wish for anything to happen, don’t try to predict what will happen, just let things play out as they are meant to. Don’t waste your time worrying about all the bad dates or relationships you’ve been through. Just push all that aside, and see what pops up next on your metaphorical dating slot machine. You’ll be a winner someday. (If all else fails, move to Vegas).

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Be Sure To ‘Like’ “Walking In The Right Sized Shoes” On Facebook!

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‘Like’ the “Walking In The Right Sized Shoes” Facebook page for immediate updates and inspirational words of positivity! Check it out here:  https://www.facebook.com/walkingintherightsizedshoes?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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10 Things You Learn In College Outside The Classroom

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College is first seen as a time of studying hard and working towards a career. While this is accurate, the overall college experience gives people the opportunity to learn more than just what they read in textbooks. College students learn all these extra little things without even realizing it. Here are some of the things that they learn:

1. How to find true friends. This lesson usually doesn’t come right off the bat because when you’re starting out as a freshman, everyone is new and everyone wants to hang out. But over the years, you come to find who is truly your friend and who is not. College allows you to differentiate between a true friend and a fake friend, which is something that develops with time.

2. How to have a stable relationship. College relationships are way more serious than they are in high school. If you go through some crappy relationships during college, you are able to learn what you can do differently in future relationships in order to make them more stable. If you have secured yourself in a serious relationship in college, you learn how to maintain it, and throughout the relationship, you learn how to make it better. College is a time for maturing, and understanding how to resolve conflict with others.

3. How to have fun. Even though you have to be serious when it comes to classwork, college is a time for going out and doing fun things. You learn that it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break once in awhile, because having fun is a crucial part of life.

4. How to take care of yourself. This refers to many different aspects of taking care of yourself, from learning how to essentially live on your own, to eating well and exercising. Usually freshman year, you don’t care much about eating healthy and getting enough sleep, but over the years you realize how important these things are.

5. How to be responsible. Responsibility is a huge part of college because not only are you responsible for getting your homework done in time, but you also have outside responsibilities that come along with your independence. As more responsibilities get thrown on you throughout the years, you learn how to be a more organized individual.

6. How to work with others. You’ve been taught at a young age how to work with others, but it really sinks in during college. This is mainly because you get stuck doing group projects and working with people who you might not get along with. Being put in situations like these allow you to become more mature, and learn how to work with people who are different from you.

7. How to try new things. College is a time where new opportunities fly at you from every angle. Being in a new place on your own allows you to branch out a bit more than you’re used to. This is a good thing because it opens you up to new interests and new things that you might have never even tried before.

8. How to ask for help. During your college years, you come to realize that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help when you’re lost or confused. This can range from getting help on schoolwork to getting help with personal problems. This is something you learn because you’re maturing and realizing that getting help isn’t a bad thing, it’s only another thing that contributes to your growth.

9. How to be involved. Colleges have so many different organizations that you’re bound to have found at least one that you belong to. This involvement gives you some experiences that you might not have had without college. It also helps you meet new people who are interested in similar things to you, and sometimes these people can become your life-long friends.

10. How to find yourself. Essentially, college is the time in your life where you find out what you want to do in your future. With that, comes finding yourself. During college, you’ll sometimes lose yourself during your journey, and you might not have even completely found yourself by the time you graduate. But this doesn’t mean that you will never find yourself. You can take everything you’ve learned in college and apply it to your life, while continuing on your journey after graduation.

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How To Be A Less Cynical And More Positive Single Person On Valentine’s Day

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It’s that time of the year again when people are shelling out money for flowers, chocolates, cheesy greeting cards, expensive gifts, and fancy dinners. It’s also that time of year when the majority of single people in the world get cranky, annoyed, upset, and/or angry. This set of emotions tends to happen because they either wish they had someone to share Valentine’s Day with, they’re jealous of the couples who are celebrating, they hate the whole idea of Valentine’s Day, or a combination of two or more of these things.

What makes single people act so cynical toward Valentine’s Day? Sure, many would say that it’s a manufactured holiday that just gives Hallmark and other companies a jump up in revenue, but it’s also a day that is special to some people. There are many different things you can do to be a happier single person on Valentine’s Day.

If you are one of those people who are so focused on Valentine’s Day and you wish you had someone to spend the holiday with, there are plenty of things you can do to distract yourself. You can spend that time hanging out with your other single friends, and do something fun and exciting. If you are in a situation where you’ll be alone on Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid! You can be your own Valentine! As lame as this sounds, it’s actually nice to treat yourself to anything you want. Go out and buy yourself chocolates and nice wine. Put in some comedic DVDs (not romantic ones that will make you cry!) and laugh as loud as you want. Spending Valentine’s Day without a special someone does not have to be as pathetic as you make it out to be. Treat yoself!

If you’re someone who easily gets jealous of all the posts on Facebook that people share about what their significant other got them/did for them on Valentine’s Day, I have one simple solution: STOP LOOKING. Force yourself to stay off all social media for that whole day, and distract yourself with better things. If you don’t want to see all the lovey-dovey couples out on Valentine’s Day, then go buy yourself something nice and have a fun night in to yourself, or with friends. Stop inserting yourself into situations that will make you feel worse about being single!

If you’re the ultimate Valentine’s Day cynic who despises this holiday and trashes it along with whoever celebrates it, you need to stop. Just because you think the holiday is stupid, doesn’t mean that people who celebrate it are stupid. Some people look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day, and you shouldn’t let that bother you and your opinions. Let people do what they want, because everyone has different views on this day. Don’t put anyone down for the way they celebrate. You do you, they’ll do them, and that’s how it’s supposed to be!

All in all, you have to understand that it’s perfectly okay to be single. Whether you treat Valentine’s Day as just another day, or if you acknowledge it as a holiday, you’re the same person on February 14th as you are on any other day. Valentine’s Day isn’t meant for kicking single people to the curb while the happy couples rejoice. It’s a day where you should appreciate everyone in your life, regardless of your relationship status. You’ll feel a whole lot better if you don’t let Valentine’s Day affect you in a negative way.

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10 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Senior Year Of College

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Senior year of college can be a stressful time. Not only are you trying to figure out your fast approaching future, but you’re also dreading the fact that you have to leave all these wonderful friends you made over the years. Even though senior year is scary, it can also be your best year of college if you let it be.

1. Get involved in as many activities as you can. Join a school organization that you’ve always wanted to join, or even try something new that is out of your comfort zone. Make the most out of the last of your college experience!

2. Spend as much time with friends as possible. This is especially important if you are your friends are all going separate ways after graduation. You want to spend a lot of time with them so that way you’ll stay close friends after school is done.

3. Stop worrying about the little things. If you spend too much time worrying about every little thing, you’re using up valuable time. Instead, focus on all the good things in life and take advantage of them.

4. Party it up. Get all your college-style partying in NOW because you’re just going to look like an idiot if you do it after college. If you don’t like to party/drink, have your own kind of party with something you enjoy. Have a movie night, with lots of pizza and too many cookies, and sit under a blanket fort. GO WILD!

5. Explore. Go with your friends and find at least one new place that you have never been before. Even if your college is surrounded by nothing exciting, attempt to find something and make it exciting. You know you’re going to miss that place when you leave.

6. Don’t get too stressed about your classes. You have more important things to focus on! But at the same time, don’t let senioritis take over to the point of not even wanting to try. Find a balance and stick with it!

7. Let go of any people who are negatively affecting your life. This is the time when you can finally realize who should be in your life and who shouldn’t be. Don’t stick with people who are just going to bring you down. It’s not only a waste of time, but it also gives you unnecessary problems.

8. Don’t freak out about your post-graduation plans. I know this is tough to follow, but if you get overly panicked about your future, you won’t be able to calm down enough to actually focus. Just know that basically every senior in college goes through the same thing, and you’re not alone. You’ll figure it out soon enough.

9. Immerse yourself in things that you love doing. Whether you have a hobby that you enjoy, or a certain activity, do as much of it as you can. It’s really important to enjoy yourself because that will make you happy. Plus, you’ll have more free time now than you will after college, so use it up!

10. Just be you. By now, you’ve pretty much found yourself for the most part, so don’t ever try to be someone that you’re not. Go through life day to day and be as true to yourself as you can be. You’ll feel so much happier by just simply being yourself.

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