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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Looking Perfect Is Unattainable

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As I squeezed into my skinny jeans, I started to wonder if Taylor Swift ever has to squeeze into her jeans. Not only did I conclude that she pretty much never wears jeans, but I also realized that even if she is able to put on jeans with ease, why should it matter to me? Other people’s jean struggles or lack of struggles, along with other’s “perfect” or “imperfect” bodies, shouldn’t matter to me or to you.

The message being spread to women is that everyone comes in different shapes and sizes. While this message is positive and encouraging, it doesn’t always counteract the messages that society and media are really sending us. The majority of famous women are shown in a “flattering” light, meaning, Photoshop works its sickening magic to virtually delete all visible flaws. This also means that all women who view these images are given an unrealistic idea of what you have to look like in order to be thought of as attractive. In reality, not one single person looks like the women on magazine covers. Striving to be as skinny and flawless as them is a waste of time because you will ultimately be left with disappointment.

Instead of wanting to look like someone else, why not embrace the way you naturally are? As long as you’re healthy, there’s nothing wrong with being a size that society calls “ugly”. Society doesn’t know anything when it comes to true beauty. Skinny shaming and fat shaming are the worst, because it makes it seem like there’s not a size that anyone is ok with. Instead of worrying about what others think of your size, or worrying about another person’s size, you should find ways to be happy with the way you are.

Your size can never define you as a person. Your physical body doesn’t reflect your personality, so if anyone is shallow enough to dislike you because of how you look, then they don’t deserve to get to know who you are. Your waistline doesn’t tell anyone how generous you are, the size of your pants doesn’t reveal how smart you are, and the overall shape of your body doesn’t determine your capabilities in life. You shouldn’t be down on yourself just because you don’t look stereotypically “perfect”.

The next time you look in the mirror because you’re not satisfied with the way your body looks, stop for a moment and just smile at yourself. Think about all your incredible traits and all the things that make you a unique person. If you’re able to see your smile in the mirror and feel good about it, that means you’re already on your way to accepting yourself. You have to remember that size is just a minor aspect of yourself, and that it should never take over. Size doesn’t matter, you matter.

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There’s Always Room For Improvement

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Imagine yourself climbing up a mountain: wind gently tousling your hair, using every muscle in your body to lift yourself up, sweating along the way. Suddenly, you stumble, due to wrong footing or feelings of weakness. But if you fall, you’re able to redeem yourself by clinging on to a lower area of the mountain. You continue your climb, but the reality of it all is that you will never reach the top of the mountain.

This is not meant to sound pessimistic, but rather, it’s a metaphoric visualization of realism. We have all heard of the typical saying, “life is like a rollercoaster, it has it’s ups and downs…” blah blah blah. While this statement is a true cliche, it’s never incorrect.

We all have bad days. We all have times where we feel down or make some kind of mistake. But this doesn’t mean that we are done for, or that there is no hope for us. It simply means that in order to get back on your feet, you have to push yourself and believe in yourself. You can overcome anything and everything as long as you try to do so.

Once you overcome your biggest struggles, you may feel as if you are a stronger person than you have ever been in your entire life. These feelings of euphoria are amazing, and should never be questioned, but you have to realize that you are not done growing. I’m not talking about physical growth necessarily, but mental and emotional growth. The human species, in itself, has evolved over time, and as individuals, it is our personal duty to evolve in our own unique ways. You shouldn’t be seeking out every flaw that you want to change about yourself, but you should take every single day as a challenge and a way to learn more about yourself.

Going back to the lovely mountain metaphor, the reason why you will never reach the top is because you will probably keep stumbling along the way, or even if you do keep climbing without interruptions, the mountain will keep getting taller. This is because you have new goals to reach, and nothing worth reaching is easy to get to. Climbing makes you stronger but there is always more strength to be found.

You won’t reach the top of the mountain, but that doesn’t mean you should think that you never will. Yes, I know, this statement is very contradictory. But it simply means that if you keep a positive attitude in life and if you always focus on being a better version of yourself, you can find your own hack on this thing we call life.

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An Interpretation Of One Republic’s “I Lived”

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“I Lived” not only consists of a catchy beat and beautiful vocals, but it also has incredible lyrics that are stated simply, yet contain a lot of meaning. This song can speak to anyone of any age, because it reflects the importance of going through the hardships in life, and growing stronger as a person. Here are my interpretations of a majority of the lines in the song:

“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall”

You shouldn’t be afraid to take chances/risks in life; you should just go for it.

“Hope when the water rises, you built a wall”

When life gets hard, you should be able to find a way to protect yourself and get through it.

“Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name”

Do something that will make a difference in the world and that you’ll be admired for.

“Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay”

Never follow the crowd no matter what; always do your own thing.

“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad”

Experience heartbreak at least once in life because it will help you grow stronger in order to prepare for a better love.

“The only way you can know is give it all you have”

Always try your hardest in any given situation.

“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain”

Don’t let your hardships bring you down completely, but accept the obstacles that come your way.

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“I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”

I lived life to the fullest, and even though I had to deal with difficult times in life, I still survived and made it through. I had to go through these hard times in order to live.

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up”

Make the most out of each day so you can look back and see how much you have done.

“And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup”

At the end of each day, be grateful for what you have accomplished and celebrate everything you have done. Also celebrate life, itself, because it’s worth acknowledging.

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Why It’s Okay To “Play The Field”

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A girl who dates around a lot is typically called a whore, while a guy who does this is called a player. We stereotype these people as serial daters, making them sound like killers, which is a bit extreme. If you don’t truly hurt anyone in the process of “playing the field” should it actually be considered taboo?

If you’re not committed to anyone, you’re completely free to date whoever you would like to date. Whether you don’t want to be tied down, or you just want to explore your options, dating around is a great way to find out what type of person is right for you. It allows you to get to know a variety of people in the world, and maybe you will be able find your match during this process.

In this generation, relationships are formed faster than the snap of a rubber band. Typically, a couple becomes “official” after only a couple weeks of dating. We have become a fast paced society, so this seems normal to us, but is it actually healthy? When we jump into a relationship, we are faced with difficulties because we learn more about the other person that we didn’t have time to learn beforehand. It makes me wonder what dating was like years ago, when a boy would ask a girl to go steady, only after giving himself the proper amount of time to know if she was the one. I’m sure relationships still had their flaws back then, but maybe they were still stronger.

Going on various dates can help you see what’s out there, rather than shutting yourself out because of one person who seems perfect at the time. Sure, you’ll eventually have to choose someone out of all these people that you meet, but that doesn’t mean you should choose the first person you lay your eyes on. Even if you just go on a few different dates, you can let yourself see the differences in people, and you can learn more about yourself too. You can learn about what you’re actually looking for and see what specific things you like about people.

I think “playing the field” has such a bad reputation surrounding it because of the way society has defined it. Society thinks that it means sleeping around, or even being unfaithful, but it doesn’t have to have those meanings at all, as long as you are doing it in a classy manner. You don’t have to commit yourself to someone right off the bat just because you think they have potential. Look around, and you could possibly find someone else with even more potential.

Think of it as a metaphorical representation of a soccer field. If you’re on offense, you’re not just standing in one spot the whole time, because that wouldn’t do anything for you. You’re running up and down the field trying to accomplish a goal. Ahem, “playing the field”. If you’re just sticking to one person before attempting to meet other people, you might not reach your goal.

There are many exceptions to this, so this is why I’m not forcefully telling you that you should play the field or else you’re going to fail in life. I’m just saying that it’s perfectly normal and perfectly okay to explore your options, especially if you’re unsure about being with someone. If you meet someone and you truly know from the bottom of your heart that he/she is the one, then okay, go for it! But don’t look at the people who play the field and automatically pull a red flag on them. They just choose to spend more time searching for that special person.

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