1. When you don’t get the job, whatever “the job” may be. The best thing to do here is not put all of your eggs in one basket, instead of banking on one opportunity and then being overly-hard on yourself when it falls through. You need to take it one step at a time, and use all the preparation you put into those interviews and your resume into other opportunities.
2. When someone doesn’t like you back, even when it seems like everything aligned for you both. It’s difficult to accept that someone can be attracted to you, and love you as a friend, but still not want to date you. And when you feel it for them, it makes you feel like you’re in the wrong when they don’t feel it for you. Accepting that you can’t change a person’s feelings is nearly impossible, but it isn’t your fault.
3. When you don’t like someone the way they like you. You can’t fake feelings.
4. When a close friend blames you for something that is genuinely not your fault. If you have a friend who makes you feel like you can’t do anything right, it’s not you, it’s them.
5. When it feels like you’re lost. You cannot beat yourself up for not knowing exactly what direction you’re supposed to be going in at every given moment.
6. When you can’t decide between opportunities, because you don’t fully understand what your next step should be. Having too many options is a very, very good problem to have, even though it might feel like your brain is being torn in 800 different directions.
7. When you waste a few hours that were supposed to be spent working, finishing a paper, cleaning, or applying for jobs. Sometimes things get pushed because you spent an extra hour on the phone with a friend, or just needed an additional hour to process things by yourself with a glass of wine. It doesn’t need to be the end of the world, nor does it need to derail your day, as long as you don’t completely lose your motivation.
8. When your place isn’t spotless every single time you have a guest. You don’t need to put yourself through the wringer just to make sure that every last dust bunny has been cleared in your apartment.
9. When you feel like your other friends are having more success in their careers, or in their love lies. Or whenever you’re feeling like you’ve fallen “behind” everyone else. It is so crucial to realize that everyone is moving at their own pace — especially in their 20s and 30s — and what might be “right” for one person might be completely wrong for you.
10. When it feels like a job doesn’t value you as much as you want, and it makes you start questioning your worth.
11. When you don’t think you can afford to go out to a meal with your friends, or decorate your apartment like your friends, or even pay the same rent as them. The financial act of “falling behind” is equally hard to grapple with, but it’s no reason to be unkind to yourself.
12. For the little fights you might get into with a significant other. If you have a personality that pushes you to pick small fights because there is some bigger problem in your life, you’re not alone. And your S.O. won’t fault you for a tiny freak out here and there. The best thing to do is be open and honest about what’s really upsetting you, instead of getting worked up because you’re handling something irrationally.
13. When someone at work or school is treating you with less respect than you believe you deserve. It really makes you question your value, but that isn’t fair because you need to give yourself a voice, and stand up for yourself whenever possible.
14. When you’re struggling to stay motivated. What a lot of people don’t realize is that they might be suffering from a bit of burn out if they’re pushing themselves too hard. The answer might not be to keep pushing harder, and demanding more of yourself, but instead, to give yourself a break.
15. When you lose your confidence and don’t speak up, even when you have a great idea. Instead, write down your ideas before going to class or a meeting, and then you’ll have something to consult, you’ll know what you want to say, and you’ll be confident enough to articulate your points.
16. For saying the wrong thing, because you felt the need to say something. The pressure to fill a silence tends to always fall on one person, and you don’t need to berate yourself if a conversation topic falls flat. There are much more important things going on, and you don’t need to surround yourself with people who are less-than-forgiving.
17. When you feel like you’re not giving your body the care it needs. When you’re feeling self-conscious about your body, it’s easy to slip into bouts of upset and get angry that you aren’t caring for yourself the way you should be. Unfortunately, giving yourself a hard time about your body can sometimes make you treat it worse, and keeping a positive mindset (even when it’s crazy hard) can push you to care for your body better.
18. When you look at people who are ridiculously photogenic on social media and it makes you feel bad about yourself. Give yourself a break and quit the app.
19. And when you just generally look at Instafamous people with beautiful workspaces and wonder why your life doesn’t have a coffee cup balance perfectly next to your dust-free laptop. Same advice as #18.
20. When you feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort, but you’re still coming up against a brick wall. It sometimes feels like you’re hitting the same rock over and over and over again, and that can push you to beat up on yourself, when really you need to take a step back and rethink your strategy.
21. When you don’t see eye-to-eye with your parents, and you can’t figure out whether you’re in the wrong, or whether you should be following their advice. There are two schools of thought here: on the one hand, considering all the advice that comes your way can be really helpful, but on the other hand, it’s really important to make sure you’re not getting pushed to make decisions because you’re under your family’s thumb.
22. When you made the wrong choice, and you know it as soon as it happens. If you can turn back, and get yourself out of the jam, do it. But if you’re already stuck in your own mistake, you may as well be brave, ride it out, and learn the lesson.
23. When you feel like you’re not enough — for someone, or for something. It’s too easy to be hard on yourself, and hold yourself to unfair standards. But you need to challenge yourself to remember that you really are enough.
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