1. Acknowledge your pasts, failures, and emotions.
Accept the past no matter how messy or traumatic it was. Denying your history is counter-productive because it will always be an essential part of you. Use your past to evolve. Refrain falling for the entrapment of “what-ifs” – they are mirages designed to keep you stuck in one place. The past is already the past. Don’t obsess wishing you could change it.
Accept failure when it comes. When you fail at something, don’t beat yourself up over it because it’s pointless. The only thing you can do is learn and move forward. Accept the possibility of failure in all that you do. When you are presented with a task, don’t limit yourself due to your dread of failure. Come to terms with the fact you won’t always be number one at something and that’s fine – there’s nothing wrong with number, number three, or with defeat, regardless if our culture teaches us otherwise. Be engrossed with the journey of whatever you’re doing and try your best whether you end up succeeding or not.
Accept emotions that happen to you – bad or good. Greet painfulness, loneliness, and emptiness like new friends. Sit with them, get to know them, allow yourself to experience them. Embrace happiness, confidence, and satisfaction like old friends. Allow yourself to fully enjoy their company, but don’t cling to them when they leave.
2. Don’t shy away from fear.
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller
Fear is a healthy, normal emotion that can also be a great source of motivation. To believe that one should not be afraid is erroneous. Absence of fear is not bravery but foolishness.
Brave does not equal cold-heartedness, lack of softness, or constant strength. Brave is the ability to perform under duress while remaining true to yourself in the process.
If you are confronted with things which scare you, assess why you feel how you feel and think how you can overcome it. Push yourself to act however you want to act regardless of the fear coursing through you. Don’t let your fear of fear interfere with your life.
3. Although we must know when to say sorry, there are three things we must never apologize for: our age, our self-love, and our existence.
“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” – Caroline Caldwell
Don’t apologize for your body – how it matures, how it wrinkles, how it expands or shrinks. Don’t apologize for your stretch marks, or beer gut, or your acne scars. Grow old without shame or apology. Your body has the right to take space.
Don’t apologize for your mental health – how it hauls you down most days, how it flings you back up so high you’re not sure if someone can ever relate or understand. Own your mental illnesses and care for yourself both mentally and physically. Your mind, your ticks and tocks: every aspect of you has the right to take space.
Don’t apologize for existing – how you are simply yet perplexingly you, how you endure in spite it all. Pay no attention to the voices that say you are a burden to others because that’s simply untrue. YOU have a right to take space.
4. Don’t entertain bullshit from other people.
Ignore the senseless criticisms or snide remarks others say about you or your limitations. If people mock you over personal matters such as age, physical capabilities, addiction, mental illness, past mistakes, or hobbies – then they can go to hell.
You are who you are no matter what people say about you, so be whoever the heck you want to be.
Disregard people who are holding you back.
5. Recognize when it’s time to seek help.
It’s okay to be weak or to admit you need assistance whether in the form of encouragement from loved ones, prescription medicine, or professional help. You don’t need to go through the bad stuff alone by sheer will power. Conquer your ego, embarrassment, shyness, social anxiety, or whatever it is that makes you so hesitant to reach out.