Categories
empowerment mindful at work

Encouraging Young People To Be Authentic and Mentally Strong

Mental strength is not something we are taught in school. We’re advised to get good grades, earn accolades, attend a good college, and find a suitable career upon graduation. Most graduates don’t even have the opportunity to work in the field they studied, let alone pursue a degree in a subject they’re passionate about.

Students listen to their parents, societal expectations, and those who came before them. “Go into finance,” “work your way to the top,” and “lean in” are the messages we hear as we try our best to make a living for ourselves. Our best doesn’t seem good enough, leaving many anxious, depressed, and doubtful.

Who is actually encouraged to be authentic? At what point in our lives are we advised to be mentally strong?

Success comes in many forms, but to me, true success is learning to embody being true to ourselves, not what society tells us we “should” be.

We’re given hearts, souls, and dreams for a reason; why would we sell them to corporate America?

I’m currently 33 years old and have lived in Metro Detroit, San Francisco, Austin, New York City, and Boston as a young professional. I searched near and far to find happiness and success, yet I kept running from myself because I could never seem to find my place.

I didn’t stop to explore the big question of “what is fulfillment?” until I left New York in July of 2016. I purged my fashion blogger / PR girl wardrobe, abandoned my Astoria apartment, and sent boxes home to Michigan. I spent that summer living simply at a family lake house, finally learning the real meaning of “mindfulness.”

Instead of racing to the top, I began to dig deep.

Although each profession has a purpose, it’s the ego and greed attached to certain people or positions that irks me. Earning a big paycheck doesn’t make a person strong; what would they do without it? What type of person are they without the title attached to their name?

It’s easy to hide behind a career, wealth, or a facade; but the true accomplishment is knowing who you are on the inside. It takes mental strength to believe in one’s self; yet when you realize you are already enough, the world becomes much brighter, and much more hopeful.

Categories
self discovery

Instant Gratification: Why It Doesn’t Work

We all want to feel good, right?  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a positive mindset is ongoing work; we’ll never discover a “magic cure” or a key to happiness.

However, here is the real secret:

Happiness comes from within.

So, how do we create happiness within ourselves?  It takes a lot of work, re-framing our thoughts, and building a solid foundation.  Whether it’s a spiritual practice or health routine, finding a way to empower ourselves is key to long-lasting fulfillment.

Let’s think about instant gratification for a minute.  As a woman who used to go out and spend $400 on a handbag, spend money mindlessly at a bar, or go on dates to feel better when in an uncomfortable state, it always left me empty inside.  I always regretted my decisions, whether it was due to something I said while drinking, being late on a bill, or  never hearing from the guy again (and yes, sometimes all three were correlated!).

It’s not a very good feeling when you’re seeking validation from the outside.  Those handbags in my closet picked up dust, my mental health suffered from drinking, and I didn’t know how to function without validation from outside sources.

I had to stop, reset, and learn new tools to cope with being uncomfortable.

So, in October 2016, I took a month to do just that.  At the time, I had left New York City, attempted a life in Chicago, and had yet to decide to move to Boston.  With no assets to my name or home to call my own- not even a city to claim as mine- I had a completely blank slate.

I had no idea what to do; all I had was faith.

It took a few twists and turns to learn what I wanted out of life, but I worked with amazing coaches, leaders, and people in my support circle to help me see the good in myself when I couldn’t recognize it on my own.

Now, with a solid foundation, I am not only able to pass on what I have learned to others, but I no longer seek outside validation.  I am confident in the woman I have become.  Sure, I still like a nice handbag, but I learned the value in quality over quantity- in all areas of my life.

I hope I have been able to help you live beautifully through my writing this past year and a half, for this blog is a journey from the very first week I moved to Boston.  I am always here to talk, so please feel free to reach out if you’re going through a rough patch, are seeking guidance, or need a listening ear.

Remember: life is a marathon, not a race!

When you invest in yourself, others will invest in you, too.