I was sitting on my bed last night thinking of my next move to beat this person across me. I can’t seem to win this match. Pressure, intimidation, self-doubt. The opponent is, in fact, myself.
This year has been a pretty tough year. New responsibilities came in my way, decisions had to be made, transition from one career to another while balancing my Master’s classes online–I don’t have the right to say I’m bored, if you know what I mean. This year tried my patience and self-reliance; I felt that new challenges tore my self-esteem apart and I thought I was losing every single day. But last night, while I was trying to figure out what I’m going to be in the next five years, so I won’t sound like an idiot whenever the job interviewer asks me that question, I realized the problem is not where I’m going, but it’s trusting myself that I could actually pull off a grand plan for my life.
I came up with five pointers that, perhaps, could help me develop a stronger personality and tougher skin. If I were to become a successful travel writer by the time I’m 30, wallowing at how life is so unfair at the end of the day will not make me one.
5 Be Not Afraid to Make Mistakes
Being a self-declared perfectionist, I try so hard not to make mistakes. When I say try so hard, it’s bordering on desperate. I’m pretty sure this kind of attitude arose from my relentless pursuit to please people. But making mistakes is part of the learning process. Make mistakes but learn from them. Take criticisms gracefully and professionally. More often than not, the first output is not the best. Never doubt abilities; never overestimate them either.
4 Saving is a Lifestyle
I found the reason why I always run out of money–I save for one thing and one thing only. Once I purchase a not-so-expensive (I argue) pair of shoes or whatnot, I’m broke again. What about the next item on my list that says “Future”? My brother taught me this. Never save on one thing only, then spend it the next. Doing that encourages impulsive-shopping behavior. They say live everyday as if it were your last, but it didn’t say spend hard-earned money as if there’s no tomorrow. What if there is still a tomorrow? Be future-oriented. We save to help us stand on our own two feet (with pretty shoes on!). Point is, saving should be purposive and sustainable. Saving is a lifestyle, not a phase.
3 Traveling Should Be A Smart Choice
Connected with the fourth realization, I thought that saving for a roundtrip ticket to one destination is the most kickass thing ever. I was wrong. When traveling, travel good. There’s a difference between a tourist and a traveler. I want to be a traveler. My touristy days were already spent onboard tour-buses when I was a kid. If one is going to spend anyway, spend on something that will benefit one’s experience and enrich their worldviews–or something to that effect. This is exactly the reason why I’m considering joining Global Crossroad. At least when I travel, I’d be able to do something worthwhile, put what I learned in college to use. Help out, for what it’s worth.
2 Insecurity is Self-Inflicted
One person specifically pointed out that I’m low in self-confidence. That person doesn’t even know me or what pathetic problems I’ve been going through but s/he said it anyway. It hit me right in the gut because it meant that even though I’m trying to hide my insecurities, they still resonate in my every action. That’s how rotten I am inside. I don’t believe in myself enough for others to believe in me. It makes sense, you know. Why should they trust me to deliver tasks or favors if I already gave up on myself without even trying. “I’m a smart girl, I can do this,” is the mantra.
1 Don’t Rush
When I was 15, I wanted to be in college already. I wanted to study in Manila, live in a dorm and commute to my classes. When I graduated from college, I wanted to go back to being a teen. It’s not only because of how I missed not having to worry about deliverables at work but it’s because I forgot what it’s like to be young. I think I’ve been going through this future-crap since I was a teen that dreaming got old pretty fast. I’m still worrying about this. If I was a happy and carefree teenager, I could have had happy thoughts to reminisce whenever I’m stuck in a rut. Right now it’s all “Where the hell am I going?” It makes me tired, and stressed out and feel old. 23 is NOT old. So now, I’m taking one step at a time. One day at a time. This does not only make every load lighter, but it makes me think and function more. It takes away pressure. I still have time to smile at life.
In conclusion, low self-esteem is a total waste of education and experience. I shouldn’t take myself too seriously because no one else does. And by that I mean I shouldn’t be doing things to please someone. I should just do well. Period.