When faced with a difficult situation: remember who you are. It will keep you from letting that negativity spread through the rest of your life.
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Being friendly doesn’t mean you never run into conflict.
Case in point: I had a pretty tumultuous relationship with my advisor in graduate school. It cause me a lot of stress and distress. There was tossing and turning, there was anger and frustration, and there were a lot of tears.
Even after I graduated and I was living in a different city, the mention of her name or conversation about my dissertation would make this wellspring of anger rise up in me.
I was incredibly uncomfortable with this feeling, and throughout my time at UNC I did whatever I could to keep my anger in check proceed peacefully with my advisor.
Luckily, this extreme distress didn’t overwhelm my entire life, likely because I was working so mindfully to contain it. Many people aren’t as fortunate: a negative relationship or work environment overtakes their lives. They stop exercising, seeing friends, and taking care of themselves. They act in ways they wouldn’t under normal circumstances.
I think the best tool I used during that time to maintain healthy habits and my happiness was to remember who I am.
You see, whenever I was dealing with my advisor, I would forget. I would forget who I was. I would get angry, sad, and stressed. I wouldn’t living up to my own values and standards for how I want to live my life. I felt like I didn’t even recognize myself.
So I took measures to remember who I am.
My officemate and I decorated the office with inspirational quotes that correlated with the weekly newsletters I was writing each week. I made yoga a non-negotiable in my day. I made time to talk with friends and family who I was comfortable with being silly, happy, and carefree.
Remember who I am. That was the secret.
Now whether you’re going through a difficult time or not, figuring out what it means to “remember who you are” is incredibly important. For some people, it involves retreating and spending more time at home. For others, it’s getting out and getting active.
Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I value? What are the non-negotiables I need in my life to remember who I am?
If you have those practices in place, then the other ups and downs don’t phase you as much. Hard situations aren’t as serious, because you’re still you. You’re still taking care of your needs.
No matter the situation – you are you. Sometimes we just need help remembering.
This Week’s Assignment:
What makes you you? Make a list of some of your favorite activities that you want to maintain, no matter the circumstances Has there ever been a time in your life that you forgot who you were? How did you remember again? Head on over to our private Facebook group and answer our poll. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!