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Attitude is Altitude

21 Mar

This was the most moving video I have seen in quite some time. If after 4 minutes and 11 seconds I was inspired, I can only imagine the amazing impact that Nick has on audiences across the world when he holds events. Now this is a man who really makes you grateful for what you have.

Nick has a point. There are way too many people in the world who think they aren’t good enough — that they aren’t worth anything. I’ve been there and done that, and let me tell you that while it’s no walk in the park, I learned one thing pretty fast: you are the only reason you think you aren’t good enough. And before you’re like, “that’s not news,” hear me out. This isn’t a “you’re your own worst enemy” spiel, but rather a “stop blaming everyone and their mom and get over yourself” spiel. I hate to break it to you, but the greatest disservice you can do to yourself as a human being is call yourself a victim. Sure, I’ve been through hell and back in a lot of ways, and plenty of you have too, but we’re stronger than that.

If you’re unhappy with yourself or your life, try taking responsibility for it instead of chalking it up to a laundry list of “poor me’s.” Maybe you have been hurt by someone you thought you could trust. Maybe you have been through something traumatic. Maybe you have watched someone you love suffer at the hand of another person, or worse, an illness. But by using those things as an excuse to call yourself victim, you are letting them get the better of you. If you ask me, your haters and your obstacles shouldn’t be getting so much as a nod from you. If you’re going to make them a part of your life at all, don’t use them as crutches. Use them as stepping stones and rise.

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Does it Really?

13 Mar

We’re all familiar with the phrase “my life sucks.” I know I’ve said it, and you probably have too. We all have bad days, and sometimes it feels like things couldn’t get any worse. But it seems to me that we often forget how privileged and lucky we really are. So before you casually announce that your life sucks, think about:

  • The 105,000 people who have died today.
  • The 1 billion undernourished people in the world right now.
  • The 18,000 people who have died of hunger today.
  • The 1.3 billion people in the world who don’t have access to safe drinking water.
  • The 2.2 million deaths of children under the age of 5 this year.
  • The 30.6 million people currently infected with HIV.
  • The 1.5 million people that have died from cancer this year.
  • The 210,000 suicides that have occurred this year.
  • The 43% of the world population that lives without basic sanitation.
  • The 12% of the world population that can’t read this blog post.
  • The 88% of the people in the world that don’t have a computer.
  • The fact that if you have a fridge for your food, a closet for your clothes, a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the world population.

Does it really?

Appreciate what you have.

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hyp·o·crite (noun)

9 Mar

…a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

Okay, guilty. For those of you who have previously read this blog, or for those of you who scrolled to the bottom and started with my first few posts, you know what I’m talking about. In my defense, I did delete my Facebook for a solid couple of months in the fall but since you were probably directed here via Facebook, you can see that the hiatus didn’t last for long. I could try to justify myself in saying that in this generation Facebook provides a convenient and casual link between first-encounters and phone numbers which I really really needed to make friends in a new town, but then I’d also have to grab a shovel because it was only a few months ago that I was bashing the idea of social networking.

Acknowledgement of hypocrisy aside, I have decided that this is still going to be a really interesting blog about bettering yourself as a person and random cool things I feel like I should share — but for argument’s sake I’m going to modify the whole “social networking and surfing the web are evil” mantra and go with a gentler “social networking and surfing the web are good in moderation.”

Today, a friend of mine asked me what I’m giving up for Lent. Being Atheist, I hadn’t given it any thought. Apparently, deciding what to give up for Lent can be a struggle for some. So, to start spring off with a bang, I decided to make a list of things you can give up for Lent! Enjoy.

1. Taco Bell’s pseudo-meat delicacies: Okay guys, I get it. Your wallet appreciates the 88 cent deal. But I’m not so sure your body appreciates the 88 percent deal that Taco Bell’s got going on — I’d like to know who the brainiac was that thought bragging about 88 percent meat in their commercials would make my mouth water.

2. Giving up really cliche things for Lent: a specific type of candy, alcohol, Facebook — I mean, I could be wrong seeing as how I’m not very well-versed in the religion department, but isn’t Lent supposed to be difficult? Why not try coming up with something specifically tailored to yourself and your own vices? If giving up alcohol and Facebook is hard for you, let’s be honest… you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands!

3. Texting: we text because we’re afraid to be put on the spot. It’s easier to craft an eloquent response via text message than to respond immediately to someone on the phone. We’re losing genuine contact and interaction with the people around us. Why not try giving up texting for Lent and call your friends and family instead

4. Trying to beat this impossible quiz: no, seriously… don’t waste your time. It’s. Not. Possible.

5. Being judgmental: we all do it. We judge people at first glance, at first interaction, and even after knowing them for years. We judge how they look, how they smell, what they do, how they act, and what they say. You want something difficult to give up for Lent? Try this one on for size.

6. Justin Bieber: do I really need to explain?

7. Watching shows like Jersey Shore: not a single one of those guys is good looking, and what the hell is so exciting about TEE SHIRT TIME??

8. 5 Degrees: In Eugene, it’s cold till like… May. At least that’s what I’ve been told. My apartment’s electric bill has skyrocketed with the climate being colder, and I’m sure yours has too, unless you’re already eco-conscious! By giving up 5 degrees and cuddling under a blanket instead, you’re saving money and energy.

9. Drunk Facebooking/texting/dialing: …. it’s embarrassing, right? What better thing to give up for Lent than humiliation!

10. Jesus: wait! Hear me out. I’m thinking, Lent is when you’re supposed to give up something you love. If you’re practicing Lent, it would be safe to assume that you love Jesus. Therefore, isn’t it arguable that giving up Jesus for Lent would be an excellent candidate for sacrifice?

Welcome back :)

A Little Self-ish Today

16 Sep

You know what’s lame? Everyone and their mom recognizes these words, but if I asked you to define the differences between them, could you? Probably not. And if you can, then congratulations. Go get yourself a cookie. Here they are:

  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Respect

Self-Esteem is pride and satisfaction with oneself. Someone with high self-esteem is confident without being obnoxious or conceited, open and assertive about communicating their needs, not devastated by criticism, not easily defeated by setbacks, and not overly concerned about what others think. Don’t have it? Get it. Here’s how: Celebrate your strengths and achievements. Everyone makes mistakes — forgive yourself for yours. Everyone has weaknesses — forgive yourself for those, too. Change the way you talk to yourself (I always like to ask myself: “If you talked to others the way that you talk to yourself, do you think they would still be your friends?” If the answer is no, consider being more kind to yourself. As the saying goes, we are often our harshest critics). Don’t hold unreasonable standards for yourself. And lastly, instead of constantly criticizing yourself for your faults, try praising yourself for the parts of you that are beautiful.

Self-Confidence is a positive perception of yourself that allows you to have faith in your abilities. Someone with high self-confidence is a go-getter; they pursue their desires because they believe in their own capacity for success. Don’t have it? Well, don’t just sit there on your ass feeling sorry for yourself. Go get it! Here’s how: Be ambitious. Set goals for yourself. Learn to communicate: ask for what you want, and hear advice and counsel. Be loving and kind: nourish healthy relationships, and detach from relationships that don’t allow you to feel authentic. Be open to change. Be optimistic. And f it’s staying true to yourself or pleasing others, stay true to yourself.

Self-Respect is your acceptance of yourself, your character, and your conduct. People with high self-respect do not criticize themselves for who they are, but rather understand that they are human beings that make mistakes and have faults, and accept themselves as such. People with high self-respect are not so concerned by what others think of them, because they are content with themselves. If you are an excellent hockey player, allow yourself to believe it on your own instead of getting overly excited whenever someone pats you on the back and says you’re amazing. Sure, it’s nice to hear. But a person with high self-respect does not need compliments in order to accept and approve of themselves.

If you find yourself deficient in one or more of the areas listed above, well… apply the techniques I’ve so handily offered and do something about it! You, my friend, are your own worst enemy. You don’t need others to love you in order for you to love yourself. In fact, it’s the other way around. You need to love yourself before you can love others and they can love you. So get crackin’ :)

Loaded Questions

10 Sep

I drove 8 hours today. Do you know what your brain feels like after you drive 8 hours? If you’re from my generation, then you’ve probably played with Gak Splat (remember that gross green shit in a plastic container, that feels like play doh and flubber got their grind on and then popped one out?), and you know.

So I’ll keep it brief tonight — for my sake and yours. I have a challenge for you:

Stop sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, and take charge of your own life. Most people don’t really know how to do that. I used to be one of them, but now I’ve got a leg up on all y’all… and this is the part where you’re lucky, because I’m about to help you kick your mind into high gear (partly so that I can give my own a damn break)! When you’re done reading this, you’re going to go take a gander at these questions and give them a good hard thinking. Try to come up with some answers for yourself, and if you’re not too lazy, I might even suggest going so far as to write down both the question AND your answer. They’ll come in handy next time you’re feeling like him. Seeing some of these questions is going to suck, but that’s the point. They really make you think. When you read them, if you don’t like the answer that comes to you….

Do something to change it.

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