When you realise that you don’t have to rely on other people to make you happy, or validate your existence, it’s a revelation.
There’s no more waiting for likes or opportunities or feeling like a failure because you didn’t hear back from that job you applied for.
That Instagram photo can be a reminder of an afternoon spent exploring somewhere new with friends. You can focus on the memories the picture sparks in you, instead of the counter underneath that is never quite high enough.
You can just be, without waiting for the next achievement to make you feel good, like a hit of the drug you’re addicted to.
You can forget that job application as you move on to something better. You keep working towards the next thing and you understand that the lack of contact isn’t personal.
When you get the next job you’re flying, until a strategically placed piece of criticism brings you crashing back to earth, questioning your abilities and even your value as a person. Learn to recognise the constructive criticism and shut down the comments that say more about the other person than they do about you, or you’ll never be able to break free of someone else’s opinion.
There are people out there who will always criticise, or find something to be negative about. You’ll work for people who expect everything to be done their way and can’t see the value in anything that doesn’t have their fingerprints on it.
Don’t let them crush you.
Spend time doing the things you enjoy, for no other reason than it makes you happy. The older you get, the more responsibilities you have to other people. But you still have a responsibility to yourself.
It’s okay to step back and evaluate things. Sometimes you need to do that to centre yourself, to focus on the things that matter.
If you let other people’s ambitions and dreams replace your own, you’ll never feel like a success, because you aren’t being true to yourself.
Always remember that you have value. There’s no one else like you. You don’t have to be rich or have a fancy job title to be content.
You’re special, just as you are.