Take progress one step at a time

Abbey Whittington, Columnist

As the semester gets more stressful, I can see the look of sleep deprivation and worry across many faces, including my own.

The words coming from myself and peers show self-doubt; you can almost see bruises on our skin that reflect how much we beat ourselves up about our work or general lives.

Other than the world’s narcissists, when we look in the mirror, we tend to see the ugliest versions ourselves.

It is easy to get stuck inside your head where the harsh personal criticisms are serving as boxing gloves and your mental health is the punching bag.

During these stressful battles against ourselves, we always forget to do the following:

1. Understand criticism

It is easy to take criticism as a personal attack rather than a constructive discussion.

When you work hard on something, being asked to revise can be a hard pill to swallow.

But if we think about why someone tells us to change our work in the first place, we remember it is because that person cares and wants us to succeed rather than fail.

The thicker our skin during critique, the more ready we are to take on the world.

2. Give ourselves credit

Although it is hard to always love ourselves, we should not depend on others to reward or give us credit because that can easily lead to disappointment.

People are probably just as busy as you and just forget to mention a “good job,” but that does not mean they do not care.

It is also important that we focus on positive aspects of what we are doing to avoid falling into the dark pit of cynicism and self-hatred.

3. Measure success in healthy ways

If we measure success by how many people like us, then we will never be happy.

There is always going to be people who do not like you and things we could have done better, but those very flaws are what set us apart from each other and help us learn.

We also cannot measure success by how long or how much we put on our personal to-do lists. If we are only doing a few things that is OK. People will still respect quality over quantity.

Although it is great to be heavily involved, it is unwise to measure your worth by your productivity.

No one is going to hate you for taking care of yourself, which is going to help you in the end anyways.

Abbey Whittington is a junior journalism major and can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]