In my first year of university, I was a dense ball of frustration and stress, and even though I was constantly studying and working hard, my grades were far from successful. Almost every test I studied for, I completely bombed, and my marks on my papers were so bad you would think I was writing them in a foreign language.
Throughout the year I was eating healthier than ever, I was exercising, I was socializing with friends, I was getting enough hours of sleep, and I was generally pretty happy. All of this aside, I’m also really smart, and my writing and editing skills are above average, so there was absolutely no reason for my GPA to be just a few points away from academic probation.
But there were two things that I was doing very wrong.
- Even though I had no plan to go to graduate school, I put the expectation on myself that I needed to get 80s and 90s. And when I didn’t get these high grades, the emotional attachments that I had to my expectations let negativity flood into my mind.
- Whenever I was working on schoolwork, I wasn’t actually focusing on the task ahead. Instead, I was complaining about my professors’ crappy Powerpoint presentations (some were cringe worthy), or how boring the assigned readings were. I put my precious time and energy into anything other than focusing on the task ahead because in the back of my mind I was thinking “I didn’t do well last time so it must be because my prof is a dick and his lectures are crap”.
I played the victim card every other minute.
Now this may not be the exact situation that you are in, but I bet there is some part in your life where you put extremely high standards on yourself, and the fear of failure gets you a little emotional and makes you play the victim card. Or it brings your mood down low enough that you physically cannot get work done no matter how hard you try.
[Note: I’m not saying you should apathetically bullshit everything in your life. In fact, as a content creator I encourage you to fill everything with your love and passion, but if you are putting too much attachment onto something where it hinders your work, consider being flexible with your intentions]
For example, it’s the middle of January, you are wrapped up in blankets on the couch watching TV and the alarm on your phone tells you to go to the gym because you made a few good new years resolutions. Instantly like a bear being woken up early from its hibernation, you internally rage, “WHAT?! I gotta get out of this temple of comfort? My show isn’t over for another 30 minutes! By the time I get home my tea is going to be cold! PUT ON A SPORTS BRA? I WOULD RATHER DIE!”
We’ve all been there, don’t you dare deny it.
When we do things that we may not want to, we get defensive very quickly – and we need a solution to push past the emotions and negative thoughts that bring us into this defensive state.
Luckily for you, I have 2 really good methods for doing this.
- GET HYPED
How to relax: Say no to your negative thoughts/emotions and meditate. I cannot stress enough how important meditation is to keep your mind clear and calm. I meditate for about 10 minutes before every project or study session in order to clear away my negativity. If you’re in a time crunch, even just 1-2 minutes is still helpful.
You can also take other measures to relax such as take a bath or make yourself a tea, perhaps exercising helps you blow off steam. Whatever works for you!
(Need help meditating? Check this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6eFFCi12v8 )
How to GET HYPED: It’s as simple as doing something that brings you joy and motivation. For example if you like music, you can say no to your negative emotions/thoughts and instead put on some music and ecstatically sing “Whoaaaah, We’re halfway there! WHOAAAAAAHH LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER!!!” while energetically dancing around your house.
Perhaps you need to wash your face, or do your makeup, or maybe eat some candy. Essentially, you need to find a quick fix that will bring pump you up to the upcoming task.
And yes, my neighbours probably hate me with my 2am dance parties.
This is all actually very simple, we just need to remember to implement it when needed – like 95% of the other tools that we forget we have. So the next time you’re feeling a bit stressed out about an upcoming task, drop your attachments to the outcome and always remember to pick your battles. If some emotions or stressful thoughts come up, take a few minutes to relax or to get excited.
It’s actually quite the freeing feeling.
Wishing you all the best on your mission,