Intellectual Wellness: Fear

Whoa, whoa, whoa. 2 posts from me on back to back days? I’ll be honest, I really enjoyed my time away but at the same time I have missed this blog quite a bit. I’m moving this blog into a different direction and offering more insight on my personal opinions of wellness topics and what inspires me. I got to the point where I felt like I was writing for other people and not writing for myself anymore. So I’m trying to remove the idea that this blog is a business and remember that this blog is a reflection of me. I hope future posts convey this much more clearly. Now let’s get into this!

It’s no secret that I love podcasts. They are my favorite thing to listen to when I walk to work or when I am doing random tasks that don’t really require any brain power but need to be done. NPR’s TED Radio Hour is just hands down my favorite podcast right now. I love the topics they discuss, I love the people that the feature, I love the structure of the show, I love every single thing about it. I find myself listening to it and feeling inspired and motivated and learning all the time from it. One podcast that I recently listened to was about fear and failure. Ah yes, the things that seem to cause us to hold back the most in life. I know a thing or two about failure. Actual failure. My first semester of my undergrad I was a marketing major. I was taking a macro economics class and I walked into the final knowing that even if I scored a 100% of the final, I wouldn’t have a shot at even getting a D- in the class. I didn’t just fail this class, I massively failed this class. I landed myself on academic probation, lost my academic scholarship, I found myself completely lost. While I was never a straight A student with a perfect GPA, I was always an honor roll student with strong grades. School was never easy for me but it was never that hard either. I had never failed this horribly, ever. I never retook that class. It still remains on my transcripts. And it always will. It was one of the hardest and best lessons I have every learned. Because through failing, I found my passion – psychology. Which is exactly what I said in my personal statement to graduate schools I applied to. I wanted to address my poor performance in my first semester of my undergrad because that killed my GPA. I wanted graduate schools to know that I was resilient and that even if I did fail (hopefully not as horribly) I would be able to come back stronger than ever.

See what this story of my failure has to do with fear is that we often have a fear of achieving our goals or dreams. We are afraid of failing and of making mistakes. We see failure as the ultimate let down and not a learning opportunity or an opportunity to grow as an individual. We forget that grit and determination can help us remain resilient in tough situations. And that at the end of the day, even if you do fail or make a mistake, you at least tried. You at least tried to do something new or different or something that was outside of your comfort zone. And even in failing, you grew as a person. You pushed yourself. Whether it is at work, at home, in your workout, in school, with friends, family, loved ones – you made an effort to not sit back and take the easy way. And while that is scary, we should never let fear get in the way of achieving a goal.

Unless it is a scary movie, then fear always wins. I hate scary movies.

Overall Wellness: Why Do Dreams Matter?

Hi. This is a post that has no research to back it up, just personal opinions. So…yup. Sometimes I do these types of posts…

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw an article from Thought Catalog that just made me think back on my dreams. My goals and my ambitions for myself, both professionally and personally. And it got me to thinking, why do dreams matter? I get that they matter in a sense of direction that you take your life and setting goals (or that could just be the analytical side in me), but why do they matter in your life? How many people really achieve their dreams? We hear stories about so and so overcoming all the odds and making their dreams happen, but what about the others? What about the people who are still chasing their dreams but will probably never catch them? What propels them to keep chasing? What makes dreams so powerful? Is it because it gives you that internal motivation to do something/be something/be somewhere/etc that you love to your core?

I mean really, how many people just in your life have you known that have said all they want to do is live in New York City? I see this quote pop up all the time on tumblr about just give me a small apartment, just enough to live off of and insert dream here (usually it is to live in NYC or to be a writer). What is it about a dream that makes a person believe that they will be inherently happy once the dream is achieved and they can throw everything else out the window. They just need the basics, the necessities and they will be fine. But the problem with that is there is no definition of the necessities. No definition of just enough money to get by. Do you mean just enough money to pay the bills and that’s it? Because research definitely suggests otherwise that having more than “just enough to get by” actually does increase happiness. (Just to be clear, money does not equal happiness but stability and more specifically financially stability does.)

Do we live in a too whimsical world that believes that magical things can just happen? When does having a healthy does of reality help out? Or should be keep our dreams alive and keep chasing them relentlessly?

Or should I stop asking a million questions 🙂

Mental Wellness: Yes, Another Mental Wellness Post.

At the beginning of September, I was in our marketing department’s work area and I noticed on their marker board they had written “Embrace the Chaos”. And I immediately was like, wow, that is a really good mindset to have, especially given our field. And then I read THIS post by Sarah (aka runfargirl) detailing how she was embracing the hills, not only in her running but also in her life.

I wrote yesterday that I have been having a rough couple of weeks and I just keep getting hits. I keep thinking about these two different people and their mindset of embracing the rough patches and working through them instead of just falling victim to the situation. Now, for me, I know that I need to have some time to wallow and be sad and angry and cry about something. But I also know that I need to set a respectable amount of time to do so and then I need to get it back together. For me, part of embracing the hard times is knowing how to cope with the hard times and knowing that it is ok to be sad. It reminds me of something Shawn Johnson (I’m from Iowa, I can’t help but be her fan!) said a few years ago in regards to gymnastics. She said something about when you stop getting nervous or scared about competing it means you should probably stop because you don’t care anymore (super paraphrased). I sort of apply that to me. When something bad/stressful happens to me and it doesn’t phase me…well…it probably means I didn’t really care that much about it.

But there is also a limit to how much wallowing you can do. There is a time to wallow and a time to get up, brush yourself up, and keep trucking up those hills. Keep fighting. Keep moving forward. Keep on keeping on!

I had my time to wallow. And now it is time to forge ahead and onwards and upwards from the hill.