“Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss
My dreams are so big they scare me. Moving from one project to the next, satisfying demand after demand, I do a lot to ensure that I’m optimizing every moment of my time and making the most of every experience. I honestly live in fear that I’m not doing enough so I take on more than I should, and yes, some may call this crazy, but I call it intrinsically motivated.
I am the only person who can judge how far I can go because it’s all captured by a particular mindset — my mindset. When your power and energy stem from within, the push never stops. Every day, I motivate myself with new goals, new ideas, and new choices because it’s exciting to challenge yourself and explore new layers of who you are.
My mind easily finds itself speeding 1,000 thoughts a minute at times so I have had to explore ways to “decompress” — running happens to be one of the most effective. So while running, I reflected on the expectations I have for my body and mind and came to a mentality that really resonated with me. If I think I’m better than I actually am at something (whether it be coding, writing, running, hiking, etc.), will I let myself go farther than if my mind was clouded by self-doubt?
You are truly your own worst critic, and it’s hard to move forward when you are the obstacle. I’ve turned my self-doubt into my biggest fan, the feelings that motivate me and keep me true to my goals.
But how can you keep yourself “in the game” with an empowered mindset?
1. Organize yourself.
I live by my To-Do lists, whether they are online (right now, I’m using an app called AnyDo) or offline (last school year, I was OBSESSED with Passion Planner). There’s a sense of confidence that comes with organizing your day either the night before or the morning of, not to mention a sense of achievement that comes with checking the things you’ve done off your list. These feelings keep you accountable and moving throughout your day.
If you’re more artsy or creative, try out Bullet Journaling —something I’ve been itching to start. I’d love to be able to look back at my months and feel expressions/moods.
2. Rise above negativity.
There’s no rulebook on how to live so the words of others do not dampen how you feel about yourself or how you chose to live. Your life is yours to explore, and that in itself is beautiful. Of course, be open to criticism and learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. Don’t be afraid of failure because the way I see it — failures lead to future successes.
Pay attention to your dreams and work for them. Allow yourself the power to have an ambitious spirit. Never let anyone convince you to be conventional because the world always benefits from some healthy uniqueness and individuality.
3. Find ways to inspire yourself.
We are so lucky to live in this age where everything is available to us with just a couple of clicks. And with this rise of empowering works like Hidden Figures, Girlboss, and The Social Network, it’s easy to find a source of external empowerment that can just remind you of what you’re truly capable of. I love it when I watch a movie and leave super driven. Seeing people change the world, live their best lives, and work passionately fills my heart with so much joy and inspiration that I carry with me.
Right now, I’m watching The Bold Type. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do, but every time I turn it on, my mood changes. I feel powerful and committed to my work, just like the three female protagonists. Their energy and vibrancy are contagious, opening me up to a life path I had never particularly thought of. For those pre-meds, I know a lot of my friends love Grey’s Anatomy for its setting and environment. It’s not the most accurate but it’s TV and still offers a scoop on the behind-the-scenes of a hospital. For pre-law, How To Get Away With Murder, and for psych, Bull.
Live a life you’re proud to call your own.
I don’t plan on my future self looking back at my years with one ounce of regret, one ounce of “oh, I could’ve done this so differently” or “wow, I could’ve accomplished so much more”. And neither should you. We work too hard right now to force ourselves to settle for anything less than where our potential can take us. Move mountains and change the world because no dream is too large for you.