How can I get better at whatever it is I am doing?
There are key moments every single day where we have the opportunity to decide whether to let situations fuel us to do better or make us want to quit.
I’ve always been the kind of person who enjoyed a good challenge. Whether it was sliding around larger and larger puzzles on the hardwood floor of my childhood home, or setting out to run a half marathon, I love feeling as though I am accomplishing something difficult.
When it comes to my favorite rock climbs I’ve ever done, the ones I remember the most are the ones where I felt optimally challenged. Those climbs where when I hit the last hold and just barely hang on. Truth is, I don’t necessarily value the occasional climb where I simply demolish a hard route without much struggle. I want to feel as though I’m just about to fall, and the only thing standing between a win or a whipper is my own grit and determination.
And those moments are always my favorite moments… until I fall.
On the other side of that great “I’m doing this” feeling is the sinking feeling that what I’m doing isn’t that hard, that it’s pointless, or that I’ll never be enough. The elated feeling that comes from success is contrasted by an equally intense feeling of defeat.
During an intense moment like this, it can be hard to gain control of your mind. But long-term growth comes when you can make a conscious decision to learn and move on.
Whenever I’m scrolling through Instagram, I subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) compare myself to those I follow. Sometimes I’m inspired by the work or actions of others, and sometimes they make me feel small.
“Why am I not doing things like that?”
“Why am I not at that point in my career yet?”
“Why didn’t I think of that?”
Going down the comparison rabbit hole is a crossroads for me. I can either decide to let it fuel my internal fire or let it put it out. Why is it that sometimes I get inspired, and sometimes I get put down? More than likely it’s the situation that is surrounding me. Maybe I woke up feeling anxious, or I had a rough day at work. However, through continually making conscious decisions to turn poisonous comparisons into inspiration, I can strengthen my own mind. I can make myself more confident.
So how do we strengthen ourselves to make those decisions? One of the most important things you can do is to remember that YOU are in control of your own success and happiness. Other people’s accomplishments do not diminish your own. Everyone is on a different journey.
Taking time to reflect on these experiences can be just as important. Sometimes I find myself filling every spare moment with music, podcasts, or social media. Taking some time to slow your brain down and reflect on feelings or experiences you’ve had can help you learn from them.
Every hard moment is an opportunity to further your habit of staying positive. When a hard moment comes, use those feelings of self-doubt as a reminder to encourage yourself. If you aren’t great at encouraging yourself, surround yourself with people who lift you up. Talk to them about it!
And KEEP GOING. You will see an improvement. You will get better. But remember, it’s your mental well being that really matters. Take the time to work on it!