Everyone has a list of thing they wish they would do before a certain deadline. A bucket list. A 30-before-30 list. Well, I have an UN-do list.
I’m not exactly proud to say that I have a few bad habits. But, the good part is that I want to break them and, even though I don’t have a time-specific deadline, I still wish I’ll manage to finish my list as soon as possible. So, here it is:
- Procrastinating (at the worst times)
I know we all procrastinate. It’s like a default action we do when we dread starting something, like an essay, a report, chores and others. But what I’m talking about here is that moment when I have 3 more hours until a big exam and I know I don’t know enough, and yet I scroll mindlessly through my Instagram, or Pinterest (and we all know how Pinterest can absorb your soul for a solid 6 hours, if you’re not paying attention).
Or better yet, when I know I only have 1 hour before a meeting at work and I need to prepare some documents, and instead I’ll just watch YouTube videos until 10 minutes before the meeting, when I will go into a frenzy and my laptop’s keyboard will start overheating from all the typing (although this doesn’t happen daily, otherwise I wouldn’t have a job anymore, it *has* happened a few times).
- Not listening
I read an article once, which hit me like a ton of bricks. It said that many people don’t listen, they just wait until they can speak again. While it doesn’t fully apply to me, I did notice that sometimes I waited for the other person to finish talking, so I can reply. I’m not proud of doing this, which is why I’m publicly admitting my errors, hoping that this will be the first step in being a better person.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m the furthest thing away from being unsympathetic, I have listened to my friends while they spilled their heart out, I have comforted those who needed comforting and I most certainly did not ignore someone when something was troubling them.
The “not listening” part I’m talking about here is referring to the lighter conversations, the gossip, the rants. Just waiting for my turn to speak is something I want to cut out completely from my life, as it is a negative behavior which I don’t want to spread.
- Resisting change
Change is good. But, if you suffer from anxiety like I do (yes, medically certified, I’m not just assuming titles), you might find change to be terrifying, even if it is a step in a new, but good direction. I need to teach myself that when the environment is changing, I should adapt to it, because I’m at that age when I can adapt to almost anything.
It’s not like I’m 90 and someone first introduces me to an iPhone. I’m 22, and I can shift and change along with the times around me. After all, “survival of the fittest” doesn’t only refer to how athletically fit you are, but also to how mentally fit you are to adapt to the new. I know it is probably going to take a while, but I need to work with myself, because no one else is going to teach me how to accept and include anything new in my life, because no one else *lives* my life (cue Bon Jovi – It’s my life).
- Under-estimating my abilities
Like I said, living with anxiety is not easy. So, naturally, when a new opportunity shows up, my anxiety will whisper in my ear “Why bother trying that? If you fail, everybody will just laugh at you, so spare yourself the embarrassment and stay put” (I’m not hearing voices, relax, but this pretty much sums up any doubt I’ve ever had).
I’m not bragging here, but I’ve had a good education, I’m pretty skillful in different areas in my life, when I start something I make sure I give it my 110%, I’m mannered, and not to mention, I’m a fast learner. So, why should I not try something new?
Lately, I started adding some motivational quotes in my weekly planner, because when I’m visually stimulated, I make an effort and put my insecurities aside and give it my best shot at something. All I need is that little push, that initial nudge in the right direction. So, insecurities and underestimating my abilities are definitely on my un-do list.
“You don’t get what you don’t ask for” – Sophia Amoruso.
- Worrying what others think
I do give a damn about what others think. And I should. At least when it comes to family and close friends. However, it should not make a difference what a stranger thinks about me, or someone who I will probably never see again. And yet, it seems to be a common problem among my generation. We live our lives with a constant care of what other people might think of us, of our lives, of our friends, etc.
This is why so many people post dozens of overly-exciting photos on social media, while their lives are completely different: they might be going through a rough patch, they might be having some difficulties at home and, in order to create a diversion, they over-compensate on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It’s true, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the number of situations like the ones I mentioned is rising by the day.
Leaving the social media environment aside, this problem follows us in our day to day lives – “No, I can’t wear that brightly-colored skirt which I love, people will laugh”… does that sound familiar? I have had to tone down my personality for years, in fear of what others might think (granted, someone did have a sort of bad influence on me at that time), but for the last 3 years I learned that if someone likes you, they like you for who you are, pink skirt and all.
Also, if some stranger on a bus might think I’m a weirdo if I dyed my hair 2 colors at once, good for him, I didn’t wake up this morning to impress him or her. Being unapologetic of myself has been the most liberating thing I have ever accomplished.
This was my un-do list for the remainder of this year. If you have any suggestions, please let me know, I am always looking for improvement 🙂