Happy to be Human
This fall I have embarked on a journey to obtain my Masters degree. With this goal I have been inundated with papers, tests, lectures, and more reading than I have ever been assigned in my life. These time-consuming assignments have enabled me to get a clear picture of what happens when I am faced with difficult work. At some points I have been proud of myself. I wrote a paper last week, studied for multiple tests, completed readings and homework, and was still able to workout and enjoy time with friends.
At other times I got a glimpse into a frustrating side of myself. There were situations when I was studying or writing when I would catch myself coming upon a difficult task and my reaction would be to avoid. This frustrating tendency to avert my attention because I am doing something difficult irritated me.
While I am grateful for the self-awareness that enabled me to see this annoying habit, I would be lying if I said I did not have thoughts of self-deprecation. Some thoughts that ran through my mind were: “Why do I have to force myself to grind through random parts of writing or reading?” “You should probably strive to be perfect.” And my favorite… “Sucks to suck.” Pretty depressing, right? I could probably complete an entire research paper on my self doubt, but me focusing on why I am annoyed at myself for failing would not be very interesting to read so I am going to focus on some solutions I have created for my issue.
Awareness was the first step for me towards a solution to my problem. If I am aware of my bad habits, I am obviously more likely to want to work towards fixing them.
My second step was to relax. No one is ever going to do anything perfectly and part of the beauty of the human experience is our humanness and imperfections. It is also important to point out that if I am struggling to focus on a subject that I care a lot about (i.e., Human Development/Counseling/Writing), it might be time for me to take a break and give myself some slack. #noburnoutsplz
If we are striving for perfection and not greatness we are less likely to put ourselves out of our comfort zones. There are a lot of other things I could do besides go to graduate school, and I would probably be good at those things. Greatness is the goal though and my ability to see and experience some of my imperfections and failures is actually a good sign.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, I encourage you to dig deep and figure out where that friction is coming from. My commitment to get my degree stems out of a desire to become the best version of myself and there aren't many things about this season that feel easy. My favorite part about this journey is that I get to dig deep and use grit to accomplish my goals. It is scary and I am sure I won’t be perfect, but I know I am on the right track.