STORIES OF A PERPETUAL PESSIMIST

Has anyone else heard this phrase a thousand times over but not really thought about what has made someone say it to them?

Since finishing uni, I’ve been lucky enough to land myself a job in the area I’ve been focusing on for most of my life. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be starting my first “proper” job as a digital designer at River Island, which I’m super excited about! It wasn’t something I was expecting to land as my first job at all – which leads nicely into what I want to talk about in this week’s blog post…

The title of this post comes from something my boyfriend says to me on probably a weekly basis, and is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m generally quite a glass-half-empty kind of person, whereas Reece is much more optimistic. This means he has to put up with me seeing the negatives while he sees the positives, along with being, apparently, completely blind to my abilities. This has really made me think about the way we view ourselves, and what we can do to try and be a bit more optimistic!

Stop comparing yourself to others
Looking back and thinking about it, I feel incredibly lucky to have had some of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had – completing a uni degree, holidays, getting a job being just a few of them. However, at the time, I realise I was comparing myself to others and where they were at in their life, rather than appreciating what was happening during that time. I think by trying to live in the moment and appreciating what is happening to you in your own life, it becomes much easier to recognise and take in things as they happen, something I’m definitely going to try and do more.

Impostor Syndrome
Following on from this, I read an article a while back (I forget where, but it was something like this by The Debrief – I’m a little bit obsessed with their articles and I reckon everyone should follow them!) which has stuck with me for a while about something called “impostor syndrome”. Although it sounds scary, it’s actually incredibly common, and I feel like many people will have this to some extent. The basic idea of it is that by yourself to others, you end up with unrealistic ideals for yourself, making what you’re doing seem pretty rubbish. In actual fact, you’re probably doing pretty great! My biggest encounter with this was at uni, when I tended to feel as if I was out of my depth and that everyone’s work was much better than mine, yet was somehow still passing modules to a good standard and getting interviews with my portfolio (there is a point to this, I swear, I’m not just having a brag!) My point is, if you’re getting to where you want to be but have no idea how you’re doing it – you’re doing something right, and someone out there likes it, so keep doing it, you’re awesome!

Listen to those around you
I often feel like people are only saying nice things to me because they know and like me (sorry Reece!) Creatives such as myself thrive off constructive criticism in order to improve their work – one of the first things that’s drummed into you at my uni is that you don’t always have to say nice fluffy things about people’s work, and for that I’m eternally grateful because otherwise I would never have passed my degree! It does, however, lead you to be slightly more sceptical about compliments and comments – it feel like there is always more that can be done and something else that can be achieved. Apply this to the ‘real world’ – every day, we see people that are we are led to believe are ‘prettier’, ‘more talented’ and ‘better’ than us, again leading us to strive toward the impossible. To combat this, I think it’s important to listen to those who are encouraging and rotting for you – your friends, family, partner, whoever – because they’re probably telling the truth. These are the people that know you best, and want you to succeed, so they’re going to (hopefully!) speak the truth in order to get you there!

So to that end – I think we could all stand to be a little more positive about ourselves and our achievements, and realise just what we’re capable of without wondering if we’re ‘good enough’. So go apply for that job you’ve been on the fence about for weeks, and who knows, you might just realise your boyfriend was right all along – you’re better than you think you are.

Beth x

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