Cutting Off Dead Weight- Knowing When to Let Someone Go

More often than not, we keep people around us who are dead weight. They can be the ex who keeps popping in and out of your life, the frenemy who serves you backhanded compliments or even the family member who passive aggressively belittles you. My circle used to contain one or more of those people. By keeping them around, I noticed that I began to feel mentally and emotionally drained. I’ve come to a point where I’ve realized that if someone isn’t positively fueling the energy around me, there’s nothing wrong with distancing myself away from them. 

It’s easy to become what you surround yourself with. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who promote negative energy, you’re bound to feed off it. Although we’re aware that someone may be detrimental to our overall wellbeing, it can be difficult to cut them off for several reasons; emotional attachment, feeling obligated because of familial ties, or even the simple fact that you’ve known them forever. The truth of the matter is that if the person you’re questioning cutting off brings more harm than good to your life, should it even be a question at all?

Here are some surefire ways to tell if it’s time to walk away.

They’re making you unhappy 

I feel like this is the most obvious reason to let someone go. If a person is clearly sucking the happiness out of you, it’s not worth keeping them around. Everyone deserves to be around people who spread positivity and good vibes.

They don’t support your goals 

You tell them about a dream or goal you’ve had forever and they immediately shoot it down, and make you question if it’s worth doing anymore. I’ve come to learn that people who shoot down your aspirations are simply too afraid to chase their own. If someone is stunting your growth by encouraging you to remain stagnant, it could be time to cut them off.

You can’t be yourself around them 

If you have to change who you are to continue a relationship with a person, then it’s likely that it’s time to let them go. You should never have to compromise who you are to make someone else accept you.

You always have to put their needs before your own

If you’re constantly having to put someone before yourself, it could be a sign that it’s time to let them go. Relationships should be give and take, not consistently one sided.

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Exploring the World Around You- The Wisdom Tree

When I first started this blog, I mentioned that one of big mistakes I knew I was making as a twenty-something was not taking the time to travel. I had always thought that traveling meant spending large amounts of money on a flight to some fancy destination, and never thought to simply explore the world around me.

I’ve recently began trying to become more active, and wanted to incorporate fun ways to get a workout in. So, I thought, why not a hike? After randomly searching for hikes to do near Los Angeles, I eventually found my way to Cahuenga Peak, also known as the Wisdom Tree Trail.

I didn’t read much about the trail before deciding to do it, and simply thought that it would be a hike like any other. Maybe a few creeks or two on the way before finally reaching some “magic tree”. After getting lost and driving around for nearly two hours, I finally found the bottom of the Wisdom Tree Trail. When I saw how high up the tree actually was, I questioned if I could even make it to the top. 

You could only reach the tree by following a trail up, what to me was, a large mountain full of rocky terrain. It was nothing like any of the hikes I had done before and I felt doubt slowly beginning to creep in. Despite my feelings of uncertainty, my friend and I headed towards the tree that hopefully would provide us with at least a drop of the wisdom it boasted.

While heading up the trail I was admittedly fearful of falling, but surprised at the view I was able to see not even halfway up the mountain. Gazing down at the city, nature and a gorgeous lake made me immediately grateful that I decided to wake up and start my day like this.

As we continued, the trail only became more difficult. I felt myself becoming fatigued with every continuous step. As we became closer and closer to reaching the Wisdom Tree, and I began to see a small view of the flag that signaled the end of the hike, I forced myself to keep pushing.

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When we finally reached the top, were not only rewarded with the view. To my surprise, we were able to physically receive the bits of wisdom we originally sought after choosing to embark on what we knew would be a difficult journey.

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Unlike anything I imagined, at the bottom of the Wisdom Tree sat boxes of journals. In them, were stories and pieces of advice from people who had all finished the hike. They contained notes from people of all walks of life. I read entries from recovering addicts celebrating sobriety, mothers and daughters sharing a moment they’d never thought they’d achieve together and  people who were expressing their gratitude for simply being alive and enjoying life.

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With all the recent tragedies occurring back to back, I couldn’t help but be touched and inspired by all the stories and words of wisdom that were shared at the bottom of this tree. Throughout all the stories that were shared in the journals, there seemed to be one underlying theme- live in the moment and live everyday as if it’s your last.

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It’s easy to take things for granted when you are surrounded by blessings everyday. What we fail to realize sometimes is that everything we have in our life, no matter how small, is something that we can be grateful for. It’s so easy to get caught up in appreciating what we don’t have and making ourselves unhappy by chasing material possessions. It’s important that we realize the simple act of waking up and getting another chance to make it through another day is a blessing within itself. Reading people’s stories who thought they’d never get a chance to spend another day on Earth, or make it to a point in their life where they could appreciate being on top of that mountain was a reminder of that.

Hiking the Wisdom Tree trail was something that challenged me and, initially, invoked self-doubt. Despite being unsure if I would finish, I pushed past my insecurities and focused on the end goal. It’s funny how something as simple as hiking a trail can teach you lessons that are applicable to everyday life.

Stagnant AF

As twenty-somethings, we all go through a phase of feeling stagnant. We have no idea what we’re doing, where we’re going and feel like everyone around us is moving ahead while we’re seemingly at a standstill. I’ve been guilty of feeling like this myself lately, but haven’t been sure how to pull myself out of this little rut I’ve been in for the past couple of months or so. These past couple weeks, I’ve been tired of feeling like I’m at a standstill, and as result have been pushing myself to take small (but significant steps) in the right direction. Here are some things I’ve been doing that have been helping me feel like I’m finally beginning to move ahead again.

Trying something new 

I feel like one of the main reasons we begin to feel stuck is because we don’t try new things. We get stuck in our daily routines and become comfortable with the lives we’ve created for ourselves. Everyone loves comfort, but the only issue with becoming comfortable is that it’s a complete success killer. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything significant has had to step out of their comfort zone in some way. Sure, it can be intimidating trying new things, but even if it’s something small, it can be a step forward in the right direction.

Finding inspiration for your goals 

Often times I end up feeling stagnant when I’ve lost inspiration for whatever it is I’m trying to achieve. One of the things that has been helping, is constantly looking for ways to stay inspired. Some of my favorites have been picking up a new book, listening to some of my favorite inspirational content creators or simply taking a look back at old projects.

Stop procrastinating 

I am an avid procrastinator. It’s a horrible habit I’ve been trying to get rid of, and one of the main reasons I feel as if I’m not progressing. After all, how can we move forward if we keep putting things off? Sure, procrastinating may be the easy way to deal with a problem you don’t want to, but it only makes things worse.

Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you 

This is one of the main causes, at least for me personally, for feeling stagnant. We live in a world where we have open access to everyone’s lives via social media, and it has become easier to compare ourselves with the images people present of themselves online. Rather than constantly comparing ourselves to others, realize that everyone reaches their goals at their own pace, and that people who seemingly have it all together are sometimes feeling just as stuck as you are. In order to stop feeling like we’re stuck, it’s important we focus on ourselves and the personal growth we’d like to achieve. After all, how can you move ahead when you’re constantly watching the person beside you?

Steps Forward

In my past posts, I’ve written a lot about perspective. Particularly, how perspective can change your entire outlook on a situation. I’ve completed some major milestones in the last couple of months, one of the most important being finally graduating from college. That’s right, ya girl finally got her degree! Well, almost…I have one class left in the fall, then I’m really done. Not only have I completed a major chapter of my life and finally wrapped up getting my degree, I also made the decision to move back home.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why I chose to move back home after living on my own for a while. I’ve heard it all. From being told that I’m taking a step backward by graduating then moving back, that I’m going to allow myself to get stuck at home and become comfortable, and that I should just stick out living on my own before making such a rash decision to move back home. Rather than having a negative perception about  moving back after graduating college, I choose to see it as a step forward, and have  chosen to make the most of my time at home by making sure to…

Save money 

This by far was the biggest reason I chose to move back. I loved experiencing  going from having extremely strict parents to making my own rules. But, everything comes with a price, and making my own rules came with quite a price tag. I found myself struggling to save money and make it through the months (especially after going from full-time to part-time at my job). Although I had freedom from my parents, I didn’t have  the funds to do much and save money the way I wanted to. Now that I’m back home, I’ve been able to see a difference in my finances and have more freedom to do more with my money since it isn’t all going towards rent, bills, food, and everything else that comes with living on your own.

Plan for the future 

My move back home has not only allowed me to save money. I’ve also been able to use the money I’ve been saving to plan ahead. Whether it be for planning to move out again, take a trip, or just grow my bank account, I have the means to do so now. Working less, and spending more time at home gives me more time to reflect on what I want in the future and create a path to get there. Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s all about perspective. Rather than looking at this as a setback, I see it as a time where I can grow and map out my future.

Take risks 

I read a quote once that said “If you don’t take risks, you will always work for someone who does.”. Letting go of the many obligations I once had, has put me in a position that has allowed me to take a few risks and pursue the goals I have. I have no more excuses for why I can’t take risks in order to get where I want to be in life, and I plan to use my newfound financial freedom and time in order to take the risks necessary  to achieve what I want.

Travel 

Traveling was another major reason I decided to move back home. It has always been my dream to travel to as many countries as I can. I used to use finances and school as an excuse for why I haven’t seen the world yet, but now I have no excuse. Now, I can begin planning to save as much as I can so that I can travel and experience different cultures from around the world.

Graduating school and moving back home may seem like a setback for some, but it’s just the beginning for me. The best has yet to come.

Finding Your Way Back

For the past couple of weeks or so, I’ve felt a little out of the ordinary to say the least. Ok…if I’m being completely honest, I felt like my whole entire life was becoming one big flaming mess. Between having school, work, an internship, being involved on campus and attempting to schedule in a social life, I felt like I was being stretched in a million directions and was on the verge of never snapping back together. One random Tuesday was finally the tip of the iceberg and I finally lost my cool after being scolded by my internship supervisor (who was having a bad day). I held it together just long enough to make it to my car, but was able to finally release the mass of pent up stress and anxiety I had been feeling once I reached for my key and opened my car door.

I called my oldest sister, in tears, and was able to vent everything I was feeling to her. I told her how overwhelmed I felt and she simply listened, which was exactly what I needed. I didn’t realize that that was the first time I actually voiced my feelings to someone and let everything out. Bottling everything up inside finally forced everything I was feeling to spill out. I know I’ve made it a point to emphasize that, despite what we may feel, our twenties isn’t a time where we have to have everything together, but even I forget that. We all experience feeling overwhelmed from believing we have to do everything on our own and constantly keep on a happy face despite feeling as if our lives are falling apart. After finally releasing all the stress I kept inside, I learned a couple things about how to better handle my feelings the next time I’m a bit overwhelmed.

Talk about how you’re feeling 

Part of the reason why I found myself feeling so overwhelmed was because I consistently bottled up my emotions until I couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t realize how much simply talking to someone about the things that were making me feel stressed out would make me feel better. Sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on (or in my case a sister to cry to over the phone) to make us feel a little less overwhelmed by what we’re going through.

Divide and conquer 

Accountability is a great trait to have, so I’m going to hold myself accountable and admit that a lot of the reasons I stress stem back to my undying love of procrastination. I allow a bunch of tasks, that seem small, to eventually pile-up into a mountain of chores I can’t even begin to tackle. After allowing so many seemingly small things to pile-up, I had to break everything down and prioritize what was most important and tackle those things first. Feeling like you have to do everything at once can cause you to feel more stressed than you should be. Instead, try dividing up tasks and conquering them little by little. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

It’s ok to take a break 

These were words I needed to hear from my sister (and luckily my spring break was that following week). I never feel like I can take a step back and collect myself for a second when I’m feeling stressed out. Instead, I end up stressing out more thinking about how stressed out I am! It’s always ok to take a break and gather yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes we just need time to get ourselves back on the right track.

It’s a bad day, not a bad life 

I remember reading these words and telling myself to remember them anytime I feel like life is just too much to handle. Everyday isn’t always going to be the best. If life worked that way, the world would be a much happier place. It’s always important to remember that everything is temporary. With a little bit of time, I found my way to feeling less like my world was falling apart and more like things were finally coming together again.

Stop Making Excuses & Do More.

We’ve been categorized as the entitled generation. The generation that expects everything to be handed to them on a silver platter, and complains when things don’t go their way. I, for one, don’t like to place myself in the category of “spoiled expectant millennial”. The things I currently have I’ve worked hard for, and none of it was simply handed to me. However, although I know I work hard for what I want, I have been guilty of falling back on excuses to justify not being where I desire to be.

I used to be extremely good at placing the blame elsewhere for why I didn’t get something or why a certain outcome didn’t go my way. I remained being very good at this, until I realized it was getting me nowhere. I saw my “reasons” for why I didn’t have the things I wanted for what they actually were- excuses.

What caused me to think about this was a conversation I had with my sister, yesterday, about job hunting. My sister was frustrated because she had been applying for jobs, for quote some time, but has yet to hear anything from potential employers. Hearing this caused me to reflect back on when I was unemployed and avidly searching for jobs. Although I was struggling to find a job, there was no real fire under me to hunt for jobs with everything I had. It wasn’t until I was forced to move back home and under extremely strict rules with my parents that I found that fire. I went from applying to maybe one job every couple of days to applying to a minimum of three jobs daily.

Anytime I spoke to a friend, I asked if they knew of locations that were hiring or had open positions. I exhausted every option I could to become employed and, eventually, did. Even though I stepped it up when it came to searching for jobs, was there still more I could do? Of course. Rather than only applying to three jobs a day, I could have applied to five or even ten jobs daily. That being said, no matter how hard you think you’re trying, there is always something more you could do. That’s not to discredit the hard work you may have already put in, but rather to challenge yourself.

Unless you’re extremely privileged, nothing will ever be handed to you. We will always have to work extremely hard in order to achieve what we want. If you’re not getting the results you desire, take a step back and ask yourself “What more could I be doing?” No matter how close you are to your goal, or even if you’ve already reached it, there’s always more you could be doing.

Why oh why do We Love to Self Sabotage?

A friend of mine was recently complaining to me about how much she misses her ex. They weren’t together for very long and their relationship was going perfectly fine, but she decided to end it. She’s made attempts to get him back, but unfortunately for her it seems he is now content with having a strictly platonic relationship. Now, if you’re anything like me, the first thing you wondered after hearing her story was why would she end the relationship if everything was going well?

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I needed answers immediately and proposed this very question to her. To my confusion, she had no clear answer. This caused me to ponder all of the times I abruptly ended relationships, I could have been happy in, for no apparent reason. Was a I too afraid to have a healthy functioning relationship? Or was I just too indecisive to begin settling down? I wasn’t sure.  Because I was unable to solve the mystery of why we enjoy sabotaging  our relationships, I sought out answers from who other than my friends.

After surveying many of my friends, it seemed the common reason why we self sabotage is fear. Fear of commitment, fear of becoming emotionally attached, or fear of dealing with the pain that comes with a breakup. Before our relationships have a chance to develop, we make an attempt to beat our emotions to the punch and end things before they have a chance to truly begin. Although this was the most common reason, I found, why we continuously sabotage ourselves, everyone’s reason for holding themselves back may be different. I decided to do more research to discover why we continue to self  sabotage. Here’s what I found out:

We self sabotage because we enjoy being in control 

I have a friend who admitted to sabotaging her relationships for this very reason. She hates the idea of not being in control of her feelings or what is going on around her, so she takes matters into her own hands even if it doesn’t bring the outcome she initially desired. If you are a person who enjoys being in control, a reason you may end up sabotaging yourself is because you’d rather have control of the outcome than be unsure of what’s to come next.

Feeling like we need excitement 

Now, this one I’ve been guilty of. I ashamed to admit it (mainly because it’s not the most logical way to deal with things), but when I get bored in relationships, I end up sabotaging them. I’m not exactly sure where this need for “excitement” comes from, but it’s definitely caused me pick a couple of fights with my S.O. for no reason.

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Feeling unworthy

Another common reason I found that we self sabotage is feeling unworthy or like we don’t deserve positive things in our lives. I’ve fallen victim to this as well. Maybe you haven’t forgiven yourself for something in the past, or maybe you’ve been struggling with building your self-confidence. Either way, when you’re feeling unworthy or undeserving of the positive things in your life, it’s important to remind yourself that everyone (including you) deserves to have positivity in their lives.

We all deserve to experience the joys of success whether it be in the form of reaching a goal, or achieving a strong healthy relationship. When we find ourselves unhappy in a situation, it’s important to reflect on how we got there. At times, we can fail to realize that, the only thing standing in the way of our own happiness is ourselves.