Accepting Criticism

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while, buuuut… I recently traveled to Australia!!! I did a week-long program that united other scholars from different countries with a common interest in business and entrepreneurship! It was an amazing experience and I hope that in the coming posts I can share with you some very important things that I have learned from this whole excursion.

australia traveling travelling travel

Photo by Catarina Sousa on Pexels.com

The week consisted of waking up early, getting on the bus on time, taking notes from various speakers, seeing new things and meeting new people, as well as learning from these people.

The one thing that I gained from this program has got to be the willingness to accept criticism. Not destructive, but constructive criticism. One day, we were in Melbourne at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and we were doing an exercise– as directed by a professor of that University– that was called an “elevator pitch”. For those wondering what an elevator pitch is, it’s basically a hypothetical (but possible) situation where you try to get a potential employer of a company that you have a strong desire to work for them, to look your way and consider you as a candidate for a job at their company. All while you’re in the elevator with them. It’s really fascinating! Here’s the prompt:

the challenge was: we had to keep this short, sweet and to the point. All under 2 minutes. Starting off, I did something simple.. which was follow the exact skeleton of this flow chart:

The Professor then asked for 3 people to come on up to the front of the room. I raised my hand because, well, why the fuck not? I wanted to learn how to craft a good pitch that didn’t sound too wordy.

So I go first, but before I started, the professor asks me what job am I going for and what type of company: both of which were already answered on this little piece of paper I had. I basically read off of my constructed flow chart and I trip up a bit, and as a result, I ran out of time.

It was time for people to critique me and give me their honest opinion of my elevator pitch. I’m not going to lie to you, but I felt like I was being attacked. People left and right were critiquing me really hard and I really was resisting the urge to talk back to them. But then in that same moment, I realized that I was taking it way too personal. I chose to do this because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone.

So I listened intently to the people who were giving me feedback, I let them ‘roast’ me. Because I’m always looking to grow as a person. Further, I noticed that we, as humans, are so quick to judge/critique someone else, yet fail to look at ourselves and see where we fall short. We neglect to see it in ourselves, but choose to see it in other people.

Accepting criticism has been one of my toughest feats. I get it on a daily basis from some friends and a good bit of my family. I’ve never been good at accepting it, because well, I thought that if its something that I’m doing wrong, I should be able to learn it by myself.  My thought process was, No one really likes being told what to do. Anytime someone critiqued me, I would get on the defensive with a lame excuse. But thankfully, all those excuses ended the day I decided to accept criticism.

I decided that in order to grow, to learn, I had to learn how to accept criticism of others who may have more experience than me. What if I land a job that requires me to learn new things and to accept constructive criticism on the daily? How is getting mad at each critique going to help me out in the long run? It won’t.

Getting mad at critiques from people who expect better, isn’t a reflection on the person giving them, it’s a reflection of the person who takes it. I mean, picture this, you’re doing your work (whether it be in college, at an internship, etc) and your superior comes up to you to give you feedback on some work. If you get angry and storm off, then it just shows that you can’t accept criticism. What person is going to hire someone who cannot take open and honest feedback?

So Back to the story… with all the constructive criticism that I received from the audience, I was then able to re position my stance a bit:

And I made it with enough time to spare! What followed after I gave this pitch another try, were less critiques. A lot of people clapped for me, while others still critiqued by saying that I sounded ‘too desperate’. Nevertheless, I learned something new that day and it gave me more of a motivation to grow and to get out of my comfort zone.

Advertisements

Living Life With Arms Wide Open

Happy New Year, guys! I am so excited for what 2018 will bring, I really hope that this year brings a ton of positive energy, lots of love, and light in all of your lives. may you accomplish the goals you have set out for yourself this year.

So, I recently got back from vacation with my family. One day, while we were out to eat, we were talking about a ton of interesting things, mainly things that we were thankful for, opportunities we never had, people in our family that we admire and the like. In the midst of the conversation, I thought about a song I had heard earlier that day called “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, more specifically I thought about the lyrics, in one part:

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The part that I put in bold was something that was bouncing around in my head. Living your life with arms wide open. The wording and meaning is pretty self-explanatory, but on that day it meant so much more to me for some reason. Maybe it was the topic that we were on. Maybe it was the fact that my younger sibling and I are two different people with different approaches to life. Now, I’m not saying there is a so-called right approach to life, because the way one person goes about their life isn’t the way another person would go about their own.  The way I see it, there is no right or wrong way to approach life.

My approach to life is taking advantage of opportunities and making the best of these opportunities. I’m someone who doesn’t let anything steer me away from the things that I want to do. In some respects, I’m fearless and try to live in the moment, I might even want to try to document the moment, because that’s the kind of person I am. I’m always down for an adventure with just about anyone, immersing myself in new and exciting experiences that aren’t really seen everyday. I’m loud. I’m crazy. Like I said before, there are no rules when it comes to how you’re enjoying your life.

I get this approach to life from my mom. One of the things that I love about my mom is how she lives her life with arms wide open. When I thought about those lyrics on that day, I didn’t just think about the literal term of living with your arms wide open, I thought about it a different way. To me, it means how you are able to live your life with an immense amount of love in your heart. How you can just open yourself up to feeling something real. How you can live everyday knowing it could be your last. More importantly, it brings into perspective of freeing yourself from all doubts and your insecurities.  You should be able to walk through life confidently, not letting anyone tell you how you should be living your life. Be thankful for yourself, for being present with yourself (gosh, I’m starting to sound like a yoga instructor).

Make every opportunity to be there for yourself the same way that you’re there for the amazing people in your life. Believe in yourself.

Make goals towards being a better you. Do things that you really love. Do what makes you happy. If you have trouble finding what makes you happy, then make it your goal this year to find what it is that makes your heart beat a little faster and brings a smile to your face.

New Years’ Resolutions don’t have to feel unattainable to keep. They just require work, as with anything that you want in this world. If you want something, a change, for example, then you need to put in the work for it to happen. You can’t expect anything to come to you, if you don’t try. Make it your goal to try and to work at what you really want. You want that new job/internship? Apply. You want to get fit and toned, like your fit role models? Put in more time at the gym and eat right. You want to get on the dean’s list this upcoming semester? You better hit the books and study. The list could go on, but when you think about it, these are all simple solutions to your goals.

I think what makes our resolutions feel unattainable are our expectations. Sometimes we get discouraged because we want results *snaps fingers* like that. The truth is, though, life doesn’t work out like that. You need to also learn how to be patient with yourself. Once you become patient with yourself and you hone in on how you can achieve those goals, you are then able to stay consistent with your goals.

Here’s my rule of thumb on how you can keep our New Year’s Resolutions in check, write them down and keep them in a place where you can always find them. I wrote mine down and I left the list on my desk where I can always refer to them.

But most of all, make your goal to live your life with arms wide open. Be open to new things this year. Achieve new things this year. Become a better person. Grow. Learn something new about yourself. Do more of what you love. Spend time with people who really see the amazing person you are. Live simply and strive for happiness in whatever it is that brings a smile to your face. Live for today.

Anything is possible. Sending lots of love and light your way.

Cutting Ties

I don’t know about you, but there comes a point in life where we need to cut people who have gone dormant in our lives.

Why should I even spend time thinking about people who really don’t spend a second thinking about me? If someone genuinely cared, they would reach out. I recently realized that it’s okay to cut out anyone who isn’t playing a positive role in your life or is leaving you hanging every time.

Family included. Crazy. But not uncommon.

On Christmas eve, my family and I went to go drop off gifts at a relative’s house. As we pull in, we saw the car of a family member that basically shut themselves off from the family. We walk in, lo and behold said family member was sitting at the table, eating

“Feliz Navidad” (Merry Christmas), they said.

My brother and I went to go say hi, talk with them and another family member. Before I knew it, it was time for us to leave. Through the brief conversation, here’s what was exchanged:

“Wow, did you cut your hair? looks cute.”

“Yeah, I did, thanks.”

By that point, I had to leave. So I basically told this person to not be a stranger.

But how can I tell someone to not be a stranger, if they’ve already made the decision to be one? How can someone just wake up one day and just shut themselves off from someone?

It’s surprisingly simple and unfortunately, it happens more often than not. The other day this week, I went on a LITERAL delete/unfollow/unfriend-ing spree on ALL my social media accounts. I had already made a mental list of all the people I don’t talk to, people who I have given endless chances, people who don’t deserve my time, etc. It’s not worth wasting my energy, getting mad and bent out of shape over them. I distance myself from people like this.

Distancing myself from someone is a way of saying to them “hey yeah, I dropped you, now let’s see if you care as much as I did”. Not only that, but it also shows that I’ve finally chosen myself over the person and as sad as it is, that is my choice to let them go. If the person, however, notices then it’s a good thing because then you can clear the air with them. Communication is key in every relationship.

Granted, in deleting all the people from my life, I didn’t take it as “I hate them, so let me unfollow them, because they piss me off”. I don’t hate anyone nor do I hold any grudges. What is the point in holding a grudge about something someone did months/years ago? While they’re out living their best life, you’re here, hating them and what they did to you ages ago. You are hurting yourself more than the person you’re hating. Make the choice to forgive.

Forgive them and also forgive yourself. Sometimes in forgiving them and yourself, you make the decision to cut ties or continue your relationship with the person. With some people, you shouldn’t make the rash decision of cutting someone out of your life, if you’re not in the right head space or have yet to forgive them and what they did to you, then hold off on doing so. You don’t have to say anything to them. But also keep in mind, cutting someone out of your life is a mental and emotional process.

I mean think about it, if you don’t see anything positive coming from the relationship you have with the person or you simply don’t talk anymore (because let’s face it we all get caught up in life), then cut them off. What good is having a person who won’t call you, catch up with you, in your life? You have the choice to end the friendship, relationship, whatever, and just move on. In this way, you are able to make room in your life for people who definitely see it the way you do, will give you the satisfaction of catching up with you and be a positive influence in your life.

Sometimes it hurts, but it hurting is part of the healing process and a fact of life. If you want to move forward in your life, what is holding you back? Is it the grudges that you hold against other people? If so, learn to Let. It. Go.

You deserve people in your corner, but most of all, you deserve all the good that there is in this world.

What Happens When We Act on Our Expectations?

Awhile back, I had watched an interesting TED talk by Psychologist Dr. Jennice Vilhauer about how we don’t really act on what we want, but rather on our own expectations of things. It’s a subconscious thing. We’ve probably heard the saying “Thoughts become things” at some point, right? Well basically if we think about an event coming up, like a date, a party, a festival, etc, If we keep thinking about how everything is going to be great, then chances are, it will go right, because you already made it clear that this is going to be your moment or your time to shine. Sometimes, however, we have terrible feelings about how the event will go that it becomes a subconscious thing where you’ll do or say certain things that really enhance the negative feeling.

So say you play the lottery, you’re just trying your luck, and you find out later on that day that you won. What do you do? Was this what you expected would happen? No, of course not. You weren’t expecting to win, you were just playing for shits. In this example, our expectations of certain things don’t really align with what we want.

Then again, when we think something isn’t going to go well, it can sometimes end up going better than expected and vice versa.

What I’m trying to say is that this concept can be applied in just about everything from relationships to events/experiences. Vilhauer goes on to say that she had a client who was gorgeous and accomplished and decided to give online dating a try. Once the client received matches and started going out on dates, the guys that she went out with either weren’t who they looked like in their profile photo, forgot their wallets, or just wouldn’t show up at all whatsoever. Through all these dates, the client began to settle with the terrible dates. They became her expectations.

At one point, she had agreed to go out on a date with this one guy after her yoga class. She, thinking that the date wouldn’t go well, arrived at this cafe to meet up with this guy. The guy was a well-groomed, all-around great guy and the client basically didn’t know how to act. Because she had gotten so used to such terrible dates, she never once thought that she might actually land a pretty decent guy. So the whole time, she stared at the ground and felt really self-conscious. At some point during the date,  she told the guy that she needed to put more coins in the meter and just left the date.

The bottom line was: he was great, but given the fact that she had no idea how to act in a situation like this, it was something new and out of the ordinary for her. I mean, think about it: put yourself in her shoes, shes gorgeous but over time she realized that she wasn’t worth those second dates or a decent man who wouldn’t forget his wallet. Imagine how that must feel. Pretty shitty, right?

Vilhauer then poses a scenario to the audience like:

Say you’re going on vacation to a tropical island.

She then asks something along the lines of: How is what I am expecting, making me feel?

This question not only brings into mind the idea of the future, but it also brings to mind how you feel about a specific thing in the future. This gives you a chance to be in tune with your mind and body.

If you’re like me and are down for a new adventure to a tropical island, then there’s nothing to do. If you’re having positive thoughts and feelings about the whole thing, then you’ve already achieved the goal.

If you’re anxious for this trip, then she follows up with another question: What would I like to have happen instead?

Here, you address to alternatives that go with what you’re comfortable with. What you really do want in the situation. What you want isn’t really what you expect. She then goes back to the example of winning the lottery : you want to win, but you don’t expect to win

She then asks: What do I need to do to make what I want happen?

She says that when we have a negative expectation, we think about all the things that would go wrong. Your aren’t really generating any thoughts and/or ideas about this experience going right.  You begin to see a shift in your thinking once you generate some positive thoughts. In other words, what can go right?

Vilhauer had a client who was depressed and they had been doing a ton of work together, to help this person gain some coping skills and be better equipped with what life throws at them, but nothing really seemed to be working. So Vilhauer posed the question, “Where is the light at the end of the tunnel?” The client looked at her with a puzzled expression. When you’ve been depressed for a while, you don’t really think about the future, you just see everything as a big black hole. It’s like time goes by, but you feel like you still hang in the middle of it, not going forward or backwards, but staying there. So Vilhauer began to pose a variation of this question to many more of her clients, she recalled that she received the same response. Five years later, this is where she began to pioneer a new approach to counseling, called Future Directed Therapy (FDT).

I find this stuff amazing that psychologists like Dr. Vilhauer are changing the way they approach a patient’s unique illness or issue in life. The more we have this, the more we will have psychologists and mental health professionals provide a more interpersonal approach to each patient they treat, which is absolutely fascinating! You focus on what you want, keeping in mind that your expectations should align with your wants.

Check out the video!

The Drawbacks of Social Media

Hey, I know its been a while, I’ve been so busy with end of the semester stuff, but I’m happy to be back on here doing what I love! I hope you enjoy what I have put together in this post!

So Social Media… Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What’s its purpose? Is it used to show people up?

The whole purpose that social media serves is for us to keep in contact with the people we have had the pleasure of knowing throughout the years. but because life happens, we don’t have the privilege of seeing them as much as we’d like. That’s why creators of many social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and the like have created these platforms because they had a concept that we resonated with: we want to stay in contact with friends from childhood, family, and colleagues. But in the process of doing all of that, have we become so connected to the social media world, that we forget about the real world face to face contact we should be having with someone?

I watched this video on Facebook about the effects that social media has on our society, a while back(ironic, right?). In the 3-5 minutes of this video- that’s how long it was- it outlined the main problem with social media: as we become more connected to what’s happening, we’re passing up face to face contact with people and plugging into a world where we think we’re connecting with people, via (*insert Social Media site here*) but in reality it could be drawing us apart.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I live under a rock and refuse to use social media. I use social media and personally, for an outgoing person like myself, I find absolute joy in posting pictures and sharing little snippets of my life.

But there comes a point where there should be some level of privacy. Like for example, I used to post just about anything and everything I was doing on Facebook, who’s birthday it was on Instagram (before they had that ‘stories’ feature), and any random thing on Twitter. I began to plug myself in and realize that these likes were ones that would determine my worth and I thought that the more I’d share, the more recognized I would be. In all seriousness though, now I look back at this and just think “boy, was I naive or what?”. There are certain things that should definitely be kept on the DL(down-low). Like if you are out with bae on a date, don’t snapchat your whole date with the world, because where is the fun in date night if you’re too focused on your post?

Part of the reason why I stopped posting a whole lot on social media was because I realized that in the end it doesn’t matter who liked my post and I really shouldn’t seek validation from a group of people who really only like a status update or a picture for the sole purpose of approval. I stopped caring a long time ago about it. Now, I’ll login to Facebook, post something new, some pictures from an adventure, or share something that really speaks to me, etc. but that’s it. I don’t worry too much because frankly it takes up too much head space. I don’t go on social media as much, and that is well within my rights.  On some days, I’ll post highlights and on other days, when I am doing something exciting, I’ll document the whole day. But it’s all in moderation.

Back on the subject of seeking validation, I learned that back when I took a Mass Communications course, my professor told me that there is a theory called Social Comparison Theory. Social Comparison Theory is a psychological theory that happens as we are looking at magazines, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat,(basically engaging in any form with the media) and we base our own self-worth on how we stack up against others. We look at these posts and think, wow that’s really cool how her bathing suit fits her or wow that vacation house looks like a dream. Sometimes, when we take it too far, it becomes a problem. That’s part of how eating disorders, mental illnesses, and other stresses happen. The media can be a dark place.

You have to keep in mind that while all these photos look glamorous and professional, they’re only showing you one perspective of their world. Sometimes, Social media sites can be a little biased, in that the people who share bits and pieces of their lives,  they only will post the photo that holds up this outer layer of ‘how ‘glamorous’ their lives are. You don’t know what could be going on in their lives. So don’t always assume that someone has a life that you dream of living, because there could be some underlying issues that they refuse to talk about with the rest of the world. In short, people will most likely post about whatever successes they have had in their lives. So just because you see someone having a greater success than you, doesn’t mean that you haven’t had any successes of your own. Never compare yourself to people. You’re doing all you can to achieve your goal and they’re doing all they can to achieve their own.

I like to think we all live some pretty cool lives. Each person you have that follows you has an opportunity to see a little bit of your world. Don’t down play that. Always keep in mind that, there is more to life than being on social media the whole time. When you choose to disconnect from it, life can be just as, if not more, fun.

Vibe a Little

Learn to Live

UptightPrettyGirl

Lifestyle and Fun

Alys Journals

mental health and lifestyle

UniquelyMe

Why be normal when you can be unique?

%d bloggers like this: