By Leah Savage, History Graduate and NTU Alumni
Sometimes life can be so hectic, that we as individuals forget to just take a minute to breathe, but also to reflect on the positives, rather than dwell on the negatives of life. People from all walks of life can forget to look back at all they are, all they have achieved and all that they could be, but instead are self-critical of the mistakes and negatives that can encapsulate them in their present mindset. Sometimes, it can be an individual’s own inability to change their negative mindset in the present, to allow them to continue to bring about positive changes in their own lives.
Putting life events and actions into perspective and recognising that just because something hasn’t gone right in the present, or that we are not as successful as we want to be, doesn’t mean that things won’t be better in the future. Nor, should any mistakes or problems in the present, diminish any of our previous accomplishments or successes in the past. After all, why should this negativity prevent the amazing possibilities and opportunities that could be?
It can be really hard for us to give ourselves the credit we deserve. It can be difficult to not be critical of our own actions and ability when we cannot see the potential that we have. As human beings, we tend to react and respond to our own successes only after they have made us content and happy, rather than show a positive approach to these in the first place. Sometimes we struggle to put faith and trust in our own capabilities to succeed and prosper, but instead, we are worried and anxious if something does not go as planned.
With all this in mind, it is important that when feeling low or critical of ourselves, we use retrospect as our friend. We need to look back at all we have achieved and how far we have come from who we used to be. You may in your head think, oh well I’m only a teaching assistant that’s not who I want to be, or oh well I only work as a trolley boy for a supermarket, but at one point in life, you weren’t a working individual. Whilst, the profession or position you are in may not be the ideal or the final goal, it is a crucial stepping stone on the path to becoming who you will be.
Every experience we have in life, whether it is good or bad teaches us something about who we are and what we want in life. If something can be perceived as a failure, it can also be seen as a learning curve. The failure could have taught you what you aren’t good at – so you can look into something else you are good at. The failure could have helped you develop your skills, but demonstrated that these skills could be put to use in a different way or profession. The failures or mistakes could influence the successes and right decisions of the future. By learning what you are and are not good at, you learn who you are and in time will learn to be proud of who you are and how you got there.
So, if you are reading this then take some time to recognise the accomplishments you have achieved in life however big or small. Congratulate yourself for finishing school and entering the working world! Celebrate that you have managed to live independently without being under your parents’ roof! Pat yourself on the back for having the confidence to make new friends and socialise with new people, in a new environment. Whatever you have done or achieved in life to get you where you are now, well done. Be proud of who you are today, don’t dwell on what could have been, and don’t worry about what will be. Be kind and supportive of the current you, the future you will thank yourself for it and see the successes of it. You have the potential to be who you desire yourself to be, you just have to support yourself to achieve it!
For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
- Support from NTU
- Self-Care books in NTU’s libraries
- Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
- Health and Wellbeing resources
- NTSU Information and Advice service
- Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
- Student Minds or Student Space
- 10 Keys to happiness