Category Archives: Confidence and Self-Love

Lesson No. 38: Do Not Fear The Darkness

Well, that’s one month of grad school in the bag! It went by in the blink of an eye!

It’s been overwhelming, to say the least. So much information to take in! New schedules, new settings, new people, new expectations, new everything. It’s almost been like I’ve been living someone else’s life—except I’m seriously out of the loop.

Since this was the start of a whole new program, we were all flooded with information that was to cover the next two to five years. And beyond.

That’s a lot to try and keep straight!

Trust me, I know because I tried. I tried to sift through all the schedules and requirements, and find a way to makes sense of all the things that weren’t even relevant yet. But I couldn’t do it.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing on March 7, 2018!

I can’t even picture that yet. I can barely picture what next weekend will look like, let alone my graduation day or my subsequent career. It’s all still too hazy and hypothetical at this point. I can’t yet see that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel that everyone’s always talking about.

But I was overreaching. Expecting too much too soon.

Because here’s the thing about that old light at the end of the tunnel: it doesn’t actually become visible until you’re almost there.

And until then you have to just move forward in the darkness, trusting that you’ll eventually find your way to the light. Which is why baby steps are so helpful—because you can’t see very far in the dark. So you’ll get lost if you try to look too far ahead.

If you keep your steps small you won’t stumble so much in the dark. Of course, you will stumble sometimes because it’s dark after all. But it’ll be more manageable.

And If you keep going that way, you’ll eventually see the light off in the distance. But you have to keep going—that’s the only secret. Some people are afraid of spending that much time in the dark. They can’t handle the ambiguity. So they quit early on. Or they stick it out a while until they assume that enough time has passed that they should be able to see the light by now. And since they still can’t, they prematurely come to the conclusion that they’ve failed—and then they give up.

Lesson No. 38: Do Not Fear The Darkness. If you ever want to make it to the other end of any of life’s tunnels, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time in the dark. The people who appear to be completely confident in what they’re doing, cannot actually see the light any better than you. They’ve just become comfortable with uncertainty.

You can do this too, darling. Patience, perseverance, and trust. And you’ll find the light at the end of your own tunnel before you know it!

with truth and elegance,
Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 36: Adapt

Routine versus adaptability. Now there’s a quandary if I ever heard one! Our two most human traits are always at odds. We are both creatures of habit who thrive on dependable things like routine and familiarity, and creatures ready for anything life throws our way—even when we think we can’t manage we typically find a way to make the necessary adjustments.

Bottom line: we’re capable of both. But one is far easier than the other. Any thoughts?

You guessed it: routine! It takes very little effort (if any) to stay in our comfort zone and go throw the motions of all that has now become habit. It’s sort of like living on autopilot.

But adaptation requires effort because it involves breaking habits. And we all know how hard it is to break a habit! Adapting means changing. Which means cutting things (and people) loose and making sacrifices. It can get messy. It’s not usually fun. Sometimes it’s downright painful. But in the end, it’s what had to be done. And often our lives are better for it.

I recently broke my a number of my own routines and am now in the midst of adapting to my new life. It’s all rather disorganized at the moment—which hurts my mildly OCD brain. The most challenging part is that I seem to be resisting the need to cut things loose. I’m trying to bring my old routines with me and fit them alongside my new ones. But there aren’t enough hours in the day! Turns out this new chapter in my life isn’t the minor shift I thought it would be. It’s big! It’s going to require a huge overhaul. So…

Lesson No. 36: Adapt.

It’s time to make sacrifices and sizeable life changes. And this could even end up impacting these Monday ramblings of mine. Time will tell, and I’ll keep you informed as I go. But for now, darling, remember that it is in your nature as a human to be able to adapt. So no matter how scary or ugly it may feel in the moment, you can do it. And sooner or later you’ll be very happy you did.

with truth and elegance,

Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork

Lesson No. 35: Not Everything is About You

If you know me at all, you know how strongly I believe in the concept of self-awareness.

It’s one of the most important things for our wellbeing and for our ability to have something to offer the rest of the world. By seeing ourselves in a light of complete honesty, deeply understanding who we are, embracing all aspects of our self, and treating ourselves with genuine love and compassion.

This is essential.

But self-care of this nature should come with a disclaimer:

Lesson No. 35: Not Everything is About You.

See, it’s very easy to tip these scales too far in the direction of self-love and wind up in the realm of narcissism instead. It’s so easy, in fact, that we can hardly be blamed for it.

To begin with, we’re already locked into our own body and mind. Seeing the world from this one perspective our whole lives. True empathy takes practice.

Now add to this the conscious effort to pay even more attention to yourself. To notice how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking about, how you look, why you do the things you do, how you react to different people and life events. Constantly reflecting on all of this so that you can get to know yourself better and love yourself more completely.

It’s a wonder we’re not all full blown megalomaniacs!

But the truth is that there are far more important things happening in the world than whether we’re personally having a good self-esteem day.

I know that may sound harsh, but I believe that when we get too wrapped up in ourselves and our own lives we get stuck—like a form of mental claustrophobia. And it helps to remember that there is a whole universe on the other side of our bedroom walls, or bathroom (selfie) mirrors, or inner turmoil.

Yes, we matter. But we’re not all that matters. So break out of your cocoon from time to time and just forget about yourself—focus on something bigger than you.

with truth and elegance,

Vanessa

PS–To witness my journey on a daily basis (pictures included!), be sure to follow me on Instagram @Vanessa_Bork