managing stress

Let them lift you up!

Managing Your Stress

Part Two: Being the Best or Being Your Best

Topic: encouraging forces in your life

It’s not easy being your best. So often you’re filled will self-doubt and maybe even self-hate. As a result, it’s necessary to have people in your life who see the best in you.

The past two posts in part two focused on comparing yourself to others. Sadly, the comparison game is often fueled by insecure friends and family members who feel the need to boast themselves up at your expense. I encourage you to pay close attention the next time a comment from someone makes you feel lesser. What was it that the person said? Was the person attempting to put his or her achievements above your own in order to sound superior? Was this the first time he or she has mentioned the success, or was it the fifth time? There’s nothing wrong with sharing success in our lives with those we are close to. It’s natural to want to share — and even boast some — about good news. However, problems arise when the same thing is shared over and over — when you’re ready to shout, “I get it!”  You don’t need to be reminded of your friends’ wealth, good grades or other various achievements every time you see them. Once or twice is fine, but sharing the same good news over and over enters the realm of bragging, and then it’s very hard not to compare.

Some people may not realize what they’re doing, and it’s worth telling them how you feel before cutting them out, but don’t let the bragging go on for too long. Also, don’t get caught up in it; stay humble.

putting someone down

You should never feel as though you must prove your worth to your friends and family. Instead, they should constantly be reminding you of your worth. Friends and family are there to lift you up rather than lift themselves up. On the flip side, this means that you should strive to always do the same. After all, who doesn’t need more love and reassurance in their life?

Beyond that, your friends and family should encourage you to be an even better you. You want to take your first 400-level class next semester? You want to apply to a new job? You want to move to a new state and start on a new adventure? You want to run your first marathon? Those are all admirable things, and your friends and family should encourage you to do things that require hard work, goals and dedication. If they don’t, perhaps they’re jealous or even afraid of losing you, but selfishness shouldn’t get in the way of their support. They may also simply be disinterested, but, for someone they love, they should be willing to at least feign interest. Likewise, don’t let your eyes glaze over when someone talks about a new pursuit with passion. Be supportive; be encouraging; try and be exited!

happy friends

My fiance has come to every race I’ve run, and I feel so much happier knowing someone is waiting for me at the finish line. All throughout my training season, he tells me that I’m a great runner, especially when I make negative comments about myself after a bad run. He’s not interested in running — at least not nearly as much as I am — but he takes the time out of his weekends to see me off at the start line and watch me cross the finish line. Whether or not he really wants to wait for hours while I run, he does so because he loves me. It’s so much easier for me to sign up for a race knowing that I have him as a support system!

While I may be writing a series on managing stress, I’m not unaware to the fact that stress is unavoidable — hence the word “managing.” However, a major way to deal with stress in life is through loving, supportive friends and family members. Life isn’t easy, so it’s necessary to have people in your life who make it just a little bit easier. It’s also necessary to have people there to help you through the hardest times.

I hope this week’s post has not only inspired you to examine the relationships in your life, but I hope it has also inspired you to be a positive force in the lives of others. It may be easier to make someone frown rather than smile, but getting someone to smile will make you both feel good.

encourage mint

When was the last time you were lifted up by someone else? When was the last time you were made to feel lesser?

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