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Inspiration: You Are More Than A Number

Inspiration: You Are More Than A Number

Numbers are everywhere.

Whether it be two thick red streaks on an exam, a couple of digits on a LED screen, or on a hefty paycheck. They are practical, concrete, and usually reliable. However, what happens when you start to define yourself by them; from physique to income, or from academic grades to timed records? Your inspiration plummets, leaving you in an endless loophole of self-doubt and critique. It may not seem like it, but it is actually true. You are more than a number; more than a mere piece of data.

The Truth

The power of numbers can only affect you as much as you allow it to. Truth is: numbers hold limited meaning, even though one may wonder, “How will I get into my first-choice school now?”, “When am I ever going to be able to stop swimming in debt?”, or even, “Why can’t I ever be as talented as so-and-so?” Take a moment and really step outside of the box with that number clearly labelled upon it. Venture outside of it, and walk around it. You cannot destroy it, but you can acknowledge it.

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If we remain in that box for too long, we miss out on all of the opportunities around us that are floating, just waiting to be explored.

Personal Excerpt

I’ve been through a lot of pressure (external and self-driven) to excel in practically everything: school, relationships, personal reputation. You name it, I’ve probably considered it. Ambitious and hardworking at heart, my type A personality is always on top of the game. I’ll be the first one to do a presentation, organize an event for friends, or respond to emails. I’m constantly living in the future, with a to-do list, and on top of that: more numbers! However, every little errand always felt rushed and hurried, and I found myself saying, “I’m too busy” to many of the activities I used to enjoy.

An example of myself putting numbers first is this simple thought: “If I receive x% on my final grade, I am competent.” The thought itself is superficial, but it seemed perfectly logical at the time. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that striving for contentment rather than perfection leads to a healthier mindset, and in return keeps your sanity in check. Happiness is a choice, and change is inevitable. If we build our foundation of happiness solely out of numbers, we find that it crumbles down time after time.

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Some Inspiration

Everyone hits a point in their life when the numbers do not add up and everything appears to spiral out of control.

The brain begins to store mumbo jumbo. Stress snacks upon your energy, while depression enjoys a feast at your sanity. Like the common flu, this tension can be transferred from others unto yourself. The key is to remember where you stand on the issue. You are not incapable. You are never a failure. As Abraham Lincoln once said,

“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”

Just keep moving forward. Remember, this too, shall pass. Think broad, not narrow. If we learn, merely for the sake of obtaining numbers to validate our success, satisfaction will seldom follow. So, think positive, but keep it realistic. Remember, you are the only person who can control your happiness.

Next Steps

Take a moment to really reflect. When was the last time you wrote in your journal? When was the last time you picked up a good book and got lost in it, taken a stroll in the park without discussing anything work-related, or participated in a board game Wednesday? Buzzing with infinite possibilities, like inspiration from literature, famous influencers, and nature, can really give life a pick-up call.

Numbers are not our enemy, but if we allow them to take over our confidence, they will rob us from our true potential.

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Numbers are everywhere… and we are far greater than them.

Featured photo credit: New Evolution Designs via newevolutiondesigns.com

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Lily Yuan

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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