Give Yourself a Break
By Daniel Collazo, PR/Media Coordinator, Fall 2019
Working in an industry in which your work is criticized and picked apart can be tolling on your mental health. While yes, it’s important to work out all of the kinks of your work to make sure it is as close to perfect as it possibly could. After all, we are creating work for real clients for their real businesses.
However, all of the critiques can begin to take a toll on your mental well-being. At least for me, it did. Of course, it doesn’t help that my anxiety is on 24/7 and constantly throws me into a loop of self-doubt and self-loathing.
How do you combat these negative thoughts, especially in an industry where your work is constantly viewed by others? You self-reflect and give yourself a break. I know, easier said than done. Believe me, I wouldn’t have ever written anything like this. Not to get all Eat, Pray, Love on you, but self-reflecting is a key component to one’s mental health. I know it’s definitely helped me get over most of my anxiety over submitting work to be viewed by others.
Here are some of the ways that I self-reflect to make myself feel as whole as possible.
Conduct a personal inventory - Nobody knows you better than yourself. Get out a journal and list out all of your dreams, aspirations, accomplishments and other important things to remind you that you are worthy and capable of just about anything. How do others perceive you versus how you perceive yourself? What are five words that you’d use to describe yourself? Prompts like these will help you realize your worth.
Stop comparing yourself to others - Yeah, easier said than done, right? This is something that I still struggle with. It's not the case that people are better than you, it's the case of many factors. Maybe that person just has more experience than you. Maybe they have different habits from you. Each person is a unique individual with their own experiences and backgrounds. You just have to keep your head up, begin to value yourself and work hard for your goal(s).
Learn to love and value yourself - We are our own biggest critics. It can be easy to fall into a loop of constant self-doubt and self-loathing. Until we love and value ourselves, others won’t feel that way toward us. Remind yourself that you’re in the position that your younger self used to dream of. Remind yourself that you do belong where you are today because others knew your worth and knew you’d fit right in. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Be transparent - Please be open about how you feel. Sometimes it can be a deeper issue and you may need help coping with everything. Be transparent with someone you’re comfortable with and they might be able to guide you to the right resources and tools you need to get better.
As previously stated, a lot of these pieces of advice are easier said than done. It takes a lot of practice, trust me I’m still learning how to implement these ideas into my life. But we just have to take things one day at a time. In the end, I promise it’ll be worth it.