How To Stay Optimistic Through The Struggle

I’m at a weird space in my life. I call it that crossroad between your childhood ending and your adult hood beginning because well, that’s just how life is.

I’m 20 and I just moved out of the dorms. I decided to stay in my college town and work and take summer classes because I didn’t feel like going back home to Chicago.

The thought of paying RENT and other bills instead of going shopping is depressing, to say the least.

My personal life is a mix of one struggle after another, with some triumph mixed in too. I try to stay optimistic though, because if I don’t, I will begin to feel sorry for myself, and that is one thing I just can’t have. So if you’re going through a struggle right now, I decided to not let you feel sorry for yourself either.

Here’s three ways to shake that funk you may be in, and conquer each day with a smile:

1) Yes you’re struggling, but so is everyone else in the world. GET OVER IT. 

Seriously. As Michael Jackson once sang, “you are not alone.” and you AREN’T. Of course, most people won’t list their problems on a T-shirt, but that doesn’t mean that you get to sulk around and cry about how much you’re going through. Learn that struggle is a part of life and learn how to thrive in it. It’s not that deep.

2) Find better things to do other than feel sorry for yourself.

We all have our depressed days, especially when your money ain’t right, the rent is due, or you’re stuck working a job you hate. But you can’t feel sorry for yourself. In my head, feeling sorry for yourself is equivalent to procrastinating, which is equivalent to not doing anything to better your situation. Acknowledge your struggle, but don’t let it consume you.

3) Check your blessings.

One tactic that I stay optimistic is that I always remind myself of my blessings. First off, I’m blessed to be living and breathing each day, which is a luxury that so many people my age don’t get to experience unfortunately. For those that think that blessings come in material forms, you have to think of things this way: Your rent may be too high, but at least you have a place to lay your head. Your job may suck, but at least you are employed. You may not have money to buy the latest fashions, but at least you have enough clothes in your closet to mix and match. My point is, be appreciative of what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t.

So now that I’ve shared my tactics of staying optimistic through the struggle, I want to know some of yours. Comment below or Tweet me @KweenKia__ (two underscores)

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  1. My favorite part of this post is the comparison between self-pity and procrastination, both of which I’m guilty of from time to time. I’ve said this plenty to other folks, but I stay optimistic by looking at past successes. If I’m struggling with a new task, I think about the last time it happened and how I got through it. And like you said, things could ALWAYS be worse and I’m just happy to be breathing.

  2. hope my comment doesn’t post twice…I like the comparison between procrastination and self-pity. Whenever I’m struggling, I focus on past successes and the fact that I did get through them. If it’s not a matter of life or death, I TRY not to let it stress me. And most of the times, things could be WAY worse, so I’m just happy to be breathing.

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