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Success & self-care: Why the secret to achieving is in how we’re feeling

It’s hard to remember a time where more people, collectively, have been so focused and determined on achieving their definition of success. It’s as if people have finally caught wind of the opportunity that lies in the digital revolution and how possible it is.

Everyone wants to be a creative, entrepreneur, business owner or whatever it is that one could ever dream to be. Every day it seems like the internet gives birth to a new star. A star with their own lane and platform.

One snowball effect, however, has been the resurgence in “hustle” culture and the golden age of motivational speeches. While working hard and positivity is great, many of us are having trouble balancing the workload of it all.

Taking into account that we already live in a capitalist-driven economy where careers are competitive and scarce, young adults are feeling the pressure to give up free time, take on extracurriculars and “link up” at networking events more than ever.

Meanwhile, sleep’s stock is on the heavy decline. Either no one has time for it or sees the use in it anymore. If you’re not juggling college and paying for said college, you’re working two jobs trying to maintain a way of life worth living.

It’s why thirty-nine percent of American adults were more stressed in 2018 than in 2017 and why eighteen percent of American adults have an anxiety disorder.

It’s also why self-care content is flying off the digital shelves. People are posting about self-care all the time, as are advertisements and radio host. Even Charlamagne, a prominent hip-hop personality, has a best-selling book on mental health: Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me. 

The thing is, you don’t have to wait until you’ve gotten to a point where you feel like your anxiety is out of control or your health is deteriorating before you address it.

In fact, the very thing people end up compromising their health for — success, glory, the pinnacle, — is best achieved with daily practices of self-care.

Forgive yourself

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One of the most important steps we can and ever will take toward caring for ourselves is first being able to forgive ourselves.

I hate when people associate knowing better and doing better. The reason why? A lot of us know better yet fail ourselves on the daily. It’s good to recognize where we fall short and self-awareness is a gift, but it does us no good when we beat ourselves up.

When we waste time reliving in negative situations we block the possibilities for positive ones. On top of that, we let the guilt manifest in self-destructive matters.

If we ever want to accel in life and go forward, we have to let go of the past. Forgiving ourselves is a pillar to self-care that if we master, we’ll never be too far off our desired path.

Tend to yourself

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Just like watering a plant, feeding a dog, we must tend to our selves. That means our physical, mental and spiritual.

The reason so many of us keep blowing out tires and becoming burned out in the pursuits of our dreams is that we’re not conditioned.  We’re not sweating, we’re not releasing endorphins, and we’re not giving ourselves recreation time.

It’s important for us to set aside time for the gym, watch Netflix, or whatever it is that gives us the escape we need. Hustle culture tells you to go, go, go but never tells you when to rest.

Steve Harvey caught much-needed heat for spitting some of that same rhetoric during his talk show…

“Rich people don’t sleep eight hours a day,” the Family Feud host told his studio audience in a video that’s since gone viral online.

“That’s a third of your life. It ain’t but 24 hours in a day. You cannot be sleep eight hours a day. You can’t live in L.A. and wake up at 8 o’clock in the morning. It’s 11 o’clock on the east coast. The stock market (has) been open two hours. They already making decisions about your life and your a-s was sleep.”

Luckily most people didn’t buy into to this, but there are some who do subscribe to this logic and are okay walking around bitter and unpleasant to everyone they’re around because of it.

Rest is productive; when you tend to yourself you give yourself the opportunity to operate at your best. Unless we take care of our health, we’ll never reach the heights we set.

We should never get so caught up in where we’re trying to go that we overlook managing the way to get there. You are the vehicle. You are the vessel that is supposed to be there at the end of the dream.

It’s up to take care of it. Forgive and tend to yourself and watch just how much faster you gain on your goals.