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Keep Going

Accomplishing a goal is a long journey. It is never an easy task to achieve a milestone. Sometimes these goals can be short-term or long-term, depending on your progress.


Setting a goal comes with setting expectations and expectations come with fulfillment. We must lay down the small steps and foundation to reach higher and feel better.


This is the general gist of accomplishing goals. It feels good knowing you’re able to achieve a certain feat. Whether playing the piano, acing the job interview, or being consistent with our work, we reap what we sow.


An important part of this process is remembering to practice self-compassion. Remind yourself that you will get what you work for. Keep the flame within to burn bright, and stay determined amidst everything happening.


Not only did I have to practice compassion for myself but I also had to set realistic goals for me to flourish. A great example of this is exercise. Consistency is important to reach your fitness goals. I first wanted to start small and do my daily jog at the park. I wasn’t the best runner but I persisted. It was a bright sunny morning, and I brought my hydro flask and airpods. I walked one lap and then I started to jog.


My feet and body move in unison, my arms alternating back and forth and my legs pacing in a relaxed rhythm. It’s a mental battle of working hard and reaching your limit. Sometimes I stop to catch my breath. It’s important to watch out for myself when I reach my limit but I want to achieve greater heights than where I am and elevate my success.


I slowly succumbed to my thoughts. Jogging is hard when you are halfway to a mile. My breathing starts to become intense and my heart beats irregularly. I’m at the point where I can’t take it anymore but I tell myself to keep going, I’m almost there, and about to reach the finish line. It became a huge mantra of mine to continue being persistent. My legs began to tire out and I pressed onward to the corner of my park. I finally made it. I sat down on my bench and exhaled out of exhaustion. Doing something I previously thought I couldn’t was an exhilarating feeling. I’ve overcome what I thought was the extent of my efforts.


The highest I could jog was two miles for twenty minutes. At first, I focused on beating my record but instead, I focused on the work I put in.


My favorite hobby is playing Piano. I started playing when I was a sophomore student in high school. Reading sheet music and coordinating both of my hands is a real challenge. I taught myself through a piano app and learned music theory from YouTube. Eventually, I was able to learn songs I liked on my own. I had to train myself on finger dexterity, play slowly, have patience, and be kind to myself.


Piano can be frustrating sometimes. My main goal is to play my favorite song perfectly with no mistakes. And no matter what, I will always mispress a key or not move my hand properly. It hurts. But, it’s a great opportunity to stay calm and try again. I give myself many chances to play repetitively because I want to envision myself playing this song; knowing in full confidence that I can do it. The positive thoughts I tell myself while surrounded by degrading and negative ones motivate me to keep going. And so, I persist forward.


Knowing how to stay optimistic is important because the effort you put in helps you reach your goal. We keep going until we extend past where thought was possible.


And with that growth comes balance. There is a small voice that could hinder our progress.


Hindering thoughts

Normally if we experience a mistake or a bad memory, it dampens our confidence. Why? Because we don’t want to go through the same thing again. Otherwise, it taunts our self-esteem and not doing better.


It’s the same with anxiety. I have this mindset where I contemplate what happened in the past constantly. I dread what I shouldn’t have done, what I should’ve said, and how I could’ve made the situation okay. I need to have control that everything will be okay for me. This mindset has caused me to doubt myself and the work I’m doing. Each bad memory encapsulates an alter ego of mine where it continues to degrade me.


I look at myself in front of the mirror and ask myself, why am I not good at anything? My alter ego was right; I realized I could not improve because of my mistakes, poor performance, and not learning quickly.


What I’ve learned from therapy is how to disassociate my bad thoughts from myself. I still do this today and it is a challenge in everyday life. The worst part of it is that it is mentally draining. If I want to go out for a walk but suddenly am preoccupied with a bad thought, it’s not worth tainting my enjoyment. That does not mean you should isolate yourself from what you want to do. This is where we have to disassociate our thoughts so we don’t blur what is good and wrong.


A good analogy I use to describe this is practicing an instrument. You’re optimistic about playing a song you like and you are committed to doing it. As soon as you press the first note, you realize you won’t play well. It might take you days, weeks, or even months to get past the chorus. Overall, the song you want to play might not be adequate for you based on your performance.


But, don’t stop that commitment!


You indeed need to be good and skillful but that doesn’t have to stop you from playing in the first place. Staying optimistic and pushing through are the only things you need to keep going. By doing this, you’re able to analyze the thoughts you are thinking versus where you want to be right now. This is called having a growth mindset. If you are fixated on your thoughts, then you will stay that way until you decide to move yourself; this is being in a fixed mindset.


It’s a long grueling journey if you want to play your favorite song, but it’s worth the progress. And all it took was the small optimistic thought to keep pushing.


Of course, if the bad thought does hinder you too much, take yourself out of the thought and re-analyze again. It is also a challenging task to get over your thoughts easily. All it takes is for you to keep going.


However, there’s this inner battle that we have to keep fighting in ourselves. Anyone with mental health challenges can understand why.


Depression and Anxiety go hand in hand about our worth and how we don’t often stay strong. It affects our performance and enjoyment. It’s not only hard to get out of, but it’s like you trapped yourself. Thoughts become more worrisome, and hurtful, and can go out of their way to change your thinking.


There’s a question that will loom over my head: Am I still good enough? A short and complicated question to answer. The answer to that is, yes. You still are. Your depressive thoughts and anxiety may have overcome you, but you have the power to change that. When you look at your thoughts from a different angle and take care of yourself, you view your life differently. You start to become your own best friend. The same friend who would tell you one thing:


“No matter what happens, please keep going. You got this.”


It’s what you can do. Being optimistic makes a big difference in your growth. It’s why you have to be kind to yourself, and be confident that things will get better (they will). It’s why loving yourself shows your worth. 


Our lives are not defined through our Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health challenges. We can’t blame ourselves because we don’t think “normally.” Instead, reframe your thoughts to a positive outlook.


Onward

There’s a way for life to bring us down for some reason. And it can affect so much in our potential, growth, and well-being. All because of a mistake or a cumulation of many circumstances that define our disappointment. We often self-loathe because we should’ve learned better and it’s a way to reflect on our mistakes. On the flip side, it’s not something to beat ourselves down because it does not represent us.


There’s only so much you can do. Dwelling on the past will hold you back. It can be scary to move forward because we don’t know what to expect, but by knowing that you are capable of changing yourself for the better and not weighing yourself down with your regrets, guilt, and burden, you’ll realize how much value you have within.






About the Author

Daniel Santiago is a blogger in the Love Yourself Foundation. He enjoys writing, playing games, and exercising. His favorite activity is going out for walks and listening to lo-fi and serene music. A professional at being an introvert, he strives to find his place in the world and remind everyone they are not alone.

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