As a competitive tennis player, I have had firsthand experience with being my best self regardless of the situation. This afternoon when I was playing tennis, I was so tired as I had not had lunch and was brain dead (due to my tests); however, a piece of advice from my coach not only inspired me to put in my best effort for the rest of practice, but also to write this article. He said, “you gain the most when you are working hard through a difficult situation, because you are learning how to make the best out a situation that isn’t ideal.” Being your best self and trying your best in any situation is the first step to take charge of your life.
In the summer of 2016, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the HERLead leadership forum in New York. One of the main things I learned in the forum is that opportunity comes at the strangest times. It is always important to keep your eyes open for opportunities that you may miss if you are focusing on the negative aspects of situations. In addition to seeing the positives in any situation, it is paramount to focus on things that are in your control. For example, how you present yourself and how you show up are things in your control, whereas what others think of isn’t something in your control. Therefore, even if it is a difficult situation you are in, try to see the positive aspects.
One of the main things I have learned over the last few years is to love my personality and myself in general. As a senior in high school, I am beyond thankful to have learned this before heading off to college. I have learned that I can’t change who I am to conform with my peers. If you learn to love and appreciate who you are, it makes you a much happier person and much more in control of your life.
People always say “be grateful for what you have,” but sometimes it can be hard especially if you are not having a good day. For the last two weeks, I have tried to be as grateful as I possibly can be for everything in my life: my family, my friends, my house, my school, my car, etc. Let me tell you, it has made me a much happier person. Sometimes when I am walking from one class to the next, I go through some things that I am truly grateful for and it never fails to put me in a better mood. When I am happy, it gives me a sense that I am control of my life. Being grateful for everything in your life not only will help you have a better day, but it will also help you love yourself.
At some point in life, everyone has experienced fear of failing at something. Others constantly live in fear of letting other people down or letting themselves down. Sometimes the pressures of society becomes overwhelming, and those who usually perform well start to develop a fear of failure. In this increasingly competitive world, it seems like everyone has to be good at everything to succeed in life. In order to get into a good college, students need to have perfect GPAs, excellent test scores, and multiple extracurricular activities. Well rounded my foot! I recently felt this fear of failure in tennis, but I realized that failing at something equips me with experience that I need to succeed. Once I let go of the fear of losing in tennis, there was a noticeable change in my confidence and game. One of the core components to taking charge of your life is to accept failure and learn from it. When you succumb to the fear of failure, you are letting fear control your life. It is easier said than done, but let go of the fear of failure, and you will be much more in control of your life.
Originally published at medium.com