There are times in our lives when things don't look too bright. When it seems like you've lost your purpose, your motivation, or how whatever you're striving towards appears to be moving further and further away. Because sometimes things just feel hopeless. But when you think about it, isn't there so much more that is going right than what's going wrong? Although Thanksgiving is definitely not the highest up on my favorite holidays list, Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for what we have, especially before we turn to December and begin crafting our holiday wishlists. Thanksgiving reminds us that there are more things to be thankful for than all of the bad that plague your life. Because sometimes it just feels like nothing is going your way, but why should you let that negative thought plague your life any longer when there's so much good out in the world? Finding this positivity isn't always easy. Even though Thanksgiving has passed, finding things to be thankful for, to appreciate when things go wrong is still something that you should do all the time. So how do you find that appreciation when you feel like there's nothing to appreciate? Sometimes it just takes a change of perspective, a wake up call, which I intend to make of this Thanksgiving.

As a part of the Peter Pan Diaries series, if you haven't been updated, here's a brief summary about what the mini-series is about:
The Peter Pan diaries is a mini-series covering the various struggles, ups and downs, and giving guidance on the teen years. The Peter Pan series is for the people out there that are growing up, mostly aimed at the young adult years, but how they might not necessarily be ready to grow up yet, almost like Peter Pan. They're meant to help make the transition a little bit easier and also allow me to give my personal experiences and my perspectives on some struggles and controversial topics regarding teen life and being a young adult. 

A few days ago, just before Thanksgiving, I hit a roadblock in my life that really made me feel bad about myself. That day, I was feeling pretty good, and I was looking forward to getting working on things to enhance my life, working on new skills and working towards new goals. I was ready to get started and get going when all of a sudden this road block hit me. And with that road block came a sea of negative emotions. My positive growth mindset took a total 180 and I found myself doubting everything. I doubted my abilities, I doubted my talents, and I doubted myself. And when that bad event set in, it was literally like my heart sunk. It felt as though everything was just a mess for me. I felt like I was worthless and like I had no purpose in my life. I blamed myself for something that probably wasn't even my fault, something that was completely out of control. And instead of working on myself and my personal growth like I had originally planned, I found myself using that time to put myself down. I let all of my negative feelings pour out and take over. Other people already put you down and make you feel bad about yourself, so why should you just add onto that pain by putting yourself down? 

But eventually, after sitting there drowning in my sorrows for a while, I realized that it was pointless. Why was I letting this setback ruin a chance at personal growth for something else? I could have been working towards success instead of putting myself down. I realized that I was better than this. I could be better than this. There are so many things that I could have been doing with my time instead of feeling bad about myself. I could have been creating the person that I wanted to be, because yeah, maybe things weren't exactly how I wanted them to be, but isn't the next step changing that? Why was I letting my failures define me? So that day, after crying, I ended up getting up out of my bed and just doing. I started doing things that would (hopefully) lead me in the direction that I wanted. And maybe I had failed in that one category that day, but on the same day, I began to work on my personal growth in another category. Because sometimes when one door closes, another opens. And I didn't want to let the closing of that door stop me from moving onto something new. Today, maybe I'm still not completely over that one failure, but I've been coming to terms with it and accepting it while not letting it hold me back from new goals. The thing about failures is that they sometimes hold you back from further success. You spend so much time thinking about it that you waste all of the time and energy that you could have been pouring into something new. And sometimes realizing that just takes a change in perspective. 

A few days later, after having that mini-breakdown about my identity and my self-doubts, I started thinking to myself about how lucky I am. I don't know why I was being so negative about myself when I already have so much. I was raised in a nice middle-class family where I got what I wanted most of the time. I've always done well in school and haven't really had much of a stress from that. I've had opportunities that others don't. I get to travel the world and experience new cultures. I've walked the halls of the Palace of Versailles in France. I've been to Indonesian temples. I've walked the Great Wall of China. I've sat on the beautiful beaches in Mexico. I've been to Mozart's birthplace in Austria. So why was I complaining? I'm so privileged and I'm crying about a small little failure? Isn't that just a waste of my time and energy? My identity is made up of all of these incredible experiences that I have been lucky enough to have. I just didn't realize it until I changed my perspective. 

So how can you start seeing things in a new perspective, with more positivity instead of infectious negative ideas? The thing is that it's a bit easier said than done. Sometimes you just need a little push or a reminder, like Thanksgiving. But other times, you just might need an experience, like I had with that little self-bullying moment to turn your perspective around. And although it might be different for everyone, here are some tips that I hope might help you to view the world with more hope.

One // Write down one thing every day that you love about your life.

I'll bet you that the first few days of this will start out easy. Food. Water. A home. Family. But I challenge you to think further. Yeah, you have the basic necessities of life, which is fantastic, but what else do you love about your life? For example, I love that I'm able to share my thoughts online, even if no one is listening, maybe I can help someone out there that is going through something similar. All you need to do is sit down for a little while and think. What about your life is amazing? If you can't think of anything, you're not thinking hard enough. Even the littlest things can make your life better, without you even realizing it. Maybe it's that you saw a movie that you enjoyed, and for those 2 short hours, you were able to escape the stress of your life. Maybe it's that you just bought a new candle that makes you feel calm and happy. Look for things that make you happy.

Two // Listen to others.

I bet you that there is someone else out there that is struggling through the same thing. And sometimes that's all that it takes to find a bright side to something, knowing that you're not alone. Find friends, people on the internet, celebrities, anyone that might be struggling with something similar and just take a moment to listen. We spend so much time complaining about everything that's wrong in our lives that we sometimes forget to listen to others, and realize that maybe our problems aren't as big as they seem. One of my favorite people to listen to is Katy Bellotte (hellokatyxo), who makes incredible videos. She always discusses topics that lots of people are struggling with, but is able to put a positive spin on it and really empower people. Another great resource for listening is Ted talks. Ted talks get so creative, but also give you a dose of #RealTalk. Look for speakers that discuss personal experiences or positivity or something that you're struggling with.

Three // Listen to music that empowers you.

Music is such a powerful thing. Although I'm not the kind of person that's really into music, there are just some songs that you fall in love with and can turn your negative emotions into feelings of happiness. For me, it's not always about the lyrics of a song, it's just about how the song makes me feel. Music has this amazing capability of creating whatever mood that it wants to create, bringing different kinds of emotions to light, just depending on the way that the music sounds. For example, here's an article about the psychology of music and emotions, which is absolutely fascinating. It's amazing to see that scientifically, music can make you feel better, but obviously it depends on the song, since music can provoke a huge variety of different emotions. I've added a playlist on Spotify with some of my favorite songs and also another with music that just makes me feel good. Note that these songs aren't necessarily selected based on the lyrics, but mostly just based on how I feel from listening to these songs.

Because at the end of the day, do you really want to have spent your life feeling sorry for yourself? Sometimes when things get rough we just need to weather through the storm and find something that gets us through it. The storm will pass, but only if you stop it from consuming you, from taking over your life. Consider this your wake up call, your reminder about all of the good in your life. Don't let those small failures and setbacks rule out everything beautiful and good that you have. Because your failures don't dictate who you are or who you can be in the future. 

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