on the day before my first day of class or internship, i usually dedicate the entire 24 hours to preparing for the next. i pick out my clothes, re-go over all of the papers and upcoming assignments, organize the materials, and begin to think about the upcoming semester. i spend the day creating anxiety and building up stress. before long, i’m a disaster.
my normal routine is to play the “worst-case scenario” and “what if” game; i normally think so much about the upcoming day, i create stress and unnecessary fear over something that has yet to come. and i’m the first to label my actions as stressed or anxious. but not today.
although i am entering my second (and last) semester of graduate school and begin my internship tomorrow, i chose not to use today worrying about tomorrow. i decided to stop being scared, anxious, and stressed out. i’m not even sure where these feelings ever come from, but i do know its how i have responded to school since my first day of kindergarten. because it has been my normal reaction for 17 years, i usually welcome, accept, and perhaps embrace these unhelpful reactions.
today i decided to concentrate on today. and when i did start thinking about the upcoming day, i refused to label my reactions as stressed and instead described them as excitement. because i am excited.
unlike my normal “day before school routine,” i went to lunch with a friend. and instead of taking the day off of work to ensure i was prepared like i normally would, i decided to work.
i realized that all of these ‘rituals’ weren’t helping me or pushing me forward. i decided i couldn’t spend today creating negative thoughts about what was yet to come. and i also decided to stop allowing stress and anxiety to dictate my actions. if you know me, you will understand how big of a deal this truly is.
i did’t even pick out my outfit the night before.
just because you have done something your whole life doesn’t mean you need to keep on doing it.
i’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t prepare before big days or create ways to be successful. what i’m suggesting (at least for myself) is to get prepared and then be done with it. stop creating problems for yourself. stop holding yourself back.
for you, maybe its not school. maybe its stress about not having enough money or time. maybe its unhelpful anxiety about an upcoming event. sure, some stress is to be expected about new or challenging events. but how are you utilizing the stress? because we all know worrying about money won’t create more money. and wasting our time thinking about how there’s not enough of it, just wastes more time. why not put yourself in the best position for tomorrow by focusing on today?
stress and anxiety (and a whole range of other emotions) are not helpful. these reactions have a tendency to limit our creativity. why not find another way to respond to an upcoming challenge? why not be optimistic, realistic, or excited? why not worry about money by creating a budget and then sticking to it? you probably get my point. use your thoughts to create action… to move yourself forward.
i had a great day today.
i enjoyed local art and food.
and my first day of class and interning turned out just fine.