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challenge yourself

I’m not normally a competitive person, but for some reason I seem to thrive when pressured or challenged. I like to rise to the occasion I guess. Some of my best work in my personal, school, or professional life has been accomplished when I’ve been challenged. Yes, some of it has been out of spite, but if I turned that spite into a positive result, whats the difference really?

it all started with a personal manifesto...tying those loose ends into beautiful bows...

Anyway. This last year I got into the habit of challenging myself to try out new things, including new ways of thinking. Most of the positive changes I’ve made in my life this past year have all started out as experiments/challenges just to see if it worked for me. I feel like I’m kind of on a roll here folks, I’m starting to compile a list of the things I’ve accomplished through the power of challenging myself to do something new.

1. Positivity. I’m a natural pessimist (pessimists call this realism, but lets be honest the REAL and practical choice is to choose optimism) but for a few months I went hardcore on the optimist bandwagon and it totally made a difference. You know how they say that if you smile all the time eventually you will be in a good mood? Well those happy jerks were totally right. Damn. Not only did I smile, but I made it a point to laugh and make sure to put my own bad situations into perspective. There is always someone worse off than me, I should really be grateful that its not worse for me. In fact that’s one thing I’ve put into my personal manifesto I wrote for myself last year (more on that later). This positive out, positive in approach I took to previously negative things (like myself and work) have totally paid off, everyone at work who was previously scared/intimidated by me are now coming up to me and asking what I’ve been doing differently because I seem happier than before. My manager has even commented on it and shes usually the one that’s most critical of me. If those aren’t results, I don’t know what are. Yes I have days or stretches of days where I’m stuck focusing on the negative of everything, but usually its nothing a good nap, cry, or reality check can’t fix. Usually at those times I remind myself of what I have to be grateful for and how far I’ve come.

its amazing the confidence you can gain when you attempt something and achieve it, or even take a closer step to getting there

2. Fake it til you make it. So I wouldn’t say I ‘made it’ but it definitely took me farther than if I hadn’t tried this mentality on. It was all about confidence, in myself, in my abilities. It forced me to get out and try new things in new scenes which previously made me 200% uncomfortable- to the point that I would back out of certain social situations because I felt like I wouldn’t fit in. It forced me to go on dates with people I never would have never attracted in the first place had I not acted confidently. It pushed me to pursue my art hobbies, which although I haven’t gone far- I’ve gone way farther than I ever have before. The confidence thing is scary, it totally works, and its kind of funny how easily men are manipulated by it by the way (ladies take note confidence IS SEXY AS HELL).

unhealthy lazy valerie would have never agreed to go up a 10k mountain just to see whats up there, new valerie couldnt wait to go...

3. Trying out the whole ‘healthy diet & exercise’ thing to see if it really does work. As a cheeseburger, burrito and carb-aholic, this one took me the longest to attempt. Like many things I’ve always said I’d do it and stick to it but I’d drop out after the first couple days of soreness and then forget all about healthy eating until it was time to go jeans or bathing suit shopping. WELL, I’m 4ish weeks into this new lifestyle and 2 inches slimmer, I’d say its working so far. I told myself I’d try out this Ripped in 30 and if I saw results, I’d keep it up and exercise normally- like I probably should but never did cause I was lazy. Well now it looks like this is gonna become part of my lifestyle because to be brutally honest, although working out sucks and hurts sometimes, I don’t like NOT working out regularly, it makes me feel good about myself, and it makes me feel good to know that I’m keeping myself healthy so when I’m older I’ll look younger than I should. Yes, I’m that vain.

So I would like to challenge you all out there.

If there is something in your life you have been meaning to change/work on/do…do it. Challenge yourself to try it out, see if it works for you. I pretty much guarantee that if you put as much effort into that positive change in your life as you do the negative habits holding you back, you will see a positive outcome. You get out of it what you put in.

So please, give it a try, call it a social experiment, whatever.

Do it.

Be the person you want to be, no one can stop you except yourself.

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