By Morgan Cappetta
I must warn you, the three skills I plan to mention are not necessarily typical, nor applicable to everyone. Yet, I have found them invaluable. This article is not to say that I have mastered each of these ideals; they are goals to work towards everyday.
The first skill is essentially two-in-one. Develop a thick skin and get really good at accepting rejection. This may sound terrible and pessimistic, but it is true in my experience. When I came to college, I had always thought of myself has having a thick skin – able to bounce back quickly if faced with a challenge that knocked me down. College, I came to realize, is on a bigger scale, and even scarier, makes you aware that real ‘adult’ life is even bigger than college. Boston University, along with other schools in its tier, is brimming with bright, adaptable, talented and gifted students. Realizing I was not as good as I thought was difficult, and impacted my sense of confidence at first. I learned humility from my failures. Giving up and settling for being as good as you already are is a very viable option; yet I implore you, do not give up. Do not surrender to settling. So what if someone got that e-board position instead of you, or that solo instead of you, or that internship instead of you? Figure out what they did better, and learn it. Each failure is a unique opportunity for you to grow as a person, in all aspects of your life. Accept your failures, perhaps after a few tears, and get back up, get back out there and learn everything you can to make sure that your failure becomes a positive lesson you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
My second skill may sound really simple at first, but it’s more difficult than it seems. Learn how to live mindfully. Mindfulness is an overarching movement in meditation and life coaching, but I’ll explain what I mean when I use it here. To be mindful is to be present in your own life, in the moment. Awake. To be mindful is to ask questions – of everything and everyone. This is not meant to sound daunting, merely to encourage you to allow your natural curiosity to bloom and flow into your own life. I use mindfulness to learn things I may not have learned otherwise, and to better understand myself. For example, when hearing about a company or internship or field, I try to be conscious of my gut reaction to it. It’s easy to lose touch with your gut, your true feelings and opinions, given the hectic nature of daily life and the expectations and standards placed on each of us. Being mindful of these standards will help you better understand your motivations for each of your actions, which will help you become more self aware as a person. Maslow’s Hierarchy places self-actualization as the optimal goal for humanity. Self-actualization is the notion that a person has fully lived up to their potential. There’s an exciting word – potential. If you’re like me, when you hear potential, you hear it as an inspiring call to action – a challenge. Being mindful, being aware, being present in the moment are of the utmost importance when discovering for yourself what you believe your potential is. Your potential is only as large as you believe it is.
So, to recap: having a thick skin, but not being closed off to learning is a difficult balance to achieve. Understanding yourself, your goals, and your potential is also tremendously challenging. Being mindful and curious about your life and yourself will help you in your pursuit of self-actualization. I hope these recommendations resonate with you as they do for me. Godspeed, ladies.