The Last Word

By Alexander Grant | Posted: Thursday August 30, 2018

Its a competitive world out there.

Although NZ is a small country, there is still intense competition for places in halls of residence, for apprenticeship positions, for entry into law school, Health sciences, engineering or for that job you’ve always wanted. Places are limited and only the best are accepted. It’s a rough and tough world out there, but we here are up for the challenge.

Here are my top tips for keeping positive in a competitive world. The overall rule is "being kind to yourself." How do you do this though?

Don’t put yourself down. Be your own best friend when it comes to self-talk. If you notice that you are saying things to yourself like “I can’t do that. I have no idea how. I’ll look like a tosser,” stop it and change the way you are speaking to yourself. Critical self-talk will not build confidence. It does not make you eager to make positive change. However, speaking kindly to yourself will completely change your outlook, energy levels, relationships, motivation, overall well-being, and success. Create an inner best friend who is powerful and compelling, someone who encourages, motivates, inspires and supports you in every endeavour.

Start saying things like “Yeah, I can do this. If they can, why can’t I?” Be kind to yourself by slowing down and noticing the little things that we generally take for granted. Be appreciative. Appreciate each bite of your pie. Appreciate your lungs burning when you work out because it means you have a fully functioning body that can work out. Some people don’t. Appreciate waking up in the morning to go to school. Some people don’t get to live as long as you. Appreciate having someone who cares for you. It might be a mother, a father, a sibling, a grandparent, a teacher, a coach, or a friend. Appreciate the care they show for you. Appreciate that we live in a city that has clear skies and a sea we can swim in. Not all places are as clean as Dunedin. Basically, appreciate the little things: what you can see, what you can taste, what you can hear. And of course, appreciate music. Music is the best thing of all for lifting your spirits. 

Get lots of sleep. Eat healthy food. I know that when I am tired and have been eating sugary junk food I start to feel quite depressed. It’s an easy fix.

Be kind to yourself by making sure that every day you spend fifteen minutes doing absolutely nothing. Just stop, lay back, turn off your cell phone and take a nap.

And, finally, plan a future that keeps you enjoying each day, knowing that each moment of your day is taking you forward into your planned future. You might change your mind along the way and plan a different future. That’s fine. Change your plans as often as you need to, but just make sure that each new plan makes you feel excited. And keep working towards it, all the while remembering to appreciate the little things in life, like your friends, your family, your rice balls, and sport. 

If you put yourself first by being kind to yourself, you are better able to get where you want to go.