Thought Catalog

50 One-Sentence Reminders Everyone Going Through A Breakup Needs To Hear Right Now

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

1. Half of what you're feeling is probably not even heartbreak—it's just anxiety over losing a source of comfort.

2. You are free.

3. The sweetest "revenge" is simply living and thriving in your own beautiful life, without them.

4. C’mon. They weren't really that good in bed.

5. You can now live without the fear that they are dampening your experiences and distracting you from yourself.

6. Anything they said to hurt you was only a projection of their own complexes and insecurities.

7. You did not lose them—they lost you.

8. It is through these dark, depressed moments that you'll realize how viciously capable and self-sustaining you truly are.

9. No one person is "perfect" for another.

10. There will be others.

11. The next body you touch will be unfamiliar. It's natural to feel nervous.

12. You have not experienced the peak of romantic love. There is so much more to come.

13. You do not need them.

14. And, in fact, you never did.

15. You wanted them, and they brought you comfort. But never, ever did you need them.

16. When you feel the urge to call/text/message them, remember: There is often more power in silence than in cutting words.

17. McDonald's will never not have french fries.

18. And Netflix just released a new season of ________.

19. You are the most important person in your life.

20. You are #1.

21. You are the only person you can rely on unconditionally, and only you can muster the courage to move on from this messy ordeal.

22. It is all too easy to remember relationships as romantic illusions of what they actually were.

23. We tend to remember the highlights, the good memories, the fullness of all that feeling, while failing to remind ourselves why we had to walk away.

24. So, for now, focus on their shortcomings, their selfishness—the things you accepted about them, but did not like.

25. Mute the loving memories. You broke up for a reason.

26. Their latest insta was dumb AF anyway.

27. Do not let anyone convince you that you're taking too long to move on.

28. Take all the time you need.

29. Understanding, peace, and closure will sneak up on you at their own pace.

30. Even if they are taking their sweet time, they will arrive.

31. And when they do, embrace them. Learn from this chapter of heartbreak—it won't be the only one—and blossom.

32. The concept of "deserving" is shallow, but if they were cruel, they did not deserve your beauty.

33. If it were meant to be, it would be.

34. And, maybe, it still is—later. Not now.

35. But do not not navigate your life with that possibility in mind.

36. If you do—if you seriously indulge the idea that the two of you will find each other again, and that when you do, it'll be right—you will close yourself off to the good things for which this breakup has paved the way.

37. Talk to your parents. They have experience and wisdom to share.

38. All the sadness, anger, and regret you're feeling deserves to be felt.

39. So don't push your emotions away in an effort to "get over it." Feel them, and let them pass when they will.

40. At a certain point in the near future, the urge to talk to them will dissipate.

41. …Because talking to them is a thing of habit, not a necessity.

42. If you are not yet ready to sleep with anyone, ignore those well-intentioned encouragements to "get under someone new."

43. There is no such thing as a "good" breakup.

44. Seek comfort in the things that have always brought you happiness.

45. Soon, they will think of you, and they will be deeply sad you're not sitting next to them.

46. The sun will rise tomorrow. Life will go on.

47. There will come a time when the very things that are making you cry will make you laugh.

48. While they may have damaged your spirit, they didn't come close to destroying you.

49. They never "completed" you.

50. You are broken, yes, but you are complete, you are whole, and you are fulfilled without them. TC mark

You Deserve To Love Someone Loudly

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 07:15 PM PDT


I hope you love someone loudly.

I hope your eagerness starts spilling out every time you go to open your mouth. I hope your heart is bubbling up and you forget how to use an inside voice.

I hope you never proceed with caution; you proceed with reckless abandon. Everything is grand and right now. There isn’t any shushing. No second-guessing if your volume will be seen as obnoxious. You just love, love, love.

I hope you get to love someone loudly.

I hope they hold your head with their open palms and there isn’t any fear that they will let go. You tell them exactly what you think and nothing holds you back. You stand atop rooftops and announce how madly perfect it all feels.

I hope you get to love someone loudly.

I hope you revert back to a teenager and assume you’re in something everlasting. You skip stones in nearby lakes and make wishes with any leftover change. I hope you look up at the stars and marvel that they are so far away, but we can still see them. I want you to feel the enormity of the universe, of holding someone’s hand, of loving without fear.

I hope you get to love someone loudly.

I hope you believe in magic again. Even if it seems foolish or naive. I hope you bottle up that magnetic feeling before a first kiss and relive that electricity constantly.

I hope you get to love someone loudly.

And I hope they love you back just as loudly. I hope you create an entire symphony together. The neighbors might complain, but you’ll be too lost in the moment to care. The loving. The loudness. The knocking of boots. I hope you turn bodies into canvasses and create masterpieces like no one has ever seen. You should be touched like you’re a Mona Lisa. A Statue of David.

You deserve to love loudly, unapologetically, and fearlessly. You deserve that beauty. TC mark

We Aren’t Angry At Our Exes, We’re Sad With Ourselves

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Natalie Allen
Natalie Allen

When we criticize others what we are really engaging in is criticism of ourselves.

For example, when I call my ex a sociopath, what I am really expressing is my fear that I am a fool, that I am blind to the deception inherent to any expansive dating life. When I express my disgust and disbelief over his actions, what I am really expressing is my aggressive suspicion of my own inadequacy, my fear that there is something about me that calls out to be disrespected.

When we criticize whomever has deceived us, we are actually experiencing the regret of what we have allowed into our lives, the regret of our own passivity, our own impressionable tendency to rush a person into our heart, to see a person as our answer before even indulging the natural instinct to question the mystery surrounding a person's character.

When we bash another person is it because they are the source of all our anger? Well, no.

Remember, anger is sadness turned outward. We profit off of such anger because anger disguises the true source surrounding our sadness and perpetuates our tendency toward delaying, delaying, delaying and denying, denying, denying.

When we bash another person, I think at the core it’s always a bashing of our own judgment, the fear that we cannot trust ourselves. I think when we criticize another person, become all excitable indulging others with our sob story, I think what’s really going on is we are restless to uncover our own self-betrayal. We are restless to declare it, to admit to our own self-doubt, to purge the hostility we have toward our own feebleness, to alas be freed of this criticism of ours.

So, does the fallback girl actually hate the narcissistic sociopath for disappearing? Not really. What she hates is the exposure he has given her to her own truth. The truth being that we would rather take in anyone in hopes of them becoming our answer than commit to becoming the one who can answer to themselves.

And the truth is we do attach ourselves to the promising qualities of a person, and we attach ourselves way too quickly. This is what a lover’s sudden disappearance sheds light on. Our own desperate attempts to turn anyone into "the one."

When we are caught up in hunting down the one, what we are indirectly telling ourselves is we are not enough, that we have not been able to make ourselves happy yet. In fact, when we constantly involve ourselves in the rush toward love and the chase, what we are actually communicating is our lack of faith.

When we seek out everyone else, when we hold our heart out to them, what we are saying is we don't really believe we will ever have what it takes to make ourselves happy on our own.

This is why we resent the people who leave us because when we fall out of our relationships, we are forced to fall back on ourselves, and it is only really then that we see how little we are providing ourselves to fall back on.

This is something we must try seriously to understand. Our anger is never what it seems to be over.

Our anger is less an anger over his disappearance, and more a sadness that there is something in us that we can’t seem to shake, that we can’t seem to accept, a sadness over there being something about ourselves that we have a habit of abandoning. The thing is, this sadness of ours portrays the deep want we have to love that part of ourselves, whatever that part is, we have a deep need to give that part of ourselves more attention, compassion, and care.

That is why we find the situation of being left so unsettling. We are unsettled less by a lover's deception and more by our own ability to sabotage ourselves, to simply not give ourselves the time and patience necessary to develop a genuine love for ourselves, an acceptance.

So, in the instance of criticizing a boyfriend for his cowardly habit of disappearing, what we are really at odds with is how we keep on finding ways to distract ourselves from showing up in our own lives.

What we are actually at odds with is our tendency of falling out of love with ourselves.

The best news is there is nothing and no one beyond ourselves that is stopping us from developing self-love. If we want it, it can be ours—forever. We just need to make ourselves a priority first and foremost. TC mark

Thank You To The Girlfriends Who Love Us Through Everything

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Fabien Vilrus
Fabien Vilrus

I should start this off by saying thank you. I know I already thank you for mundane things, like when you pick me up a coffee when you’re out, or how you let me have the dress you impulse ordered online when you end up not liking it.

I could write an entire list of silly things I’m thankful for when it comes to you. But that would only scratch the surface. It wouldn’t even begin to cover the gratitude I feel to have found you.

I owe you thanks for much more than the simple things you could slap on a greeting card. For more than the shared laughter together over weird Tinder profiles we come across. For more than always knowing it’s a yes to extra guac. For more than late night talks about our exes and things we’re afraid to say in the morning.

You should already know how much you mean to me, but we both know reminders never hurt.

When I say I am so glad to have you, it’s not an exaggeration. I’m not trying to write some fluffy message on the back of your yearbook. I’m telling you, without a doubt, my life would be missing something grand if it weren’t for you.

For all the times we joke that we should just enter a platonic marriage and make it official, you should know it’s only partly a joke because being in each other’s lives forever sounds like a good deal to me. The way we love isn’t romantic, but I think it’s something far more important.

We love each other without conditions.

Thank you for never asking me to be anything other than exactly what I am. You take the full package, and you embrace it. We both know I am not always the pretty picture I filter myself to be, and Babe, there are times you’re quite the mess yourself. But we stand together in our imperfections.

Thank you for not loving me in spite of things. Thank you for loving me for everything. I don’t think I’ll ever fully explain to you how much that means.

You’ve taught me to be forgiving with myself. You’ve taught me to be gentle with my own heart because of how kindly you treat it. When things start to weight too heavy, I know you are an anchor to settle me back in the right spot. Nobody even asked you to do that.

But you do.

Thank you for understanding my darkness. Or for those times when you don’t, thank you for not being afraid of what you don’t quite know. I’m proud of how eager we are to learn how to love each other better, the way we ask questions, how we make sure the other one knows we aren’t scared off when things get tough. We grow our relationship like it’s a living thing. Because I think it is.

You’ve seen me in situations I wish you hadn’t. You’ve watched me walk through Hell and I probably didn’t look too graceful while doing it. You never judged, you just waited there with your hand held out if I ever needed to grab it. And in turn, I’ve stood at the bottom of a canyon ready to catch you if your balance ever gives out.

Thank you for being in my corner, even when I didn’t always deserve it. You know there have been times I ferociously took your side when maybe there was another part of the story. And when we both played devil’s advocate and got slightly ticked off. I treasure your advice (even when I don’t take it) and I’m thankful for all the times you listen to the same story.

Thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do. When you are not your strongest, I will take whatever of your struggle I can. When you are afraid there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I’ll steal a flashlight for you. Yeah, that’s right. I’d risk jail for you.

I hope you never doubt how much of an impact you’ve made on my life and on my heart. You are my person. And I will always be here for you. TC mark

This Is What Happened After I Finally Gave In And Met My Dom Offline After 9 Months

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:00 PM PDT


After 9 months of online play, I was finally getting to meet you.

To think of it, it was no difference from mailing Santa my kinky wish list in March and waiting for him to land on my roof on his reindeer sleigh on Christmas. It had taken that long. You asked me to meet you up at the hotel bar and to order myself a drink. This was my moment but yet all my nerves were in a catastrophic tangle! Luckily, that glass of Merlot had worked before someone came up behind me to give me a warm squeeze.

It was you of course, my Sir.

Truthfully, my memory of your visage could be likened to a morning fog that dissipated as quickly as it came. I didn't have your photo. So here I was very much pleasantly surprised to see this tall handsome man, with absolutely sexy facial hair, taking his seat beside me, literally chatting me up at a bar. Conversations started flowing and in no time, I found myself walking alongside my Sir towards his room.

1618 was the room number. The door opened to a dimly lit carpeted room with familiar music playing in the background and we both walked in. Within minutes, you were the only one left standing. I was kneeling where I belong at your feet, your submissive.

We started our very first session softly. Slowly you caressed me, exploring every single inch of my body, surprising me with intermittent spankings. Sometimes, you made me go into a few positions you found desirable just to gaze lovingly at me. Pretty soon, we both were exalted to a state of pain and pleasure filled ecstasy. The two of us immersed in a dance of tango, a seamless tango of power. A beautiful moment was born, one that was only visible to our eyes.

Those intense eyes of yours that I couldn't decide to look away or to never look away. I loved how they flickered sometimes, like your soul was dancing in joy. That sexy mouth which you had fed me drinks with. I loved how they could take away all the pain that very instant they met mine. That sexy beard that I could fondle all day. I loved how they had felt so prickly on my skin, a reminder that I am yours. Those strong hands that could inflict so much pleasurable pain.

I love the way they affectionately run its way through my hair. Then that commanding voice that I had found so absolutely seductive. I adored how it could take away my reservations, made me do the things I never thought I would. On top of that, the lightness of mood, the provocative sillage of pheromone laced perfume, the familiar beat of the music had made this night so very memorable. I went to sleep thinking, "Is this what passion is?"

Maybe those guys were right in saying that, "Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience."

That 9 months wait had been worth it. TC mark

This One’s For The Tinder F*ckboy

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 04:45 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

This is for the Tinder f*ckboy. The guy who started off as just a hookup, but somehow caught feelings for a girl. Who spent time getting to know her, meeting her family, falling.

Who told her about his fears, his dreams. Who stayed up late sharing stories, laughing, opening. Who brought her into his life beyond the bedroom. Then told her those three little words that change everything. And she believed them. Don't we all?

She let him in, piece by piece, day by day into her friendships and relationships, her work, her plans, routines, and homemade dinners. Eventually into her home.

And then he destroyed her.

First it was the messages. Then it was the pictures. Then it was finding out that she wasn't the only girl on his to-do list, on his agenda, in his plans, though he wove a beautiful story of their future love.

Yeah, this is for the Tinder f*ckboy. The one that broke my best friend's heart. And the ones that have ripped the rugs out from under other girls, girls with dreams and innocent eyes: You are cowards. All of you.

You're cheap excuses for men who play with the hearts of women you don't deserve. You worm your way into lives, into homes, into minds, and into bodies of women whose ability to love and forgive is far greater than you'll ever comprehend. They shouldn't have given you a second glance.

They should have swiped left.

You're pathetic. For staying guarded, for mistrusting, for accusing the girls you claim to care about for doing the exact thing you are. For lying, cheating, scheming. For being a worthless, less-than human.

You're pathetic. For playing mind games, for being too afraid of real feelings that you have to hurt first to protect yourself, for wasting beautiful women's time. For wasting space.

You're pathetic. For living a double life, for always needing a backup plan, for thinking that you could do better. For letting a girl foolishly believe that you could be anything more than a one-night stand.

You're a Tinder f*ckboy. These women should have known better. They were aware, at the start, what they were getting into. They knew the rules of our unattached society—meaningless sex, go and leave—but you changed the game. You made these women catch feelings. You spun them a web of lies and they got caught in it. You strung them along. You placed them in the center of your life, held them with string until they were so perfectly vulnerable. Then you let go.

You're a Tinder f*ckboy. And that's all you'll ever be. A boy without a backbone. A boy who doesn't deserve love. And for my best friend's sake, for the sake of all the broken women, I sincerely hope you never find it. TC mark

30 Healthy Promises To Make To Yourself Before Turning 30

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Kristin Addis

I turn 30 this month and it's one of those scary-big milestones that everyone sort of half dreads and half optimistically looks forward to. Most people on the other side say their 30s prove to be their more comfortable years, and that they enjoy them even more than their 20s, when they worried too much about what other people thought or wasted time on doomed relationships.

Does that mean I have something to look forward to along with welcoming another decade?

If our 30s are supposed to be the years when we feel more confident, enjoy life more, and spend more time with the people who matter, then there are a few promises we should make to ourselves in order to be healthier and happier in anticipation of the milestone (and thereafter). Say them out loud with me:

1. I promise to be gentle with myself. Because in an argument with myself, I'll always lose.

2. I promise to love openly, even if being open means my heart might get broken. Because treating love like a game with winners and losers is the road to misery.

3. I promise to accept the person in the mirror. Because I look amazing and I don't have the time or energy to spend on self-loathing.

4. I promise not to compare myself to fashion magazines. Because nobody looks like those airbrushed fantasies and how boring would life be if we all looked the same?

5. I promise not to sabotage things that could be good for me even if I'm scared I might get hurt. Because I don't have time for that nonsense anymore.

6. I promise never to reserve a loving thought or word. Because if it isn't reciprocated, I'll know how the other person feels, and if it is reciprocated, I'll know how the other person feels.

7. I promise not to take things personally when people who I don't know are unkind with me. Because their bad mood is about them, not me.

8. I promise to surround myself with people who elevate me. Because supportive relationships are healthy ones.

9. I promise to elevate those who I spend my time with. Because support is a two-way street.

10. I promise to be happy for my friends when good things happen to them. Because their good fortune in no way takes away from mine.

11. I promise to search inwardly when I'm jealous of someone. Because I need to find the root of the problem instead of letting myself dislike someone else for no good reason.

12. I promise to be generous with my patience, kindness, and empathy. Because at the end of the day, good things will come back to me.

13. I promise to form my own opinions about people instead of listening to gossip. Because hating someone just because my friends do is so high-school.

14. I promise to try to understand things from someone else's point of view. Because it's simply not possible that I'm always right.

15. I promise not to let the words of people who I don't love get to me. Because I don't have to internalize negativity from someone whose opinion doesn't matter dearly to me.

16. I promise to acknowledge, even if only internally, when I've done something wrong. Because living in denial won't help me to move forward in a positive direction.

17. I promise not to base my self-value on the opinions of others. Because my self-worth should not yo-yo up and down with the emotions of someone else.

18. I promise not to depend on others for my happiness. Because I'm the captain of this ship.

19. I promise to stop and think first before I say a hurtful word. Because it's probably not productive.

20. I promise not to let my dreams die. Because hopes and dreams are the spice of life and they keep me excited and stimulated.

21. I promise to give my dreams a legitimate effort. Because life's short and I only get one chance.

22. I promise to be honest with myself about how much hard work I'm putting into my goals. Because for 99.9% of people, there's no such thing as overnight success.

23. I promise to take responsibility for my own life. Because nobody else is to blame – not my parents, my friends, my ex, or any external forces – for my good or bad decisions.

24. I promise to stop comparing myself to others. Because the Facebook news feed never tells the whole truth, and neither do celebrities and commercials.

25. I promise to just let the little things go. Because being right is not more important than preserving a friendship or relationship.

26. I promise not to let people walk all over me, either. Because I am not a doormat.

27. I promise not to date people simply because they boost my ego or make me feel better about a breakup. Because it's a waste of time for both of us.

28. I promise not to turn to retail therapy, mind-altering substances, or any other band-aid solution for my sorrows. Because if I confront them head-on and work them out, even though it's scary to do so, I can heal instead of prolonging the process.

29. I promise to practice gratitude. Because being grateful for what I have will make me less worried about what I don't have.

30. I promise that, even if I break any of these promises, I'll forgive myself. Because nobody's perfect. TC mark


All it takes is one trip. Read about the adventure that changed Kristin Addis’ life in her new book A Thousand New Beginnings here.

It’s Okay To Love Broken People

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 03:15 PM PDT

 Paolo Cipriani
Paolo Cipriani

We are humans. We come from broken places.

We come from hurting houses, from aching hearts, from addictions, abuse, fears, lost faith, and loneliness. We come from angry places and scared places, from families that are severed and trust that is shattered. But in all this pain, we still love.

That's the beauty of who we are—our humanity, our existence. Despite of all we have fought through, despite all the ways we have been broken, we still find ourselves connecting to one another. We still love.

We build relationships with others like us, who have been hurt similarly and our weaving their way through pain. And we form bonds with those unlike us. Because we understand, on some level, that they are struggling in different ways. That they are broken people, too. That we all are broken, and that's strangely beautiful.

Sometimes we want to fix. Sometimes we just want to stand alongside, as a reminder that no one is ever alone. Sometimes we put ourselves in situations we shouldn't. Sometimes we play savior.

Sometimes we hurt ourselves in the process of rescuing someone from their own fire. Sometimes we keep the company of people we know we shouldn't, but we love them just the same.

But despite what the world may think, it's okay to surround yourself with what may be seen as 'bad company'. Because we are not always the company we keep.

We each have our closet of demons, our drawer of secrets, our buried regrets. And because of this, we find ourselves loving people who might not be the best for us. We find ourselves entangled with lives of those dissimilar, struggling with vices that may pull us down with them.

But this what we need to remember: We don't have to get lost in our love; we can always stand firm in ourselves. We don't have to be the company we keep. We aren't.

We don't have to be the addictions, the rowdiness, the anger. We don't have to be the inappropriateness or the indecency. We can keep our strength, our faith, our focus.

But we can still love.

Because at the end of the day, no matter the ways these people are different, the ways they could potentially hurt us, or the ways they may alter the world's view of us, we are all the same.

We all come from broken places. We all need each other. TC mark

11 Small-Breasted Women Explain Why They Love Their Little Boobs

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Nina Sever
Nina Sever

When it comes to breasts, it can be easy to think that bigger is better. After all, the average size of American women’s busts have been steadily increasing, from a previous average of 34B to the new average of 36C. We are a country obsessed with cleavage — so where does that leave women on the smaller end of the boob spectrum?

After talking to several members of the small-busted among us, it turns out that, as a large-breasted woman, I was right in feeling a little bit jealous of my less-endowed sisters. Read on for all the reasons women with smaller chests are feeling awesome about their bodies.

* * *

1. "My BFF has big breasts and I know she struggles with finding decent bras that aren’t ugly. She is too big for most of the stores at the mall and has to special-order hers. I like that I can find cute bras at basically any store and I don’t have to pay big bucks for them."

— Lori W., Des Moines, Iowa

2. "I’m a runner and I like that I can run with no bounce! I can buy cheap sports bras and I am good to go. Sometimes I wish for a little more cleavage, but mostly I like that my breasts don’t slow me down."

— Keeley F., Medford, Oregon

3. "There are lots of reasons to like the fact that I can be mistaken for a piece of wood if I stand still long enough at Home Depot: 1. No bounce when jogging, 2. Still perky after nursing three kids, 3. No underboob sweat, 4. They are cute! Also, I can wear a padded bra if I want to look bigger. Bigger girls can really ever hide that they are busty."

— Jane V., Miami, Florida

4. "I used to be a ballet dancer, so being long and lean was always the goal. I’m naturally pretty thin, and so I think I’d look crazy if I had big breasts. Smaller suits me."

— Juliet D., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

5. "Why SHOULDN’T I like my small breasts? Who says bigger is better? This is the shape I was born with, so it is the one that is [the] right one for me. I like myself regardless [of] if I meet some weird social expectation to have a big rack and small brain. Sorry. This question pisses me off."

— Martha N., Saint Paul, Minnesota

6. "Being small-chested is nice when it comes to wearing things that are strapless or have thin straps. I can either skip a bra or I can wear a strapless one and everything stays in place. No worries about coming out of my dress!"

— Hannah H., Mobile, Alabama

7. "I buy most of my bras in the girls’ section at Target. I am SMALL — 32A, barely — so I can also skip bras on most days. I almost never wear bras in the winter when my shirts are thick. I’ve probably saved a fortune over the years in bras. Also, they are MY breasts. I like them."

— Mindy R., Saint Paul, Minnesota

8. "I’ve watched my mom and my aunt fight breast cancer. At this point, I don’t care what size my boobs are — as long as they are healthy, I am happy with them. There is a good chance I won’t have them forever as I’m considering a preventative mastectomy once I am done having kids, since I have such a strong family history of breast cancer, so I’m going to enjoy what I have, for as long as I have them."

— Margo R., Rochester, New York

9. "I used to wish for bigger boobs. I’m a small 34B, and I sometimes felt like my figure was ‘boyish.’ And then I had a baby and my boobs got bigger and it felt uncomfortable. I also realized that my boobs were small but mighty when it came to feeding my baby. Those little guys worked hard to keep my child fed for almost two years. I’m proud of them!"

— Lexi B., Odessa, Texas

10. "Well, I’ve never had to worry that a guy is dating me just for my breasts!"

— Christie B., Saint Paul, Minnesota

11. "Like a lot of things, I’ve gotten more comfortable in my own skin as I’ve gotten older. I’m 40 now, and I just don’t have the time or energy to wish for bigger boobs anymore. I could get breast implants, I suppose, but I feel like I look and feel good being smaller now."

— Carla D., Tulsa, Oklahoma TC mark

This post originally appeared on The Stir

15 Lessons From My Journey To Becoming A Better Man

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Dennis Ottink
Dennis Ottink

You wake up one day and decide things have to change. The life you have been living up to now has been good, but it could be better. So you set off on your journey of self-development. Guns blazing.

It starts off well. It always does. Then comes the pushback. Then comes the triumphs. Then comes the doubt. Then comes the fulfillment. Yeah. Becoming a better person is not easy.

Here is what the never-ending journey to a better me has taught me…thus far.

1. It’s hard

But then again, so is anything worth having. You will often find yourself wondering whether the early mornings, structured routines, and consistent focus on self-development is worth it. It is.

2. It takes time

Again, not a big surprise. However a truth that we like to overlook. In a few months you will look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come. Another year later, and you will barely recognize your old self.

3. Start small

Our desire to go from zero to hero means that we take on more than we can handle. After a while, we realize the error of our ways, become demotivated, and give up. There is a better way. Start small. Forget the quick fixes and instant gratification. Trade them in for a life of steady accretion.

4. Don’t forget to scale

To grow means to be challenged. Initially, your one small step will be scary, but eventually, it will become your comfort zone. Incrementally keep stretching yourself.

5. Be consistent

No matter what you want to achieve in life. It lies on the other side of consistency. Small things, repeated over time, will become the big things.

6. Choose people wisely

Forget about the adage of “the five people you spend most of your time with”, start with the one or two that are closest to you. Don’t try and change them. It won’t work. Instead, tell them about your journey and ask them to support it. It will make all the difference.

7. You will fail

No-one is perfect. Not even your heroes. We are all subject to the human condition. There is no escape. Failing once means as little as winning once. Smile. Take a deep breath. And jump in again the next day. Remember that thing about consistency?

8. It never stops

You will always be working towards your goals. Celebrate them when they arrive. But realize that the self-development journey never ends.

9. Seek action over words

Don’t fall into the knowledge trap. It is easy to procrastinate because you want to “learn more” before you take action. Don’t. Take imperfect action and learn from your mistakes. The quicker you take action, the quicker you can make that action yours.

10. Do not become obsessed

Self-development could lead to self-centeredness. I am glad that you want to be better. But never forget that you are not an island. Do not alienate the people you love.

11. You should help others

The ultimate result of becoming a better man is to create a better society. You contribute. You lead the way. You help others to rise above their circumstances. The work you do is inward, but the effect has to be outwards.

12. Your goals will change. Set them anyway.

If you set your goals well, they will provide you with direction. So set your goals, but do not become overly attached to them. They will change. They are supposed to. You’re a dynamic human being, living in a dynamic world.

13. Do not follow every piece of advice.

It has become easier than ever to get your hands on the information you need. You are seconds away from blogs, podcasts, webinars, social media, guru’s, and celebrities all foaming at the mouth to impart their wisdom to you. Be selective about those you allow to rent space in your brain.

14. Try it before you knock it

Some self-development practices seem strange. Journaling and meditation for example often get overlooked. Instead of reading every research study on it to determine if it’s the right thing for you to do. Simply try it.

15. Do the work

There are no shortcuts. There are ways to work smarter. But working smarter does not mean working less. It simply means working hard with directed focus. To get from point A to point B, you will have to do the actual work. Even when it sucks.

I salute people who put in the effort every day to become a better version of themselves. It is much easier to lay on the couch and let the world pass you by.

In the end, mediocrity is something you choose. But so is greatness.

The choice is yours. TC mark