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No matter what you do, someone won’t be pleased. Someone will think your choices are wrong. And someone will tell you what should do instead. No matter which path you take, someone will seem to be doing better. Someone will have more than you. And someone else’s life may look more impressive on paper. If you’re being true to yourself, none of that will matter because you’ll have something more satisfying than approval and the illusion of “success”: a life that feels right for you, based on your own wants, needs, values, and priorities.

You can’t be everyone’s hero. You can’t take away everyone’s pain, solve all their problems, and make them feel happy with themselves and their lives. All you can do is love them, and that’s all you have to do. Just love them in their messiness, their confusion, their grief. See them, hear them, and accept them without judgment. Then let them know it’s okay to be right where they are, and if and when they need you, you’ll be there.

Be the person who breaks the cycle. If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you—to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.

Whatever you’re feeling, be good to yourself. If you feel lost, be patient with yourself while you find your way. If you feel scared, be gentle with yourself while you find the strength to face your fear. If you feel hurt, be kind to yourself while you grieve and slowly heal. You can’t bully yourself into clarity, courage, or peace, and you can’t rush self-discovery or transformation. Some things simply take time, so take the pressure off and give yourself space to grow.

Most of us expect far too much from ourselves and never give ourselves credit for all the things we’re doing right. You’re trying your best, facing challenges that would likely overwhelm anyone, and learning and growing every day. And you’re doing it while feeling a range of messy, confusing emotions and healing from pains large and small from the past. Stop and give yourself a little credit. You’re stronger than you know, and you’re doing better than you think.

You don’t need to travel the world or do big things to live an extraordinary life. Be present. Notice the beauty around you. Be curious. Try the things that interest you. Be brave. Start the things you’ve been putting off. Create something. Learn something. Teach something. And do it all for the love of it.

Nobody’s perfect, so give yourself credit for everything you’re doing right, and be kind to yourself when you struggle.

You are not your struggles. You are the survivor who keeps moving forward in spite of them.

It can feel scary to make a big decision knowing that the future is uncertain, but we can’t panic and obsess our way to clarity. Sometimes we simply need to get out of our head and give our heart some space to find the answer.

Life is what happens while we’re busy worrying about everything we need to change or accomplish. Slow down, get mindful, and try to enjoy the moment. This moment is your life.

Just because you’re not doing what other people are doing, that doesn’t mean you’re failing or falling behind. You’re charting your own course and staying true to yourself, even though it would be easier to join the crowd. You’re creating a life you can fall in love with instead of falling in line. You’re finding the courage to do what’s right for you, even though it’s uncertain and scary and hard. Give yourself some credit, because these are all reasons to be proud.

No matter how happy someone may seem, they have moments when they question if they can go on. No matter how confident someone may look, there are times when they feel unsure and insecure. And no matter how strong someone may appear, they have days when they feel like they’re falling apart. Never think for a moment you’re alone with your struggles. You’re not a mess. You’re human.

Oversensitivity isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you’re hurting, and your insecurities point you toward what needs to be healed.

Take a deep breath. No matter how hard things seem right now, you can and will get through this.

If life feels hard, remember: nothing lasts forever. Someday this will all be behind you. Someday you’ll be smiling again.

By practicing self-awareness and pausing before reacting, we can help create a world with less pain and more love.

We can disagree with each other without attacking each other, and we can recognize that someone is attacking our beliefs and opinions without feeding into it. It’s not easy to step back and disengage, but it saves us all a lot of unnecessary drama.

At the end of the day remind yourself that you did the best you could today, and that is good enough.

It’s okay to care about what people think. Just know there’s a difference between valuing someone’s opinion and needing their approval.

We can’t just choose to be happy, but we can choose to be kind to ourselves when we’re sad. Pain passes more quickly when we don’t berate ourselves for feeling it.