How to be hard on yourself

Look, no one is perfect (not even you, Michelle with the flawless complexion and expensive heels that you know how to walk in and everything). And that’s really okay. What’s not okay is sitting back, accepting things as they are, and just being “imperfect” with no intention of evolving. I get the struggle: I went through periods of numbness and not caring and just existing, almost outside of my body. Sometimes you don’t want to, don’t care, don’t have the motivation. That’s all right, but give yourself a chance. Be hard on yourself.

Three reasons why you should try

  1. As I’ve talked about before, you need to be sympathetic with yourself… but after a certain number of weeks/months of self-pity and sitting around waiting for change, you gotta be the one taking action.
  2. Do you want to end up being thirty and wondering where your twenties went? I read a book about being in your twenties (The defining Decade) and one of the things that stuck with me is that you have to know where you want to be in your thirties in order to take action in your twenties. So think ahead! And don’t limit it to your twenties, take that lesson into all of your decades: To make it to your next step/goal, you have to be actively preparing for it. There will be good days and bad, but just keep going.
  3. Also from The Defining Decade is the idea that the thing that messes us up the most in life is the picture of how things are “supposed” to be. Excuse my french but f*ck that mentality. Do what you need to do to get where you want to be, not where you think you should be. Sooo what I’m saying is, you should be hard on yourself because you need to get real about what your thing is.

Three suggestions for how to be hard on yourself

  1. Get real about your thing. Hi, you read the third reason above, right? Yeah, your first order of business here is to figure out what you want your business to be. Ignore what Jenny from the block is doing and peek at yourself. Have you been wasting the past few years going through the motions but not getting any closer to your goal?
    • If you’ve been wasting time, stop! Easier said than done, so take small steps (see second suggestion).
    • If you don’t have a goal, go find it
  2. Take baby steps, or in-utero steps. If you want to quit your day job and open a bakery, stop talking about it and start researching. Dedicate half an hour a day (or every other day, if you want to start smaller) to researching what you need to do. Then start building a business plan and mission. Take your research and lay out how to make it happen.
  3. Balance it all. The good and bad days, the lazy days and productive ones. Let yourself have both. I’m not so good with exercising, but think of it like how workout guru’s talk: Everything in moderation. You’re not going to stop pitying yourself or wasting time in one day. That’s fiiine. If you like watching TV after work and don’t feel like working on your dream, don’t hate yourself for it. Work on your dream for an hour and then watch TV, or alternate days between what you want right now and what you want for your future.

It’s hard to find the right guidance out here on the World Wide Web, but take this article into consideration and find a way to get closer to your dreams, whether that takes weeks or years. Do it your way, but do it.



man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

Photo by lalesh aldarwish on

Writing day at T-rex cafe

When it’s time to be hard on yourself

If you’ve read my previous article on not knowing, you’ll be aware that I’m trying to accept the unknown instead of letting it be a burden or hardship. That said, there’s a tricky balance to be struck in being kind to yourself and babying yourself.

On my hunt to figure out the key to life, I’ve definitely fallen into self-help and grand ideas of being kind to myself to counteract all the horrible things I’d say about me, to me. Unfortunately, that turned into babying and allowing myself to sit in my feelings—this lead to not growing. It led to ideas without action. Thoughts without real hope behind them. Numbness and discontent and lethargy.

Whatever it takes, take a hard look at if what you’re allowing yourself to do now is hurting or harming you in the long run. You don’t have to be able to love yourself all the time (though it’s great to work towards). There will be better and worse days, but take a minute to read this chart and think about where you’re at:

When to be hard on yourself When to go easy
You’re using pain from months ago to justify your actions. If you’re having a hard time coping with a hardship, don’t be ashamed. Reach out to a friend or try an app like Talkspace. You’ve just had your heart broken—lost a loved one, friend, boyfriend. Take time to grieve.
To make yourself feel better, you drink and eat whatever you want all the time—you can be kind to yourself without having chocolate cake for breakfast every morning. It’s been a really rough day—we all have them, let yourself be in it.
You’re being so nice to yourself and never doing anything you don’t feel like doing, and it’s hurting your friendships/career. You don’t want a salad or to go to the stupid gym—don’t. If you’d be better served taking some time off, don’t waste time hating yourself for not going. Instead, do what you really want to do. Read a book or do a face mask and accept that not being perfect in your habits doesn’t make you a bad person
After “taking care of yourself” by whatever your own means are, you still aren’t happy. If you’re feeling sad—don’t take it out on yourself. It doesn’t make you ungrateful or lazy or messed up. (Note: this is where I’ve gotten into trouble. While you’re feeling down, doing anything seems impossible. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on how, after a year, I’m finally trying to change my habits and be tougher on myself.)

So many people are going to throw their ideas at you—where they think you should be emotionally and what they think you should be doing. This post is intended to give guidance from my personal experience and help bring people out of similar places I’ve been.

You’re allowed to not know

For most of college I had no idea how to find a life that I’d love. Even now that I’m taking steps toward a future–getting an apartment and working full-time–I still have no idea. And I’m really tired of seeing quick plans to find happiness or success or whatever you want to call it. I think it’s time to accept that we don’t have to know.

I’ll be blunt: I got lucky by falling into a job I didn’t even know about last year. These things happen, they work out. Sometimes happiness finds you… But saying I had no idea what I wanted from life and accidentally finding hope is annoying. So hang with me.

Here are some–of many–things you don’t have to know:

  • What you want to do with your life
  • What to eat for lunch
  • How to cook lunch
  • How to be as good as someone else–DROP THAT THINKING. DO IT RIGHT NOW. (I’ll do it if you will)
  • What you want to write about
  • Where your writing is going
  • How to get noticed and published and achieve the life of your dreams
  • What your dreams are
  • Anything

I’ve wasted so much time obsessing over who I am and what my actions mean and reading into everything, calling it logic or emotion or whatever seems the least bull-shitty at the time. In my life right now, though, it’s most important just to be. To be appreciative of the chances I’ve had, of my amazing job, of the people in my life that accept my imperfect self.

You may even find there’s a power saying “I don’t know.”

What happens after you date before you’re ready (a follow-up post)

No circumstance, person, or relationship is the same. I don’t know how you came to find this post or what your situation is, but I hope this blog will bring you a bit of comfort in the days after a beautiful and tragic relationship has ended.

First off, don’t blame yourself. Hell, maybe it is all your fault that you lost your significant other, but just stop being hard on yourself. Nothing is one-sided. People make mistakes. Sometimes we act out of immaturity or insecurity but the important thing is that you can see your errors and know that you want to become a better person. Without that person around to love us, we have to make sure to maintain love for ourselves.

(Note: this is no longer about becoming better for your significant other or to fix your relationship. They’re gone now and you need to do this for yourself.)

Take time and grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you when or how to move on.

(Another note: if it’s been months and you’re seriously unable to cope with life, there is no shame in getting help.)

Back to the beautiful tragedy of it all: it’s a curse and a blessing that you and I got to experience such great things worth missing. That’s why it’s so hard to cope with.

Remember that and be grateful.

You got to love someone and have them love you back. 

It hurts now. But one day, we’ll wake up and it won’t. That’s what I’m living for.

What happens when you date before you’re ready

Warning: it’s not pretty.

You think you’re ready, and that’s the whole problem.

When things don’t work out, you fall apart. Why? Because you based your self-worth on one relationship. You became too dependent too fast. All because you thought you were ready. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 45; if you’re not emotionally ready for a real relationship, you aren’t ready. And instead of dating anyways, maybe you should focus on yourself or what could potentially make you ready to date?

If you date anyways, here are some things that could happen:

You overreact to everything. If they don’t do something the way you want, it’s like a personal attack. Do they not love you anymore?

You’re clingy. You feel like if you’re not getting the attention you want you’re not enough and you compromise/sacrifice parts of yourself to make that person want you more.

You’re immature. Because everything in your life is about them, you assume everything they do should be about and for you. If they don’t text back or make plans with you, the relationship suddenly feels like it’s slipping away and you have to do everything you can to get it back.

You’re mentally weak. Whether this person is wearing you down or you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position, by placing all your love and hope on one person, you can’t focus on yourself or see with clear eyes what’s going on. Logic slips by you. Things that should be small are huge and before you know it, you’re screaming at them and placing a strain on the relationship because something rubbed you wrong and you think he doesn’t love you anymore.

 You can’t have a healthy relationship.

You can’t love them the way they deserve. 

Perhaps the scariest: you don’t know it’s you.

Why “stepping out of your comfort zone” is BS 

I’m on my way to Managerial Accounting but I’m tired of school getting in the way of things so I’m going to scribble this while I think of it.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about advice that people give. Specifically, “step out of your comfort zone” or “growth happens when you’re uncomfortable.” Um, can people just F off with this for a second?

Sure, there’s a small realm of validity. If you never left your comfortable bed, nothing would ever happen to you except peeing your sheets and starving of hunger. But realistically, I think this saying creates a misconception that we always have to do more, be more, try more. If we’re unhappy or things aren’t going our way, it’s because we aren’t doing enough, it’s our fault.

So, like I said, F that mentality.

Stay with me here.

We don’t have to take some momentous crazy changes to our lives in order to develop as people. We don’t have to move to a new country to have an epiphany or get a divorce in order to become a new person. It can be really small things, like studying with a friend.

Additionally, I’d like to note that if you’re constantly trying new things to be adventurous or do what someone – society, college, friends –  expects of you, but you’re not happy, STOP RIGHT NOW. I read somewhere that nothing is worth losing your inner peace.

Top Places to Learn About UX:

UX Intern:

  • A podcast started in 2013, UX Intern offers valuable advice for people just starting out in UX. By inviting experts with various backgrounds, listeners can find out the paths that successful people have taken to get their great UX careers.
  • My favorite thing about this podcast is that it’s easy to listen to on the commute to work, or when I want to learn but don’t feel like reading (which is VERY rare).
  • My least favorite thing about this podcast is that it can be monotonous. The same general questions are asked, leading to similar themes throughout the podcasts. Certainly, there’s a lot to learn here. I’m just not sure this is the fastest way to learn it.
    • One of the common themes from the podcasts is that it’s a Catch-22: you don’t have experience in something so you need a job to gain that experience, but no one will give you a job without experience. (So then, what do you do? GO OUT AND TRY THINGS! Really, find some random thing online to prototype, sketch up a way you’d re-design a website that already exists. Use these things to make a portfolio. Learn whatever you can, all the time, find outlets for learning and figure out how to apply them to what you want to do. You don’t need to be hired to practice designing or do research into the field. So just try something, learn something, do something.)

UX Mastery

  • When I google things I want to learn more about, this site comes up often as a resource.
  • Go here to learn about boosting your UX career
  • And here to find out more about building your portfolio (a must-have in this field)

UX Magazine

  • Countless articles, trends, and invaluable information are here, along with engaging content that retains your interest over and over.

Career Foundry (LINK)


  • I realize I’m blessed to have unlimited access through work, but it may be a viable option to ask your boss about or invest in yourself. It’s chalk-full of webinars from experts across many parts of UX.
  • In case you’re interested, I looked into the price. It’s 29 dollars a month, or 9 dollars per seminar

Related image

Books! Here’s a few that come with top recommendations and shinning reviews

Paired with my blog on the basics of UX, you’ll be set to learn it all.