Life Lessons from an Odd Source: My Dog

There are some things in life that are so important to learn. It does not matter what the source is, all that matters is that we learn them. In this case, my dog has taught me more about life than most people have, and for that, I am so lucky.

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As someone that very rarely makes decisions based on emotions as opposed to logic, I was shocked at my decision to get a puppy. Yes, I had some encouragement from my longtime girlfriend, but in the end, I came around to the idea and got her. I had never realized the amount of joy that a fluffy little puppy can bring to your life. How am I to take care of something when I can barely take care of myself? This new family member made me reevaluate my life and refocus on the simple things that I found myself often overlooking. Having something to eat, being excited to meet new people, spending time with those you love, and reconnecting with the outdoors are just a few examples. The amount of excitement in this puppy when doing any of these things is absolutely infectious.

Being Grateful for Each Meal

Every day in the United States, most people never have to question whether or not they will be able to eat dinner that night. This is something that is taken for granted by everyone lucky enough not to worry. This dog absolutely loses her mind with excitement, bounding about as soon as she hears the first piece of kibble hit her stainless steel food bowl. Eating is something that people take for granted every single day, and yet, none of us get this excited to eat, even if we are about to enjoy our favorite meal.

remi-porchMeeting New People

Being outgoing and meeting new people is neither something an introvert like me has been excited about nor naturally good at. And yet, every time my dog sees someone in the distance, she stops dead in her tracks and stares at them. She then sits down wagging her tail ferociously as she waits for them to come greet her. The pure joy that this dog exhibits when meeting new people is something that I have never felt. Maybe it is time I put myself out there and force myself to interact with those around me more often than just when I am forced to. As a Millennial, I feel as though stepping away from our screens and social media to actually meet real people in the flesh is something we all should spend more time doing. Less Facebook and Tinder and more meeting people in the flesh. Continue reading “Life Lessons from an Odd Source: My Dog”

Millennials: Impostor Syndrome

If you are a high achieving Millennial but feel strange acknowledging your accomplishments, you are not alone.

While Millennials are said to suffer from a variety of issues because of the things we have experienced during our time, nothing may be more prevalent than a condition known as Imposter Syndrome. This is a condition in which people have feelings of inadequacy and a general negative sense of self-worth. For some reason, Millennials are suffering from this condition much more than those of the Baby Boomer Generation or Generation X. Some people may write this off by claiming that Millennials are just thin skinned and need to toughen up, but this is not a condition to be overlooked. The blame is most likely to be placed in the hands of the parents and guardians that raised Millennials, and on the rise of new technologies such as social media.

Imposter Syndrome does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, from every walk of life, at any point in their life. It is a phenomenon, mostly experienced by high achieving individuals, in which the sufferer is unable to internalize and accept their successes and achievements. According to a study by the International Journal of Behavioral Health, 70 percent of people suffer from these feelings of inadequacy and fraud. Many feel as though their accomplishments are more likely the result of dumb luck than of their abilities and they fear that someone else will discover that they are not as accomplished as they are. Despite not being recognized as an official diagnosis in the DSM, most psychiatrists and behavioral experts acknowledge the phenomenon as a real disorder of intellectual self-doubt. This syndrome is often accompanied by severe anxiety and depression.

It is no surprise then that Millennials suffer from this syndrome more than other generations. Several studies have shown that nearly half of all Millennials surveys hold moderate to high superiority beliefs about themselves. A large part of this can be blamed on our parents. We were doted on as children and given a trophy when we excelled AND when we lost, in an effort to not damage our self-esteem. It is not surprising that Millennials are also referred to as the Trophy Generation. As kids, we received a healthy dose of over-praise or criticism. According to the American Psychological Association, these mixed messages from parents tend to increase fraudulent feelings in adulthood. So when someone of the Millennial Generation does rise to some level of prominence or fulfill a major accomplishment, it is no wonder that they feel as though they are undeserving or got there with luck rather than their talents. When everyone places such a high price on success, and you finally “make it,” the success becomes hollow and unfulfilling as we question whether or not we deserve to have accomplished something in the first place.

Continue reading “Millennials: Impostor Syndrome”