What does every fraud want? That’s right, to be taken seriously. And you ladies have taken my desire to dish out advice very seriously. I thank you from the bottom of my artificial heart. This week’s question comes from Sarah. I chose it because I can relate to it in a MASSIVE way.
I’m a freshman in high school, and have been working really hard all year to do well in school. It’s been working, I’m a strait A student, but I’m finding I have no time for anything else. When I do get the chance to go out and DO stuff, I just worry about not getting my homework done and stay home instead. I feel like I’m missing out on everything. My friends have gotten distant, and its almost like I forget how to interact with people. (I know, I sound like such a nerd living in my basement.) I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know how to balance a social life with school! Help!
I am nawt kidding when I say I have the EXACT same problem as you. So much so that I had to hire a professional named Candace to help me deal. I, like you, have put a lot of pressure on myself to hit my deadlines and write bestselling novels. I equate that with your drive to get straight A’s. Congratulations on that by the way. What an incredible accomplishment!!
In order for me to achieve my goals I have to say no to a lot of people most of the time. I have had to smile through recaps of great beach days that I couldn’t be a part of. If I do go out I am usually the first one to leave so I can be fresh for work the next day. I have seen friends move on. I go through phases when I get really bummed out because I’m missing out on everything. And I know that’s how you feel too. Everyone who pushes themselves to excel shares our feelings. It’s lonely when you have lofty goals. So what’s a hard-core girl to do? Here are a few things Candace taught me. They changed my life.
1. First, know that you work this hard because you are passionate about (writing, straight A’s, sports, dance…) You are lucky to have this passion and should continue to honor it. You love what you do and are successful because you have devoted so much time to it. Would you feel fulfilled if you gave it all up to hang out with friends? Would you? I wouldn’t.
2. When it feels like you’re saying “no” too often, write a letter. Don’t email, send it in the mail. It’s more meaningful and sincere. Tell your friend how much they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Explain that you are on a mission to (insert goal here) and that knowing they support you means everything. I’ve been doing that lately. My friends think I’m crazy. They tell me they knew all this and that I didn’t have to write it. But deep down inside I know it made us both feel better.
3. Designate one day per week as a no-work day. No matter what you can’t do homework. For me that’s Wednesdays. This is my day to blog, pay bills, have lunch with a friend, catch up on emails, get a hair cut…whatever. Giving yourself permission to take a day off will give you a sense of balance. It’s a day for friends, family, and you. Make plans with people you miss. It will help you feel connected and a part of things. If you can designate two days and still reach your goals, go for it. Make it the same day each week. This helps you stick to it.
4. Those who don’t get invited, host. And if they don’t they should. Host a monthly sleepover. Start a book club. Organize a clothes swap. A movie night. Whatever. The point is to host an affair that allows you to be socially efficient. Instead of making five sets of plans host everyone at once.
5. Remind yourself that your goal is an incredible one. Sacrifices are part of success. And you’re doing this because you can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s your ego that’s making you feel like you’re missing out. Your heart is happy. And that ticker is what keeps you alive so keep giving it what it wants. Except on your day off, of course.
Thanks for all of your questions. Keep ’em coming.