You Can Only Fix Yourself

You Can Only Fix YourselfThis is part 4 of my 10 part Life Lessons Series, where each week I will be taking a lesson (in random order) from 10 Life Lessons From 30 Years, sharing my own personal experiences with that lesson, and expanding it into a more detailed post. This week, Life Lesson Number 6:

Focus on your own side of the street. The only person you can control is yourself, don’t waste valuable energy trying to fix others and use that energy to improve yourself instead.

YOU CAN ONLY FIX YOURSELF

I have a confession to make, out of all the lessons I’m writing about, this is the one I probably still need the most work on. Because I’m a fixer you see. A fixer of myself, but also of the people closest to me. And it gets me into trouble quite often. Just like I enjoy an organized space, I also enjoy an organized life. I like to look around both my physical and my emotional lives and see that everything is in its place and working as it should. Unfortunately, unlike our physical spaces, our emotional lives and relationships just doesn’t work like that, and I’ve discovered the hard way that trying to force it is just a recipe for pain and suffering.

MY INNER PERFECTIONIST

I partly blame this on astrology. My sun sign is fun and curious Gemini, but my moon sign (governing one’s inner emotional landscape and needs) is puritanical Virgo. Virgo’s are the perfectionists of the zodiac with a strong focus on self improvement. This fits me to a T, and of course, because I’m human, I can often project this perfectionism and self improvement habit onto those closest to me. And the thing is, I’ve come to realize this usually happens most often when I’m feeling out of control of my own habits.

I’m usually hardest on those around me when I feel like I’m personally floundering. It’s when I’m struggling to eat healthy, or be more productive that I get more easily frustrated with my loved ones for struggling to do the same. As if their own struggle is making my struggle harder. I think this is true of most people, especially perfectionists. The thing is, your frustration isn’t going to make their own attempts any easier. In fact you are more likely to hinder them, as well as yourself.

FOCUS ON YOUR SIDE OF THE STREET

We need to remember to take a step back and ask ourselves what’s really bothering us about the situation. Is it them, or is it in ourselves? 99% of the time we will find it’s our own shit that’s bothering us. Most of the time we need to take a deep breath and surrender to the fact that we can’t control everything. That it’s not in our power to fix other peoples lives for them, and the only person we have any real control over is ourselves. To stop expending this energy on things we can’t control, to let those things go, and take the energy we’ve saved ourselves and use it to accomplish our own goals. Because it’s when we ourselves are our best selves that we are most likely to inspire those closest to us to be the same.

Thank you so much for reading! If you’re enjoying following me, please make sure you subscribe to The Undiscovered Journey so you never miss a post! <3

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1507599_10101071639327992_578663414_nCarina Covella is a writer and currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Love Dogs, detailing her six month transformational journey from Hollywood through India. Carina graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University cum laude with a degree in Art History. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music through the university exchange programs. Until recently she lived in Mill Valley, California with her wonderful Welsh boyfriend Anthony in a house nestled in the trees, but now they’re off on a two year adventure around the world. When she’s not writing or traveling, she loves to cook for her friends and family.

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6 Comments

  1. August 14, 2017 / 10:56 AM

    I relate to this post on so many levels, being a Virgo myself. I’m not super into astrology, but I do know that I’m an ultimate perfectionist/organiser. However the goal setter/believer in positive affirmation in me also just wants to say you don’t need to ‘fix’ yourself, you can only grow from what you are <3

    • Carina Covella
      August 14, 2017 / 12:58 PM

      Haha yes! I just think it’s the sense that the only thing you truly have the power over is yourself, and I do mean fix in the sense of grow for sure!

  2. August 15, 2017 / 1:40 AM

    “It’s when I’m struggling to eat healthy, or be more productive that I get more easily frustrated with my loved ones for struggling to do the same.”

    You’re speaking my language! I’ve caught myself a few times being snappy with my boyfriend for lounging around watching videos, even though he’s been on a week off. When I stop myself and have time for a few breaths, I realize it’s because I haven’t gotten as much done as I’d like that day and I’m frustrated – as if somehow his relaxation is rendering me incapable of focusing!

    I have a lot of perfectionist/organizer in me too and it drives me crazy when I”m not checking everything off my over-packed to-do list or meeting my arbitrary, self-imposed deadlines. I think that’s why I love travel so much, because I don’t feel like I have to be reading, working, exercising, eating perfectly, learning a language, keeping my house clean….I can prioritize just what my soul wants at that moment and enjoy just existing.

    • August 15, 2017 / 9:46 AM

      Haha yes! I must admit that “loved ones” is generally code for “boyfriend,” poor Anthony. And I agree that travel is an amazing way to break free of the monkey on our backs! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments!

  3. August 15, 2017 / 12:56 PM

    I tend to do this also! It’s definitely easier said than done, especially with significant others. We seem to want to mold them our own way, when in reality we are really the ones that need to let go! So relatable girl <3

    • August 15, 2017 / 2:08 PM

      Yes exactly! Thank you for your thoughtful comments lovely! <3

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