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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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I want to change, but I don't know how

July 4, 2023

There comes a point in your life when you feel you've had enough. You want to snap out of your old routine/cycle and begin to live freely. By living freely, I mean going about enjoying your life and living it to your means. Unfortunately, this is not so simple. One of the most profound things that have come into my consciousness is that we get in our way very often. No one is holding you down with chains or metal rods; no one is telling you to worry excessively or to have a backup plan for a backup plan, or to run, after signing up for a commitment because you feel that you might happen to let them down. No one, unless, of course, there is, then I apologize and request that you acquire the courage to put yourself first and not allow these negative energies to cloud your beautiful mind. But for the most part, the thing that does the most damage is that little voice in your head. The voice that reminds you on a daily of your inadequacies.

Imagine this: you've got a goal and work very hard for it. You put everything you've got into manifesting your vision, and now you're just awaiting the results. Lucky for you, this voice in your head drops a couple of times to remind you, "Yeah, you messed up; you're not going to make it, so you should lower your expectations." With that thought, you have a grey cloud over your head, your smile dims, and you feel horrible about yourself. That right there needs to stop, and it needs to stop now! 

I am so tired of getting in my way sometimes, and I am sure you may relate. Sri Ravi Shankar said, "Nothing in this world can bother you as much as your mind. Others seem to be bothering you, but it's not others; it's your mind." When you realize the power this statement holds, you can truly begin to recognize that your mind is just doing its job. It's trying to protect you; it's trying to keep you alive. Blame evolution if you must, but from an evolutionary standpoint, our brains want us to survive, reproduce and maintain equilibrium. This is most often why we overcompensate our thoughts in the worry that something could go wrong, so let me think of everything I can to ensure I live through it.

This is no way to live. Come on now; you are beautiful, worthy, and more than capable of achieving everything you so desire if you're willing to put forward all that you've got. Beyond that, you should try to decrease your worries because, at that point, you're aware that you've done everything possible to obtain whatever it is you desire. If you're having trouble getting started because of these thoughts that continually bother you, rest assured, we all go through it. Luckily Mel Robbins understands. Let's see how we can implement this powerful woman's approach to getting out of our own into our lives.

Understand what you want

To begin, understand what you want. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what you truly want. Do you want to lose weight, increase your income, and do better in school? Bring whatever this thought is into your mind. Don't overanalyze it, and don't try to justify how you will do it. Just bring the thought into your consciousness.

Understand that getting what you want is simple

It is simple to get what you want but not easy. If you have a goal, there's likely someone else who came before who may have shared a similar passion and has found a way. The internet is at your fingertips. You are one Google search away from obtaining the pathway to achieving whatever you want. You have contacts on your phone. There are individuals online whom you can reach out to for tips and guidance. So, the question is, why do you not already have whatever it is that you want?

Tell yourself the truth

It all comes down to how you choose to express your reality to yourself. Let's say you have yet to achieve the goals that you desire. Internally, you know that you are not fulfilled or perhaps there is a void within you that you cannot verbalize. When someone comes along and asks, "How are you?" what do we often do? We say, "We're fine." But are we "fine" with all these storms in our heads? We're talking about living your best life and becoming the best version of yourself, and all you can justify your life with is "fine"? This is not to say that "fine" is a terrible adjective. It's more about being honest with yourself because the things you externalize are often powered by what you have internalized. You are telling yourself, "I'm not happy with where I am," or, "I am not where I want to be, and I am fine with that." This creates a pattern of recognizing what you want, understanding that you do not currently have it, making yourself aware that you are fine with the way things are operating, and then later going on to question why you're not happy. Oh, right, because you convinced yourself that you were fine with not being where you want to be or not having what you want. Do you recognize how messed up that can be for your well-being? That is why you are not pushing yourself. We need to stop getting in our way!

Remind yourself of this when you feel low

 Remember that you are here. Reading this article in this never-ending universe is by chance. The chances of you being born were 1:400,000,000. You are a miracle. You have ideas you desire and the potential to make a difference in the world, your life, and in yourself. Please don't waste this away because your mind is projecting some random thoughts. Defeat them. Don't let your thoughts hold you hostage. Ask a friend you trust to hear you out if you need to vent to someone. If you are scared to voice your thoughts, you don't have to. Do what I do, take a paper and a pen, and write them out. Once you have written the thought out, go ahead and write some positive affirmations around it; write down all the things that make you happy and that you are grateful for in your life. Write down the things that are bothering you right now. Then cross out the ones that you cannot do anything about. Look to the ones you can change and ask yourself, "What can I do right now to stop feeling this way about these things?" Sometimes we need to reboot our minds and remind ourselves exactly how fantastic we are.

I'm going to let you in on a secret

The truth is that the only way to eliminate doubt, fear and these racing thoughts in your head is to recognize them and change your thought pattern actively. Try to implement the exercise below into your life. 

Initial thought: "I think I will do badly on my test. I'm a failure, my friend treated me poorly, so I must be a horrible person."

Stop, and take a deep breath. 

Reengineered thought: "I worked hard on that test; I deserve to take a break. It should go well because I'm positive I gave it my best effort. If not, I will try harder and work with the professor to better understand my weaknesses. I am not a failure; I am destined for greatness; look at how far I've come! My friend's treatment of me is not a reflection of myself. Perhaps, they were having a bad day. I will give them some distance and time to regroup so we can better understand each other."

And just like that, I hope you eliminate your headache without taking that Tylenol!

Check out Mel Robbins' Ted Talk below: