“I’m not the only person who has been brought to their knees by things they couldn’t control. My story is not extraordinary. It is one that thousands face every day.”-Jordan Corcoran of "Listen, Lucy"
Let us begin this story with you at a party hanging out with your friends. Notice yourself living in the moment as your body is exuding confidence. Today is a good day. Now compare this instance to when you are all alone. Let’s say it is a sunny day and while you are getting ready, you feel fantastic. Coats no longer restrain you, and your skin can finally breathe. Out of nowhere, that pesky voice in your head pops up like, “I don’t like how I look in this.” For some reason, this is the average thought that comes to mind. You felt great three seconds ago, and now, you are changing into your fifth outfit. I can only speak to this from a woman’s perspective because I have never been on the inside of a man’s brain before; however, from watching my guy friends, I know they work hard to have big muscles and washboard abs.
You become your own worst enemy as you look in the mirror and pick yourself a part. It is said that at the end of the day, how we feel about ourselves is the only thing that actually matters. So if you are talking sh*t about yourself, then you believe everyone else is as well. We see motivational people and quotes scattered throughout our timelines with what seems like cheesy sayings. People openly talk about acceptance all the time, but college students still have a hard time grasping this. You overthink your whole life trying to control how you are perceived instead of being honest to the true you.
That is why #TheAcceptanceMovement from "Listen, Lucy" is so relevant to college kids. Even Chris Jamison from "The Voice" is supporting the cause by participating in "Listen, Lucy's" spring campaign, which encourages people to post a video on social media sharing what they're working on accept about themselves. The cause you may be thinking of is the acceptance of our true selves. Body positivity, acceptance of oneself, mental health issues, and stress are not new topics and have been discussed around the world billions of times, yet college students have a difficult time reaching out to others and doing something about how they feel. Imagine how much more difficult it gets in 10 years from now if we act like no one else feels the same way we do and we play the victim in our own lives. Jordan Corcoran, founder of "Listen, Lucy," had her fair share of experiences with anxiety and panic attacks, so she came up with one simple goal—create a more accepting, less judgmental world.
Although the goal is simple, the work is challenging. I myself have spent countless hours reading self-help books, writing, praying, meditating, and working on accepting myself so that I could do my part in supporting my friends through their own struggles. After scrolling through Jordan’s website, I automatically clicked with her story and was excited for the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
What advice do you have for college students who have a difficult time accepting and moving forward from an emotional experience?
Each person is different and each struggle is unique so it is hard to give blanket advice to everyone. That being said, I want everyone to know that you deserve to be happy in your own skin. If you are not happy or if you have just experienced something that has set you back, allow yourself time to feel those negative things. It is okay to feel crappy sometimes. But then you fight like hell to get healthy and happy. Let nothing stand in your way. Find ways to cope and never give up on yourself. You are so much stronger than you know. You will always get through it.
What are some positive affirmations you use to help you get through everyday life?
I love this question because the positive affirmation that I use to get through the day is one that I have taken on from one of the beautiful stories of "Listen, Lucy." When I am struggling and feeling so over who I am and how I am wired, I remind myself that, "As long as I know myself and as long as I love myself, I win." I read these words three years ago in one of the first stories I received for the website and it has stuck with me since. Isn't it so beautiful?
We could talk until the cows come home but real change comes from real action. Start being aware of the voice in your head when you look in a mirror, scroll through Facebook or Instagram, or in general see a person who you think looks better than you. What words pop in your head? Are they mostly negative? How can you learn to stop the hate speech?
Share your personal story with other like-minded people who have no judgments toward you. Go meditate, start praying, reading, or doing whatever the hell you need to do to ignite a change within yourself. Reach out to "Listen, Lucy," who is openly saying that we WANT to hear your story. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and confident, while shutting down any negativity you see or feel. Make the impossible possible.
“Everything on this Earth was impossible until it became possible by the people who wanted to change the world.” - Alexandra Barone, founder of nothing yet, but slowly working toward that goal