Advice from Not Your Average Jo

Jo here, sitting in a dark coffee shop, with limited airflow, overly priced coffee, and above average WiFi speeds. Much like you, I have a million things on my mind at any given point. The thoughts fluttering my brain range from emails I’ve read weeks ago that still need responding, to my fitness goals, and how I shouldn’t be able to feel the weight of my arms against my sides – (should’ve passed on all of those desserts at Vidcon), to how I really need to reschedule my dentist appointment that’s coming up in two days.
NEWS FLASH: Life’s busy, and it won’t get any less busy.
Here’s the silver lining: You control your life, and what you make time for.
So instead of getting overwhelmed at the things on my mind, I create a plan of action and embrace the reality that I will make time for everything I want to get done, because I can.
On top of that list includes responding to tweets you’ve sent me more than a month ago. Once something’s on my list, I don’t forget, even if it takes me months to get it done.
It all started when I wanted to get a conversation going with you all, about the things that get you anxious, the obstacles you don’t know how to overcome, and see if I could offer any advice. After all, I was an RA (resident advisor), in college where that was the main part of my job; advising ya’ll. Since it’s been three+ years of my RAJo days, I figured I’d get advice-y digitally.
And who the hell am I to give you advice? I’m not your average Jo(e), but I’m also not a super human (despite being able to take a bullet to the back and make it out ok). The point is that I love hearing about YOUR lives, because it helps me think more expansively, and help problem solve with you.

Here we go, let’s bring on them issues:

Here’s the thing: social anxiety is TOTALLY natural, remember that, and you won’t feel so alone. It’s tough to automatically be born with the courage and confidence it takes to pull up on da scene ready to wow the crowd. The good news is, confidence is like a muscle that you can work out and grow over time. In other words, overcoming your awkwardness is 100% possible.
Let’s take a step back: who even said you were awkward? In my opinion, you believing you’re awkward, makes you awkward. If you switch that off in your brain, and start believing that you’re indeed capable of connecting with any stranger, you’ll be able to outgrow the feeling that you’re awkward and start making friends in no time.
Oh man, the good ol’ mushy pushover complex. It makes me cringe when I see people get taken advantage of. Understanding the difference between being a push over and being nice isn’t easy because the lines can blur so quickly.
It’s important to understand who you’re giving your attention to, and noticing trends that they (whoever you’re interacting with) display upon receiving your niceness. If they’re trying to “take take take,” then you might see a trend that you want to steer clear from. In other words, you have to become more observant of those around you receiving your attention. You being nice to one person can result in a beautiful lifelong friendship (if they reciprocate your niceness). You being nice to a taker can result in a push over situation where you’re constantly being taken advantage of. Don’t be a push mush
Ahhhh, the struggle of a creative artist navigating through the world set up by traditional, and probably untalented people. Here’s my opinion on college: it’s one of the best ways to meet people, learn emotional intelligence, and to surround yourself with those who are invested in their education, in theory. HOWEVER, if you’re an artist, a writer, a YouTuber, or anything that involves spending an extended amount of time making something, the best way to make a career out of it is to get really good at what you do.
In other words, the more time you spend on mastering your craft, the better off you’ll be if you know how to monetize it. Now, it’s up to you if the debt is worth it. In most cases, the college debt keeps you from being able to work on your art, post graduation – think about that.
RE: relationships – we’ve both done had to make long distance relationships work because of our crazy lifestyles, and our need to date foreigners. We have no magic answer for this one, other than you make time for the people you want to make time for.
RE: skin – one word: water. Gallons and gallons of water.
#MondayMotivationThis one is something I’ve personally struggled with. As an overachiever, what you’ve accomplished is never good enough. You’re always thinking about the next thing, and strategizing how to get there. If I’m not exactly feeling as successful as I know I can be, what’s helped me is understanding when it’s time to be antisocial, work, create, and have something to show for my desire to be successful, and knowing when it’s time to celebrate the wins that come along the way. If you’re unhappy, make a change, get things done, and watch your dreams come to fruition. Once they’re well underway, you have to stop and congratulate yourself for your accomplishments boo.
At the end of the day, you have to look into yourself and understand what phase you’re in: the work phase, or the riding the success wave. I promise you, it ebbs and flows, and if you recognize what stage you’re in, you’ll be able to enjoy the journey for what it is.
It all starts with an appreciation for simple things: admiring silky blades of grass blowing in the wind, being able to feel the tingles from sunshine on your skin, walking to and from your destinations with your legs. Once you’ve realized how incredible being alive is in the most basic sense, you can start thinking about your life and the people around you in specific. Odds are, you’re one lucky person.
Never take your eyes off the goal, no matter how many distractions come up along the way. You want to become a mogul? Draw out a plan, with steps that you’re going to take to get there. Make a to do list, visualize your success, and shut up and go get things done!
This one’s a toughy. There aren’t enough hours in the day to manage doing everything we want to do. Make a plan for yourself for the week, have some goals set up on even the fun things you do. For instance, I need to journal at least once a week, and it stays on the back of my mind, irritating me until I finally sit on my couch, open the journal, and put my pen to the paper. Break up your day on a piece of paper, blocking out times for the things you have to do – school, sleep, eating, exercising, etc. Then you fill in the things you want to do in the empty blocks.
Do you want to be fit? Ok, so you have to workout. Think of the strength you’re giving your body. Think about how working out helps with your overall happiness, and that even if you have a lazy day, working out feels like an accomplishment. Plus, who are the most successful people in the world? Those who constantly take care of their health, and with that comes working out. Plus, think of me and how the only reason the bullet didn’t pierce right through my back was because I’d been hitting the gym like a maniac. Your body deserves some TLC, and it starts with a good sweat.

That’s it for a little advice with not your average Jo! No matter what happens, believe in you boo boo!


Have other probz you want some advice on? Comment them below, or tweet at me @jofranco.

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