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We recently had the opportunity to speak with health practitioner and all-round superwoman Grace Sameve. In this article, she shares expert advice and perspectives on how to find and reach your goals, deal with stress and anxiety, as well as pinpoints the key skills you should develop to achieve a healthier outlook on life.
Grace is a child and adolescent psychologist with an academic background in developmental and clinical psychology. In addition to her full-time job, she practices as a mental health practitioner, works as a review editor for Frontiers, while also co-building a psychoeducational platform called Tentang Anak in her free time.
Grace, you mentioned that your goal is to help people become the best version of themselves. How would you guide them in this process?
The first question to ask yourself is “What do I want?” What I mean by that question is what do you aspire to or feel like doing. It’s not about what others want, what your family wants, and also not what you think other people would want you to want, but really about what YOU want.
The next step is to draw your roadmap. You need to determine realistic ways of achieving that goal.
Your answer to the ‘what do you want’ question will be the long term goal. Then, break it down further into yearly and monthly goals. During this pandemic, I think a daily goal is going to be particularly important and useful.
External pressures can be hard to ignore, so do you have any advice for someone struggling to determine what it is they want in life?
I would always force myself to imagine that I will be living this life for another 50 or 60 years. Would I be satisfied doing the things I’m currently doing for the next 50 or 60 years?
If you answer no, then something is not quite right. It could mean that you need to find other activities or projects, or do more than what you’re doing right now. If yes, then continue on your path!
Do you have any practical tips to help people dealing with anxiety and stress, especially during the pandemic?
Learn to focus on the here and now - what you can do, instead of what you cannot affect. Anxiety usually happens because we are too concerned with what we have done in the past that was not right, or what we are anticipating for the future.
We can’t change the past, we can only learn from it. And we can prepare for the future, but it’s not there yet.
A trick we usually do in psychology is called ‘Catch, Check, and Change.’ Blocking and denying your negative thoughts is just a way of setting things aside but not actually solving them, so it’s better to spot when you’re having these feelings, analyze whether there are any bases for them, and finally try substituting these thoughts with more realistic ones.
Another advice I would give is to schedule breaks! It’s a misconception that taking breaks causes you to fall behind, but in fact, the opposite is true. It’s part of the strategy to win the race.
Finally, what skills would you recommend people work on to achieve a healthier outlook on life?
I think an important skill to learn is balance. Balance in how you perceive issues that arise, to consider both the subjective and objective aspects when analyzing a situation.
When I get asked whether I see the glass as half-full or half-empty, I say it’s both. I think we should see it as half full so that we can be grateful and celebrate that it is not at zero, that you have achieved something. But we also need to see it as half-empty because only then can we keep our motivations up. We have to be grateful with what we have achieved so far, but we also need to keep striving further.
“If you want to learn how to stay motivated and improve your perception, check out these Funzi courses. Master these skills to be successful not only in your career but also your well-being.”