I do not know about you, but I have this ability to convince myself that I am not doing life correctly, and by that, I mean, I can quickly question my every move in this life thus far. If I am not careful, I can allow my negative self-talk to tell me that I am not achieving enough, or doing as much as I possibly can. It can make me question my intentions, my motives, and the reason for all of it. From talking to a handful of people about these thoughts of mine, I have gathered that I am most definitely not alone in the fear of not amounting to anything, or accomplishing what I set out to do. The who, what, when, where, and why kind of questioning is never a good thought spiral to get lost in.
So, how do we combat these fears of ours, and change the way we think about the outcomes of our life? Well, good news. We aren’t supposed to have all the answers. In fact, just when you think you have them all, life is always quick to remind you that you really have no say in some of the cards life has up its sleeve.
Even as I write this, there is a part of my mind that is compiling a list of what I should have done yesterday, what else I need to do today, and it’s also already worried about what tomorrow may bring. Being present for the current moment, and simply just being has always been such a hard concept for me to grasp. It’s as if I have just been conditioned to worry about anything, and everything. In the process of learning this about myself, I have also been able to recognize when I need to relax and remind myself that it’s impossible to know the outcome of everything. Regardless of if you are as anxious of a person as I am, I guarantee there has been a time where you have questioned your purpose. You don’t need to have anxiety to wonder what the reason for all of this is. I personally just think that is human nature. Don’t we all just want to make some kind of impact on this often times scary, unpredictable world?
My journey so far has been an up and down battle of figuring myself out, understanding what my weaknesses are, and learning how to use my strengths for good. I think the first step in the right direction is always just being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do. This will help you rule out which paths in life you should or should not take. For example, there is no point in losing sleep over the potential of becoming an iconic musical legend, if you just aren’t that musically gifted. Being honest about our talents and what we are capable of is much easier to do when we do not set unrealistic expectations for ourselves. This alone has helped me exponentially when it comes to thinking about the direction I should be taking in life. See? It’s not about having the answers; it’s more about accepting what to pursue, and what to leave behind, just by being honest with yourself.
Understanding the root of my incessant need to achieve has helped me when I find myself overly anxious about my life. I grew up excelling in both athletics, and academics, and because of that, I learned very early on that I had a certain skill set to use to my advantage. I longed for a sense of accomplishment and secretly loved being recognized for reaching certain milestones. I developed this mindset that to be great in life, you must be constantly doing something, striving to be more than average, and excelling at a high level. I put a lot of pressure on myself from a young age to be more, do more, and achieve more. Although many would argue that this could be seen as a blessing, I have learned that it can also be a curse; A curse in the way that I have never grown out of those thoughts. As I get older, and I continue to understand where my need to have all the answers comes from, I am slowly but surely able to remind myself that achievements should not be ranked by how ‘BIG’ they may be, or how they appear to someone else. Nowadays, an accomplishment can be as little as doing my laundry, or as simple as finishing the book I have been reading. I have made it a priority in my life to not put so much weight on the things that I set out to do because when I do that, I put myself at risk of feeling ‘less than’ and quite frankly, there is no need for any of us to do that. We don’t need to have all the answers, remember? We just need to strive to learn who we are and grow from what we find.
Lastly, I make sure to keep myself accountable. This is HUGE. I may not have all the answers for my life, BUT, I must make sure to stay true to my word, accomplish the goals I set for myself, and call myself out when I know that I could be better. There is a sweet spot between knowing when you are too hard on yourself, and when you are setting yourself up to fail. Accountability for your actions is crucial when it comes to setting goals and reaching them. You shouldn’t rack yourself with excessive worry, but you also should be cautious of when you are procrastinating too much. Instead of getting lost in the thoughts of, who, what, when, where, and why, we should focus instead on what we know we can do, and when we can do it by. This also ties back into the whole being honest with ourselves. Don’t get so caught up in what you have not achieved yet in your life, and start believing that you will reach those milestones if you can just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Nobody has all the answers. Read that again. It is so important for us all to trust the process, and know deep down, that as long as we are working hard to put our best selves out there, then the answers will reveal themselves in due time. Set goals, put a timeframe on them, and don’t wait until last minute to accomplish said goals. By keeping ourselves accountable, being honest about what our strengths/weaknesses are, and learning to bend with the curve balls life will throw us… that is when we will start to see that it has always been less about having all the answers, and more about recognizing that we always have the choice to change our journey.
I think we grow up believing our life is supposed to be a certain way, but PLOT TWIST…your life is what you make of it. Now go make a good one, and stop being so hard on yourself; you are not supposed to have all the answers.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.