Do ya ever just wanna do and be a million different things all at once? But some days you simply wish to be nonexistent to the world? Yeah, me too.
I’ve spent countless hours of my life being paralyzed by indecisiveness, overthinking, fear of failure, etc. followed by a parade of guilt for knowing I could’ve spent said time actually doing something to improve myself or my life. And then the cycle repeats.
I was talking to a few friends about this recently & a common statement was “I just have issues.” And my response was: “Yeah, absolutely you do. Your #1 issue is you’re human.” We laughed – but when you really think about it, it’s true! Being human is a blessing & a curse.
Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to have it all figured out. Our careers. Relationships. Children. Goals. Whatever we desire in life. We could do a deep dive into the “why” behind the insurmountable pressure we put ourselves under – but I’ll leave that up to you & your therapist to figure out because that varies individually (lol).
I’m more interested in talking about how we deal with this overwhelming feeling of not having it all figured out. Yes, it’s important to keep the “big picture” in mind, but when you’re so focused on the “big picture” – the finish line & the future that you find yourself neglecting or missing out on the right now, you’ve got yourself a REAL problem. But don’t worry, you’re not too far gone.
I’ve found that one of the most incredibly difficult things for us to do as humans is be present. We’re either constantly reminiscing about the past or we’re overindulging in planning for the future. When in all reality, we’re only guaranteed the now. And even that’s arguable. Even when we convince ourselves to focus on “the now”, we often find ourselves pondering the “how”. How will I make this happen? How will I accomplish this? If I want to be married but I don’t even have a boyfriend/girlfriend – how? If I want kids someday but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready – how? If I want to finish school but I have to maintain a full time job & take care of family – HOW?! It’s like sensory overload when all of these thoughts creep into our minds. And once it starts, it’s painfully difficult to make it stop.
Now, I’m the last person on this Earth to have all of the answers – but there are a few things I’ve found helpful along the way that may help you too. While I still struggle with being human from time to time, I can honestly say that these things help me get a grip.
- Make a list. Yeah, I know. Roll your eyes. It’s old school, but it’s tried & true. With pen & paper – trust me, it’s just different that way. Write down everything your brain spats out at you. Your hopes & dreams, goals – all of it. This gives all of this information somewhere else to live & it helps to make space in your mind for new thoughts. More often than not, writing things down helps SO much. Know why? Our brains continuously repeat things to us because it’s afraid we’re going to forget. So, if you get it out on to paper, it’s your way of telling yourself “hey brain, I heard you & look! I won’t forget it because I wrote it down.” Trust me, it helps.
- Just do today. It’s as simple as that & newsflash: it’s all we can do. Take things one day at a time. One task at a time. One breath at a time. Start by choosing just one small thing per day/week/month – whatever works for you – that contributes to your “big picture” & focus on getting that one thing done. That’s how the “bigger picture” is attained – not all at once, but rather through the numerous small actions we take over time. That’s what gets us to where we want to be. That’s “how”.
- Celebrate small wins along the way. This one right here is heavily neglected by the masses. If you don’t celebrate the small wins along the way, the journey is going to be incredibly discouraging & most likely unfulfilling. Life is already a long (if we’re lucky), hard path, don’t make it feel harder than it already is by not allowing yourself to be proud of the little things you accomplish along the way. Because those little things are what lead to the big things. So, do yourself a favor & be proud of how far you’ve already come.
- Kill the comparison or it’s going to kill you. This goes without saying, but I still felt like it needed to be on the list. Everyone is on their own personal timeline. Just because someone may have reached a certain destination in life before you did, doesn’t mean that you won’t someday get there too. For example, just because your friend or someone you see on social media recently bought a house doesn’t mean that they own “buy a house” island & now you can’t someday buy a house of your own. That’s silly. But it truly goes for anything in life. It’s best if we do our best to not to look at life with a scarcity mindset. I promise there are enough houses to go around & if there aren’t – you’ll build one of your own.
- When all else fails, have faith. If you aren’t religious or spiritual – well, I feel sorry for you (haha kidding… kinda) – then this may not apply to you. But for those of you who are, we know at the end of the day there is a plan. It may not be our plan, but there is, in fact, a plan. Know that it will all work out in due time. Know that what’s meant for you will find you. Nothing in this life that’s meant for you will ever pass you by. We don’t have to know when & we don’t need to worry too much about how, we just need to have faith that it will. Trust your intuition to guide you along the way. When it’s time, you’ll know what to do.
Whew. Now I’m pondering & feeling as though I need to go make a few lists! I typically spend the first week or so of the new year doing that anyway, so I may as well! Maybe once I’m finished, I can share a few of my goals for the year & how I break them down to be realistically attainable. I’m still learning how to do this, but I don’t mind sharing what I know while figuring it all out along the way!
Please. Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by indecisiveness, overthinking, or fear of failure. If you’re afraid of failing or making mistakes, then I highly suggest you find a new species to be a part of. Don’t rob yourself of the now by getting lost in constantly wondering “how?”. How will you find your life partner? Not by retreating to your dungeon or remaining closed off to the world around you. How will you manage to care for your family & go to school full time? Not by daydreaming about it & neglecting to put anything into action. Don’t be so afraid to make a choice that you end up not making one at all. In fact, I’d argue that it’s better to make the “wrong choice” as opposed to no choice. We live & we learn; that is the human experience.
You’ve got to learn to quiet the noise around you so that the voice inside of you can be heard. After all, wherever you go – there YOU are. In other words, no matter where you end up in life, you can’t run away from yourself (at least not forever anyway).
Wherever you are, I hope love finds you and your soul guides you ❤
p.s. when you’re busy making your plans, don’t forget to leave some room for life to gift you with a surprise from time to time – sometimes things are just better that way 🙂
Hi Kaitlyn 🙂
What a lovely post! 😀
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy”)
Actually, I’ve just scanned it so far — I usually DL posts to read (and perhaps review) later.
Hi there 🙂
You are absolutely correct! It’s easy to lose ourselves in our plans, but regardless of where our attention is at the moment, life is continuously happening all around us!
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I enjoy connecting with others online! It’s nice to (unofficially) meet you Norbert!
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Oh, well, I guess IRL is another thing, isn’t it? 😛 (LOL)
I see that you “just” started (only about a year ago) — I myself have to have *serious quiet* time to write posts as long as yours. For me, it’s often just a couple sentences or even just a few words. 😯
But I certainly won’t let this one cool off too long!
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Lol yes, this specific page of mine has only been up for about a year now! I plan on trying to share some shorter articles as well in the near future 🙂
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That’s exactly what I talked about in this specific article 🙂
Hey Kaitlyn 🙂
I’m BACK!! 😀
Having gone over what you wrote (over and over, and well maybe you can sort of get the idea 😉 ) … it has occurred to me that you’ve kind of *captured* one of the elusive puzzles described by Erich Fromm in “Haben oder Sein” (“To Have or to Be”) … IMHO. So I consider you to be in rather esteemed company (at least on this count 😛 ).
Anticipation and / or regret concerning the future we will have (or the past we had) is the *wasted time* that we all wish we could “make it stop”. Simply be. Being. Content. Maybe just happy (this is a Kurt Cobain quote, ICYMI 😉 ).
I have many sites, including a few that consider (sort of) *how to “deal with” stuff*. These “deal-with” sites are things I ironically have great difficulty *dealing with* appropriately. 😐 #FML #LOL