Today I was talking to a dear friend of mine who was nearly in tears at the thought of not knowing what she wanted to do in life. She’s currently in a job where she’s not entirely happy. The work is ok but it’s not what she “really wants to do”. If she wanted, she could take another job where she would basically be comfortable and coast. However, not believing this is the path for her, she is at a crossroads and is fighting depression due to not having clarity.
I must admit that I’ve found myself in her shoes for most of my adult life and I still battle it at times. Trying not to allow myself to be overcome with despair, I realized that in those times I needed to reflect on life to enhance the good and remove the bad. See, I have this idea of what I want in life. As a matter of fact, I created a list that I pray over regularly. The problem was that instead of taking actions towards it I would make excuses not to pursue it.
As I reflected, I began to hear the stories I would tell myself – stories of why I couldn’t do something or unnecessary pressures I placed on myself. “When I get more money, I will travel the world” or “I can’t start a blog until I have the right laptop” or “It has to be perfect”. Of course, these were my illogical excuses for not being able to pursue a goal or dream and by the way the statement about the laptop makes absolutely no sense (Hindsight truly is 20/20).
The stories I told myself were those of a person in fear.
Fear paralyzes us keeping us bound to persons, places, or things that we really don’t want or need. Fear prevents us from focusing on anything beyond our comforts. There is a comfort in predictability. I know that if I wake up each morning and go to work, I will get a paycheck every 2 weeks. If each day is basically the same, then I don’t have to worry about the unknown. Therefore, why take a risk? Stepping outside of a comfort zone can be terrifying because we don’t know what will happen. At the same time, if we keep doing the same thing expecting different results, we will go insane.
My sister’s response to the excuses I so eloquently give is “You have to work with what you have.” Simple. Right? There is always a reason why we can’t do whatever it is we’re trying to do. Not enough time. Not the right time. No clarity. No support. The list can go on forever. However, take a moment to reflect on your life and ask yourself these questions:
- How have life experiences strengthened you?
- What knowledge and/or skills have you gained?
- Whom have you met that can help provide guidance?
- How have you spent your time?
- How much time has been wasted?
- Who is in control of your life?
Focus on what YOU have that can move you forward into the future you desire.
Click here Reflections for the Future questions for a downloadable version of the questions.