Nobody has anything figured out – so why should you? Here’s why it’s okay not to, and how to deal with the anxiety that comes with it.
Whoever first declared the ever so popular phrase, ‘fake it ‘til you make it’, was not only a poet, but a mastermind. More accurate words have not been spoken to perfectly describe the life of someone who is seeking success, yet has no idea what the hell they’re doing.
It’s so easy to get caught up with the lives of those around you. Simply sifting through your Facebook newsfeed will teach you that Jenny just got a job with Google, Rob just got a promotion, and Ashley’s blog was just featured in Food & Wine. Although to others you may seem to be doing well, after being informed of everyone else’s whereabouts in life, you now feel like you’ve got no direction, and your world is caving in.
“Why does everyone else seem to have it all figured out?” you ask yourself.
News flash: they don’t.
No matter what they tell you, or Facebook, or their boss, the truth is, us twenty-somethings (and, well, basically any age) don’t have anything figured out. Of course we might have goals, we know where we’d like to be, we have our own definition of success, but the road to get there is full of giant question marks.
But that’s how we learn.
It’s all part of the journey. Immersing yourself in the trials and tribulations is how we are formed into the individuals who end up succeeding. Putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable. Saying ‘yes’ to something despite the voice in your head screaming and flailing, “WHAT? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT!”
And while listening to that voice can prevent you from making mistakes, think about the lessons you would have learned from that mistake. By the same token, ignoring that voice could potentially lead you in a direction you would have otherwise turned away from. As the days, weeks, months, and years pass, you’ll come to realize that just like you, everyone else is making life up as they go. Life doesn’t come with a manual. You are in charge of your direction.
*TIP: this book has changed my life – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Your life is up to you. And if it’s hard for you to hush the voice that questions your direction, I encourage you to…
Put your blinders on.
Everybody has their own journey. Fast, slow, full of obstacles, smooth as ice. And with a generation enveloped by innovative technology and the never-ending stream of consciousness that is social media, it can be extremely difficult to ignore that comparison bug. Do you know what the quickest way to feel horrible about yourself is? Looking at the lives of those around you who you believe are doing better than you. Do yourself a favor and put your blinders on. Focus on yourself, your journey, your growth.
Celebrate every step.
Did you just get great feedback from your boss at work? Celebrate. Did you just quit your dreadful job and start a new one that you already love? Celebrate. Did you just exercise four days in a row when you normally survive only two? Celebrate. I believe that recognizing when you’ve made an improvement, no matter how big or small, is key to getting that annoying voice to shut up. This will allow you to truly realize that maybe you’re doin’ alright, despite not having anything figured out.
Understand it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Take a minute to think about how much of your life is ahead of you. Understanding that you’re in development mode is crucial. You don’t have to have everything figured out today. It’s okay to be lost. And it’s never too late to switch paths according to what life has thrown at you. Walt Disney was a newspaper editor before he became, well, Walt Disney. Imagine if he’d listened to that voice in his head.
So, while at times it may feel like you are wallowing in solitude on an island as the only human to feel like there is no correct path in sight, you are certainly not alone. When it comes to pushing past your hurdles of insecurity and comparison, asking for forgiveness rather than permission is the way to go.
And unless you’ve been presented the mysterious, magical playbook of life, you have no reason to have everything figured out.
*This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase an item from this link, I receive a small commission. Thank you for your continued support.