When Leaving Your Options Open is a Bad Thing

The world is your playground. Any and all opportunities are available to you. Literally: you choose. Taste a little of this, a pinch of that. A jack of all trades. I firmly believe there’s nothing wrong with learning a little bit of everything. But you can’t do that all at once.

We’ve all felt stressed about school, right? I mean at least at some point in your life you thought, “how can I do this? I am being pulled in a million different directions and I just can’t do it all!” Me too. Each teacher has an attitude that theirs is the only class you’re taking and you have nothing else going on in your life. Well that just ain’t true because life is all about balance. But that balance is hard to strike.

It takes trial and error. Testing the waters. Trying this, trying that. Gaining understanding about what works and what doesn’t. No one can experience that for you. And no single experience can determine whether or not something tickles your fancy. Words only take you so far and only communicate so much. But then there comes a point in your life where you have to decide what path you will follow. You have to take action.

I don’t think that struggle gets any easier out in the world of business, bills, and best friends. Your friends, your tightest people, are who have been with you through thick and thin and it’s only natural that you would want to hang with them every available moment. But that requires money, and money comes from a job and you’ve also got bills taking bites out of your paycheck. In all this chaos where do you draw the line between adulting and having fun? Because if we’re being honest, they’re both a necessity.

  1. Like yourself. Hopefully one day you can love yourself but trust me, that’s hard. To do anything with your talent- because you all got it- you have to be confident. Confident doesn’t mean cocky and full of yourself. Confidence simply means you can walk with your head high knowing that you woke up this morning for yourself, for all the ones who love you, for all the ones who support you.
  2. Make sure you love your job! This doesn’t mean you won’t have to work, it’ll take a lot of hard work to get to where you want to be and doing what you want to do. But it’ll be worth it!!! I fully support the #selfcare campaign and sometimes that means doing something hard: buckling down, giving yourself a talking to, and- even through tears and clenched teeth- saying with determination, “we are going to do this.”
  3. Sometimes the answer is no. Work shouldn’t be everything. All work and no play will cause you to burn out. But the same goes for spending time relaxing. If you have a deadline coming up ask yourself, “can I delegate? Have I been procrastinating? Do I need a break?” and act accordingly. Get to know yourself and don’t over do it.
  4. Responsibility: the most important part of #selfcare is knowing when you need a break and when you’ve been slacking a little too much. Take the opportunity to evaluate the efforts. Sometimes we can be our own hardest judge, but sometimes if we don’t give ourselves a little tough love then no one will. You see, there is a difference between criticism and keeping yourself in line. The fact of the matter is that you are going to mess up and make mistakes, so correction and redirection are, at times, necessary.
  5. Be fair, with yourself and others. Life is not absolute and there is never a guarantee. There are hypothesis, educated guesses, and statistics. People say statistics never lie but they can, and sometimes they do. That’s both the great and awful thing about people: they can surprise you. Sometimes they are a little too predictable and sometimes not enough. Being fair helps perfectionists know they have accomplished something when it feels like they’ve done nothing while also helping the ones who justify that they deserve a break and find any excuse to hoard pity from those around them.
  6. Conquer the day with small goals. It can seem tedious to plan it out in such small increments, but trust me. One step at a time. In some respects you need to treat yourself like a child. Remind yourself that sometimes that means you have to do things you don’t want to do. (Whether that is getting yourself to the gym or working on a project, or cooking something healthy that will  make you feel better than having pizza for the third time in the past four days. We’ve all been there. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you mix it up.) It’s with those small, simple goals that help the bigger things not seem so intimidating. Life is doable, just bite off the size you can actually chew.
  7. Aim and shoot. We often talk about how if we make a plan and execute it that then we will have success. I don’t believe that is always a guarantee. First we must visualize then fulfill. Effort does not always equal expected or desired outcome. But, this shouldn’t end in discouragement. Continue. Try again. Persevere. Without that perseverance, nothing would be accomplished. Failures are many and successes are few, but one cannot exist without the other.

So choose something, and try. There are lots of things to remember when you’re trying to strike the balance in life, and truthfully most of the time life will likely feel heavy. Weights exist to make us stronger and they can be lifted. That takes time, effort, and perseverance. The first most important step in this process is to choose. Start somewhere. The second is to keep going. Learn something new. Learning requires messing up. But only through our own experiences can we truly understand. We have to start somewhere. So, it doesn’t matter if you like your job at first or if you are unsure about your major or if you’re the only one who believes your entrepreneurial spirit is clever enough to support you. The enjoyment in life is found in the balance struck between safety and risk. Think smart; take risks. You can always change your mind. But remember to invest in your interests, passions, beliefs, and motivations.

 

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