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Do you ever feel like you’re not quite sure what you’re supposed to be doing with your life?
Like you’re standing at a crossroads and not entirely sure which way to go? The uncertainty, the indecision, how do you know which is the right choice to make? It’s enough to send anyone into a complete tailspin, especially for introverts when we get so stuck in our heads and can’t stop the thought spiral.
Gone are the days of the ‘mid life crisis’ revolving around middle aged men, fast cars, and running off with secretaries. The overwhelming exertion of the OTT, fast paced 21st Century life makes me think crisis-mode has blown up into epic proportions. Quarter life crisis, mid year crisis, end of school crisis. There’s so much available to us, so many options, that it’s easy to understand a feeling of inadequacy or that panic mode setting in to make us feel that maybe we aren’t enough or we’re not living the way we should.
We’ve become very good at freaking out about our mortality but maybe not good enough that we’re actually prepared to do something about it. It’s kind of like fixing things only when they’re broken instead of trying to prevent them from happening in the first place.
What if we took panic mode down a notch or two and spent a little more time listening to ourselves?
What if we stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and just focused on what we love?
What I’m trying to get to the bottom of is this:
What do you WANT to do with your life? What makes you truly HAPPY?
Stop for a second and breathe
This might not be a question that’s easy to answer. Maybe you have no freaking idea. Maybe you have SO MANY ideas that your head is about to explode. Or maybe you’re so busy in your day to day life that you don’t have time to just stop and breathe.
I think we’re so caught up in our own stuff that we think everyone else has their shit together while we’re running around like headless chickens.
But, let’s face it, that’s probably not true. (It’s definitely not true)
We’ve become experts at lying our pants off to get ahead in life and pros at the concept of ‘fake it til you make it’. To show a highlights reel to everyone on social media. To automatically answer ‘good thanks’ when someone asks how we are.
But, there’s a chance, we all feel a little uncertain sometimes. Maybe we all go through phases of wanting to curl up in bed and not come out for two days or throw it all in and run away.
There seems to only be one way to get past this and forgo the yearly/monthly/weekly near-breakdowns about life purpose and it can be summed up in just one word: CLARITY.
How do you do that??
Maybe, if we can stop for a second and sort through all the stuff in our heads and start to work out exactly what it is that fires us up and turns us on, just maybe that’s what we should be doing with our lives?
Just a thought.
What do you love so much you’d do it for free? Or what do you do in your spare time? Chances are that’s a fairly good indicator of what you should be doing with your life.
What do you think about when you’re not doing anything?
This isn’t a ‘think so hard you burst a blood vessel’ kind of question. This is a ‘when you’re doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, where does your mind go’ kind of idea.
It might not come straight away, in fact, it might hit you when you least expect it.
One night, around 2am when I couldn’t sleep because this question was plaguing my thoughts. Without thinking, I got up and started writing down all the things that I love in life. Things I already do, things I’ve seen around that look very appealing to my ideal way of life, things I’ve always wanted. And, more importantly, why.
The results ranged from ‘going out for coffee with friends’ to ‘owning my own *big project that I’m not ready to talk about yet*’.
Some things immediately doable. Some things requiring a little more work.
So what do you want?
You know, deep down, the things that you love?
That’s what you should be doing with your life and that’s why you might find yourself asking the question so often, because you’re not quite there yet. In all honesty, though, there are only two ways this is going to change.
1 – When you SLOW DOWN and start paying attention.
2 – When you want the change badly enough to actually DO something about it.
We’re ever-changing creatures and there’s no hard or fast rule. The idea of ‘this is what I’m doing for the rest of my life’ is not only unrealistic, but it’s also terrifying. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even commit to what I’ll have for dinner tonight, let alone a life-long career/location/lifestyle.
This is about knowing who we are well enough that the choices we make along the way, mean the most to us and align with who we really are.
If you can regularly stop and listen to yourself, it seems likely that the clarity will come and, with that, the answers to the frustrating ‘what the f*** am I going to do with my life?’ question.
Let’s be real for a second, some things are out of our control
There’s a lot going on in the world and many more people that we would all like to admit are living in conditions that are NOT so simple as deciding what makes them happy and going and doing it.
I always try to be the first to acknowledge my own privilege as a white, cis, hetero, able bodied woman living in Australia and even *I* have shit going on that is out of my control.
So let’s not for a second forget that we’re all facing varying degrees of ‘shit out of our control’ that affects our ability to make drastic changes – and definitely some more than others.
Let’s start small, let’s not ignore the REAL stuff that is going on. Kids that need feeding, rent that needs to be paid, health issues that take up significant amounts of time and energy, oppressive situations that seriously impact the amount of choices you may have.
It’s there always and every day.
Is there ONE thing that can be in your control? One thing that can feel more aligned with who you are and what you want?
In my experience, asking this question is the very first step. It’s the realisation that something isn’t working but that even if it doesn’t always feel like it, we have the ability to make even small changes that start to have a big impact on our next steps, our mindset, and the options that are available to us.
Leave a comment below if you feel compelled to try this out or if you’ve found that illuminating clarity and you want to brag about it.
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