This one is for all my peers navigating life post-university. It can feel like everyone is going places and doing things, whilst you might still be applying for a dream job or figuring out what that dream job is. A while back, I wrote about the importance of timing and perseverance in achieving our goals and whilst that post is great for putting things into perspective when you feel your motivation dropping. It doesn’t recognise the significance of the emotions we experience when we are trying to achieve our goals. Acknowledging, understanding and responding to our emotional responses to situations is very important in allowing us to grow and fulfil our potential.
Feeling like you’re stuck in one place can be frustrating. I know for me personally it can be really difficult to put a positive spin on things when I’m in that state of mind. It’s as if everything is working against me and every waking moment is like being knee deep in an existential crisis. It’s dark. But we need to accept these feelings, and not feel silly about feeling them because they are valid. Experiencing moments of uncertainty are normal and not worthy of shaming ourselves. They don’t mean we’re not worthy of achieving our goals. If anything, they show how much we care about our goals and wanting to achieve them.
I’m taking a year out to develop myself… but there are definitely times where I feel like I’m stuck in the same place while the world moves on without me. I have friends who are already well on their way of creating careers for themselves. Friends starting families. And then there’s me. Sat at a desk in Spain writing blog posts and attempting to improve my Spanish.
For me it feels like we were in a bubble for the past few years at university and someone very rudely popped it and dropped us into a cold, harsh world that we don’t always feel prepared for. There are so many additional responsibilities that we have to juggle, in addition to finding where we fit in society. We have a responsibility to our planet, keep in touch with friends and family, pay the rent on time, and in the midst of all of that we have a responsibility to ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves physically… and mentally if we are to continue really living. I think that’s where a lot of us fall short. We don’t always take the time to look after ourselves because we are too busy chasing something. We get so caught up in having to do ‘x’, by ‘x’ time, comparing ourselves with others and failing to take a minute to congratulate ourselves for the things we have already achieved. We neglect our emotions because we can’t afford to waste time. But what we fail to realise is that unresolved feelings have a way of festering and manifesting themselves in the future, which can prove to be a detriment to our success.
It’s important to articulate your feelings, to allow you to work through them. Talk to a friend or a family member, write in a journal or you can even write to me. Find a way that works for you.