That is usually followed by feelings of “am I good enough?” Do I possess what it takes to make it in this life? Will I ever do what I really want to do? Is there a spot for me? Unfortunately at one point or another we ponder these questions heavily in our minds.
I can remember being fresh out of college last May, anxiety on level 10, and confusion binding my once high spirits that came with finally getting my degree. At first I was cool. I told myself to just keep pushing. But after the months went by and I was still jobless and others around me seemed to be getting all the opportunities in the world, my place of solace began to slowly darken and my light wasn’t shining.
A year later and I look back and I have made a lot of progress. But it took time.
There was a point around March of this year, way before I landed my recent writing position, that I began to be at peace with myself and my progress. I realized that I wasn’t being patient with myself or really waiting to see a return on my investments. I told myself that I was doing as much as I could do and that things were going to work out. And as I stopped stressing and just living, much more opportunity has been placed in my hands.
I understand better through experience, that the concept of progress isn’t something that takes place overnight. And beating yourself up because things aren’t happening as fast as you like is a sure way to lead to further blocking yourself form reaching your goals.
As I began taking everything a day at a time, I tried not to carry anything negative in my mind. It’s still a habit that I’m learning to develop.
In May, I interviewed a hip-hop artist by the name of Lecrae. During our conversation, he said something that rang bells for me. He said we focus so much on trying to obtain fame, fortune, and notoriety that we lose sight of the joys of the small moments and day-by-day accomplishments of the present.
I realized even more that that’s what I was doing. I was never satisfied. It’s okay to want more or better, but it’s also important to see that you have to celebrate the great things you accomplished that day. Little by little it will go where it needs to go.
I also came across a quote by Confucius, “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.”
We want it fast. We want it now. We are in an era of instant gratification because of technology. But truthfully all things worth having are things worth waiting for.
In the meantime, until you get there, you should live and find ways to enrich your life. Prepare, prepare, prepare. And for different people that means different things. And also find ways to stay inspired. Life doesn’t have to be a drag or depressing.
Perhaps I won’t ever stop being a busy body, but I am making a mental practice of breathing easier.
In the end, I learned to give myself the freedom to make mistakes and to take risks when it comes to doing something I truly believe. Don’t worry about impressing anyone else. You believing is enough. Don’t stress too much. Be bold and see how it all works out. Then celebrate each moment of success. And just know, you don’t need a huge awards ceremony or trophy to feel like you’ve won. Enjoy the process.