There are times in life when we think things are working out. Perhaps you have chosen a path and gotten into a top school, but things are slowing down, a job cannot be found and now you find yourself crumpled into a pile wondering where it all went wrong. We have all been there, all ready to give up at some point. Still, if we are willing to hang in there, make the twists and turns, things can work out for the best. Even when the past year or longer has been far from easy, there are some lessons to be learned. A few of these lessons are shared below.
It is Okay Not to Know
This is possibly the hardest lesson to learn and accept because we are usually goal-oriented and driven. When we decide on a goal and pursue all that that encompasses we have a focal point, but without a goal, we can start to become depressed, anxious, and even weepy. Still, it is okay not to have a goal, not to know what is next just yet. Keep moving forward, do what you love and stay open to possibilities.
Clean Up the Messes
Before we can move on to another goal or move on in life in general, we must clean up the messes at the present. For some this may mean drawing lines and creating boundaries with those in your life who are too emotionally needy. You need space to do your own thing. While this does not mean cutting everyone off, set and keep clear boundaries. Step away and free yourself to allow time to heal. Work on personal development and talk to others who are trying to improve themselves as well to see what has worked. Take time to focus on your own happiness and worrying so much about making others happy. This requires a great deal of mental energy, pleasing others, but it is okay to be self-focused. Figure out your personal blocks and work on them so you can move forward.
Follow Your Instincts
Though your well-meaning friends and family want to see you safe and happy, sometimes they give you advice that is not necessarily what you need. It may sound logical, but you know in your gut it will not further your goals. While this does not mean you should not find mentors or seek professional advice, take care of yourself along the way as well. Don’t put too much weight into any advice, but follow your gut. Thank people for caring, but choose what to do for yourself.
Even though it may seem like you are taking a step backwards, it is only a negative if you stop trying or learning. A calculated retreat allows you time to find out what did not work, why, and how to correct it. This takes time and a great deal of introspection. Take the time you need to be self-focused and taking care of yourself. For those on the outside, it may look like you are doing nothing, but in the end, the results will be worth it. A setback is not the end, nor does it mean you have failed, just that you are forging a new path.