Sometimes when I feel my life is a mess, it's important to remember very basic and clear things to move on and work on ourselves.
We all reach a moment in life where we think everything is falling apart, even when it’s not. As a person who has experienced this a couple of times, let me tell you that most of the times it’s just a matter of perception. We tend to exaggerate, and this provokes in us a tremendous anxiety that prevents us from seeing the light outside this dark tunnel. Yes, life can get really hard and we all have said "my life is a mess" at least once in our adult lives. But I’m pretty certain that most of our problems come from the fact that we grow up having great expectations that sometimes are hard to follow.
When I finished high school I decided to take a sabbatical, and just two months later I felt so bad because all my friends were already at university and I wasn’t doing anything with my life. When I returned home from studying abroad, I found that everybody I knew moved on with their lives. And that’s only talking about, let’s say the professional area. In the relationship sector, I wasn’t doing that well either. How did I come out of this horrible emotional darkness? Simple, I realized I grew up believing adulthood was about following certain steps to become "successful," when it's actually more complex. That's the main reason why it's quite hard to get rid of those beliefs, but still that's possible. So every time I feel I’m not going anywhere, I just take a time to remember these things:
Get up, don’t be lazy
About 80% of our messy life problems come from laziness. The uncertainty and anxiety of not knowing what to do with our lives can be so overwhelming that sometimes it seems easier to just lay down and complain all day long, waiting for things to magically happen. I’m not going to say that’s wrong or anything like that; on the contrary, sometimes that’s the healthiest thing to do. But don’t sink on that attitude. Let yourself go for a while only to take strength, get up, and start doing what you have to do.
Find something you’re really passionate about
Not all your life has to center on a career or a job. There must be room for something else. After several episodes of my life where I didn’t know what to do, my best advice is to find something that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your main activity or it's only a hobby. Just do whatever makes you happy. That sensation will be absolutely fulfilling and will give you the boost you need to move on and fix your life.
Focus on one thing at a time
Generally, we feel like our life is a mess because we have so many things going on and none of them seem to be heading anywhere. Take a step back, analyze all the things that have to be fixed, and organize them by urgency. Once you’ve managed to do so, you’ll see things clearly. The most important thing to start untangling that hideous mess is by focusing on one thing at a time.
Leave self-pity for another time
That’s something we should tattoo on our arms to remember it all the time. Self-pity doesn’t help in anything at all. It won’t make others solve your life nor encourage you to do so by yourself. Forget about that immediately! Yes, things look shitty at the moment, but feeling sorry about it won’t really solve anything. The only thing that helps is being determined and clear minded.
Solve any issue that’s still bothering you
As I mentioned, if you're feeling lost because of unsolved issues or something you've been carrying around for some time, start solving them immediately so you can start planning your life. Sometimes, things aren't really messed up. The problem is something you’ve been carrying for such a long time that you just learned to live with it. That’s not healthy, and it won’t take you anywhere.
Rely on friends and family
Not because your friends seem to have figured out what to do with their lives it means they won't understand you. This common mistake makes us isolate ourselves from the world because we think others won’t get us or we just don’t want them to know we’re going through that horrible moment. Ditch all those nonsensical ideas and talk to someone. Most of the times the best advice comes from an objective point of view.
Forget your preconceptions about life
Don't believe everything your parents, teachers, society, or the Internet, tells you. Life isn’t a pattern we all must follow. We all need to shape it and design it according to our wishes. So, if you’re not in school yet, or you don’t have the perfect job or a stable relationship, it doesn’t matter. Just go for what your gut tells you. There is no single path to success.
Don’t compare yourself to others
This goes hand in hand with the first one. It’s not a competition, and comparing yourself to others can only cause you anxiety and frustration. We have the right to decide what we want in life, and not because your friend or anyone achieved their goals faster than you, it means you’ve failed. If you’re determined and work really hard, things will come. It doesn’t matter when or if it happens before any of your peers.
As you can see, most of this advice is pointing at one huge thing we tend to forget at moments of despair: just calm down. Most of our problems aren't as real as they seem, but just a gloomy construction we make in our heads. As the cliche saying states, everything can be solved.
Pictures by @zech.lee
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