Are you feeling behind with where you want to be in life? Read this.
I fully know where your head's at on this 'cause this is something that consumed pretty much all of my 20s. Fun times.
And if you're anything like I was, you're always questioning the choices you’ve made, always feeling frustrated that you're not further ahead than you thought you'd be (this one's still tough for me sometimes, I'm not gonna lie), and sometimes you feel hella-jealous of other people's apparent catastrophic success and progress – other people that are getting to live your dream life, and live it first dammit.
Feels pretty bleak right? It kinda puts you in the 'what's-the-point?!' mindset that ironically halts your progress altogether. Ugh. But there's good news coming – you can make conscious choices to keep your head in the right place, and keep you on track. Yep. But it won't happen by magic my friend, you need to want to change, and you need to work at it. Daily.
Are you still reading? Awesome 🙌🏻 let's dive in.
You need to see the gold in your slow-ass journey.
You very possibly didn't take the quickest, most direct route to your goal. You may well have taken a gap year or two and subsequently felt 'behind' your peers who didn't. Your plan A perhaps didn't work so well, neither did B or C, so now you're trying to find out plan D, E or F. Whatevs, I truly get it. But the crucial bit here is that whatever course your journey has taken, it's a golden, invaluable one. Trust me! Even if you 'wasted' those two gap years working part-time at some cheap shoe shop, but you'd initially planned on some enlightening, backpacking around-the-world trip – this experience has taught you some real-life sh*t. It's taught you that if you don't take the steps to making an around-the-world trip happen, you will stay in exactly the same part-time job in a cheap shoe shop. It's taught you that the complacent, habitual version of yourself isn't really getting you where you want to be in life, so you need to work on firing up the grateful, motivated version of yourself instead. It's taught you that, believe it or not, you're in control of your story. And that's a pretty powerful feeling. If you needed two years in a poop job to discover that, that's two years very well spent imho. Be grateful for them.
If you'd have taken the same opportunities, made the same decisions and pursued the same routes as your peers, you would be following their journey and not creating your own path. The battle scars you acquire from going your own way, tripping up and fudging your decisions are how you create your unique direction in life and realise your true, awesome potential. You're never gonna reach that by keeping up with the Joneses. Or the Kardashians. Or whoever. Your peers might not be jealous of your part-time-cheap-shoe-shop-gig right now, but man will they be jel in a few years time when you're bossing all over whatever you chose to put your mind to, for you.
Conversely, it might've taught you that cheap shoes are in fact your real passion, which is why you didn't wanna leave 😂 But you get me by now I'm sure; whether your experience is adventurous or mundane, you're learning so much about yourself in the process. And that in itself is gold-dust. See. That. Gold. Dust.
You need to stop comparing yourself hun.
Learning how to stop comparing yourself is such a biggie for me that it already has a blog post all of its own. But it's important that I bring it up again as I think it's so deeply rooted in your self-bashing when you're feeling behind in life. You already know it saps all of your mojo and motivation, you already know it's never going to bring you joy, but you're insatiable right? You can't help yourself. It's an addiction.
And how do you overcome an addiction? Cold turkey. That's right buddy. Go. Cold. Hard. Turkey. I'm talking – taking that liberating step of deleting the Facebook app from your phone, delete Instagram too while you're at it. And whatever else feeds your habit come to that. Even if you can only hack cold turkey sambos for a week, just try it and you'll instantly feel a weightlessness and freedom in your mind and body. Check in with yourself after a day or two and see how refocused you feel. FOMO will kick in for sure, but that's part and parcel of trying to break a habit. The real key to getting out of this miserable abyss of comparison is to switch your focus fully to your own path, your own opportunities and your own goals. In fact it's the only way really. And to do that you need to allow yourself some space to do it. Cold-hard-turkey-space.
If you still need some convincing to delete your most deadly mobile apps, temporarily or permanently, think about this for a second; remember that time when you felt completely happy and content in your day? Maybe it was a Saturday and you were doing something you love. Then you tapped into Facebook. Within a second you saw something ‘cooler’ that a peer has done or was doing and you felt instantly sh*te. (And sometimes it’s because of something you didn't even want! I mean, how freaking mental does that sound? And I know you get me!) You've basically, voluntarily pooed all over a totally happy and content moment of your own, and invited in a deflating, pity-party moment from social media. I mean genuinely, what’s the point of doing that to yourself lovely? The cool news is that you can control it!
You need to build your happiness bank!
Man I love this so much! 😍 But first of all, lemme quickly explain what a happiness bank even is. A happiness bank is a way for you to consciously take the time to feel gratitude for all the good stuff you have in your life right now. (Not all the good stuff that you want in your life btw, the stuff you already have). It's a space for you to notice and document what makes you feel good, in the present moment. It's a place for you to celebrate where you are right now, because that's exactly where you should, and need to be my friend! No matter how bleak we feel life is, we all have something to feel grateful for. And essentially, when you consciously remind yourself of that on a regular basis using your happiness bank, it really does give you a mega boost towards becoming 100% content with where you're at. Promise.
So where can you get a happiness bank?! Well I've made a cool freebie PDF download for you so you can get to action, and start banking all that happiness you already have your hands on. Simply tap the below button and you're well on your way to your happy! Yay! 👏🏻
And before you write off this idea as some kind of floaty-waffle-nonsense, I challenge you to download the freebie and just try filling it out. What have you got to lose? I truly believe that using this worksheet on a regular basis, or whenever you start to struggle with something tbh, will transform the way you feel about where you're at. And if you don't, I wanna know about it! You can hit me up in the comments below and tell all 👇🏻
If you missed your freebie download link, you can access it here too >
You need to be in the moment my friend.
Learning how to live in the moment is another one that's so important it already has a blog post of its own. And honestly? I think it's the answer to a lot of problems us 20 and 30somethings face on the daily, and it definitely answers this particular mindset problem too of feeling behind in life. If you're always looking at what you've done and what you want to do, instead of being content with what's going on right now, you're giving yourself a pretty crappy chance of enjoying what you're doing.
So! Instead of getting frustrated by telling yourself;
- 'Ugh, I'm so annoyed. I hate my job. I can't wait until I'm ______________' [trying to escape to the future]– try flipping it on its head by telling yourself, 'Yep my job's annoying sometimes, and I know I won't be here forever, but the fact that it ______________ , makes it all worthwhile right now.
= by seeing the value in what you already have, you're allowing yourself to be in the moment.
- 'I can't believe ______________ has gone and got herself a ______________. 🙄 I'm so jealous. Everything's always going her way.' [focusing on other people instead of yourself] –try flipping it on its head by telling yourself, 'Yep, finding out that ______________ has gone and got herself a ______________ stung a little. But what's happening for me right now that's made me feel jealous? What changes can I make so I feel good about my 'right now'?
= you're seeing the irrationality in your jealousy and instead putting that energy into working out how you can feel better, today.
We're alway in such a rush to be somewhere and get somewhere, and we're very often completely overlooking the awesomeness and opportunities around us in our 'right now'. Growth takes time. It takes endurance and it takes strength. Achieving something that doesn't involve those things, isn't usually something worth achieving, y'know? Being right here is everything you need right now. Love it, cuddle it, kiss it, and most importantly, be in it.
The bare bones of all of this is that you need to take action honey. Nothing's going to change unless you become the changemaker. If you've got a friend or family member that's struggling a bit with feeling left behind too, then be a good mate and share this post with them too. Until next time,