Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not as far ahead in life as everyone around you?Sometimes it seems like everyone else has what you want and you’re not exactly sure how to get it. It’s like they know more than you. You watch as friends get married, have babies, start exciting careers and take vacations in beautiful places you’ve never even heard of. You hear coworkers talk about all they get done during their morning routines before they come to work and you’re impressed that you even made to work today with your teeth brushed. You watch girls at the gym seemingly magically drop pound after pound effortlessly, while you trudge away and stay at the same weight. They’re running marathons and you’re just learning to walk. Comparison is the worst “skill” our brains have.
Sometimes it feels as though you’re 25 instead of 35, 45 or 55. You feel like you should have accomplished more by now, that you should be making more money, that you should have your shit together, that you should know what you want to do with your life, that you should have lost the weight already, that you should . . .
The “should” demons. Everyone has them to a degree. The “shoulds” are pressures we put on ourselves that are mostly fiction based junk that lives in our heads. Nowhere does it say that you need to accomplish X by a certain age or time in your life – yet we wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts or drenched with sweat in anxiety about where we think we “should” be. We feel envious of other’s joys instead of feeling happy for them, as if there is some delicate balance of happiness in the world and if they’re getting some of it, then there won’t be enough for us. The should demons make us feel like we’re being judged (but by who??), that we’re dumb, we’re not good enough or not ambitious enough.
I get caught up in it too. Sometimes I worry about how far other health/life coaches have gotten with their businesses and I worry about why I’m not where they are. Heck, I even find myself getting down about even finding this career path so “late” when it seems like most of my peers have been working in careers they love for a decade or more. I freak out about still not knowing if John and I are going to have a kid – we “should” know that by now, right?? I have a whole list of “shoulds” that come up from time to time.
We think that by paying attention to these thoughts about where we’re lacking, that it’s going to motivate us to push forward and accomplish whatever it is that we think is just out of our reach. But focusing on “shoulds” actually clouds us from discovering what it is we truly want in our lives. If we stopped and listened to our hearts, we may find that we don’t want what someone else has after all, it’s just that we think we’re supposed to want it.
Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be.
Whatever it is you are currently working on is what you’re supposed to be working on. Whatever you think is eluding you is eluding you for a good reason.
Every decision we make is the correct decision for us at that particular time. We do or don’t do things for a reason.
Trust that when you decide to do X, it’s because that is the right thing for you at that time. And when you decide not to do something, there was a good reason for that as well.
Everything we experience in life has a purpose (even if we have no clue what that purpose is) and is taking us a step close to where we’re going.
We learn from each misstep as well as from our great achievements. Even when things appear to have gone “wrong”, when you look back at the experience, I bet you can think of a few lessons that you took from it.
All our twists and turns shape us for who we ultimately will be. At the end of our life, all of our decisions will have created the person who others will remember.
When you think of the people you have lost in your life (assuming you have experienced the death of a loved one), do you compile a list of their outer accomplishments? Ph.D, CEO, 6 figure salary, always had a clean house, super fit body? No, of course not.
We remember how genuine their smile was. How happy hearing their voice made you. How little it took to get them to laugh. How cranky they were without their morning coffee. How good they made others feel. How much fun they had. What a good storyteller they were.
We don’t remember their GPA or what their highest title at work was. We don’t give two shits about how fast they achieved things in life or how much money they made. We care about the person they were – and how they affected us and the world around them.
We are the sum of our lives, not the little bits and pieces.
Trust that you are where you are supposed to be and that you will get to where you are going.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to work for the things we want – for sure, achievement does take work! But, ease up on questioning where you are on the path, ease up on comparison, ease up on judging and pressure and ease up when you make mistakes. It might take you longer or less time than others to lose weight, earn that degree, get the job, have children, whatever. Just trust that you are on your path and keep moving forward.
No one else will have the life that you have. No one else will learn the lessons you’re going to learn so it’s not fair to expect that we will all achieve the same things (or even want to achieve the same things) and certainly not at the same point in time. Comparing doesn’t make us set out to do more, it just makes us feel smug or bad about ourselves – and neither of those are desirable or going to produce what you’re after.
No more shoulds. No more comparison. Focus on listening to your heart and making decisions from there instead of from a place of fear, panic or not being enough. Because you have everything you need to be you.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you get caught up in comparison and a list of “shoulds”? What makes you think you are lacking in some way? How can you turn your focus inward and trust your decisions?
If you are struggling with your path, I invite you to schedule a discovery session with me. It’s a chance for you to get undivided attention towards one of your goals.