"I find myself struggling with myself and my will power, pretty unsure of what am I supposed to do and what I want to do...
I'm craving to make a change for my own good and become a better version of myself, but I just don't know where to start. I'm just wasting my time and talent and youth.
I fear for my future, don't want to look back and see how I f#cked up my 20's, don't want to end up in misery or be a burden for my family at all. I also fear of ending up doing something I won't enjoy doing for a living."
All of the answers you are looking for are in that that discontent you're feeling.
However at the moment, it sounds like that discontent is a mixture of at least three things...
- Fear... of failure, of success, of the unknown, etc.
- Ambition... the desire to be your best, and
- Disappointment... that you're not already there.
Desire, excitement, even fear are all useful motivators in crafting the best life possible. However to use those emotions as motivation, you first need to separate them.
Emotions are powerful, they're the fuel of motivation. But when their goals compete, you will feel pushed to run towards something, and away from it, simultaneously. Complete paralysis.
Untying that knot
Your first task is to split that feeling into discrete emotions. Reflect deeply. Journal what you're feeling, and why you think you're feeling it, and read it back, aloud.
You'll gain a far deeper understanding of what's in that feeling, and why.
Once those emotions are separate, you can work with each of them effectively.
I'm going to discuss the three emotions above, but you may find others... perhaps anger, confusion, or envy. If other emotions are part of your knot, they will be important for you to analyze as well.
The Emotion of Fear
When it comes to the future, fear is perhaps the most common emotions people struggle with. Here's why...
- The future is unknown... anything can happen.
- The future is important. If you feel like you haven't accomplished what you want to with your life yet, then all of your success is in the future.
- The future is uncontrollable. You have very little control, even very little influence, over what will happen in your life.
Lack of motivation is also a commonly due to feelings of fear, uncertainty and paralysis, and once you've identified that it's easier to just let the fear go.
Dealing with fear
Fear is useful in keeping you alive, and so always check with the obvious questions... will this kill me? Will I lose everything? Might I be crippled here?
If the answers are "no," then that fear is misplaced- nothing you're about to do will have serious lasting consequences.
Whereas not pursuing your goals is guaranteed to have serious lasting consequences.
In the modern world, failing is not only harmless, it's an essential part of learning- teach your reptile brain the difference.
When you can clearly see that the fear is unfounded, or that the risks are managed easily enough, you can then simply let go of fear.
Thanks fear, I've heard you, and you've been answered. I'm prepared for the risks I'm facing here.
The Emotion of Disappointment
Disappointment is just your id's response to seeing you hold back on your potential.
We all have a kind of parent-child relationship inside of our own minds, between our adult, future-thinking rational mind, and our childlike, immediately focused emotional mind.
These two minds operate very much like two separate people, and - just like a parent child relationship - the parent wants the best for their child. Any parent would feel disappointed if their child is only putting in half effort in life.
In BROJO, we refer to this as authenticity shame- the shame of not living up to your potential. The shame of not being you. The shame of not living by your own core values. You feel it every time you quit something you care about, every time you are inauthentic, and every time you let fear win.
Dealing with disappointment
Disappointment is great because it holds you accountable to yourself.
If you're feeling disappointed in your own efforts in life, it simply means that your mind know you are capable of so much more.
Even if you're not convinced you can succeed, you can still respond with...
Ok, I'm really not sure about this, but I'll give it a go.
Let's Find Out.
Your life is an adventure. Go live it. Anything can happen, and that's amazingly awesome.
The Emotion of Ambition
Ambition is the desire for more, the desire to be your best, to achieve all that you can.
Like all emotions, it's important to check ambition too. Are the things you want really good for you? Will your life really be better?
Most of those questions can't be answered definitively- but at least check in on what you're headed for, and what you're trying to create.
It helps if you goal is deeply aligned with your core values. More on that below.
Not much to say here. When you have a clear vision of what you want, and why- go big.
Invest hard, and commit to learning and developing yourself in your chosen direction as much as you reasonably can.
One of the big benefits of pursuing your ambitions is the excitement it will generate. Once your attention is focused on Why, What, and How of your destination, it doesn't have much for "But..."
You'll find much of your anxiety become transformed into excitement. And, of course, that disappointment in yourself will melt away too.
And that's awesome, because you don't need to be spending energy on unhelpful emotions anyway.
A quick note on core values, which is very central to my personal life philosophy.
Core values are the underlying, innate motivating forces at the very center of your being. They drive your mission and purpose in life.
Most people don't know their core values, and instead they simply adopt the values of their family, culture, society or religion.
The problem with that is that you may well spend your life climbing mountains, only to reach the top and discover that you've climbed the wrong one.
I have a course on finding your core values that is currently being written as an interactive coach-led class.
If you're keen, message me at email@example.com, and I'll add you in.
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