What would you say if I asked you to name one thing you do better than anyone else? This was a question a friend asked me a few weeks ago and it left me rather stumped. I could easily compile a long list of things that I excel at, but “better than anyone else?”
At 24, I am beginning to enter the “quarter life crisis” that plagues my generation. Am I working for the right company? Am I making enough money? Have I traveled enough? Have I lived enough? Do I have enough friends? Do I have the right friends? Do I live in the right city? Is my youth running out? Am I enough?
I am constantly working to deepen my self-awareness. Thus, for the last few weeks I have begun studying myself in various situations. It is so important to get to know yourself. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that my life is only just beginning. And yet, like the rest of my generation, I am suffocated by the notion that I must have it all figured out. Right now. Today.
The truth is that while I still cannot tell you what I do better than anyone else, I am getting there. I am very much lost in the right direction. I know what exhilarates me. I know who and what is toxic to my life and have begun making adjustments accordingly. Do not be afraid to ask yourself what you want and use tunnel vision to get there.
“The more you let go, the higher you rise.” -Yasmin Mogahed
We are told over and over gain how important it is to become a person comfortable in our own skin. The reality is however, that we live in a society that makes this extremely difficult. Social media facilitates feelings of inadequacy and lowered self-esteem. i.e. If Tom can afford to take his family to an all inclusive in the Caribbean, then I am not making enough. I’m not a good husband. I’m failing as a Dad. I’m not enough. These are real thoughts that cross our minds as we click through our friends most recent posts. But what if Tom and his wife sleep in separate rooms and barely speak? What if Tom is away on business more than he is home? In that case, are their children really happier?
Similarly, clients are constantly telling me they want to lose weight but when I ask them why-superficial reasons aside- they can’t always tell me. They’re going to a high school reunion or a wedding and so and so will be there. Who says there is something wrong with the way we look now? Side note: Americans are sick, and they are often sick because they are overweight. I wouldn’t be in the career I was if this was not the case. However, most of our concerns have very little to do with health until our health is compromised. We are consumed by this need to be enough. We constantly compare ourselves to others and guess what, people who appear to “have it all” usually do not.
Instead of focusing on looking like someone else, working a job you hate, or staying in a toxic relationship, get to know your body (what nourishes it, what doesn’t), take a painting class (if you like to paint), and if someone isn’t a contemporary mirror of yourself, let them go.
How well do you know YOU? Even more importantly, how well do you DO you? I work at this every single day. My career is not typical, neither are my priorities. This means that my life is going to look A LOT different from most of my generation’s. I have to constantly remind myself of this. However…over the last few years, I have gotten to know myself enough to know what my ambitions are and that if I am not pursuing them, I’m not truly happy. Stop looking to other people to make you feel whole and look within.