I’m sure we’ve all been there, feeling lost, confused, “not yourself”.
And maybe it’s the shift in the weather, the clocks changing, or getting to the end of the year; that I feel like this lost purpose.
In this day and age, I feel the pressure is so high to achieve and reach “success” simultaneously with ultimately, still growing up. I’m 20, and yet feel like I’ve “not done enough”, “achieved enough” or had “success”, whether that be within my educational or professional life. And yet, I fail to give myself credit to the fact I’ve been in full time education since I was five – non-stop. I’ve gone through emotional roller-coasters, family and relationship heartbreaks, moved away from home and finally felt like I could live my true self. And yet – finding myself, my drive every day, still seems the struggle.
We ALL have days that we don’t want to get out of bed, frankly – I have these about once a week. Why? Hormones, maybe. But mostly, it’s the expectation. The expectation that I have to be productive, motivated, happy and positive ALL THE TIME – that of course then ironically applies pressure and creates the complete opposite effect.
Whilst writing this I probably am procrastinating and self-sabotaging from the fact I SHOULD be doing University work for my deadline next week. It’s almost hilarious the things I’ll find the necessity to do when trying to avoid something else. Cleaning the bathroom, or even sorting through the pile of clothes at the bottom of my wardrobe that are yet to find a home. However, when I get the bug to be doing something (like writing), I feel like it’s a craving I have to fulfil before continuing with anything else. I also struggle with getting into my work, throughout the last two years of University, like everyone says; my passion for the subject has dimmed. This then results in my lack of motivation to do the work. Of course, it all comes back to my expectations of doing well, not letting anyone down, feeling the need to be successful. Which brings me to overwhelm.
Overwhelm. No need for me to explain, we all know the feeling. The swallowing, engulfing feeling of being, well… overwhelmed. I’m renowned for biting off more than I can chew, over-thinking, over-analysing, over-exaggerating, over-anything, you name it – I do it. I’m pretty certain I’ve only ever had one panic attack in my life, and luckily enough, never again. I remember the quick paces of my breath, loss of control and thought, sudden floods of tears and no idea what to do. So I feel you if you suffer – but from never wanting to feel this again, I quickly sorted myself some steps to calm my overwhelm before it gets to any point like that again – or some kind of breakdown.
These steps are definitely not professionally recommended, as I am no professional, BUT they do help with my organisation, overwhelm, positivity, stress and finally – finding myself and the next stepping stone towards my ambitions.
Lists are my best friend, lists of my priorities of the week ahead, things that need doing imminently, but also the things that can wait. Seeing these written down usually makes it a lot easier to manage and no reason to over-think their size.
Positive lists. Sometimes to do lists are boring and scary. So, I like to have a positive list of blessings of my week; my gaining in following, my progress with Uni work, the countdown to Christmas etc. Things that I can LOOK FORWARD TO, or be grateful for. This also makes the to-do list easier, as usually the positive list is the great outcomes of those scary things you need to prioritise, therefore making them less scary.
I love organising, and love a good tidy (when I’m in the mood). But it’s proven that if you’re in a tidy environment, a tidy room for example – you can find it easier and more motivating to work. I find this is the case for me, and take huge pride in keeping my environments clean and tidy, candles lit and fresh bedsheets always.
Cliché or not, speaking to loved ones is my biggest de-stresser. They remind me where I’ve come from, my process, my success, why I want to work hard. I speak to my parents and they inspire me to focus on my ambitions, so one day I can return the favour of all they’ve done for me. I speak to my siblings for reassurance that despite sometimes feeling alone, betrayed by friendships in my past – I always have them. We’re at the same life stages, and grow closer every day. And speaking to my closest friends and my boyfriend, remind me of the excitement of our futures and how working hard now will make all of it more amazing. But importantly, self-love. Love yourself with just eating right, taking yourself for a walk, avoid negativity and protect yourself.
So there’s my main steps, I adjust them on the situation but without a doubt they hold the foundation to most of my motivation.
Importantly from everything I’ve learnt and been through, it’s the phrase that “it’s ok to not be ok”. And its true. It’s ok not to have your shit together, it’s ok to not know what job or career you want – life is a huge rollacoaster and you’ll work it all out on your way. Emotions are temporary, overwhelm is temporary – and equally, so is happiness. So cherish all the good and know any bad will pass. Make plans, but don’t let them dictate or be set in stone. Set your goals, but let the goalpost change as you change.
And best believe, if you need a day in bed – listen to your body and girl, STAY IN THAT BED. (Just make sure you kick ass on your to-do list tomorrow)!
I’m here for anyone to talk to, drop me a message on Instagram if you wish – and know that none of us are positive all the time, we don’t all have motivation 24/7, we’re human.
Till next time…