We all experience those tough moments in life. Those times when it feels like everything is crashing down and crumbling at our feet. What do you do? Do you stand still frozen with fear and anxiety; or do you roll with the punches and try not to crack under pressure? When these moments pop up in life my first thought is what are my resources and how quickly can I access them? If I need more help to get out of a jam what can I do? Where can I turn? When you lack sufficient resources and access to resources it can feel like you’re stuck in molasses with a ten ton weight strapped onto your back. With each day that passes it feels as though the weight is increasing and your knees are beginning to buckle. You desperately want to remove the burden, but you can’t reach the clasp. Then one day you catch a break; you find a sharp object and cut the straps or perhaps someone arrives to aid you by sharing or removing the weight. You fall to your knees and try to catch your breath. You are weak and weary but you survived. You stood and moved with strength you never believed was within you. Your legs carried you beyond your perceived limits. You are more powerful than you ever dreamed. Your only limits are the ones you put up. Tough times can bring out the diamond in people sometimes.
The moments when you hesitate and freeze;standing still and waiting for the perfect moment to make your move. Sometimes the perfect moment never arrives and you’ve been standing for so long that you’ve stopped progressing all together. Sometimes you’ve got to take a chance and step forward. Don’t become stagnant waiting for some ideal moment that may never occur. Hesistation may let your opportunity slip by. If you’ve been wanting to go for something for a while go ahead and do it. It’s ok if you’re afraid to fall. You can get back up and keep going or maybe, just maybe, you’ll soar above your doubts and fears. You’ll never know what your long-desired moment holds if you’re stuck, frozen, and waiting endlessly for the perfect moment.
As I prepare to complete another year of my life on this Earth, I like to reflect. I think I’ve done well in terms of my professional development and personal growth. I feel as though I’ve begun the transition from the planning phase into the implementation phase. All the things I hoped, planned, and prepared for all of these years have begun to come to fruition.
I do feel blessed to have all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I am grateful for the mindset, coping skills, and motivation my family and community have cultivated within me. I am thankful the paths known and unknown that I’ve traveled thus far. I think I can sum up my year like this: you’ll never quite know what’s around the corner until you get there or you have a better vantage point. As I go forward another year wiser and eager to learn, I will work on putting action to my words. Time step into the water; just getting my toes wet is not enough for me anymore. Here’s to a year of dreams, hopes, and plans manifested.
What do you do when you hit a fork in the road? There have been many times in the past when I was uncertain and just plain stuck between decisions. Do I change my field and complete a professional degree or do I go to graduate school and remain in my current field? Do I take that position or do I move for a better potential opportunity elsewhere? Do I stay or do I go? I could go on with the many options that I’ve encountered over the years. As I reflect, I notice that it wasn’t that I truly was uncertain it was more that I was fearful of the outcome if things didn’t workout or lacked confidence in my ability. In my heart I knew the option I was more in favour of, but I also knew my choice was often the more risky option. In the end I usually ended up going with the safer option.
It’s a difficult decision the tred the more risky path, especially if you are not the only person your choice will impact. After deciding upon the direction I wanted to take my life I said “why not try the risky path” the worse thing I could do is fail. I’d rather try and give it my all than stay too safe and constantly wonder if I would have made it. Would I have been great at that? I am in the process of motivating myself not to settle for mediocrity and complacency. I don’t want to have regrets to ponder about decades from now. There is a time and place for “safe” decisions there also times when you know deep down that you want to try and take the risk. When it comes to decisions regarding the overall direction of my life I now ask myself if I had no fear and no doubts which option would I choose and why. What is really holding you back?
Sometimes it’s good to realign your actions with your values. It can be challenging, in a world seemingly littered with obstacles, fear, destitution, and heartache, to maintain your identity and follow through according to your values. There’s a time to rest and repair yourself and there is also a time to step forward and continue on your path. Well for me, it’s more like simultaneously shifting in and out of self-care, refocusing, and continuing towards my goals while reminding myself to help the people around me as well. Sometimes we get off track. It may a little detour or it may be a bare footed journey across harsh terrains to reach our goals. Our path can always be rerouted. Some ways are longer than others. All that matters is that you arrive eventually. Sometimes the places we think are the destination turn out to be pitstops. We simply reset and continue onward.
What motivates you to keep going? What drives you to get back up every time life knocks you down? After maintaining basic necessities what is it that makes you say “this is worth it”. In times of defeat and despair what makes you dust yourself off and get back in the ring? These are questions I ask myself as I reflect on choices and contemplate decisions. Will I thank myself in 6 months or a year for this decision? Will I wonder endlessly about the potential possibilities if I walk away from a challenge? Personally, the one thing I don’t want to wonder about and possibly regret is my potential. I’d rather try and fail than sit on the sidelines wondering what could have been if only I had not been afraid to take that first step.
One thing that really gets to me is seeing people walking parallel to their full potential. Stuck in path never to intersect, whether it be due to socioeconomic, mental, or physical circumstances and barriers, they are looking over and wondering what could have been. You can’t change the past but you can certainly direct your path going forward. If you want it, go for it fervently. If there’s a barrier you can’t go around, you may just need to bust through even if it’s a small opening. Take it down brick by brick. Use any helping hands and resources you can find, even if it’s just one pair. Share your goals with few even though you will be surrounded by and working with many individuals. Not everyone you surround yourself with is meant to be within your circle. Some may not be there to build with you, but merely spectate or discourage you. I say this because social support is important even if you have just one person that can encourage you when times get rough, it can help keep you afloat in stressful times. As you go along your journey I encourage you to ask yourself what drives you and where do you want to go?
Sometimes life gets you down, and sometimes life hits you with a 4 ton truck and throws you into a compactor to seal the deal. What do you do when you feel crushed beyond conceivable repair? What works for me is scaling back and focusing on simplified smaller goals. I’d rather accomplish 5 small things than remain frustrated that I couldn’t accomplish one large goal. Focusing on one small step at a time helps rebuild my motivation within. If I think too far and wide I’m swimming in despair and doubt before I even begin. You need time to catch your breath after a personal shortcoming or failure.
As long as you stay in motion, it doesn’t matter how miniscule you feel the accomplisent may be, you’re still making progress. If you want to get from point A to point B you will have to carry on. Failures are inevitable; how you proceed afterward is important. It’s like an athlete training and pushing their body beyond what they could do the day before. They maintain their training schedule. If they become injured they take the time to heal and modify their regimen until they are ready. Yes you may have your big grand goal in mind, and that is great, but you need to be able to scale it down to how will you defeat today’s challenge? How will you meet your goal for today? At the end of the day are you better than you were yesterday? If you’re persistent with your smaller realistic goals you can eventually acheive the larger goal. Sometimes I need to remind myself it is me versus me at the end of the day. Don’t lose your rhythm just because you fumbled a few beats or maybe you’ve been at rest for an entire movement in the music that is your life. Regardless, get back in there. Jump back in if you must. Keep moving and living. Don’t be frozen in a cycle of thoughts and actions. Just because you’ve been stuck on repeat for a very long time doesn’t mean that’s where you must spend the rest of your days. It can be hard to swim against the current. It is hard to go against what may be easy and comfortable. Muster up what strength you have left and break out of stagnation. You may just surprise yourself.