Silencing the Chaos Within Yourself
Don't get discouraged!
Who Are You?
People come up to me and ask me for advice often. It could be about anything from cat ownership to how I make my own salsa to relationship questions or co-worker troubles. All of these have their own solutions depending on the circumstances of the individual but one thing that people seem to struggle with is dealing with themselves.
We've all been there from telling ourselves negative things or putting ourselves in not so ideal situations. Maybe you lost a job or figured out you hate your current job. Maybe you are struggling to find your place in society while everyone is shouting that you "should" do what they want. This can leave one feeling...lost. You may start to question why you do things, why you like that person, why you hate your job, and why you are struggling while everyone else seems so put together. Then starts the chaotic war against yourself. You may express this dissatisfaction or keep it hidden, but hey, is this the way to live your life?
Let me ask you one question: Do you know who you are?
Some people I've encountered seem to do things without thinking about if it fits with their personality, lifestyle or schedule. They are those people who have no problem doing whatever they feel like at whatever time they feel like. They might do it for themselves or because others have told them to try it. There is nothing wrong with this if they are truly happy. However, there are some that struggle with what to eat for breakfast everyday and question their decisions over and over (again, nothing wrong except for when it drives you insane). A lot of people have trouble deciding whether to have a family or get married or what college to go to. Even more people struggle with what to do with their lives for their career or what lifestyle to live! And it shouldn't be an easy "yes" or "no" when it's a major decision. But it seems like no matter where you end up, you will have to make decisions based on what you want out of your own life. This may seem simple at first, but if you haven't gotten to this stage in life...be prepared for the ultimate self showdown.
So do you really know who you are and what you want out of life? Or have you been living a life directed by other people handing you suggestions and telling you what to do next? Are you satisfied with where you are at in life? Can you go to bed peacefully and wake up the next day feeling ready to tackle the challenges ahead?
Think About It
Where are you at in your life?
Go Within Yourself, Not Without Yourself
Step one is simply to look within yourself. If you are feeling the wrath of your own inner thoughts and emotions and can't seem to figure out how you got this far...take a moment to breathe. Remember that nobody can take the exact same path as you and you cannot take the same exact path as somebody else. Why is this? Because you are you. You may be quiet or outgoing, a confident being or a being still struggling, a scientist or an art lover. You may share similar traits as those around you or like the same things that other people like but they may not get the same level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction as you from doing those certain things.Think of it this way...if you meet people who like football and you also like football, what degree (or how much) do you individually like football? Timmy may love football but hates all other sports, Mary may just like football for the hot guys and you may just be an all sports fanatic. Does this mean that you still all like football? Yes, but for different reasons and from different perspectives.
So for example, you may be struggling with what to do for your major in college. Your grandmother wants you to become a lawyer, your dad wants you to become a doctor and your mom says you can do whatever you want...as long as you bring her some grandchildren. What do you do? The answer is, whatever YOU want. These people most likely just want you to be successful and who can better define your own definition of success than you!
Many people find that what they want changes throughout their life anyway. So choosing one job, one career, one place to live, one lover etc. will most likely either be what you want later or you will choose to do something else. You do not have to be stuck in a place you do not want to be in. Your family, your friends, your co-workers, your boss and even your current partner will sometimes want to do something different, try new things and branch out into another field of interest. There is no reason why you shouldn't have the mindset to do this too. It may be harder to go from one thing to the next but ultimately, it is YOUR life to do as you please. Do not be stuck in an unhappy situation because you think that is what you are supposed to do at the time. It will lead to internal struggles if you are not doing something that matches you and your personality.
What Will Others Think Of Me?
Other people, including your best friend who you do everything with, will always think what they want to think. You shouldn't let the opinion of others or the path that others have taken discourage you from becoming successful, content, and fulfilled. Keep in mind (especially if you are in a transition phase) that a life lived for the sake of pleasing others or because this is what you were "meant" to do (according to society, family, school etc.), might be good for a while, but ultimately, if it is not in your heart or soul to do something, then you may have set yourself up for a battle against the very person you thought you were.
What Can You Do Now?
If you are filling a little misplaced in your life or have some newly found goals or desires, I suggest you answer these questions before beginning something life changing.
- Who are you? What describes you? Do you know what kind of person you are from your physical, emotional to mental state? What kind of personality do you have?
- What are you most happy doing? What can you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
- Will this decision go against someone I love or care about? (This is important to ask yourself because if somebody doesn't approve of your goals or wants, you may be forced to choose between them or your overall life satisfaction.) Can you handle the disapproval or judgement that others might cast? Is this something you need to do in order to feel like you've lived a fulfilling life? Think of how you will feel on your deathbed if you didn't do this certain thing (and could remember that far back).
- Is the feeling I am feeling right now, the same feeling I will have a few months or a year from now? Is what you want to do a part of a phase of life or part of a life change?
- What do you really want? Be sure you really want whatever you want.
- What is your game plan to get to where you feel comfortable doing what you like or have passion for? Don't go overboard and quit your day job and leave your family if you don't have any money saved up, anything to fall back on, or anywhere to live. Be rational!
- Are you ready to make your life (to the best of your ability, of course) as fulfilling, successful, happy, and exciting as it possibly can be? If you feel you need more time to dwell on things or circumstances, feel free to take time for yourself and really evaluate the way you want to live, are currently living, and what is keeping you from reaching this internal peace.
- What improvements do you need to make on yourself for you to be happy with yourself? Do you need to learn some patience? Do you want to learn a new language? Do you need to eat a little healthier? Do you need to learn a new skill for the thing you want to do? Think of the small things first. Small victories lead to major victories.
- That you are who you are no matter what you wear, do, or feel.
- That there are people that want to see you succeed and people that don't.
- That you can be satisfied if you search deep within yourself and evaluate/change your actions.
- That others might not understand your choices but you can either explain them or let those people carry on.
- That you have to be rational when making new life decisions (such as raising kids, trying a new career, moving across country, getting into a serious relationship etc.)
- That if you do not have passion for something, do not think you ever will, and even when you try and still feel unsatisfied, that you probably are overlooking an important aspect in your life.
- That is ok to make mistakes and start over. Learn from them, keep your head high, and keep the negative thoughts about yourself away. Look at the positive sides of things such as you trying something new, the ability to fix the problem, the experience you have gotten etc.
- That there might be people who have helped you get this far (financially, physically or emotionally). Do not forget to thank those who have always believed in you, inspired you and let you be you!
No Right Or Wrong Path
These suggestions and tips hopefully have made you more aware of yourself and what you would like to be doing with the one life you have. Do not worry if you still are unsure. In time, things come and with time, things change.
Don't be afraid to challenge yourself, use your hidden talents, smile, laugh, make mistakes and learn new things. It is your life, your mind, YOUR definition of success that is waiting to be won. Only YOU can truly silence the chaos within and I know you have the power to.