The Thing Holding You Back In Life
Join me in a bit of a journey here and, for the sake of this answer, bear with my thought process until the end.
You may not agree, but try to see my point before you block it out completely.
Let’s start with a simple question: What do you think would happen if you lived this life again?
Imagine for a second that you already lived this exact life and were catapulted back into your body at the age you are now.
The previous time you succeeded in all your endeavors, found happiness, love and success and, in the end, everything worked out.
You had an amazing family, had more money in the bank account than you knew what to do with and were amazing and secure in your profession.
How would your life change if you knew without a shadow of a doubt that this would happen again?
Would life not be easier if you already knew you would succeed?
If you are having trouble imagining that, try to imagine how you would act if you were suddenly in 8th grade again with the knowledge you have now.
Would you treat your exams like the life-or-death checkpoints they used to be? Would you sweat the way you did on the dates you used to have? Would you worry as much about the future as you did back then?
Most likely, your tests would not bother you that much. You know what it is like to get a job and how much your 8th grade grades mattered and would not stress over them.
You would also likely not sweat before every date because you know now how many 8th grade relationships last.
And you would probably not worry so much about the future because you now know that everything will change anyway.
It’s the same way now.
Now you are back in 8th grade with the knowledge you used to have back then. Looking back in 10 years time you’ll treat most of the things you are doing today with far less importance and stress.
And that is exactly my point: Would life not be easier if you stopped putting so much pressure on yourself and tried so hard?
Right now we are all trying to be someone specific.
We are trying to be a person of success, a person that can achieve our dreams and every mistake we make is met with self-blame and self-doubt.
We try so hard that we miss the life along the way and often ride ourselves into feeling so terrible that we do not act at all.
Would it not be easier if we all let go of who we thought we were supposed to be and were more accepting of where we were?
With less expectations to do amazing work, less pressure to succeed and more of a basic trust that everything would work out somehow, would life not be a little more relaxing?
There would be no expectations to do amazing work, no pressure to succeed and a basic trust in the belief that everything will be okay.
That alone would solve a majority of the problems in life.
We try so hard to be someone we are not, try so hard to impress others and even harder to impress ourselves that we forget to just live.
The only time things were easy was when we did not have all these expectations. It was when were kids and had no regard for any of that.
And do you want to know why things were easier as a kid, why you look back at those moments with joy and a bittersweet regret? It’s because you miss the simplicity of it all.
As a kid, we were just us. There was no one we tried to impress, we cared for nobodys opinion and we did not try to succeed.
We ran around screaming in the middle of the grocery store, climbed the highest trees a day after we fell, and painted another picture minutes after we were told it sucked, because we were carefree.
Today, we have far too many responsibilities to think like that. We have bills to pay, children to feed, relationships to uphold and a job that drains us.
But what if we just let go of the expectations there too? What if we combined the responsibility with the carefree basic trust we used to have?
What if we just did what we needed to without expecting any result? What if we did not keep count of how often we got hurt and tried to do what we wanted to do? What if we apologized before we needed to, ran around screaming wherever we wanted to, and laughed whenever we found something funny?
What if we did not try so hard anymore and just lived?
A large part of why life seems so hard and why we keep feeling behind is because we think of life as this game to win.
We want to succeed so bad that we keep pushing ourselves to ends that destroy us on the inside without realizing that it is but a game.
We will all die, will all fall to dust and will all eventually be forgotten by the world. So what are we trying so hard for? Why not take it easier, do more of what you want to do and have less conversations with yourself?
If you want to go on vacation then book it. If you need more money then apply for a second job. If you are exhausted then take a nap. If you want to feel happy then find something that makes you smile.
It’s not that easy but it is that simple. Applying that simplicity will also catapult you forward.
You won’t think as much about what you should do but about what you want to or need to do and you’ll act on it because the voices inside your head won’t have the constant back and forth anymore.
Just like when you were a child. When you had to do something you did it, and when you wanted to do something you found a way.
It wasn’t always perfect, wasn’t always easy, but it was always simple.
So, in the end I would say that the biggest thing holding me back in my life today, is the complexity I approach life with.