Take That Opportunity by Storm
My biggest fear in life is not saying "yes" to enough. To missing out on an incredibly great opportunity that could change my life—even if it ends up not doing so. Some people call it FOMO (fear of missing out), but I call it living life.
I mean, when it comes down to it, I want to look back and say that I tried a lot of things in this life. Even if I regretted them. It might be a weird way of thinking, but that's just me.
So, the purpose of this is to inspire you. I've been running into a lot of people—whether they be colleagues, friends, neighbors or strangers—who feel as if they are stuck in life. They feel like they are living, but not the way originally imagined. That they are wrapped up in the 9-to-5 work lifestyle, or afraid to take vacation days. Some are even too caught up in daily life chores.
And I used to live my life the exact same way. Granted, I still work a 9-to-5. But I love what I do. I wish I could travel more, which is a work in progress, but I make sure to make time for myself. Tonight, for instance, I'm sitting here writing this for all of you, but it's also for me. It's a thought process, and writing down my beliefs in this post almost helps to cement and bring them into reality.
I used to be so incredibly hard on myself, and I look back now, and wonder how I even lived a life. I was in school full-time, had internships, worked two jobs, and for the first two years played DIII softball. All while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. It was a lot. I was overworking myself, and not in a good way.
I will, by no means, ever regret my college years and the decisions that I made, but I do wish that I had just "gone with the flow," said yes, and just...well...lived—despite what anyone thought.
I think, in the back of my head, I've always been afraid of being judged. And not necessarily because of what people would say, but because of how they would say it and make me feel. I've always been pretty certain about my decisions, but if I ever caught a hint of judgment from someone who mattered in my life, I began to second guess. With careers, love life, every day life...and while it didn't necessarily change any of these things, it still impacted them. And it's definitely paved a different path for me because of it.
Which brings me to opportunities. Every. Single. Thing. in this world will have some sort of negative connotation. I mean, it's nearly impossible to please 100 percent of over seven billion people. And every single person has their own opinion. It's pretty deep and overwhelming when you think about it.
That exact reason is why I've decided to just stop. No, not stop doing what I love and trying new things, but to stop allowing other people's opinions change my life. It might sound pretty ridiculous and ignorant when I say this, but your life is your life. So why let others control that? This is not saying that you should be disrespectful or unkind, but just that there's a fine line. Kind of like how your mom tells you to not eat too much chocolate because you'll get fat. In my retrospect of life, you eat that extra piece of chocolate if you feel like it! But also recognize that everything comes wonderfully in moderation.
It's weird when you think about it. In my idea, you're listening, but also not. But just do me a favor.
Right now, as your reading this, sit for a second and think about a time that you really wanted to pursue something, but didn't because of someone else. Did you want to go skydiving, but your mother told you it was too dangerous? What about those expensive down pillows that really help you to sleep better, but your girlfriend told you that they were too expensive (and then proceeded to buy the equivalent amount in junk food). Or when you were little, did you want to be an artist? But then decided that you couldn't, because your parents said you wouldn't make any money?
Now, what would have happened if you just went with it? Well, I can tell you. There's two possible paths. One, you tried it and loved it (or were really successful at it). Or, two, you tried it, hated it, and then moved on.
When you look at it that way, it isn't really that scary, right? The only difference is that in one scenario, you had a positive experience, while in the other, you tried it, had a negative (or sub par) experience, and then moved on.
But at least you could say that you tried it.
**If you're more interested in hearing about my story and what new opportunities I've taken on, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'll tell you all about it, in hopes of inspiring you to take chances in your own life.