Looking back on the past few years of my life, I don’t have many regrets. They were tough years to get through, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons, but the biggest thing that I wish I could change about that time was the amount of energy I put into worrying about where my life was going. I was so stressed out and anxious about the direction I thought I was supposed to have. Now, I feel like I’m in a really good place, and I want to share with you 10 tips that helped me find direction in my life, in the hopes that they can help you find some in yours.
- Accept the fact that finding direction will not happen overnight.
This is a journey, not a day trip. It takes time and patience. Don’t roll your eyes at me- it’s true. Learning to respect the process of self-discovery is extremely rewarding. Don’t force anything. You won’t second guess the path that formed organically.
- Allow yourself to think without judgment.
From parents, friends, bosses, boyfriends, girlfriends, their parents, their friends… you get the point. This includes self-judgment too. You know what helps with this part? A journal. Try writing in it every night before bed. And when you write, write honestly, without holding anything back. Watch your thought process change as you learn to be completely honest.
- Identify what you truly enjoy.
The key word is truly. Not what you should enjoy because it’s going to make you rich/skinny/popular/whatever. It’s cliché, but first, do what you love, and the benefits will follow. People who are passionate about what they do are happy and successful.
- Stop worrying.
I say this quote all the time: “Worrying is a down payment on a problem you may never have.” I’ve spent a lot of time in my life worrying. Worrying about who I am, what I want to be doing in terms of school, career, relationships… And do you know where that mindset got me? Absolutely nowhere. By letting go of the constant worrying, I was able to devote more of my energy to actually doing things that pushed me in the direction I wanted to go.
- There is no such thing as time wasted in the pursuit of your passions.
Spent two years at school in the wrong field? Spent 6 months dating someone that didn’t turn out to be who you thought they were? Spent too much time in a city you convinced yourself you liked, but you didn’t? Don’t take it as a negative- instead; see the beauty in your realization, and be grateful you didn’t waste any more time. You discovered what you didn’t like, and you can apply that to decisions you make in the future. Mistakes make you relatable.
- Understand that your options are endless (and never final).
There are SO MANY options out there. And do you want to know the best part about choosing one of these options? It’s never final. You can opt out at any time if you find something better suited for you. This applies to jobs, living with roommates, school etc.
- Get organized and start setting goals.
The greatest tip I can give to you about organization and goal setting is to get yourself an agenda. Being able to write everything down, jotting notes as they come to you, and being able to see your plans for the week/month/year laid out in front of you is so useful. If you prefer to use your phone, that’s great, but I’m a huge advocate of my Passion Planner, which I’ll be reviewing in a future post.
When goal setting, its helps to have someone guide you step-by-step. I love this article over at Wonderfelle World on How To Set Goals (And Actually Achieve Them).
- Learn to trust yourself and stop overthinking.
Learn to trust your instincts, they’re there for a reason. Vibes are real, and when you begin to trust your judgment of those vibes, it’s like unlocking a secret power. How can you become better at this? Learn to meditate. By setting aside time to clear your mind, followed by a period of reflection, it will become second nature.
You also need to stop overthinking. Overthinking can lead to self-doubt, paralysis, anxiety, and automatic failure (ie: not being able to do anything at all). It’s good to put a healthy amount of thought into a decision, but don’t allow it to consume you.
- Adopt the power of positive thought and the law of attraction.
- Live Freely.
Life is short, and there are no do-overs. Just try to let things go and not take anything too seriously. Just like the moon, you go through phases. Allow yourself to enjoy every one of them as you continue to grow. Life can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and if you don’t like the direction you’re headed in, pick another one.