To be honest, I wasn’t even going to write this article. I felt like there had to be some grand ending to this story, like when you see those before and after photos of people who lost weight. But there is no “after photo”, because I’m still in the beginning process of the things I want to do.
There is this thing called “paralysis by analysis” which basically means you spend so much time planning, looking into details, and thinking about something that you never end up doing anything at all. I do that all the time. I will think of something I want to do, then overthink it to its end. I wonder if it’s the right move, if something better is out there, if it “feels right”, if I’m in the right place. And then if there is a hic-up, does that mean I push forward and persevere? Or does it mean the universe is telling me to back off? Or does it mean nothing and I am just stuck in my head?
The thing is, I’ve had those gut feelings before and I have known when stuff “clicked”. Since I know what it’s like to “know” I’m in the right place, I find myself constantly chasing that feeling.
Two years ago I knew I wanted to bartend. I looked up places in the city near me and searched tons of different places. This one place gave my gut a sharp nudge and I knew it was where I needed to work for some reason. It was a little dive bar, so it’s not like it was some glitzy place that attracted my eye. I could really feel that’s where I needed to be.
So, I went and applied and the woman told me no because I didn’t have any bartending experience. I got hired at a different place that was much more up-scale and quit after one night. I knew I wanted to work at that other place so I made up my mind I would keep going back until she hired me.
I went back the next day and left a note telling her it was nice to meet her and that I was still interested and would love to work there. She gave me a call back and said she was impressed I made extra effort, so she gave me the job.
I stayed there for a few months but left after I couldn’t get enough hours. But, I ended up meeting an amazing friend there and I had a feeling when I met her she was part of the reason the universe guided me to that place. I followed my gut and ended up making an amazing friendship with someone who thinks exactly like me.
I haven’t felt that feeling in a little while like “this is where I need to be/this is where I need to work” and it can be a little scary. It’s frightening to feel like you have no clue what you are doing. It’s like you know what you want to do in life or you at least know things you are passionate about, but you don’t know what the next step is so you end up not even making a move.
I used to think it sucked to feel lost. But I think the biggest thing I needed was a change in perspective. Being lost doesn’t have to feel scary, it can be exciting. Life is meant to be lived fully and being uncertain once in a while is a part of that.
Instead of telling yourself tons of negative things like “I’m lost, I’m scared, I don’t know what I’m doing” tell yourself you’re grateful you have your dream job or the perfect job at this time. Meditate on how it would feel to work somewhere you loved. What type of job would it be? How much money would you make? Would you be excited to go to work every day? Who would you be giving a service to?
It’s easy to get trapped in your head, but you got to just chill out. Overthinking hasn’t solved anything for you this far. Anxiety and worry have never made a situation better. So, just take a deep breath and know you’ll find your way. And until then, enjoy being uncertain.