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Why It’s Definitely Fine That You Fall Behind In Life Sometimes

Why It’s Definitely Fine That You Fall Behind In Life Sometimes

We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced those times in life when you are utterly confused about your life purpose, you get a sense that you aren’t where you thought you’d be by now, and you secretly compare your life to those around you, using them as a benchmark to your own. Life is full of “should” and “shouldn’ts” that lead us to feeling pressure and unhappiness.

You lack motivation and that inspired action just isn’t coming to you. You start to panic that it’ll never come and you’ll stay in this space of dissatisfaction forever. If this sounds familiar, then you’re not alone. We often end up at a stage in life that isn’t anywhere where we thought we were going to be, but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. Here is why falling behind in life isn’t as bad as we perceive it to be.

Give Yourself A Break

The problem comes when we believe we are falling behind in life, but by who’s standards or ideals exactly? Society has a lot to answer for when it comes to pressuring us into being at certain stages of life at certain times, but everyone is unique. Different circumstances happen to different people. We all have different personalities, different dreams, and different beliefs, so we can’t all be the same. So it’s really important to give yourself a break.

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So what if you aren’t as far along in your career as you thought you’d be? So what if you’re at the age when you “should” be married and having children but you’re not even close? You aren’t alone in feeling this way and it’s better to be in a relaxed state than creating stress and anxiety in your life.

Surrender To Timing And Trust It

You’re probably thinking it’s too hard to relax when you feel like a failure and you can’t quite see how it’s all going to change. It’s very easy to think like this — we’re human after all. But remember that life is all about timing — think back to all your past situations, relationships, friendships, or jobs that came into your life at the right moment.

Accept that you can’t conjure up motivation if it’s just not there and there’s no point in forcing it. Relaxing is the best way to let any of that good inspiration in but also honour the fact that life can get in the way sometimes. Sometimes we’re just going through things we can’t control, things that influence how we feel and can take our focus away from what we want.

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Surrender to the fact that it’s all about timing and trust that things will work out for you when they’re meant to. Feeling lost doesn’t mean you’re doomed or that your life is hopeless. It simply means that something better is waiting for you.

Everyone Is On Their Own Path

Making comparisons is the worst thing we can do, yet we all do this! Sometimes you can feel perfectly content with life until suddenly you wake up one day and all your friends are married with kids and you’re not even close to all that. Maybe everyone around you is buying a house and you’re still renting because you can’t quite afford it yet. Then the feeling of failure creeps in that breaks down that happiness vibe — you feel you’re never going to have what someone else has, or that there’s something wrong with you.

But we absolutely cannot compare ourselves to others — others who are on a completely different personal journey to ours. Just because they’re in our life doesn’t mean our life has to mirror theirs. You don’t truly know their life journey or what lessons they are learning — what seems like perfection on the outside is rarely the case.

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Listening to others’ opinions about your life situation when they are in completely different life stages or circumstances to you is extremely detrimental to your overall outlook. When we feel sensitive or vulnerable about our own life dissatisfaction, we tend to value other people’s opinions over our own inner feelings and guidance, so choose to ignore any negative beliefs from others and concentrate on trusting the process and the right outcomes happening at the right time.

Remember It’s All A Learning Curve

Don’t think that this is a time in your life where you’re not moving forward or learning anything. All situations in our life — positive and negative — are there to teach us something, even if it’s really really not obvious to us.

Again, it all comes down to timing. Perhaps you need another year of life experience or there’s something you need to realise about yourself that you can only find by taking time out to be by yourself before you let in that great relationship. Maybe a series of events is waiting to happen before you get that great job, events that will show you something or guide you in the right direction. Perhaps your current feelings of sadness are what will eventually propel you to building your life. Sometimes we’re not yet the people we need to be in order to get to our perceived destination, and that’s perfectly okay.

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This is why it’s so important to relax and realise not everything is in your control. Knowing we can’t control every outcome is crucial, as life is uncertain and unpredictable and often outside of what we can understand. What we can do is establish healthy habits and grow from our experiences.

Stop Beating Yourself Up

At the end of the day, we need to be positive and kind to ourselves. We need to stop pressuring ourselves and beating ourselves up because we haven’t lined up with what we want just yet.

Lessen the shame that surrounds your idea that you’re somehow not doing your best. Life is full of ebbs and flows but you are always travelling down the path, so trust that you are heading in the right direction even if you can’t fully see the path itself. Try and ignore the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” that seem to dominate our lives so much. At the end of the day, they are only other people’s beliefs and ideas. Relax — you are not actually falling behind in life, you are exactly where you’re meant to be.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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