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The Biggest Sacrifice for Growing up Is Becoming Indifferent

The Biggest Sacrifice for Growing up Is Becoming Indifferent

How often did you hear people say that growing up is tough? As a child, it probably made you feel like becoming an adult was a difficult journey but now you’ve reached that place, you feel that air of indifference about it.

When a young person complains about school being difficult, the chances are you’ve moved on from the turmoil you felt when you were younger and you now feel that indifference or feeling of nothing. The same happens when a child gets a new toy – you can’t relate to the child-like excitement anymore that they are experiencing despite having gone through that excitement at one stage.

With turning into an ‘adult’ comes the expectation of maturity and to switch off our child-like way of looking at things. It’s almost like a destination we’ve reached where we’re expected to release all child-like optimism that growing up brought us. But why is this? And what does it really mean to be adult and mature?

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From a Curious Child to an Indifferent Adult

Children think and act in the moment. Thinking back as a child you probably didn’t care too much about what others thought usually stemmed by having an incomplete understanding of the world. Fun and imagination is at the forefront of your mind where the smallest things – whether it’s someone singing, a flower or a bird – can become entertaining and curiosity is the name of the game throughout your day.

Yet as we grow up, the idea of self-control becomes much bigger inside of us. We’re taught to focus more on ourselves and heavily judge our actions or decisions. Society tells us to be self-aware of the consequences of our thoughts and how other people perceive us and us them- in other words, we’re told to act like an adult to be accepted.

So now that person singing, that flower and that bird are just that – we’re no longer mesmerised, the magic has disappeared and our perceptions are dulled down. Even if we want to sit and enjoy a good busker on the street like we would have done as a child, chances are we choose not to out of fear of what people think. We don’t give ourselves that permission we did as a child.

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The result of becoming an adult, means we’re confining and limiting our minds more than ever. Responsibilities come to the fore and our own interests, career, opinions and needs become more of a priority.

But we never question that our priorities are carved out of what is accepted ‘normal’ by society. We rarely like to be seen as different or going against what’s expected of us so we become indifferent. Our lives dictate that we shouldn’t stop and admire things like we did as a child because we simply don’t have time or feel it’s a waste of our attention.

The Confined Mind is a Limited Mind

The confined mind we develop into adulthood means we limit ourselves to real logic and know that being or doing something ‘abnormal’ is only really defined in the eye of the beholder. Yet we convince ourselves it’s us who’s governing our adult way of thinking.

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Acting on autopilot is common with all of us. We act based on what we’ve been told in order to stay comfortable and not seen as an outsider in society. Yet it’s this that’s stopping us from learning and growing. We stopped evolving into better beings as we did as children, the stimulation we embraced that helped us grow stopped and instead we become part of the masses all acting and living in an expected uniform way.

Growing up Is Necessary, Becoming Indifferent Is a Choice

Indifference is the death of child-like growth and optimism but we don’t have to grow up being separate and indifferent to things. Replacing judgement with curiosity is the key to finding that inner-child mindset.

  • Be mindful to what you judge as odd and change your perspective. It’s important to ask yourself why you find something odd, embarrassing or strange. Are you afraid of ‘odd’ actions or things? Why? Is it because at some stage other people told you it was strange and so formed your belief? Find out if you’re valid in thinking this way and see if you’re willing to change that perception.
  • Embrace what you perceive as odd. Once you’ve understood why you find certain actions odd, it’s important to see why people act this certain way. By seeing this from the other person’s perspective, letting go of the judgement and feeling of indifference, you allow your mind to open up rather than shut down like it would do automatically. Find the good aspects of why someone would choose to go against the social norm and their reasoning behind it. This will soften your adult indifference almost instantly.

So, next time you find yourself in a position where you’d like to do something but won’t out of fear of others’ opinions, or judging others for their choices and actions, ask yourself why you think the way you do. Has your opinion come from the limited beliefs of others? Why should it be perceived as strange or odd? It’s time to rediscover your child-like openness and get rid of the limiting indifference that’s ruling your lack of magic and imagination. Perhaps embracement of the strange is the new maturity.

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Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

The statistics are dismal. A recent study has found that 69% of people feel trapped in the same old routine, and only 3 out of 10 people are happy with their lives.[1] People are feeling stuck.

Some are feeling stuck in their careers, feeling like they’re too far along one path to make a change. Some are feeling stuck in their personal lives. The toll of the daily grind sucks most of their time and energy. So their relationships, self-care, and personal goals get lost in the shuffle of the treadmill existence.

When people come across these challenges of feeling stuck, the feeling sometimes doesn’t go away. It often intensifies as time goes on. As the stuck feeling intensifies, some people choose to settle. Subconsciously, without even realizing it, they end up pushing their dreams and goals further and further down.

Others, if the feeling of being stuck intensifies to an unbearable point, choose to make changes. They may choose to pivot in their careers, even after years at a successful job. They may end up making big changes in their relationships, or start putting their fitness at a higher priority. They may make drastic changes to finally feel free. These changes can be incredibly difficult to make, especially if a person has lived many years in a certain lifestyle.

Feeling stuck is NOT fun. I’ve been there. I get it.

Why Am I Feeling Stuck?

People feel stuck once in a while. There are many causes of feeling stuck. Many people work toward goals that don’t actually align with who they are at the core or what they truly desire. I call these “False Objectives”.

Living a life of False Objectives can cause people to feel very stuck and frustrated. People can build lives that are very “successful” according to society; but if you’ve built your life based on False Objectives, you’re not going to feel fulfilled. You’ll end up feeling stuck.

Another cause of feeling stuck is not knowing who you are. If you don’t understand how you’re innately wired – your strengths, your gifts, your talents, your passions – it’s tough to make decisions that enable you to maximize those. It’s tough to reach your full potential if you don’t know who you are.

You can feel stuck if you’re doing work that doesn’t allow you to maximize your innate strengths. If you’re doing work that doesn’t bring out the best in who you are at the core, you’ll likely feel some dissatisfaction and you won’t reach your full potential.

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Other people feel stuck because they haven’t surrounded themselves with mentors or peers who have achieved what they want to achieve. They stay in certain routines while craving to do life differently. As Jim Rohn says,

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

If your goal is to run a marathon and you’re spending most evenings and weekends drinking beer with your coworkers, you’re probably not going to run that marathon. If your goal is to live a location-independent lifestyle and work anytime from anywhere, but everyone in your social circle is at traditional jobs; it’ll be tough to break free from the 9-5 mentality.

How Feeling Stuck Screws You up Secretly

Feeling stuck screws up people’s lives. The consequences of feeling stuck can range from mild to severe. People may feel a mild discontentment with life and end up succumbing to the idea that life is “okay,” and settle. (Nancy’s story will resonate with you.) They may never reach their full potential, their highest levels of happiness and satisfaction. And they may not make the impact on the world that they could make, and have a looming sense that there could be “more” to life.

Often, though, the feeling of being stuck comes with much larger consequences. Feeling stuck can hinder career growth and contribute to disrupted marriages. It can lead to huge midlife crises.

The feeling can (and frequently does) increase as the years go on, leading to significant regrets about unfulfilled dreams. In fact, the number one regret of the dying, according to Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She writes:[2]

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Many people had not honored even a half of their dreams, and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

    Approaching Life Differently

    Thankfully, some highly effective strategies can prevent you from feeling stuck. Using these strategies can help you avoid significant problems in your life. It’s different than conventional living, and it works.

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    Commonly, people live with many set routines. While certain routines are helpful, becoming stuck in the daily grind routine can get frustrating. Many people eat roughly the same foods each week, go to the same place each day, talk to the same people, keep the same commitments, and end up living life on autopilot.

    It’s tough to feel like you’re progressing forward when each day is spent doing the same uninspiring routine. In order to avoid feeling stuck, it’s important to live intentionally. It’s crucial to live in the driver’s seat of your life and get out of autopilot mode.

    First, ditch the False Objectives. Just because everyone in your family are doctors doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. Just because all your friends are married with a big house, a white picket fence, and 2 kids doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. Just because everyone you know works 9-5 doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. It’s not easy to design your life intentionally, but it’s critical in order to avoid feeling stuck.

    Remember, the majority of people feel stuck. So, if you’re doing things like the majority of people, you’ll likely feel stuck, too. You’ll need to think differently and create your life differently.

    2 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day

    In order to intentionally design your life, avoid falling prey to False Objectives, and prevent feeling stuck, there are questions to ask yourself every day. These questions can help you stay focused on what matters most to you, help you avoid feeling stuck and frustrated, and create the best life possible.

    1. Why Am I Going to Do What I’m Going to Do Today?

    If you’re showing up to work each day and giving your years to your job, it’s important that your “why” is deeper than “to pay the bills.” Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing can help you make choices that inspire and motivate you.

    By asking yourself why you’re going to do what you’re going to do today, you will be living intentionally. In today’s incredibly busy, easily distracted world, living intentionally and focusing every day on what matters most is unique.

    When you choose to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing every day, it will help you stay focused on what’s truly important to you. This can prevent you from getting stuck.

    2. What Would Future Want Me to Do Today?

    Imagine yourself, in the future, as the best version of you. What would that version of you want you to do today? Making decisions from the viewpoint of the future you can help you move forward and prevent the stuck and frustrated feeling.

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    When you make decisions from the viewpoint of future you, you will develop perseverance and reap the benefits of delayed gratification. Today’s society is very focused on instant gratification, but a lot of great things in life take time and effort. Learning to take small steps forward by making decisions from the future you’s standpoint can help you progress toward your biggest goals and dreams.

    How to Get Unstuck

    After asking yourself the two questions, work on the plan to get unstuck. I’ve personally tried these strategies and they work for me.

    1. Choose Goals You Truly Desire to Accomplish

    This might sound obvious but we all get sucked into False Objectives at times. When you’re setting goals in your career and your personal life, make sure they are goals that matter to you.

    Working hard toward big achievements that don’t align with your values, priorities, and who you are at the core is a fast-track toward feeling stuck.

    Learn about your strengths, your gifts, and your passions. Choose goals that align with who you are at the core, and work toward goals that align with your inner strengths and gifts. This will help you maximize your potential and minimize the stuck and frustrated feelings.

    2. Watch Your Mindset

    Often, we think we’re stuck, but the problem is our mindset. Being mindful of our mindset and self-talk is important to living a life of freedom and fulfillment. Work on rephrasing your self-talk in order to improve your mindset.

    For example, if you tell yourself, “I could never start a business,” rephrase it to, “I don’t know how to start a business YET, but I can learn.” If you find yourself saying, “I don’t have enough money to travel,” tell yourself, “I don’t have the money right now, but I can make a plan to save money to travel. Rephrasing your self-talk can help you see opportunities and possibilities instead of feeling stuck.

    Occasionally, even the most driven people have days where they feel unmotivated. Check out this article for tips to get motivated when you feel like doing nothing: What Motivates You And How to Always Stay Motivated

    Those tips can help you break free from the rut.

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    3. Get out of Your Comfort Zone and Add Some Excitement to Your Day

    Shaking up your daily routine and adding some excitement to your days can help you get unstuck.

    While breaking out of your daily routine can be uncomfortable, it can be a great way to invigorate your life. You can start by getting out of your comfort zone in small ways. Here are 10 ways to step out of your comfort zone and overcome your fear. As Brian Tracy says,

    “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

    Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing growth can help you to continue to move forward and prevent you from getting stuck.

    4. Surround Yourself with People Who Have Done What You Aspire to Do

    It’s easy to get stuck if you’re trying to accomplish something and you’re struggling to believe it’s possible to accomplish it.

    Instead of letting yourself be isolated and stuck, commit to learning from people who have done what you aspire to do. This can help you believe it’s possible to achieve the same goals. It can also help you to be inspired to progress forward instead of staying in stuck-land.

    You can seek out a mentor, or even read inspiring books or listen to motivating podcasts by the people who have achieved your biggest goals and dreams.

    Final Thoughts

    It’s frustrating to feel stuck. But you don’t need to stay stuck if you know the right ways to break free from the rut.

    Practice living intentionally by asking yourself the 2 critical questions:

    • Why am I going to do what I’m going to do today?
    • What would future want me to do today?

    When you constantly reflect about what you truly want and whether you’re doing the things that lead you to what you desire, you’ll feel less stuck gradually.

    More to Help You Get Unstuck

    Featured photo credit: Krists Luhaers via unsplash.com

    Reference

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