Yesterday, someone said to me they thought a person their age was supposed to have it all figured out and have their shit together by now. Have you ever felt that way?
While I understand the need for us humans to have goals and markers along the path of life to keep us motivated, it’s often demotivating to compare; especially when what we’re using as a comparison is an illusion.
How often do you find yourself comparing your life to the life other people appear to have?
Comparing your life to where you “should be” at your age or with your education, experience, success, relationship, etc… Comparing your life to the lives everyone else seems to be living.
Have you ever found yourself thinking if you were only strong, more disciplined, or [fill in the blank] enough to follow the countless lists of “things people with their shit together do,” you too could have it all together?
There’s an endless supply of those lists for every aspect of our lives; you just need to follow the recipe. Right?
Life and recipes don’t work that way.
Not everyone starts with the same ingredients.
Not everyone has access to the same quality ingredients.
Not everyone has the same tools to work with or in the same working order.
Not everyone was given a gourmet kitchen with Julia Childs as a mentor growing up.
Not everyone has had a Wreck-It Ralph come through their kitchen, destroying everything they worked hard to achieve.
Not everyone was taught how to substitute ingredients to make the dish work.
Not everyone chose a recipe that was good for them, not knowing until it made them ill.
Cut yourself some slack. But don’t slack off.
➢ Our decisions and behaviors can and often do influence our circumstances.
Take responsibility for the role you play in circumstances that have caused your detours and setbacks.
➢ Our circumstances influence and can often dictate where we are in life.
Where your circumstances have landed you in life does not define you, it defines your new starting point.
➢ What we do with those circumstances determines the life we have.
Work diligently to improve the roles you play that contribute to your circumstances.
Either let go of who or what contributed to, caused, or completely blindsided you, or use the experience as a tool for building your future.
The length of recovery time can vary, depending on the ingredients in which one has, the needed assistance one has, and the amount of influence or control one has over the interfering circumstances.
The cycle of disruption repeats throughout our lives, no matter who we are. Learn how to dance with it.
The best things we can do for ourselves when assessing where we are in life:
➢ Stay focused on what is meaningful to you, not social expectations.
➢ Stop shoulding yourself. Every person is different and so is their position in life.
➢ Do the best we can with what we have. You know if you’re being lazy or making excuses. If you are, find out why then fix it.
➢ Have compassion for ourselves, while staying motivated to continuously improve. It’s easy for some of us to beat ourselves up over every little thing we could have done better but that’s not learning, it’s self-abuse.
No matter how much it looks like people have their “shit together,” life is cyclical for everyone. It’s how we navigate it that makes the difference.