Life can sometimes make you feel like you’re completely stuck. You have a stressful job you don’t like, but if you quit, you won’t be able to pay your rent. As long as you have the job, you won’t have time to take a step back and think about what you really want, so you stick to the job that doesn’t make you happy. You forget one thing though: there are always other options.
EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS
Most people follow the path which is expected of them by the people around them. They get an education, get a job that makes sense with that education, get a mortgage, get married, have kids and spend 40-50 years dreaming about their retirement. Most people don’t even question it, they just follow the path that seems to be set for them. You, on the other hand, are probably second-guessing that path. At least to some extend, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. However, it’s difficult to see what other options are out there, especially when you’re surrounded by people who happily follow the group.
I’ve been there, and often enough, I’m still there. First of all, it’s difficult to even come up with an idea of wanting ‘something more, something different’ when no one else seems to be feeling that way. ‘Why am I complaining? I have everything I could wish for. Why can’t I just be grateful?’ And once you carefully share your thoughts with others, you might feel even worse. People can be so negative, often only because they don’t understand your thoughts, or maybe worse, they speak from their own fears.
One of the main reasons people don’t take action, is because of the fear for financial problems. Here is something I strongly believe in: back away from materialism.
In the western world, that’s easier said than done. It’s something you can practice though. Start with small things: do you really need to buy designer sunglasses? There are other options. Do you really need 60 tv channels, plus Netflix, to entertain yourself? There are other options. Does this mean you can never treat yourself again? Absolutely not! Just truly consider with each purchase: is this truly going to make me happy, or will it just be a 5-minute-pleasure? If it’s the latter, don’t do it.
This is just one little step towards seeing there are more options. Take another step, by writing down all the things that hold you back. This could be anything from ‘My parents won’t agree’ to the obvious ‘I can’t afford it’ and the ever-present ‘I lack the skill/experience to succeed’. Write down anything you can think of. Now, force yourself to write down a different option for each argument. It can be out of your comfort zone, it may seem completely unrealistic, but that doesn’t matter. The truth is, if you can imagine it – and you can, otherwise you wouldn’t have written it down – it can probably be done. There are your options.
This in itself is a good exercise to see different possibilities in everyday life. You don’t always need pen and paper; just whenever you feel stuck, force yourself to find at least one other option. You’ll get better at it with time.
THE NEXT LEVEL
Ready for more? Go back to your list of things which made you feel stuck and their alternative options. Go through the options and write down for each option what you would need to make that a reality. This is the biggest one on my list:
Dream: I want to move to Barcelona
What holds me back: I don’t have savings, so I will need money.
(Comments surrounding me: There are no jobs in Spain.)
My alternative option: Work online so I do not depend on the Spanish job market.
What I need: skills that are useful online.
I already have some skills that are useful, but I want to be better and I want to do more, so I think about what I like doing and what needs there are, and I improve myself. Actually, one of the reasons I built this website with WordPress is because I wanted to learn how to work with it. This is where I test everything, before applying it to my clients’ websites. (Note: by now I have migrated the site away from WordPress - I believe there are better platforms to use for this.)
Join the discussion
What are you dreams? What’s holding you back? Can you find your other options? Share it in the comment section below or join the discussion on social media.
Want to read more on this topic? Another good resource is the book ‘Yes – but what if it all works out?‘ by Berthold Gunster, as well as his other books.