Heartbreak. Crappy jobs. Failed relationships. Empty bank accounts. Lost loved ones, the list goes on and on. It’s easy to feel stuck – stuck with the thought of what we could or should have been. Stuck on the belief that he or she will come back. Stuck on the hope that things will be better in the future. Stuck on the idea of a someday.
And while there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way, it drags us down a dangerous path – a path of worrying, overthinking, analyzing, and judging every single detail of our lives. We become hostile critics of every ounce of our being. We start a vicious cycle of tangled knots we can’t undo. We try to fix all the damage, and hope to move forward from these roots that have been holding us hostage. We want to scream, but the words just don’t come out.
Instead, we form bad habits. We start comparing ourselves to everyone around, trying to meet unrealistic expectations and turning them into life sentences – people we need to be, places we need to go to, goals we have to achieve. There are so many irrational thoughts we allow until we drown. Freeing ourselves from these toxic beliefs is what will help us detach from whatever is holding us back. And maybe then, we will finally move on.
These are the 7 myths we need to erase from our minds if we want to have any hope of getting un-stuck:
1. Social Media Says So, Therefore It’s True
Let’s all agree that social media is full of crap – we are full of crap. Don’t get me wrong, I love media and the Internet – I’m a millennial after all. But we have to stop believing that everyone is better and happier than us. Have you ever posted a picture because you looked good even though you had the worst time that night? Have you ever tucked your stomach in to make it seem like you completed that one fitness challenge? Have you ever posted a picture with a ton of people, but couldn’t feel more alone? The grass might seem greener on the other side, but we don’t know the truth behind a camera lens. A picture is no longer worth 1000 words. A picture is actually worth nothing. You, on the other hand, are worth a lot. So stop using social media as the standard that measures your value.
2. YOLO (AKA: You Only Live Once)
I hate this phrase, and I’ve hated it long before Drake. In reality, yes, you do only live once, but the problem is that society uses it as some sort of liberating mantra that will set us free into the abyss and live life happily ever after. Have you ever realized that this meaningless, yet so popular saying sets ridiculous expectations, timelines, and due dates for everything we do? It creates this idea that we must be young and reckless, but also old and wise and know what’s best. If you ask me, living once doesn’t mean we live a short life. In fact, it’s because I’ll only live once that I want to do it right. And doing it right doesn’t mean not worrying, traveling aimlessly and pretending we don’t have a single care in the world. It means feeling. Breaking. Understanding pain. Understanding why we’re here. Learning how to get back up when we fall. It’s not about putting up a shield. It’s about destroying that shield.
3. We Will Find Happiness…Someday.
Chasing the day when we finally live happily ever after is a disappointment waiting to happen. Happiness is all around us – we just choose not to see it. Life’s struggles blind us from seeing the many ways in which we can feel it and embrace it. Happiness isn’t constant. It’s not something that we one day obtain and never let go of. Happiness comes and goes. It’s a frequent visitor – a visitor whose presence fills us with joy and hope. A visitor that reminds us that there’s more out there. And like with any visitor we love, the day comes and they have to leave. We feel uneasy. We feel weak. But we move on and find a stillness within us until we see them again. We need to understand that happiness is not a destination we reach, but part of the overall journey into discovering who we are and what we want. Happiness will knock more than once, but we won’t ever meet if we never open our doors.
4. Once You Turn 30, Your Life Is Over
We get so scared of turning a certain age and not having “it” all together. It’s become some sort of phobia – like we’re all just running out of time. No matter our age, no matter what stage in our lives. It’s like we’re in a constant hike but we never make it to the top. But if you stop and really think about it, nothing in life is guaranteed. We may be too scared of our 30s and 40s, but the truth is that we don’t know what will happen until then. We’re so afraid of a number, yet we forget potential illnesses, accidents, and hundreds other things that could hinder our ability to reach our goals. This isn’t morbid. It’s a reality that many aren’t willing to face. So how about we worry less about aging and more about our health and enjoying the time we do have? Thinking of everything we’re missing is no way to live. Try your best, and let the rest come easy.
5. Your Body Is The Root Of All Evil
It’s ironic that we spend so much time hating and stressing over the one thing that keeps us alive. Our bodies are our home – where we reside day in and day out, no matter where we go and who we’re with. It’s the shelter that protects us even when no one else does. And yet so often we consider it the source of all of our problems – the enemy. The reason why we’re ashamed and angry. Why do we do this? Why do we reject the things that love us the most? We’re standing. We’re breathing. We’re here because of it. Because of all of the atoms and molecules that made you the human that you are. Because of all the parts that make you one in seven billion. Seven billion people in the world, but this is the only you. This you with your quirks and your flaws and your strengths. You, with every scar from the past and every hope for the future. Every decision and every failure. Your body has been the shell holding it all together, time after time. So start loving your shelter a little more. You are this body. You are this brain. You are this soul. You are this beautiful and magnificent chaos.
6. If It Hasn’t Happened Yet, It Will Never Happen
Put simply, we quit too easily. And I don’t mean our jobs, our diets, and our habits. What we quit is believing. We quit hoping. Humans are the most impatient creatures in the world. Yes you’ve been hurt. Yes, you were left broken by someone you loved. Yes, close ones have passed.
We ache for the ones we miss and we crave the things we thought we would have someday. But someday is still here. Whatever you believe in, use it to hold you closer to what you want. Don’t give up on your faith. Maybe some things haven’t happened yet because you’re not yet ready to face them. Maybe you think you need it, but the universe has a different plan. You are not in control of the past, and you are not in control of the future. Let go of what did or didn’t happen, and believe that things will work out. If we can’t hold on to that hope, we can’t hold on to much else.
7. You Are Alone
It’s sometimes hard to understand why we live in such a divided and polarized world. We let politics and religion separate us. But it’s a bit ridiculous because deep down, we all feel the same. We are all the same – we seek understanding, acceptance, compassion, and love. We want to be noticed, but only for the right reasons. We crave appreciation and we want to be adored. We get so caught up feeling sorry for ourselves, trying to prove that we’re not worth anything – that our dreams don’t matter, and that maybe we should just stop trying. We seek the great perhaps we hear about in books and movies, living vicariously through our idols who make us feel like it can all happen one day.
We’re not alone at all. In fact, we’re more together than ever. We’re all the dreamers and the believers, the skeptics and the martyrs. We all look for an in when there’s no apparent way out. We fear the rejection of a world that is corrupt, fragile, and threatening. But the world doesn’t owe us anything, does it? We owe ourselves everything. Our hard work. Our dedication. Our very best. Because in spite of all we see and hear, our ambitions matter. Our dreams and beliefs and high hopes – it all matters. We all matter.
Don’t ever stop trying.