Feeling uncertain in your day-to-day life isn’t as uncommon as you think. If you take a second to talk about these feelings with others, especially those your own age, you’ll be surprised at what you find—similarity. Yes, it’s not just you feeling like you do about expecting to have life figured out. You’re not the only alien on planet earth who’s ever felt that life is unfair.
It turns out that no matter how introverted or extroverted you are, when you take the time to explore your feelings with others, you’re likely to find out that you’re not so different after all. This is a common mistake—keeping it all in your head and believing it’s “just you.” This fact can be especially jarring if you’re one of those 20-somethings who was told “you’re special” throughout your life and believed it. Spoiler alert—you’re not special.
Life will knock you on your ass like it knocks everyone on their asses. That’s a simple truth we should all acknowledge before moving forward. No one is exempt from Murphy’s Law. Life is pretty linear until it’s over, and we shouldn’t sit and wish it to be. We can’t waste our chances. The ups and downs may seem like a means to an end, but we all know how the hills come back. The difference between those who succeed and fail is the response to the hill. Will you turn your back and stay down, or will you climb over and get to the other side with new perspective to act on?
It’s not about lowering expectations, it’s about getting a firmer grip on reality. When life doesn’t meet our expectations, we can choose to run away from the situation or we can attempt to change it for ourselves. Life isn’t going to show up with the magic end result you want. Life isn’t a screenplay written by Disney Pixar. You have to earn and shape those results for yourself most times.
Feeling sorry for yourself is about the worst thing you can do. Suck up whatever your bottom lip is moping about and be an actual adult about your life. What exactly does that mean, though? Stop believing in false realities and embrace the reality of working hard to achieve your goals. Nothing worth having in this life ever came easy. If you believe it’s supposed to be easy, you’re living in one of these false realities.
Wake up before you’re old. Wake up when you’re young, when you have the ability to have fun at the club with your girlfriends, make stupid choices and mistakes in your career, and try a bunch of things before you settle down in that neighborhood you told your parents you could “never picture living in for the rest of your life.” Life isn’t permanent or fixed. You always have the ability to make changes. It’s all about whether or not you act on the changes you perceive happening in your head. No one will push you or believe in you better than yourself. This doesn’t mean surviving off an inflated ego. It means getting a grip on the truth about being alive, appreciating it, being grateful, and making the most of an inconvenient truth.
Living your best life isn’t about becoming or being the person “you thought you’d be” when you were younger. It’s about accepting the self that has come to be, loving them, and challenging them to adapt to new forms of self. Loosen up. Don’t worry so much. Stop believing life should be one way when it’s ten other ways and another on Sundays.
Love the life you have. Push yourself toward the life you want and stop believing now and at any age that you should have life figured out. Life will always throw a new challenge at you. What’s new is something you haven’t experienced before by definition, so why do you expect yourself to have something completely unusual all figured out? Life is nonsensical, beautiful, and unexpected. The best way to survive is to not worry so much, try to go with the flow, and do your damn best to love every second of the unreasonableness.
Be the friend and ally you need. Evolve with changing circumstances and get outside your own head. There’s a whole world out there to experience.