How to Cope When Your Goals Cause Anxiety

 

Image: Google

Image: Google

Have you ever had so many goals and dreams that – before you know it – end up overwhelming you? You’re planning, you’re searching, you’re doing everything you can to ensure that you reach success, then it all crashes down on you? Yes? Well, then this post is for you!

Often times we are so focused on the future that we totally miss the opportunities of the present! We’re overcome with the stress of building the life we want instead of enjoying the life we have now.

Whenever I talk to people about my future career plans and ambitions, or whenever people talk to me about theirs, I notice that we all have one thing in common. Beneath our confident smiles and strong intelligence, we’re completely terrified. Think about it – whether we’re at the beginning, middle, or end of our college education, we’re all in the same boat.

In a few short years we will find ourselves lacing up our running shoes and stilettos, and being thrown into the world of adulthood. How do we handle that? How can we learn to take things one at a time and NOT eat an elephant in one bite? Here’s a few helpful hints:

1) Run at Your Own Pace

Your career path is uniquely yours. There is no time limit for your dreams. It’s not only part of your story, but it’s part of your purpose as well. It took me four times to figure out where I wanted my life to go. Did all those major changes put me behind? A little. Instead of four solid years, it’s taking me four and a half years to obtain my degree, but I refused to settle for a career that was going to make me unhappy for the rest of my life. Did it bother me to know that majority of my friends would be completely finished in May? Yes. But, eventually when I stopped focusing on the journey of my peers, I could focus on figuring out what would make me truly happy, and now, I’m living it.

2) Embrace the Uncertainty

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

I’m a HUGE fan of this quote. Actually, I’m a huge fan of any inspirational quotes. There’s just something so beautiful about the words of others that really, can make a difference in your life. Here’s the point of this message: embrace the unknown! Often times it’s the fear of the unknown that causes our anxiety, but imagine for a moment, if we had all the answers to life? While it might be helpful, that would make life awfully boring. We find out who we are during the most uncertain, rocky times in our lives.

3) Remember: YOU are Writing Your OWN Story

What are our fears and anxieties telling us? Are they telling us that we’re not good enough? Not smart enough? Not strong enough? Are they telling us that we need to do more and be more? If so, that’s false thinking. Much like the first point, we need to realize that WE are the author’s of our own lives. WE hold the pen. Nobody else does. We can be who we want to be, feel how we want to feel, all without competing with others. People need the skills that we have now. Focus on them. Accept fully who and where you are at this moment.

4) Find Your Inspiration

Everybody needs inspiration and the beautiful thing is that we all have the opportunities to find it.  Our inspiration could come from a book, a friend, a relative….anything. Find it, keep it, and go to it when you need a lift. You’ll be surprised at how your anxieties will quickly fade.

5) Find a Happy Spot

We all have our happy spots. You know, places that we love to go relax and unwind from a long and tiring day? For me, that place happens to be cuddled up at home with my dog on my lap and music in my ears (or a book in my hand). We all need places to go to escape from life a little bit. I find that when I take the time each day to just sit, find my peace, and do something that I love, I’m much less overwhelmed!

Remember: We can achieve whatever we want, whenever we want. The key is to not let your ambitions take control over you.

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