My cousin looked at me, then down at a text message thread on my phone screen and then turned back to me, “You’re not that girl, don’t make yourself that girl, you know what you deserve, and it’s not that,” she kissed my cheek and walked off. I should have been shocked, maybe even offended but I wasn’t, why? Partly because she was one of several people who had reiterated similar sentiments in the past week, but most of all deep down I knew she was right.
The problem is when life feels like it’s getting a little bit off track; I think our brains get muddled and our perception of our self-worth is tainted. We begin to doubt ourselves to a point where our self- confidence can become abysmally low. With that, we open the door for people to treat us in direct relation to how we are feeling.
What I am beginning to realise more and more is that our own actions and words determine our worth, no one else holds that power. If we don’t have a good standard of (realistic) expectations for ourselves, we are setting ourselves up to be unhappy. We should want the best for ourselves and not settle for less, even if at times we feel like we don’t deserve it.
Sometimes in life, we go through rough patches in our professional, social and romantic lives. It can feel like we are in a race where we are running backwards, and not a lot is happening.
I wholeheartedly believe that we know the importance of being proactive in making the necessary changes that will help get us on the right path. However, that’s a lot easier said than done.
I moved back from London and thought I would land on the ground with my feet running. I had been working and interning within media since I was 16 and now I had this incredible degree, a masters! But it has amounted to nothing in the professional world… so far. Maybe I was naive to think it would all just fall into place when I returned back to Sydney. It has been heartbreaking to see my career aspirations change and dissolve so quickly. I have been hosting a pity party for myself for over two months now, and I understand the only person who can be held accountable is myself.
It has made me think about a piece I wrote on the risks young professional athletes take in choosing their career path. I wrote about it in my undergraduate and was so fascinated with the piece that I delved into the topic and elaborated on it during my masters. I was intrigued with how nonchalant they all were with the idea that some of them may not even make the seniors, qualify for the Olympics or the risk that they might suffer a career ending injury, what would they possibly do next? They had just spent the past decade of their lives devoting themselves to a sport, and it could be taken away in seconds, the majority of them did not even have a back-up plan.
It has put my problems into perspective because that is not a risk I will ever face. Just because I’m not landing my dream job right now does not mean it’s out of sight forever. I have to change my outlook and be thankful that I am in a far more fortunate situation than some other people. I also need to stop comparing my life to other peoples because all though it may look like smooth sailing for some, we are all going through something, whether it be small or large.
It can be a mental mind game navigating your emotions through significant life processes, and I’m talking about everything, not just job hunting. It is a bit of a game and we are faced with tough decisions, rejection and a lot of self-doubting. It can be an excruciating process trying to assess what the right move is going to be.
However, we are on this earth for such a short amount of time. I don’t want to look back and resent the fact I spent chunks of time feeling like I was running backward, or that I felt like I wasn’t deserving enough to be treated well.
It only dawned on me very recently that where I was going wrong was I had lost faith in myself, and it wasn’t until my friend told me to “back myself” that I realised I couldn’t expect everyone to rally me on, if I couldn’t even be bothered to do it for myself. I played the victim and not the champion.
Just because it may feel like life is not working out right now, or you’re feeling like you’re not on the path you envisioned for yourself, setting yourself that goal or expectation that you will get there one day is the best motivator I can think of (right now.)
As the (very very overused and sometimes very very annoying) saying goes ‘everything happens for a reason.’ If anyone is in a tricky patch right now, have a bit of faith in not only yourself but be comforted In knowing there will be a silver lining. The funny thing about life is that things have a weird way of sorting themselves out… eventually.
“The minute you decide you want better for yourself is the minute the entire universe begins to shift In your favour.”- Idil Ahmed
So, while I wait patiently for the universe to start shifting please reach out and talk if you need, no one is a stranger.
Also, don’t forget to Back yourself!!!
– M xx