One of the reasons I write is to share with others that we're not that different. We all have our self-doubts and insecurities. We look back at our past mistakes with regret and feel uneasy about our future. I have to remind myself that's fear talking and flip the script in my head. When everything is coming up roses, I have zero worry that everything is falling into place. It's when I hit speed bumps that despair rears its ugly head. I have to constantly hit the pause button and remember to embrace the unknown. It's not always easy, so I've come up with a few solutions that I hope will help other struggling professionals find joy in their journey toward success.
Call a Friend. Yes, I say this often because I know it works. If we live in our heads, we can create the most fascinating doomsday events that will never happen. We need to voice our concerns to a reliable sounding board that will reassure us that we're not alone and to quit worrying about stupid stuff. You're not going to be homeless living under a bridge; I have a lovely couch you can crash on.
Watch a Few Comedy Shows. I love going to YouTube and finding great standups to make me laugh. I always feel better and inspired by their work. I end up feeling happy and energized by enjoying another person's perspective on life. It's a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and it's a wonderful reminder not to take everything so seriously.
Enjoy the Sunshine. When we're trying to solve a problem, and the solution isn't forthcoming, it's time to get up and get out. Take a walk outside and enjoy some fresh air. Focus on your breathing and relax. It seems counter-intuitive, but an answer may simply appear by taking a moment to clear our minds and let go of the issue we're wrestling with.
Be Silly. When I'm helping someone with their presentation, and they're so worried about being perfect, I have them stop and do something silly. I have them bounce around, make a face, or do a crazy walk. This makes them feel even more foolish but gets them out of their head. When we go back to their speech, they're more relaxed and start to have fun. We're so concerned about making any mistakes that we lose sight of our message. People want the knowledge we're giving, and the audience is usually unaware that anything went wrong. Nobody is looking for perfection; we're looking for passion and engagement when receiving information.
I believe we all want to be valued and know we're making a positive contribution to the people we meet. It's easy to say not to worry and put yourself out there, but we fear judgment and failure. We are human, after all. If we can learn to frame our disappointments into lessons learned and move forward with a new understanding, then we will find success. We must treat ourselves with compassion and empathy, as we show the same to others. In the end, we're not so different, and that's a good thing.