Every day when I check social media and my happy place (Pinterest!), I’m bombarded with messages often filled with positive messages that are borderline psychotic and over-indulged in hope, encouragement and let’s face it, they sound repetitive. Like anyone before you, there’s only so much ‘Never give up on your dreams,’ ‘#GirlBoss’ and ‘Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you,’ quotes you can handle before succumbing to the belief of being peer pressured and you’re at a standstill with everything pertaining to life.
It also doesn’t help with not knowing what it is you’re meant to be doing right this second with your life or how you are meant to be getting there. From personal experiences, I know what it feels like. Only recently, I started questioning everything I was doing with my life, where I saw myself in the next six months to a year and as a result, started heavily doubting myself, my thought process and my life journey.
..Believe in the thought of having to justify our beliefs and actions and are seeking approval from those we hold high in our opinions….
If you find yourself in a similar position as me, this advice is perfect for you. We both know you’re at a standstill at the forked pathway in your life and have spent the past few months and years working incredibly hard to be where you are. Yet, you’ve secretly yearned to be doing something else, you know your heart isn’t 100% focused on the task at hand and things aren’t simply working out the way you’d expected.
Like the wise people of this world say, “if you focus on it hard enough and you take the first step, then you can make any dream a reality.” So, here are the five signs you need when knowing when/why it’s okay to give up on a dream and how it can be the smartest and best decision you can possibly ever make.
01. Constantly thinking ‘what “should” I do’ keeps you at up at night.
One of the many things I’ve discovered as an adult and having made the choices I have thus far, we as a society have this thing ingrained where we’re always saying, “I should’ve’. Whether it’s because we are wired to believe in the thought of having to justify our beliefs and actions and are seeking approval from those we hold high in our opinions.
When I was told by some family members, I wouldn’t account for anything in life if I didn’t follow their footsteps and go to University to study a Degree in teaching or become a doctor, I thought about the consequences of doing exactly what they wanted for a split second before making my own decision. I knew I would eventually go to university, study a Bachelor Degree in whatever field I wished to become a professional in and in the meantime, I would find exactly what field I wanted to be in by working in each industry that tickled me pink.
Although my family thought of me as a drop-out loser and belittled me greatly, I gained a far superior knowledge of what the world was actually made of, how the human species had developed and sustained contact that didn’t reside within a textbook. I also learnt some pretty important life lessons and skills; of which, these life lessons and skills have defined what it really and truly means to be appreciative of the final remaining hours of being a Graduate Registered Nurse and how far I’ve come from being a silent but deadly wallflower.
As a near thirty year old, my wisdom for someone younger and older would be:
Freeing yourself from the expectations placed onto your shoulders by others as well as the ones you’ve lumped on top, is one of the most mentally-freeing and gratifying things you will ever do. Guaranteed, I won’t be promising you a life of not making mistakes and learning from these blimps in the road. But rather, it means you’ll be making the right decisions for yourself while continuing to follow the path you’re building, nurturing and developing by mistakes. As someone who has listened to other people’s ideologies on how I should be living my life, I learnt following other people’s thought patterns and dreams will never get me anywhere and it certainly won’t lead me to where I’m truly meant to be.
02. What’s love got to do with it?
Before all of this began, did you have an abundance of passion for your dream at the very start and Dearest Reader, does this passion still exist?
Asking yourself this question out loud is an important factor for a variety of different reasons. Some of which include, what was that little flutter in your heart when you said it out loud or that thought that would’ve popped up in your head straight afterwards. There is only so much you can do to pretend like it’s one of the greatest decisions you thought was right for you and it was, initially at the beginning. One of the tell-tale signs of it being the right time to move onwards, is when you can’t quite muster up the enthusiasm for that particular dream and you’re starting to question as to whether it’s the right time to make that move into a different direction.
The answer is: it’s up to you, Dearest Reader!
Just know, not all dreams are meant to expand the entire span of our lives and this philosophy still applies, even if you’ve invested copious amount of time and energy into your dream. You’re going to be okay, even after realising this particular dream or goal it not what you need, want or desire. As a result, you should feel happy and inspired about the next upcoming moment; rather than dreading the next day or step due to uncertainty or fear.
Like with any new dream, job or commitment, there will be incredibly hard days filled with mundane moments spent moaning — with the right dream and objective in mind, you’ll want to embrace every little difficult challenge thrown in your way and overcoming those obstacles, rather than wishing you’d done it while sitting in exactly the same spot as yesterday.
03. The vision board or plan in your head has changed.
A couple of years ago, my husband (Mr. Darcy) and I travelled to the bottom of Australia and after a few days of being in Tasmania, we started discussing the future, making the move to another state and how wonderful it would be to be completely alone. Without any meddling family members and their two bobs of how we should be living our lives and the thought of having a wide range of potential jobs was a double bonus in my mind. A proper winter experience complete with a roaring fire and the smell of burning logs had me wanting to cancel my plane ticket back to the mainland, sending a courier to collect Seven and pack up the house.
However reality kicked in with the prospect of having to leave my family behind for the sake of gaining our freedom, not being able to walk straight into a job and Seven would spend a few weeks in quarantine. The thought of Seven being alone, scared out of her wits and not having the comforts of a home cooked meal served by Lois had both Mr. Darcy and I sitting quietly on park bench. We decided we’d return for a proper winter holiday without meddling family members and the notion of staying home to create a family of our own and waiting patiently for our freedom was something that brought comfort to both of us.
While it’s a different matter at hand, when your beautifully created vision board or plan decides to change without any formal consent from you, there’s a reason behind the change. Like any wise person, try to be open to different modes of adaption along the way and maybe question if you’ve outgrown a certain idea, dream or plan.
04. You start envisioning “what if” moments.
When it comes to envisioning something in the grander scheme of ‘bigger and better’, you have to start with letting go of the old and original dream. Even though it can be a frightening and nerve-wrecking time for you, every little opportunity to establishing your newer goal and dream is another chance to learn, gain more perspective in the chosen field of your dream/goal and carrying yourself forward. For the times when it feels like you’ve got itchy feet are wanting to change directions or throw in the towel when you think it’s becoming all too-much, you need to remind yourself that no experience is a wasted opportunity.
05. Take a breath and take a step.
There is no better time to rip off the band aid and tell you how it’s going to be. Because, it’s really quite simple and straightforward from here on out. Dearest Reader, if you really and truly are passionate about this dream or goal of yours and you want to walk away from everything you’ve known…. Than do it.
Only you can make the decisions you need to make for your life and growth. Just know, society will be always there in the back of our minds with a negative cheer team, telling us that by letting go of our dreams it’s a sign of weakness rather than strength. This is NOT the case at all as the sign of letting go of outdated, out-grown dreams and goals is an undefeated sign of pure strength and courage.
My final parting words on when to know it’s okay to give up on a dream and 5 signs you need to know is: Make sure you are not running with the intention of hiding because you’re frightened of the repercussions (if there are any, which there will be). Raise your head, throwback your shoulders with pride and in a superman/superwoman’s pose, tell yourself this is and will always be the best decision you’ve made for yourself. As it felt right, than it’s okay to accept what was once upon a time is not meant for you, your dream and life and you finding happiness somewhere else, in another dream.
Because at the end of the day, month, year and a whole entire lifetime, it’s your life and your dreams. Go get ’em, tiger!