“I’m not where I want to be,” said by every person ever at some point in their life. We all know this place of despair, where we question our existence and the achievements we have and haven’t made. For whatever reason we get lost in this idea of a “pseudo-finish line” that upon reaching will immediately make everything “right.” However what is right if we can’t distinguish it from wrong?

            My little brother is nearing completion of his freshman year of college, and he phones me with a very distraught tone. He feels as if he doesn’t have a clear view of his path in comparison to his friends and because of that he is fearful of his future. This situation is just a highlighter to a bigger issue, self-doubt. He thought his past failures could dictate his future without his consent; the truth is the contrary. I was thankfully equipped to ease his worries and provide him with comfort; because it was around the same time in my life I had those same doubts.

            I could write a novel about the negative feelings and thoughts that asserted me into believing that my shortcomings made me who I was. I’m also certain amongst that list you could find something that resonates with yourself.  Nevertheless I find it much more beneficial to address this issue from my current point of view, where I have now chosen to look at the glass half full.

            “Don’t worry about the time, it will pass anyway,” is a paraphrased quote I’ve learned to live by. This quote helped me emancipate myself from the illusion of time, the thought that “it’s too late,” and “pseudo deadlines.” This place of self-reflection that you’ve reached is truly a blessing in disguise. It is for it that you can acknowledge what is and isn’t working for you, and make a positive change to grow as a person. You are now beginning to see that life is full of trial and error, and lessons that develop our character and shape our story.

            The funny thing about lessons is they don’t go away until you have completed them. Take this into account when you start to feel stuck and ask your self, “What is the lesson I am to learn from this situation.” Approaching a problem this way allows you to be in control of your reactions. For example, if you are at a heightened understanding and know you are in control of your emotions; if you were to stub your toe you have the option to wallow in pity or be thankful you still have a toe. Which leads me to another rephrased quote I live by, “emotional pain only last for twelve minutes, anything after that is self inflicted.” That saying along with Neyo’s song, “Pity Party” has gotten me through some of my toughest times.

            Now that we’ve addressed the commonality in this issue of self-doubt that puts us in a depressed state, I’d like to offer some practical solutions. Focus on right now, that’s it right now and don’t overcomplicate it. You’re more than likely not encompassed by a physical ailment that will prevent you from appreciating the gift of life. Unless you’re on fire, which would actually probably make you appreciate life more and increase your will to live. Have positive mantras for yourself that reaffirm self-confidence, because the truth is you are well equipped and capable of doing whatever you put your mind to. Another helpful solution is meditation, which is simply sitting in stillness. This practice will help you learn to block out distractions, focus, and live in peace. My final piece of advice is the lost art of, talking. Merely talking about your issues with someone that loves you (family, friends, significant others, etc.) can give you a perception of your issue from the outside looking in. If you can’t think of anyone to talk to you can always consult with a therapist. Or write in a journal, read your issues back, and answer your own problems.


Noleac YahsinComment