Isn’t it crazy how many opportunities are around the corner but we never encounter them because we decide to take the same route everyday, over and over again?
For as long as I could remember, I would always complain about how disadvantaged I was compared to others because they have experience, skills and/or achievements that I don’t have. I would go on about how I can’t do a lot of things because I’m limited and incapable. As you can imagine, this negative self-talk has led me to live many years full of regret and wishful thinking.
As an aspiring physician assistant, what has always mattered to me was getting good grades. Along the way, I guess you can say that I began to put off doing other things that’s supposed to teach me important virtues like leadership, teamwork, and etc. out of fear of failure. I wasn’t as well-rounded as I wanted to be and it pained me to see how behind I was compared to my peers.
However, sometime in the middle of 2014, I woke up and realized that I wasn’t going to get to where I wanted to be in life if I stayed that way. I asked myself: Who am I outside of school? What else can I offer the world?
Then one day, an older, random stranger and I started talking at Starbucks and he told me that he saw the potential in me..that whatever it was that I wanted to do, he saw it in me that I would be successful (& in my head, I’m like: are you talking to me? *looks around*). Now I realize that those who are close to me tell me the same…but it was different that time when I heard it. I think that we can be told the same things over and over again but we won’t actually listen until we are ready. Maybe he genuinely meant it or maybe he didn’t, but at the time, it was what I needed to hear.
I don’t know what it was, maybe it was the confidence from that encounter in addition to the what-am-I-gonna-do-with-my-life stress, but I just….started to take chances. I began to push myself outside of my comfort zone and began to see changes with my outlook on life. I started to help creative minds execute their vision and in my small responsibilities, I grew more confident and more appreciative of art and of people. I also found myself being more open and letting more people into my life–which is a big deal for me because I like being alone. I’ve also tried other things and quit right after, but I didn’t consider those as failures. Rather, I considered them as small victories because I listened to myself and took action when I knew it wasn’t for me. Honestly, pushing myself out of my comfort zone was the most rewarding decision I’ve made in a very long time.
Of course, I’m a work in-progress, but aren’t we all? My take home lessons from the last 7 months would have to be:
- Don’t let fear hinder you too much. Challenge yourself!
- Stop making excuses–JUST DO IT. You have to start somewhere.
- Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.
- It’s okay if things don’t work out–something else will.
- Surround yourself with people who support, motivate, and celebrate you.
What are your take home lessons from 2014?
For 2015, I challenge you guys to take a chance on yourself. It will be worth it!