What I Learnt From Veering Off Track

In 2015 I graduated from my languages degree and commenced a degree in Mental Health Nursing. In the last three years I’ve explained myself a thousand times over, why I didn’t pursue languages, why the change from one career path to another, why uproot myself to a new city and start over rather than getting a job in a field I was good at. It felt like people were mystified that I was deviating from ‘the norm,’ or convinced that a nursing degree must be my last resort because I couldn’t get a job in languages. Instead of detailing all of the above, I wanted to lay down what really happens when you do something that everyone is telling you not to do and why it was the best move I could have made.

People will tell you that you’re making a mistake

I listened politely as so many people, friends, lecturers, family members were awed at my decision to do another degree as though I’d just told them I was pregnant with six babies. They tried to convince me that it was easier to carry on the road I was treading and that I could decide to do something later if I still wanted to. But that’s not how life works is it? I work on a basis where you never know what tomorrow is going to bring and putting a passion off until later just isn’t something I want to do for fear of never doing it and regretting it in years to come. Yes, it would have been ‘easier’ to find a job in languages than to pursue something new and in the current climate I would definitely have made more money doing so but money and ease does not compare to happiness.

You have to listen to other’s points of view

One thing I found very difficult when changing course was that I knew I was being extremely single-minded. I had a goal and I was going to get there so to hear others tell me that they didn’t think it was a good course of action was hard. In the end I went with my gut but I do think it’s important to hear people out when they have an opinion even if it’s one you don’t share. But definitely seek out a load of different perspectives before making a big decision, it’s good to hear from people who have different experience and knowledge to you as much as it is to hear from those who have a similar background.

You will learn what you really want 

I think humans spend a lot of time convincing themselves that their current position makes them happy, that they would rather stay where they are then entertain the possibility of success because their anxieties focus on the negatives. What if I don’t succeed? What if I fail and everyone knows about it? What if I take the risk and then realise that it isn’t for me?

But what if you do succeed? What if the risk you’ve taken pays off and it’s everything you’ve dreamed of? Changing the course of your life is something that only you have the power to do. For me, the fear of regret further down the line is a much bigger driving force these days than the anxiety of failure.

The ability to assess your own position and to change that is a privilege so by not doing it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. However tiny the change is, it might just make your life a million times better, that’s not something I’d want to leave to chance.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever changed track or done the ‘unexpected.’ I’d love to hear your stories!

Rachel x-x-x

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The Art of Trying

Recently I’ve been inspired by this video by Dottie James. My introspective nature adores change. I love fresh starts and seeing progress and plotting out achievements in notebooks. But the perfectionist in me struggles with these things. One of my worst traits is my belief that if I can’t do something to its maximum then I don’t want to do it at all.

I’ve tried time and time again to make changes to my life. To exercise every day, to eat better, cut down on caffeine and a million others things I’d love to change. But, whenever I’ve made a start, I’ve been set back by one second of failure.

I constantly preach that it’s alright to miss a day or to fail but I know that I don’t really believe that. And I find it really hard when I’ve set myself a daily task and one day I just don’t have time for it. But watching Dottie’s video got me thinking. In her second video she goes back over her weekly and daily goals and sees how many times she achieved them and how many times she didn’t.

It’s not about succeeding every day. It’s not about berating yourself over not doing them. It’s just about trying.

This outlook has really changed the way I look at my own growth. At the start of the year I set myself 100 goals for the year (I was clearly feeling incredibly motivated at this point!). Some were tiny and some were much bigger but looking at them now, I can see that I’ve barely done any because 100 goals was far too overwhelming. So I’ve reassessed and set myself 3 big goals with lots of little sub-goals.

Saying Yes

I tend to play life safe. I don’t take big opportunities because I’m scared of failure and I rarely put myself “out there” in case of rejection. Honestly, I’m just really sick of being nervous of the outcome getting in the way of me doing things. So now I’m actively seeking out opportunities and living life a little bit more.

Saying No

This goal is all about me-time. I often say yes because it’s easy. Big surprise – this ends up meaning I spend a lot of time doing things for other people that I don’t really want to do.

Health

I’m the first to admit that healthy living is often a bit of a fad for me. I go through phases where I eat well and exercise but when motivation slips these good habits fall straight off the radar. I’m also terrible for forgetting to take my B12 tablets (sorry Mum!) and I could definitely just look after myself a bit better.

Although I’ve made some small goals in each category, I mostly just want to enforce that I want to live my life better. There are going to be days where I don’t do things and that’s okay. Because really what I want to practice is the art of trying. Change will come from that.

Rachel x-x-x

 

 

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I Change, Therefore I Am

I often want to change myself, my style, my hair, my personality. But it’s rare that I do. And, I never would do so on a whim. Any change I make has to be carefully planned, the consequences thought out and I consider who would be effected in the process. As a result, I rarely ever change for myself.

Why are we so resistant to the people around us changing, and on a more personal level, why do I let others dictate the extent to which I change myself?

Have you ever heard the words ‘you’ve changed?’ I’m sure you have and I can almost bet that it was in a negative context. As humans, we seem to resent other people changing, or maybe ‘growing’ is a better term. Maybe you let go of a toxic friendship or you’ve moved on from beating yourself up about something and you’re now a more positive person. But, as soon as someone catches onto that fact, chances are that they’re thinking you’ve changed and not for the better.

Is it because we’re jealous of other people’s growth? Or maybe we’re scared that our friends will outgrow us? That they will improve their lives to a level where they no longer need us? Is our resistance purely born out of fear? I’ve thought long and hard about this and for me, I think this is the case.

On a more personal level, I’m trying to consider why I’m resistant to change. I know it’s because I’m scared of other people’s judgement, so much so that it’s built into my personality now. Usually I’m not concerned over whether people like me, but I am worried that if I change any aspect of myself then I won’t be who I was. And, as a result, the friends I do have now will no longer like me. It’s not rational, I know. But I’m certain that I’m not the only one that feels like this.

I’m resistant to change up my makeup for fear for someone telling me that I look ‘different’ to how I used to or to be more openly positive in case someone doesn’t like that about me. As a teenager I was hugely resistant about straightening my naturally curly hair. On the rare occasion that I did, people would tell me I looked better than usual? So I resolved to not change myself. To not straighten my hair. I didn’t want to look better. I wanted to look like me.

It was just a tiny thing, a few throwaway comments but somehow it moulded my opinion on changing myself.

Thankfully, my blog gives me room to grow, to allow my real, ever-changing self to come through and my life to evolve.

I’m unsure where I’m going with this post. I think it’s more of a note to myself and to you, to say that we shouldn’t be scared of changing. We can’t ever know if most changes we make will have positive or negative consequences on our relationships because we can’t control other people’s reactions. And I think it would do us all good to be mindful of that fact.

Do you ever feel like this? Or are you always changing your life up? Let me know in the comments!

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