In a world where everyone seems to be involved in a rat race, it becomes easy to focus on what we don’t have. In a bid to achieve society’s standard of success, we fail to recognize what we have. Often, we seem to beat ourselves up about how we’ve not attained success like our friends or strangers that we see online. We unconsciously get into depressing moments simply because we thirst for more. If permitted, we love to achieve all there is. We want to be rich, successful, and happy at the same time. So we end up entangled in the eternal cycle of setting goals to check-off our vanity metrics.
Thirsting for more success in life is not a bad thing. In reality, it is the dominant force behind the greatest inventions in modern civilization. However, when you excessively focus on those things which you have not achieved, you become unhappy and unfulfilled.
Many people feel like failures simply because they are not rich at 30, in university at 21, Ph.D. holders at their planned time or ‘happily’ married like their high school friend who was the one without ‘hope’. If you are among such people, don’t feel bad about it. You are not selfish or ungrateful for wanting more. That is your nature, that is only you being human. Nonetheless, not acknowledging your past wins or progress is detrimental to your happiness.
As we approach the new year, it is easier to get sad when we don’t achieve your New Year goals. Whenever you feel like you’re a failure because you have not ‘made’ it, here are 5 signs to remind you that you are doing far greater than you think:
You have overcome challenges in the past
Challenge is an integral aspect of life. Everyone has mountains that they must surely climb. These mountains are problems that we encounter in every aspect of life. Surely, you have had your share of such challenges. You thought you would not make it past those problems, but here you are, still standing.
In the process of making it through such problems, you might have fallen. Yet, you picked yourself up. You thought it was all over, yet you overcame. No matter how bad you feel about yourself, you and I know you’ve surmounted adversities in the past. Recognize your victories over problems that seemed unsolvable and acknowledge how strong you are to have made it this far.
You’ve achieved a considerable amount of progress in an area of your life
At this moment, you may not be at the peak of your career. You know you aren’t close to becoming an expert at a specific skill, so you beat yourself up about it. Seeing your colleagues or friends give expertise on issues relating to your field makes you green with envy. While this is a natural tendency as we all want recognition and acknowledgment, it is not ideal for your mental health.
While you may not be the ‘Stephen King,’ ‘Gbenga Oyebode,’ ‘Wizkid,’ or ‘Chimamanda Adiche’ of your field, there is no doubt that you are not the same person you were when you started. You’ve made specific improvements and that is the most important thing. You should not spend time envying the exploits of others. You are not the same as anyone. To each, his/her pace. While your pace may be slower than others, it does not make your little achievements less worthy. While you may not have the best G.P.A., acknowledge the A grades that you have scored in the past.
If you have been making consistent progress, you should give yourself more credit than you do. With this progress, no matter how small, you are heading in the right direction and that is the ultimate thing.
You are pushing to become the best version of yourself
Life is a continuous learning process and as an individual, you have a lot to learn. From your professional to personal life, you need to learn, relearn, and unlearn always. Because no one is perfect, we have to keep learning. While many people know this, only a few take action towards maintaining this learning curve. If you are among these few, then you are very close to achieving success – more than you realize.
You might be currently unhappy with almost everything at the moment: your academics, work, family, relationships – nothing gives you joy. But if you keep pushing at it or continue the hustle to become an overall better person, you are way greater than you think.
You add value to the lives of people around you
Sometimes, when we become frustrated about life and our ‘failures,’ we forget the impact we’ve made on other people’s lives. Although you don’t have the dream career that you envisioned as a kid, making the people around you smile is great. Sometimes, you don’t realize that you make their lives brighter by merely being in it. While you may not have much money to give out, the little alms which you give out to the less privilege goes a long way than you think. Doing these little things for people might be that single thing that gives them a glimpse of hope when they urgently need it.
You have something that you can be grateful for
The economy may not be favorable for you. You may not have the best job at the moment. You might be experiencing serious family issues. Nevertheless, you have a considerable number of things to be grateful for. Your cup is not filled yet, but you can pass for a ‘glass-half-full’ person. You don’t live in a mansion, but you are privileged enough to have a roof over your head. You did not graduate with the best grades, but you are privileged to have a university education in the first place. Your job pays you a meager sum, but in a country where there is high unemployment, you are among the lucky few.
Like it or not, some people do not have half the necessities that you enjoy. Although you may not have it all, you should not lose sight of the few you have. If you strive more, you can enjoy far greater privileges.
This is not to encourage mediocrity. It merely is a clarion call not to lose sight of what you have while you chase the things you don’t have. As 2020 approaches, the pressure to achieve all our goals at the ‘right’ time hits us. As you try to make sense out of your lives, never forget this:
You’re doing FAR greater than you think!