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#WeStayLearning Issue #018: Feeling Stuck

#WeStayLearning Issue #018: Feeling Stuck
Today I remembered a conversation I had with my assistant in April. It was a few weeks before her 23rd birthday, and she was freaking out. She said she felt confused about what she is/wants to do in her life and feels like she should have it all figured out by now. 
As she spoke, it felt too familiar. Not just that I felt that way at her age (lol, not me saying at her age, how old am I. Jeez), but because even now, I still feel like I do not know what I am doing with my life. 
After listening to her talk, I shared four tips I often remind myself of. It helped her then; it helps me every day, and if you can relate to this confusion struggle, I am sure it’d come in handy at some point as well.
Give Yourself Grace. 
We are not born knowing what we want to do with our lives; many discover it along the way. Some notice it sooner, while others take years.
We tend to compare ourselves to others based on how well we believe they are doing, making us anxious about the future. But the truth is, at any point in time, there will always be people who are younger than you and are doing better than you are. You cannot escape it. Especially now that social media has made the world more accessible. You will always see someone doing better or worse than you are doing. People my age are doing better or worse than I am, and I have made peace with it. That’s just the way life is. 
So give yourself grace. 

Your life can change in a single day. People win reality shows like BBNaija, and their lives change forever. People make friends that transform their future trajectories. We all have different timelines, so comparing yourself to others is probably not the best use of your energy.
There are many variables beyond our control, so we should focus on the ones we can control: our skills, network, and career. 
A few weeks ago, I made a reel on Instagram comparing my pictures from 2017 to where I am now. I have grown so much. It’s crazy!
But you know what’s crazier? In another five years, I wouldn’t believe how much I have grown from my 2022 self – even if that me is still dealing with ‘what am I doing with my life confusion at the time".
Give yourself grace; as long as you always have a growth mindset and take steps daily or weekly to get better and pursue your dreams, you will grow. You will get better. Clarity comes in doing; as you keep moving, it makes more sense daily. I promise!
Explore your interests and skills. 
You might be thinking: I don’t know what skills I have. The truth is, you are naturally better at some things than others. You probably don’t pay much attention to them because they seem ordinary. It’s like living with someone everyone thinks is cool and becoming so used to seeing them every day that you begin to take them for granted. You most likely take yourself for granted, too. But those skills are there. You just have to identify them.
Some years back, I was at a conference where Fela Durotoye was a guest speaker. Someone asked him, “how do I figure out what I want to do with my life or what skills I have” and Fela responded: If you don’t know what you want to do, start with what you don’t want to do. Then, narrow down your choices by knocking off the things you are sure you do not want to do or have tried and do like / are terrible at.
When the list is shorter, begin to explore. Explore the ideas you have. Explore the things you are curious about and have a natural flair for. The more you explore your interests and skills, the closer you’d become to knowing precisely what you want to focus on. For instance, my assistant in question started by applying for p.a roles and doing admin tasks, then decided to work with me and explore her interest in marketing and content. A few months later, she’s doing fewer P.A tasks and more content marketing associate tasks. If she didn’t take a chance to explore her interests, she wouldn’t be here. I am so proud of her, by the way!
As you explore, remember, though, you can always reinvent yourself. So exploring is not something you should ever stop. 
Hone your Skills. 
When you find something you’re good at and love, work to become so good at it that nobody can ignore you. Then, people begin to notice and identify you with that skill as you get good at doing something. This way, your network grows, and you can build a career around it.
Remember that it is not enough to aspire to perspire and make posts about how you will make it (wagmi 🚀).
If you want to hit your goals, you have to put in the work.
Take advantage of the resources at your disposal. The internet has given us so many opportunities to build ourselves, mentors to learn from, and courses to take. Read a lot. If you dislike reading, watch videos and listen to podcasts. Practise also. Growth is in the consistency of knowledge gained and put to practice.
Hold onto the Picture. 
Consistency is hard. Faith is hard. Believing yourself through doubt and uncertainty will take much effort, but you must hold on to the picture. Don’t look at what everybody else is doing or pay attention to what they’re saying. Instead, focus on your journey; stay in your lane, and prioritise your big picture.
This way, even when that feeling of “what am I doing?” creeps into your mind, you will remember that you are steadily creating the life you deserve.
Every time I feel stuck or confused, I remind myself of the picture I am painting and how even though it doesn’t look like it right now, even though the brushes misses sometimes, that grand masterpiece will still come to fruition, as long as I don’t stop painting. 
I have two resources for you:
Resignation Guilt by The Being Circle: Leaving a job can be challenging, irrespective of the reason: whether to pursue a new opportunity, focus on a different passion, go to school, or take a break. Whatever it is, you may feel incredibly guilty and awkward about sending in your resignation letter. Sometimes the mix of emotions: Happiness about a closed chapter, a new opportunity, or finally leaving behind a toxic workplace, in addition to the sadness about leaving behind the friends you made during the time there or the work on which you spent a significant amount of time can become overwhelming. The Being Circle put together an eBook because of this. Whether you just quit or plan to quit soon, this book will provide tips for an easier transition. Download for free here
How To Sell Anything by Victor Fatanmi: Get a 10% discount on Victor’s book using this link. Selling is a noble cause and an essential skill we all deploy across different areas of our lives, whether we know it or not. However, the more conscious and competent we get with this critical life skill, the better for us. In 2012, Victor Fa wanted to design graphics to help businesses look beautiful and unique. As he went deeper on that mission, he found more gaps and opportunities to create more value, partnered with others to build systems, and found himself up the road of the change leader — which should be the alternative name for the “salesperson”. He has put together the core selling themes as he has found them over the years, hoping that these notes help you create and earn more value in your work and life.
Recap of the lessons on this issue: 
  • Give yourself grace as you run your race. Life is not a competition. Don’t allow anyone to apply undue pressure on you; don’t apply unnecessary pressure on yourself. 
  • Explore the things you are interested in or curious about.
  • Once you have figured out what interests you, become so good at it that nobody can ignore you. Hone your skills! Consistency is everything. 
I hope this has been helpful. And, as always, I am rooting for you. 
Peace out. x 
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