How To Catch Up When You Feel Left Behind
Life after uni can be a daunting time, especially when your friends seem to be getting their lives “together” while you feel yours is in shambles.
Embrace your failures
So what if Bob just signed a publishing deal while you’re still waiting tables full-time? You can plan your life down to a T and still end up miles apart, because there are unprecedented events to account for. Failure is part of life, and often experience is the best teacher.
Instead of lingering on all the things you did wrong, turn it around and make it a valuable lesson for next time: if the situation where you achieved “failure” ever comes back again, you’ll be prepared to tackle it, and this is an advantage many people desire.
Failure is frustrating, yes, but you can use this anger to fuel your drive. “Psychologists argue that of all the triggers to success, failure and loss are perhaps the greatest.” Why? Because you are the only person you can count on 100% of the time, and it’s up to you, not Bob, to find a way to move forward.
Everyone has insecurities
How do you know those people whose achievements you envy are not looking at your own life saying “man, I wish I knew how to get it together like him/her?” The truth is, no matter how successful we appear to be to others, we all suffer from self-doubt.
It’s okay to reach high and expect the best from yourself, but it’s not okay to depend on this “better you”. Whether it’s about your job, your home life or even your physicality, remember that nobody sees you the way you see yourself – what you consider “flawed” can be completely oblivious to somebody else. Why? Because we are our own worst critics.
Look at all you have achieved so far. Even if it doesn’t sound like much, you’ve completed university, that’s already an achievement. You’re supporting yourself, that’s an achievement. Most importantly? You’re undeterred in reaching your goals (and if you aren’t,you’re still reading this, which means that you’re hoping to change that. That’s an achievement).
Nobody has it “all figured out”
If anybody has the “guide to a perfect life”, can you please come forward so we can get this over with and go home? Thanks.
That, of course, won’t happen, cause in the grand scale of things, (*disclaimer: cliché ahead*) life would be pointless if we didn’t have to figure it all out ourselves. It’d be easier, sure, but then we wouldn’t enjoy the rewards as much because we wouldn’t feel as if we’ve had to fight to get them.
“Most of the time we don’t see the blood, sweat and tears that came before others’ triumphs. We don’t witness their stumbles that came along the way, or the let-downs that forced that person to either fold or get back up. All we’re aware of is the happy end result, leading us to believe that we’re subpar, and wondering how others are prospering regularly.”
When you become aware of the fact that everybody has their downfalls, you take a humongous pressure off yourself. Everybody goes through periods of not knowing what on earth their doing and just hoping they can wing it.
You are not alone.
Your life is different – and that’s a good thing
Your experiences and your approach to things is what makes you, you, and that’s the beauty of it. It very simple: the different styles of music, architecture, writing, cooking, everything is all due to the fact that at one point somebody said “no, I don’t want to do it that way. This way is better for me” and voila! variation was born ( there’s a little more to it but you get the gist).
Trying to emulate somebody else’s life adds pressure to yourself, and severely restricts your potential because nothing you do will truly feel “original”, and you won’t be satisfied.
Rejoice in your different life. You may not like it now, but take solace in knowing that this experience will grant you a chance to contribute more to the world through unique ideas, creative projects, and long-lasting relationships.
So don’t worry if the others seem to have gotten it all together – they haven’t, and they’re probably wondering the same about you. Step back, take a deep breath, wish them the best for the wedding, say congrats on the baby, and volunteer to throw a housewarming party. Your time will come!
Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer. Xiomara Meyer is a drama and creative writing graduate with an interest in psychology and the slightly bizarre. Samples of her prose can be found here