Usually I have no idea what to do. There are so many things I could possibly want and certainly several things I need – how am I supposed to narrow it down to just one so that I can focus my energy for the next hour and a half?
Naturally when I went to a free class on New Year’s and was asked to set an intention for the year my mind went completely and utterly blank. After some further explanation from the awesome instructor – you can pick more than one word, it can be abstract, etc. – I finally picked three intentions I will try to cultivate this year (apparently I like things in threes): love, peace and confidence.
By love I mean compassion and charity toward others (and myself – I’m particularly hard on myself). By peace I mean less stress and more smiling. And by confidence I mean trusting myself – and I guess life, the Universe, God, whatever – more.
Then I start thinking whether or not those intentions are stupid and start making fun of myself for being such a sap. I then think about what other people may think of my intentions and really start to think I’m a sorry sap – completely missing the point of the exercise, of course.
Goals are kind of the same way. There’s SO MUCH we want to do as Millenials. We want to have a job we love. We want to be creative. We want to explore and go on adventures. We want to finally be healthy. We want to make enough money to sustain ourselves.
Unfortunately we tend to also want some sort of affirmation that we are on the right path. When we don’t get it we start second guessing ourselves wondering if we’re doing the right thing.
That is how I spent much of 2008 to about halfway through 2011 – completely stressed out over life wondering if I made the right decisions. I kept looking for affirmation in all the wrong places. I was pretty down in the dumps the last two years I was in college as a result of it. In fact, it wasn’t until relatively recently when I started feeling comfortable in my own skin again.
I never realized that the only affirmation I ever really needed was my own. I never realized that everyone has a different path – and what works for others may not work for me. I never realized that at the end of the day I have to do what makes me happy and makes me feel fulfilled – regardless of what anyone has to say about it.
Because, really, at the end of the day, who gives a shit what anyone has to say about what YOU want to do? You want to start a business? Do it. You want to run a 5k? Do it. You want to move the other side of the world? Do it. You want to put off marriage and kids? Do it. You want to bypass having kids all together? Do that too.
We have one life to live and it’s really too damn short to be worrying about what others say about our goals.
The same goes for your inner critic. I’d say most of the time I’m the one creating scenarios of impending doom in my head. I’m the one assuming that other people may think I do ridiculous things. I’m the one doubting myself. I’m the one creating my own mental suffering.
And so it’s about time that we all kick our nagging inner critic in the gonads. We need to stop doubting ourselves and just do what we feel we were put on this earth to do.
And so I leave you with some sweet tools to help you identify your inner critic and kick his/her ass.
7 Signs Your Gremlin is In the Driver’s Seat of Your Life – Your Kick Ass Life
Wrestling With a Big Decision? New Template at Your Service! – Life After College
Get the Conversation Out of Your Head – The Boomerang Kid
5 Immediate and Easy Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic – Tiny Buddha
How Are You Dancing With Life? – Elephant Journal
Love Your Self - Ophelia’s Web
3 Ways to Handle Fear (Video) – Sensophy
Image via Pedro Moura Pinheiro