Stop Seeking Approval to Live the Life You Want
But we know the truth.
What they don’t know is that more than anything we want to look like we have life all figured out. We want to look like we are mastering our universe. Monday through Friday, many of us pimp ourselves out in button-down shirts and polyester pants to head to jobs that have us living paycheck-to-paycheck because we are hesitant to admit we are scared.
We aren’t afraid of getting our lights cut off. Making credit card payments late is unpleasant, but we don’t fear that. We aren’t terrified of eating MSG-ladden Ramen Noodles for a few more years.
Nope. What are we most afraid of?
We are scared of everyone thinking we are failures if we aren’t hustling in some profession that half-way resembles what we got a degree in. We are afraid of people telling us that we are wasting our potential. We are afraid to really question the status quo because we are terrified that some gatekeeper in a corner office will think we are too radical. We fear that our chance at corporate success will be snatched away from us if we say what the HELL is going on here?
Too many of us are running scared and doing what we are “supposed” to do out of fear of being told that we are wasting our time.
We have young professionals who are out there busting their ass for wages that are so low you have to laugh to keep from crying. There are way too many of us working for free in hopes that we will catch a break that never seems to come. Why? We want to follow the rules they set out for us (even though they suck) because we need to make it look like we have SOMETHING figured out.
We are too busy looking for people to validate us, our existence, the circular path that we seem to be on. If Gen Y is guilty of anything, it’s of tirelessly seeking approval for doing things we really don’t care about. No, not because we are lazy. Far from it. But because we have been taught to strive to get the stickers. You know, the ones that say “Good Job!” in bright, neon colors.
Question: Who are we trying to impress? Who’s opinion of ourselves are we trying to save face for?
When you start to get too caught up in putting up a front for the sake of others, you have to ask yourself, who’s version of your life are you trying to live?
Everyone isn’t cut out to be an entrepreneur. I get that. Many people have no desire to create a Fortune 500 company. That’s totally fine. But you owe it to yourself to be the C.E.O. of your own life. If that means you have a gig at Chuckie Cheese on the weekend so that you can spend your week days working on your goals, so be it.
Getting ahead starts with getting over yourself, and getting past the fear of people thinking you are foolish because you aren’t doing what you “should” do. Yes, people might give you the side eye if you admit that you quit a full-time job to work in a restaurant because you felt it was more conducive to your goals. Yes, maybe people will think you are wasting your time. But if you feel so passionate about your goal that your heart sings, then why should you care what others think? We have to let that go.
Building a fab life starts with getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Why? Because when you aren’t somewhat uncomfortable with some part of your existence it means that you have become complacent.
Complacency is never fabulous.