What If You Don’t Have a 5 Year Plan?

So, tomorrow is my birthday. I’m turning 24, and still feel 19 at heart. I don’t feel established enough or nearly as accomplished as my peers in my field. I don’t feel completely secure in my direction or my destination. I don’t have a 5 year plan, let alone a 10 year plan. I still feel unsure. And at times, I still feel lost.

I feel scared. I feel worried. I’m TWENTY-FOUR but then again, I’m ONLY twenty-four! Sure, I’m engaged and have a job that I love. But, not all of the pieces of the puzzle are completely together. There’s so much I want to do and achieve. I find myself worrying and comparing my journey to that of my peers. In the world of social media, everyone’s life is glamorized and glorified. Instagram feeds have the coolest themes and Facebook profiles are filled with photos of epic trips and exciting experiences. It can all get so overwhelming. It can make you feel less secure.

“Am I unsuccessful? Is my life uninteresting? Am I BORING?”

The answer to these super common questions is this:

No.

You are doing great. You are making moves. Your story is unique. You are incredible.

Something I like to remind myself whenever I feel small and insecure, is that I am comparing my “behind the scenes” to someone else’s highlight reel. Oftentimes, people post their happiest and proudest moments. Everything is truly filtered, and understanding that is the first step. The likelihood of seeing a status that says “I’m so happy and excited!” is much higher than seeing, “Today I feel insecure and defeated.” That doesn’t mean that the person who posts about their excitement doesn’t ever feel low. That doesn’t mean that a seemingly confident, happy person does not also suffer from similar insecurities. We’re all battling our own doubts, fears and uncertainties – and we’re all trying to forge through them with smiles on our faces.

Once you realize that you’re comparing your lowest of lows to someone else’s highest of highs, it’s time for the next step: STOP COMPARING.

Your path is only yours to walk. Your journey is built and designed just for you, and it’s filled with obstacles and curveballs. Focusing on Suzy’s success and Sally’s blossoming relationship will only divert your attention away from your pending achievements and future relationships. I have trained myself to find inspiration in other’s milestones and it’s made a world of a difference. We’re all growing and blooming at our own pace, and that’s a beautiful thing.

So, as I approach my 24th birthday and welcome this new year of life, I’m writing this article to remind myself of a few things. There is beauty in the unknown. We’re all a little unsure sometimes. My path does not have to mirror the the path of my neighbor’s. Success shouldn’t be measured by glitzy profiles and exciting news feeds…

And most importantly: We’re all doing great. We are all making moves. Our stories are unique. And we are all incredible.

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