You’ve reached a dead end! What do you do now?
I’ve been thinking a lot about feeling stuck, and unsure about my next move lately. You know that feeling when you think, ‘what’s the point in working towards something when there is no way you can achieve it’. Feeling like you’ve failed, and there is nothing to be done.
When I started struggling with anxiety, it had a lot to do with being overwhelmed. I was constantly in a state of panic that I felt, at the time, would never go away. I spent a lot of time feeling so stuck and lost like there is no way out. During those two years of my life, that way of thinking got ingrained in me. For about a year after dropping out of university, I would often just fall back into that mindset when a challenge or problem came up. It felt like it was the end of the world, and there was no way forward. I felt like I was at a dead-end and I would start going down the rabbit hole of negative and limiting beliefs about myself. As I’ve started to work on myself and work on who I want to be I’ve realised that the issue is not that I am stuck, the issue is believing I am stuck.
I truly think there are never dead-ends in life. We just reach certain paths or places where we sometimes need to rethink how we go forward. We learn the most when we are challenged, when we have to step outside of ourselves. Take me for example, if I had never struggled with anxiety and dropped out of university, I don’t think I would have a positive outlook and tools to deal with life that I have today. When I dropped out of university I was only 20 but at the time I truly felt like my life was over. I felt like there was nothing else I would or could do with my life. There was no way forward. I was wrong. Life sent me on a different path before I was ready to accept it. As hard as all those feelings were in the moment, I wouldn’t take them back even if I could because they’ve led me to today.
This part, which you think is a dead-end, is the most important part. This is the part where you learn how strong you actually are, and how much you want to chase something. If you truly want something, nothing will stop you. I know you’ve heard it before, and it probably sounds cliched, but you can really do anything you set your mind to. Sit down, get a notebook. Write down your goals. Then, write down the steps that you can take to achieve those goals. Break it down for yourself, make it more manageable. Give yourself different options and paths.
Brian Acton was turned down by Twitter and Facebook before he went on to create WhatsApp, which he later sold to Facebook for billions.
J K Rowling received tonnes of rejections before a publishing house was willing to publish ‘The Philosopher's Stone’.
The world is full of individuals whose lives show us that people can do whatever they want. Normal, everyday people. You just need to change your mindset into one that knows no limits. Stop looking at challenges and failures as dead ends. Start seeing them for what they are, a chance to find another way forward.
You are not stuck. You just need to rethink your path.
[The writer is a Transformational Mindset and Empowerment Mentor, Business Coach for Women, and Host of the podcast Live Inspired; vanessaseymour.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; Instagram: @vanessa.seymour]