Flamingo Skirt by Unique Vintage
Do you ever do something because you feel like you just should? Even though you really don't want to?

Maybe you take a job offer because you know your parents will be proud of you. Maybe you take up a new hobby because you know your circle of friends will appreciate you for it. Maybe you accept a gig because it'll make you look like you have your life together in front of your peers. Maybe you go out with your friends because "it's supposed to be fun." even though you want to stay home. Maybe you accept a promotion because you know it's the next "logical" step in your career field.

But...deep down, you're not 100% into it.

I'm a yes (wo)man. I crave adventure, success, emotional intensity, and I hate passing up a potentially amazing opportunity. So...when someone hands me an opportunity, my intuition turns off and my mind takes over.

"YES! Absolutely! That sounds sooo exciting!," is one of my classic responses. A few days later, I'm often left thinking to myself, "Waaaaaait...I'm not too sure if I feel like doing this..."

Recently, I've turned down quite a lot of opportunities simply because they didn't align with my inner compass. I don't want to get into the nitty gritty details, but let me give you a gist of what I'm talking about. Here are some opportunities I've recently turned down, some a pretty big deal and some not so big.

1. A gig that would expose me to millions. The exposure alone was tempting me. However, this gig was not paid despite the fact it required a lot of my time and energy. In addition, it would require me to work in places that are really special to me several times a week (amusement parks, conventions, movie theaters, etc) so I felt like it would kind of just suck the fun out of my life. My work life and my fun life often collides, but I wouldn't be happy working 24/7 in places I cherish. Especially for no money. Money isn't my motivation, but I do have rent to pay!

2. Speaking at a marketing conference. For this one, I don't even have a valid reason. I just didn't want to go. I didn't see myself gaining anything from it and just wanted to relax that night. Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut. Interestingly enough, my friend who also spoke at the conference said it was really disorganized. I'm glad I followed my heart on this one!

3. An amaaaazing job offer that would require me to turn my life upside down. I would be making three times of what I'm making now. I would get to travel the world, all expenses covered. However...I wasn't ready to change my life. I would have to relocate to a small town I've never been before, I would work in a field that I'm not in love with, and I would have to commit to the job which is something I'm deathly afraid of. For reference, I'm a full-time freelancer, so committing to a 9 to 5 sounds terrifying. On top of that, the work the job required was INTENSE. I knew in the long run, it would end up draining me.

4. A paid, pre-written blogpost that talked about plastic surgery. While it would be nice to get money for basically no work, I felt like it was cheating. I've written every single post on my blog and I wasn't about to let someone else write for me. Also...I'm not into the ideal of promoting plastic surgery. It didn't align with my inner beliefs and I literally have zero experience with it.

When I was approached with all four of these opportunities, I immediately said yes without even thinking about it. Eventually I followed up to let them know I'm no longer interested, but still...bad move on my part.

In terms of career, we're often pressured to feel like we should "move up," but it's completely okay to be content with where you are. Some employees don't want to become managers. Some writers don't want to become editors. Some teachers don't want to become professors. Some do, some don't, some just aren't ready yet. You get what I'm saying? 

In addition, we often base our success off of our peers. We see them doing some great, and then we feel like we need to catch up or compensate for our lack of success. But success don't equal happiness, huuuuney! (Also, success can be defined in an infinite number of ways. But we'll get into that later.) 

When it comes down to it, you should never base your life off of "what it should be," because then you'll end up like me: the girl that constantly burns bridges because she says yes too quick and regrets it later with a painfully awkward email.

In all seriousness though, just focus on what feels right for you at this moment in your life. Happiness is important, obviously, but so is security, love, comfort and mental health! While this may be hard especially in the age of social media, you need to prioritize how you feel over how people perceive you. Dig deep into your heart...and follow that.

1 comment

  1. I so identify with this post. I have a habit of saying yes to things and then regretting it later (because I didn't follow my intuition/thought it sounded like a good idea in theory). One of my 2018 goals is to go with my gut more and say no to things I'm not comfortable with or excited about.