Our lifestyles become faster almost every day with telecommunication, Social Media or simply the capabilities of your smartphone. People are constantly looking for the next big distraction and they don't stay calm very long.
Sometimes it all goes so fast that you find yourself wondering if it's all worth it or if anybody even cares about you or your work. Let me tell you, that they do(!) but they might be to distracted to take the time and move on quickly. I've seen this phenomenon in the work place, during my studies and also in my private life - after a while you think you've become dependent on feedback from others or are just lost when left alone.
This is the time to step up for yourself and invest in self-worth early on. Especially with young generations I observed a trend towards to much or to little self-worth and that could cause problems later on.
The educational system, in Germany for example, is focused on high achievemnts in a minimum period of time, while students are expected to have a clear idea of their goals and future. When talking to people from the generation of my parents, I see a lot of different ideals. The typical "love and peace" stereotype as well as the "experiencing phase" which was dominant in the 60's and 70's almost completely vanished. Today we arae facing surreal possbilities and opportunities even as a student that it's easy to get lost on the way. One of the most important people that can help you through this age, is yourself.
Today I want to share my experienc in coping with this type of state, which is a major problem for generation y and possibly z.
I was raised in an laissez-faire environment during my childhood years, with my parents being supportive but also very non-restricting - which I find is a typical modern way of raising a child. The problem I encountered in that time is that I was very free to do what I liked and in school I was encouraged to try things.
Although happy at first, one day you'll find yourself wondering what to do with your life? You are looking for restriction, advise or any help - but since we live in a society that supports and not dictates (which is also a very good thing, don't get me wrong) you have to figure it out yourself.
Freedom can be difficult to handle
When you are free to absolutely do anything, that your choices are so vast, that you mostly stagnate and come to a halt. But why is that?
People expect, or mostly yourself too, that you know exactly what to do with your life - since you were free to do anything - but in reality most people don't know what to do with it. Why? Because people supporting you are being supportive - so they love everything you do and leave all possibilities open.
This is the problem I encountered before looking at myself and it's a problem I see all around in my peer group. One of the things I learned was that self-worth is one important step in the right direction.
Focus on self-worth - what makes you proud?
The main advice I can give to people who are in search for their talents and are looking for a way - look at what you've done so far and chose the work that made you proud of yourself, your work or achievement. In addition it helps tremendously when other people agree on it or even said it to you already. People like teachers, friends, parents (of course) or mentors may say something like this. Listen to them carefully and jump on that train.
Feedback is key here!
When people say: " I love the way you draw" or "I would love you to try this, because I think you have a talent for it" you should go for it and invest. If you don't find any joy in doing so, you might not make a career out of it, but maybe it could be a hobby.
Another great way is to ask people: Could you picture me doing this as a profession?". Let me give you one more personal story:
In school I told people I was interested in studying medicine and become a doctor - many people said that they think this was a perfect fit, since I was told to be good with words, smart and trustworthy. So this became one of my major perspectives for my future.
After school I took an internship at our local hospital and worked for several months in different departments assisting the nurses and doctors. This was a valuable insight since I got the chance to oberserve and work in the field I was told to be perfect for and I was curious. Time after time I was hit by reality, the daily routine was taking its toll and working 12 morning shifts in a row, I was physically and mentally at a point where I said this is enough. I reflected and was sure that medicine, although a beautiful profession, was nothing for me. The benefits of working with and helping people felt rewarding but I couldn't find the strength to hold on.
Be it as it may, I decided against the field of medicine. My plan b was to get into business administration and marketing. So i went with this instead and it was a brilliant choice at the time and is still today. I still look back thinking about the other way, but I'm greateful I listened to myself - I'm also grateful for people to have pushed me in at least trying it out. You might not always see the results in your doing right away, sometimes it takes time.
Take pride in what you do and find the thing that gives you and others the most joy. Don't get distracted and make sure to build up your self-worth.
I discussed a lot of topics here and some topics might be a bit to generic described - if you have questions or would like some clarifications please make use of the comment section below or send me a message via LinkedIn.
Thanks for reading!