“ The thing about seeing the big picture and being self-aware is knowing that it’s not about you. It’s about the big picture. It’s not about you. It’s not. This is not about you.”- Jimmy Lovine
Have you been or reached a point in one, some or all of the areas in your life where you feel like you can’t handle it anymore or it’s getting out of control? You have probably never been so overwhelmed or so frustrated or so overwhelmingly sad or confused about yourself, or confused about your feelings or confused about which direction to turn towards or just simply done, done feeling like shit, done trying without seeing any good outcome or asking WHY ME? Why is this happening to me?
Before, I continue, please take a deep breath, no, actually, take 3 deep breaths and whisper to yourself ‘All is well’ and repeat until you feel a relief. Keep holding on, it’s going to be alright.
Storytime: So I think I was in my almost third year and I was applying for co-op jobs. As people say, just accept what you get regardless of the wage even if you think you won’t like it. I probably applied to over 20 jobs ( I know some friends in engineering who applied over 100 jobs so this is nothing but still..) and I got like 1 interview for a laboratory job and I thought it went well and expected that they might hire me just that they didn’t. But I took it positively and thought well at least I know how I can answer some of the questions better for my next interview. Well I kept applying to more jobs, about a month went by and I didn’t even get any invitation for an interview. I started getting frustrated. Well you know the drill…
Something like this : Wow I can’t even impress any employer enough to even be called in for an interview, I must really suck, all the volunteer work I did didn’t help at all, I totally suck, I should have worked harder in school and gotten a better GPA, and I can’t even get a co-op job so I’ll probably struggle even more after I graduate , maybe I should just give up, like why is this happening to me, I don’t even know what to do……
Well then, I did get an interview. It went so great, they offered me the job the same day and in the blink of an eye, all the overwhelming feelings melted and left my body. Now, well, I rock I guess!
Here’s the thing, I always knew I never wanted a laboratory job even though I majored in Biology. In my opinion, it just doesn’t fit my outgoing personality. But even if that first interview for the laboratory job didn’t go well and I didn’t get any interview for quite a while after that, I did get hired for a job that was more ‘me’. It was a mix of admin work, doing outreaches on campus to promote student mental health, I got to do presentations on well-being and resilience that impacted students positively and got to do some event planning too.
(*thoughts below totally apply for all areas in your life: school, work, health & relationships*)
So when I looked back at those frustrating times to look at the bigger picture, I realized they were not me, they were not about me, they were not against me either. They were just not about me. Those times were actually just about the bigger picture. All those overwhelming moments, frustrating days and confusion were all part of the bigger plan which was to actually have a co-op position which would be so much more than I expected. It all had to happen for me to be where I actually, truly wanted to be. I’d go as far as saying that it was and still is the best working environment I’ve ever had. I met incredibly inspiring and kind people who helped me develop not only professionally but on a personal level too.
So, if someone at the time of applying the jobs told me to hold on , I’m going in the right direction on the right path to get where I want to be, I probably would have been more calm. But here’s another thing, I’m happy nobody told me that at that time because my frustration caused me to keep applying to more jobs even outside my major and explore more and be more open. It all happened to push me to where I wanted to be.
So feel the overwhelm, feel the frustration, feel the confusion, feel it ALL.
Hold on, a little more, you’re headed to where you want to be.