I’m in that period in my life again where everything’s up in the air and nothing’s really sure. Sure, I’ve completed my studies, and sure, I’ll be graduating in less than three weeks. But I can’t say for sure that I know where life will bring me to next.
There are just so many uncertainties in life. When will I get a job? Will I be able to get a job? Where would my job take me to? What am I going to be doing in the next few months? Will I like the job I’ll be getting? What if I can’t find a job? What if I did my Master’s for nothing? How am I going to make it?
All these questions linger in my mind, day in day out, starting from the day I completed my dissertation back in August. After all, I’m the type of person who likes to have things in control. I like to know what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be. I’m a control freak in that sense because I want and need that sense of control over my life.
The mystery and uncertainties in life.
But life’s not a simple road trip, it’s a roller coaster ride. All the uncertainties in life are what make life so fun, don’t you think so? After all, where’s the challenge when everything’s going exactly to your plan? Life gets a little boring that way.
Of course, you’d want some sense of control over your life. But, you also have to realize and accept the fact that you might never actually have the control you wanted. You can plan, yes, but God also Plans, and He is the Best Planner out there. So, essentially, our lives are going according to His Plans, which is the best for us, whether we like it or not.
It’s good to have some plans in place to help you face any new challenges, but that’s just it – those plans are plans. They are there to help and guide you through life but are never set in stones. We need to be flexible, to learn to adapt to how life is and make changes as and when necessary. Having those plans can help ease our transition into a new phase of our life and create a road map for us to follow. But they are by no means a manual for our life, and therefore we need to learn to follow our guts.
Learn to stop your thoughts before they go on an endless spiral.
One habit that I really need to stop is my need to overthink everything, down to the small minute details. This is how my overthinking starts: I search online for jobs and find one that makes me go all “Oh! Oh! I meet those requirements, I can do this job! Let me go and submit my application now!“. And then the thoughts start…
Where would I want to live if I get the job? Oh, let’s Google Map the place and look at potential housing areas within commuting distance. How much would a 1-bedroom apartment/house cost in that area? Holy shit that’s expensive! How much would that job be paying again? Ugh, they put the annual salary down, okay, let’s calculate monthly take-home salary after all the taxes and NI contribution. Okay, yep, that’s manageable, plus Aiman should be working as well so we’ll get some extra income to supplement. But what if he can’t find a job? What if I don’t get this job? What if we both can’t find a job? Shit, did I waste my time doing my master’s? Did I waste Aiman’s time by asking him to come here with me?
You can then pretty much see how the thoughts develop and start to become more negative. If I catch myself going on this downward spiral, I’d pull myself back and stop the thoughts from getting any further. Or, if I knew that I’d go on this endless loop every single time, I’d stop myself from even starting the train of thoughts. That means, no looking at potential houses or anything until after I hear back from a job application. This not only saves me the mental energy of going through the cycle over and over again, but also saves me time and effort.
Why do you need to worry?
As I’m writing this post, I get my weekly dose of Friday Forward newsletter from Robert Glazer. And this week, he wrote about being in control, which, coincidentally, is similar to what I’m writing about.
One thing in particular that I like from this week’s issue is where he shared something a mentor/facilitator asked them during a senior leadership meeting:
If you don’t control it, why worry about it? Because you don’t control it.
If you do control it, why worry about it? Because you control it.
Why worry about all the uncertainties in life? If things are meant to happen, it will happen regardless, so just let it be. Stop worrying about the little things and focus on the things that you can actually control.
Taking my own advice for myself.
As I’m going through the job search phase in my life (once again), I think it’s best for me to take my own advice. A few months ago, I wrote about self-care in the job search process, and perhaps it is time for me to walk the talk. I admit – I’ve been checking my phone way too many times in a day to wait for any updates on my job applications. Perhaps it’s time to disconnect a little from the online world, to take a step back and allow myself to have a little breathing space.
What about you guys? What do you guys to to help manage the uncertainties in life? Do share with me and the other readers in the comments sections!
Until I see you again, stay awesome and take care! But for now, here’s to life, and every little uncertainty it holds. May our lives turn out to be better than what we expected, insyaAllah!