Moving forward is hard. But so is being stagnant, second guessing yourself or waiting for permission to change. The question is not which one is the hardest, its which one is the most effective use of your time.
For me, moving forward is my choice. In the past I felt I needed permission to change my mind, or try new things, or grow into a new person. I wanted validation. But I realized that I don’t need permission or validation.
It’s OKAY to move forward.

So here are my top five things I use to help remind myself that it is OKAY to move forward!

It’s okay not to know what you are doing
When I graduated from high school, I thought that I was going to become a teacher. When I got to college they had my major listed as criminology, so I decided to give that a try. I didn’t like it, so I switched to communication and I added a second major in elementary education which I ended up dropping and only kept the communications major. After dropping elementary education, I added a minor in graphic design but that didn’t last long as I decided to study abroad and graduate early. I went through all of these changes and in the end, I graduated with a degree in communication. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was young and exploring my options and guess what? That is okay!

It is okay to ¨trial and error¨ your life. It will only make you stronger in the end!

It’s okay to explore new hobbies
In middle school I was obsessed with anime and manga. I was not very athletic, and I was pretty shy. In high school I decided that I wanted to try new things. So, I joined the marching band. Then I joined the soccer team and the mock trial team. I continued to be obsessed with anime and manga, but I wanted to explore more options. In college, I ended up playing soccer for a year and then I explored cross country running for two years. I stuck with my interest in anime and started a club to plan themed events on campus around anime and manga. I also joined the campus activity board and figured out my love for event planning. This led me to exploring my interest in graphic design and photography. Now as an adult I have found a lot of hobbies to explore. Some change, some I put on pause until the right time for me and others I leave behind. And that’s okay!

It’s okay to change your mind
A few years ago, I was offered a position at my dream company. I knew it would help me grow and reach my professional goals. As time went by I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. My professional goals had changed, I had found a different passion and this position was no longer aligning with what I wanted to do. It took me a long time to work up the courage to quit, but once I did I felt the instant relief. I knew that I did the right thing and that it was okay to change my mind and work towards my new goals.

It’s okay to grow, even when those around you are not growing
Over the years I have had people come in and out of my life. This is how it works as you get older and your focus changes. I had a few people who came into my life that I thought would be there for a while and when they decided not to be in my life anymore it really broke me. It broke my heart and it broke my self-confidence. I wallowed in my loss for almost a year. It felt like someone had died. After the shock wore off and the questions of self-doubt faded, I could finally look at the situation from a more logical view. I was growing and moving forward, but that person was not. Their decision was not a reflection on my value. It was a reflection on their fear. They saw me growing faster and in a different direction, so they cut me out of their lives instead of supporting me. I realized that it’s okay for me to grow, even if others are not.

It’s okay to create boundaries with the people in your life, even those close to you
This is a hard one to remember. I had to learn this the hard way. But sometimes that’s the most effective way to learn for me. Boundaries with those close to you are tough, especially if you feel that it could ruin your relationship. For me I had to realize that there are some situations and topics that really trigger my feelings. For example, dieting. When I am on a diet and someone asks me about it, it causes me a little bit of unease and anxiety. This especially happened when my husband would ask me about it. I knew logically that he was just trying to be supportive, but it would always backfire. His questions always felt like judgments and I would get mad at him. We would have huge fights. I finally realized that this is just a sensitive topic for me which stems from years of damage, so I had to put a boundary around that topic. This small change has made a huge difference in our relationship and a lot of fights have been avoided. It’s okay to create these boundaries.

Use these reminders as a mantra, write them on a sticky note, put them as your phone background.

  1. It’s okay not to know what you are doing
  2. It’s okay to explore new hobbies
  3. It’s okay to change your mind
  4. It’s okay to grow, even when others around you are not growing
  5. It’s okay to create boundaries with the people in your life, even those close to you

Whatever you decide to do, just remember to give yourself some grace, because moving forward is hard.

Warmly,

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