Too often I hear friends and colleagues talk about what they really wish they could do in life and shortly after tell me they can’t do it for ‘such and such’ reason. Why? It it your life after all.
The most common barrier to ‘doing what one wants to do’ as mentioned by those I know is there significant other. They won’t travel to a remote location without that individual, they won’t develop close friendships with the gender of those they are typically attracted to, they won’t go on an exchange because their significant other doesn’t want them to leave or they won’t go out and do the things they want to do on a day-to-day basis for fear of upsetting their significant other. I understand and I can sympathize with you. You are in a relationship and there are some gives and some takes, but where do you draw the line? At what point can you say ‘ You know what, I love you but this is something I have wanted to do for a while and am going to do’. In my opinion, if you strongly want to do something to better your life, do it.
Now, let me introduce my bias before I continue. I am in a relationship with my partner of just over a year. I intend to go on an exchange next semester of school for three years and yes my partner is a bit upset about it. However, I have not heard ‘I’ll be upset if you go, you can’t go, or this relationship won’t last if you go’. Why? We’ve made it that way. It’s an unwritten rule, I won’t stop him from pursuing his passions and doing what he wants to do and he’s never tried to do that with me. We’ve talked about it before and of course both get a pouty face when one wants to do something drastic but in the end you do have to value each other’s individuality and freedom of choice. I’m a firm believer in ‘if it’s meant to be it will happen’ and I maintain that in my relationship. I believe we can make the distance if it is meant to be. If you find yourself in a situation whereby your partner is stopping you from doing things you want to do, you should sit down and talk to them. If something means a lot to you, it is important to explain that. You matter and your choices have value.
Of course, I understand your partner may not always be a barrier so here are some other barriers I’ve personally stumbled across or heard from others and my summary solutions for them:
To much work to initiate doing what you want to do
Just like the Fifth Harmony song “You don’t gotta go to work, work work work work, but you gotta put in work. You don’t have to put in the work to accomplish your dreams but do not expect them to happen if you don’t. Moving across the country for your dream job may seem daunting and like too much work but if it’s worth it you are going to have to set aside the time to do it.
Lack of Finances
If you haven’t considered another job to fund your endeavour that would be my first suggestion. At one point I had three jobs to fund new camera equipment and although I would be tired a few days out of the month, I knew I’d reach my goal and it would be worth it. Sometimes though, you don’t have the ability to take on another job. This is when you might consider bursaries or other financial support if applicable. Depending on the size of your goal and the monetary compensation needed you might also look into selling old clothes/items you don’t use anyway or utilizing some of your talents to make extra cash (I did free-lance digital work and found ads on Kijiji and Craigslist (be careful with this). The other option (though scary and risky for most) is to look into taking out a loan. This brings me to my next point
Scared to Take the Risk – What if I Fail?
What if you don’t? Another quote that sticks out to me is this “Forget the risk, take the fall, if it’s what you want, then it’s worth it all”. You will never know how great your dream is if you don’t try to obtain it. You definitely will not do what you want to do in life if you do not at least try to do it. Seems straightforward but it is very common for people to be afraid of the unknown and what could happen. If you really want something though, you have to take the plunge!
In summary dear readers, do what you want to do in life. This is YOUR life, only you can make yourself truly happy by making the choices that are best for you! Anything you’ve been meaning to do and might now finally do it?