I know you have heard this a million times, and it definitely is far easier said than done, but you should not leave your 20s without mastering this skill.
You don’t think it is a skill? I assure you, it is, because life will put many crossroads in front of you, and more often than not the only way you will be able to make a choice, to reach a decision, will be by listening to yourself and trusting what your instincts are telling you.
This goes for everything in life, to be quite honest. Any time you feel something is off, or you aren’t quite sure of going along with something without any particular reason: trust your gut.
Take me, for example. Last year, I was working in a place I absolutely loved (for the most part). I was stressed, deadlines were godawful, my gastritis was trying to kill me, but I felt content, and like I was meant to be there. But, since the only constant in life is change, things started to shift to a point where I didn’t feel comfortable anymore. There were proposed changes that didn’t sit right with me, and I really didn’t want to leave, but I wasn’t sure how I could stay.
I am not going to deny that I am a proud person, and one of the things I learned to work out through during my teens was the fear of others disliking me when I decided to stand for myself. At some point I decided that, you know what, I AM worth it, and whoever isn’t okay with me standing for myself is someone I don’t need by my side.
At that time, at that job, my heart wanted to stay, but my gut, deep down kept telling me no. So, with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart, I quit my very fulfilling (and handsomely paid) job.
I felt lost for a bit, but my gut was right, because that feeling of being lost was what led me to apply to an artists’ scholarship, which I went on to win and which led me to the three happiest months of my life living and studying in London, which was a true dream come true. The rest is history, as they say.
So trusting my gut paid off, despite my being terrified, because you know? I was very comfy at my job, and would not have gone looking for other more exciting opportunities had I stayed there.
My finances took a HUGE hit, and I’m not sure how that might have a affected my career path just yet, but it was SO WORTH IT. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So trust your gut. It might make you suffer for a bit, but I assure you, the payoff will be SPECTACULAR :)
This post is part of a series where I’ll be reflecting on what I’ve learned in my 20s. You can read the intro here.