Ask Amanda: I Feel Guilty for Not Living Life to the Fullest
posted on February 5, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein
Lately, I’ve been struggling with expectations and what life “should” be rather than what it actually is like. I’ve come to realize that I compare my life (which can be boring most of the time) with other people’s lives. Whenever I am bored or have no plans, I feel a bit of guilt that I am not living life to the fullest.
I want to find adventure in everyday (even from the simple things), but I don’t know how. I want to find hobbies that make me want to jump out of my bed every morning, but I don’t know where to start or look? AND lastly, do you have any advice on how to let go of the idea of what life should be like?
Let me see if I can help. First of all, I think it’s important to note that those people you’re looking at who seem to have amazing lives, they too have moments where they are bored and have no plans. That is completely okay!! The reality is, every day is different and what you do is not a reflection of who you are. We all have slow days, frustrating moments, times of confusion — you name it and I can promise you, every single one of us experiences these ups and downs. If we didn’t have these slower moments, the exciting ones wouldn’t seem so exciting!
I also am starting to realize that life is really about those little moments of pure joy. It’s not about the grand adventures or what your life looks like from the outside. It’s about those moments where you’re laughing uncontrollably or where you’re feeling a deep connection with a friend.
I think putting this pressure on yourself is just going to make you go crazy. Give yourself some slack! If you want to try new things, that’s great. But take it one step at a time. Try to think of those things you’ve always wanted to do — Paint? Sing? Rock climb? Look up some classes and go try it out. Grab a friend if you want, or do it solo and focus on the pleasure and excitement it brings you. Anytime you see something that looks interesting to you, even if it’s just a new store you’re walking by, take the initiative to go check it out. You never know what you’ll find or how it will inspire you.
In terms of taking the pressure off of where you “should” be at this point in life, here’s what I think. I am very adamant about removing the word “should” from your vocabulary. Everyone’s path in life is different, so there is no official answer to the question, “Where should I be at this point in my life?”. Those kinds of thoughts are really just unproductive and just create anxiety. Trust that if you’re following your gut and being true to yourself, that you’re exactly where you “should” be.
Let me know if this helps you at all or if you want to keep talking. I’m here and happy to help!