The only way out is through.
Your reality might suck. Things might not be going well right now.
But living in a fantasy won’t help. You’re only hurting yourself and wasting time.
When I used to work as a career counselor for a university, we had a 30 year-old student come in. She told us she wanted to drop out of school — trying to feed her kids, work 2 jobs, and pay her bills was hard enough without going to class.
“Why should I even bother? What’s the point of getting a degree?” she asked bluntly.
My boss didn’t say anything for a minute. Then she responded:
“You’re 30 years old now. You have one year of school left. If you drop out now, what will happen in one year from now?”
The student said nothing.
My boss went on: “If you stay in school, you’ll be 31 years old with a college degree.
But if you drop out now, you’ll be 31 and nothing will have changed.”
The student ended up staying in school. I remember seeing her graduate. She even gave a little speech to the entire commencement audience.
The truth might hurt. But what hurts more is living in a fantasy. Better to accept the truth and move on than pretend everything’s OK and start wasting years of your life.
You can do just about anything — if you can accept the truth of things and take action.
When you accept the truth exactly as it is, you give yourself the power to change anything. The first step of any problem is identifying that there is a problem. Then you can work on the solution.
Accept the truth. Take action now.
Make the phone call.
Call off the engagement.
Write the first chapter of the screenplay.
Cancel your weekend plans. It’s time to work.
Action brings clarity. If you’re unsure what to do, then just do something. You’ll quickly find out if you’re heading in the right direction, or the wrong one. Don’t worry — just make a U-turn. Either way, action will get you on the right road.
Action will actually bring you renewed peace. It’s horrible to sit in make-believe fantasy when deep down, you know you need to do something. It’s actually more exhausting to sit with anxiety and shame than it is to actually work.
Sometimes, we all need to remind ourselves how capable we are. It’s a good shock to the system when you realize just how much you can change in your life.
But you need to accept things as they are. Then take action.
If you don’t, you might just find yourself a year old with nothing to show for you. You can’t afford to do that — life’s too short.