Growing up, I was taught that in order to have a successful life, I needed to make sure the path I paved as a child and as a teenager would determine how I would live as an adult. To be honest, did I pave the right path? Did I put in enough effort to set myself up for success? In full honesty, no. Although I had family that encouraged me to be the best version of myself, whether if it was academically, spiritually, socially or physically, I didn't put my best foot forward as well as I should have. As look back on my life now, I don't think it was until I was 20 or 21 years old where I had the opportunity to do that, where I really started to take care of myself and my future.
Now, at 24 years old, I constantly aim to be the best version of myself. I have better goals for myself, bigger dreams and a huge craving to be successful in all that I do. I try to challenge myself by diversifying my abilities. My boss needs two projects done by the end of the week? No problem! Mom needs errands done after I get off work? I'll do it! My friends needs advice about relationships and life? I'm their girl! I'm asked to volunteer and plan for an event? I'll be there! My boyfriend needs advice about one of his projects? I will gladly critique! And even though I'm doing all of these things, I still feel like I'm not doing enough. So I do more and more...like write a blog five days a week ;) (Hey, I love doing what I do, but it does take work! Lol) I also write for brands and network my name to no end so I can add more to my plate. Cause after all, the more you do, the more successful you'll be, right? Or at least that's what society has taught us.
Then it dawns on me: Am I doing all of these things so I'll be successful, or because I'm worried I won't be? Friends, if I could be one hundred percent candid with you, I've realized it's because I'm worried. I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo worried. I'm worried that I won't achieve my goals, that I will be too old before I get to where I want to be, that what I'm doing isn't enough, that I'M not enough. But here's the thing: I can't work myself to death and expect that I won't get burned out to the point that I will one day just drop everything and call it quits.
There's a book I've mentioned numerous times in my posts called The Best Yes (click here and here) where it teaches women to say yes to the things that are within their capacity to still have a balanced life and a fulfilled soul. Since I have the tendency to say "yes" to almost every opportunity presented to me, I've reread this book to make the habit of saying "no" to certain things really stick. And after reading this book numerous times, I've realized that I have a mentality where I associate success with juggling many things, even if it means burning myself out.
In the past three years, I've learned that the reason I do this is because I worry. I worry that if I don't do well at my job, I'll get fired and won't find another job. I worry that if I don't help my friend, I will be viewed as a bad person. I worry that if I don't do enough blogging, I have worked for nothing. I just constantly worry about everrryyyythingggggg! Biblically speaking, worrying is not good for the soul. A few versus come into mind when I try to calm myself down, the main one being Proverbs 31:25 where it states:
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. So basically, the Bible is teaching me that I have to be fierce and composed without worrying about anything...at all... WHAT?!
But as I think about it, this verse hits home. I can't constantly be worried about days to come when I should be focusing on the now. Yeah, it's okay to motivate yourself as you think about what a happy future you'll have if you accomplish this or that. But it's NOT okay to motivate yourself out of fear of the future if you don't do this or that. I think God speaks to me through this verse by saying, "Graciella, don't worry. Do the best you can with what you have now, but don't be so fearful of the future that you work yourself to death. Enjoy life and be the best you that you can be for my namesake." And honestly, He's right.
I don't know if any of you have ever felt this way, but I encourage you to do the same. Yes, the future is uncertain, but don't worry. Yes, you need to pay the bills and work, but don't worry. Yes, what you do determines your future, but don't worry. Focus on the present, stand strong, and do the best you can. Lift your worries to the Lord (which I know is easier said than done) and He will see you through. Instead of paving your path all on your own, let God guide and help you. I promise you, He will lead you to the greatest rewards of your life. He has definitely done that for me.