How To Keep Hope When Your Future is Uncertain| Inspiration Indulgence

“Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?” Ugh. The dreaded question. We’ve all been asked this in a job interview. Even though I have this question prepared down to a science, I still feel like I am swimming in circles trying to honestly answer this question. Asking where I see myself ten years down the road should be banned from existence because it is completely unfair.

I think I speak on behalf of all people in their 20s. HOW do you expect us to give you a realistic idea of WHERE and WHAT we will be doing in 5-10 years?! Do you realize what you are asking of us? Asking this question is like asking us to pick the correct winning lottery ticket. I could barely pick a major in college and I barely know what I want for dinner tonight. . . but you still want me to tell you where I’ll be in ten years?

One of the hardest obstacles in life is accepting uncertainty. We loathe it. We like to know EXACTLY where we are heading in life and exactly what is mapped out for us.

But it isn’t that simple.

I worked so hard to sculpt a perfect plan for my life. But even though now I have a picture-perfect blueprint, there are so many factors that could deter my plan off to a different track. What if I don’t get accepted to this grad school? What if I can’t find a job in the area? OMG, WHAT IF I CAN’T EVEN FIND A SINGLE JOB?! Where will I have to move? PLEASE GOD DON’T LET ME BE POOR FOREVER.

Uncertainty feels like a ton of bricks were dumped on our backs, particularly for us 20-something’s. There are days where I want to rip my hair out because I have no idea where my life is heading. Nights I’ve had a mental breakdown and called my mom crying while scarfing down an entire pizza and chugging a bottle of wine because my life is in shambles.

Learning to live with uncertainty is extremely hard for me because I have a Type A Personality. I love order, organization, and knowing exactly where I am headed. To not know exactly where I’m heading feels like I’m walking the plank off a ship; plunging into the unknown and having no control over my destiny. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHERE I’LL BE IN 5 YEARS!!

So how do you keep trudging along when the future scares the crap out of you?

Step #1: Train your mind

Train your mind to be excited by this uncertainty and by the limitless number of opportunities in front of you. Let the idea sink in that your life can go in any direction at any given time. That is mystifying and wonderful, people! Think positively and realize how blessed you are to live in this wonderful country where we can create our own destiny and be in control of our choices.

Step #2: Go out of your comfort zone

This is the time to make mistakes, try new things, move different places, EMBRACE that you are young and have the world on your fingertips. Meet new people, be inspired, do what you love, love what you do.

Step #3: One day at a time.

It’s easy to get anxiety and downward spiral when you think of the future in such a broad sense. You need to think of the future in terms of baby steps. Don’t’ focus on the big picture, focus on what you can do today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow. Plan weekly and monthly goals. Write down what you would like to achieve and feel the satisfaction of crossing that off your list. This way, you will feel as if you are in control of your destiny because you will be seeing progress that you made.

Step #4: Have faith

Have faith in yourself and that things will fall into place. Who says you need to figure it all out right now anyways?! J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before one decided to give The Philosopher’s Stone a shot. What if she had never given a copy to that 13th publisher?

The truth is, us 20-somethings are all a little lost and scared. We just have to take a leap of faith and be confident. The fear of the unknown can drive us absolutely crazy, but it can also shape us into more well-rounded and self-discovering individuals.

The future ain’t got nothin’ on you.

Xoxo,

  • This was a great post that came at exactly the right time for me. Thank you!

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Aw thanks girl! I needed to reassure myself as well 😉 Glad it hit the spot for you tonight! xoxo

  • I thank you so much for this wonderful read. I am in my early thirties and I feel like I have gone nowhere, but I know that is not true. I am very uncertain on where I am going to be in a year from now let alone five. This was very inspiring and I think I need to write down my weekly goals and after achieving some of them, then I will shoot over to my monthly. everyone is so different, some know at 18 what they want and they do Achieve it, and than there are people in their 40’s or 50’s who still feel they do not have a purpose and do not know what they want or where they want to go. Life is hard! And there are so many obstacles. Thank you

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much for your read and for your thoughtful response. I think that there is no right or wrong answer, and that even people who think they have their mind made up are likely to change paths last minute. There is nothing wrong with having uncertainty in your early 30s, hell you are not even halfway through your lifespan!! There is no “correct” stigma. Society tells us we should be at a certain place at a certain time when really, the journey of life is self-discovering. I’m glad you will take that advice! I honestly think that it worked really well for me because SEEING PROOF that I was actually getting somewhere helped reassure me that I WAS in fact taking necessary steps forward. Best of luck!!

  • This was a great blog. I am over 40 and have practiced the steps that you provided and it works! You must first have positive thoughts, believe in yourself, have a plan, create a team of experts that believe in you and your plan, work the plan dilligently even when faced with obstacles, obstacles are only tests to see where your strength lies, have faith, meditate daily and wait for your desire to come into your reality.

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much for contributing! Your opinion means the world to me because you are a practiced professional. I hope someday to be successful and to take my own advice :) There are times when I have meltdowns, but I know that in the end, it will all be okay. Positive thinking and believing in myself are key. And having that solid support system, as you mentioned :) Thanks for reading!

  • Ha, I don’t know where I will be either. I have a 2 year plan or something, but you know what’s the problem with that? I’m scared my plan might fail. Always worried about somehow not being able to go on that world trip (well, that’s the plan). Or having to delay it – and I hate it when plans change. So, no plan – no worries. I know it’s hard and I envy people who can just go with the flow, but i guess that makes it exciting. I’ll try it out. Right after my trip :)

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Tell me more about this trip!!!! lol. So jeaous!! No worries-you will make it happen one way or another! :)

  • Love this post. I’ve shared it in some groups I’m involved with because I think we all get side tracked and then feel overwhelmed when we try to get back on track. Great post!

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      Thank you so much for sharing it! that means the world! It is so hard to get back on track, but with a good support group, it is possible! :) Thanks for reading!

  • Really needed to read this right now! Thanks for the encouragement..out of interest, how old are you?
    I’m 22 and fresh out of University with a degree yet no job…yet!

    • Inspiration Indulgence

      I’m glad it hit the right spot! I’m right there with ya, girl, I am 22 as well! I just graduated and am working right now until I start graduate school in summer. Just keep looking and don’t give up..sell yourself well in interviews and have confidence! This can be a really difficult and confusing time in our lives..but it is also really exciting :) Thanks for reading! xo

  • Love this post! I agree with all of the steps you mentioned. By creating these steps, you are already on right track to get to your destination. I do believe the journey is more important than the destination because of what we learn on our way.

    • Completely agree…the journey is what shapes us as a person!