My greatest fear in life was the fear of things not working out, so I wasted a few decades playing it safe by only taking on the tasks I knew I will be good at. I would not apply for a job if there was the remote possibility of me not being accepted. I would not leave a job even if I was not happy because I feared not finding an alternative. I stayed in friendships that were toxic for too long because I feared not having friends, and I refrained from buying that outfit, book, dish, or ticket that promised anything different from what I already knew, and that was because I feared that it looked bad , felt bad, or was bad.
Even in my attempts at human connections, I played it safe. I didn’t aim high enough. Of course that plan backfired too. I allowed too many people in my life that were wrong for me and I was always the diplomatic one holding onto the last shred of friendship or even acquaintance when I should have just cut a person out of my world the second they misbehaved.
I adapted a “That’s Good enough” approach in my life because I honestly used to believe that if I’m getting paid on time, then the job is good enough. If my health was “good enough” then that too was fine. This was my life. It involved the ok job, the ok people, the ok skills, and the ok factor in everything I pursued. I never aimed for “good”, “great”, or “exceptional”.
However, after playing it safe for so long, I realized that “Good enough” just doesn’t cut it. I realized that my greatest fear in life was the fear of failure, and I achieved just that. I wasn’t really failing at anything but I wasn’t living the life I want to live either. In fact, that fear made me stuck and with time stuck turned into bored. As I grew older, I started to panic. I started to honestly fear that my life would be “just good enough” forever. So, I decided to change.
In my journey to depart from the “Just Good Enough” compartment, I figured, it is never too late to re-visit dreams I had when I was younger. It is never too late to re-visit that dream I had to be writer. Here I was wasting time in “ok” jobs and not doing the thing I wanted to do. So, I started taking my writing more seriously. I started signing up for any course I could take, any writing group I could be part of, and to really practice at it. I figured, it is not too late to travel the world. So, I made a plan for myself to visit at least one new country every year. I figured that the world is beautiful and we must see it while we can.
It is also never too late to demand respect when needed, and I have become so good at that too. I started to regulate who I allow into my life and who I push out, and over the last year I allowed so many people to fade out because I made my well being my priority. I also learned that it is never too late to care about your health, so I started regulating what I eat, most of the time. I say most of the time because I am still a foodie through and through, but at least now I don’t opt to be a foodie every single day of the week. I also figured that one is never too old to add new experiences to his or her life, so I started going to the events I never thought of attending in the past, and from that point on life has been different. Not everything is great about my life right now but at least I can say “I did that and it doesn’t work’ or “I did that and it does work”.
Basically I learned that my fear of things not working out only meant that I was letting nothing good or bad happen in my life. I was stuck with things being ok, when things can actually be good if we allow ourselves to try. Trying only means that either something great happens or that we know about one more thing we are not good at.
I really believe that there is no way we were put on earth to live an “ok” life and it is up to us to ensure that life isn’t just “ok” f.