The Pain of Getting Exactly What You Want

Sometimes life is hard, complicated or stressful. Sometimes it’s all of the above.

I’m currently in an “all of the above” stage and I’m trying my best to handle it with grace and faith.

Unfortunately, I have a track record of FREAKING OUT during times of change.

I’m a firm believer that we will be faced with the same hurdle in life until we can finally jump over it and move on. Right now, I’m staring at the same hurdle I’ve been facing for the past few years and willing it to move with my mind. *sigh*

What exactly is my hurdle? When-Then Thinking.

When-Then Thinking is the absurdly misguided belief that once you reach a certain point, achieve a certain goal or overcome a certain hurdle, then you’ll be ~happy~.

It’s an absurd belief because if you’re anything like me, once you reach the goal at hand, there will be a brief moment of celebration followed by fresh panic about the new things you need to achieve.

I’ve watched myself go through this vicious cycle again and again and again.

Yet, here I am. Still believing that when I achieve “X,” then I’ll be happy.

And unsurprisingly, this is exactly how I handled my debt repayment. I told myself (consciously and subconsciously) that life would be great once my debt was gone. It became a mantra that I repeated to myself every da and a phrase that I used to soothe my stress.

But of course, the day of debt freedom came and I wasn’t happy. Well, I was happy, but it was a short-lived joy. After it was all said and done, my debt repayment resulted in the most depressing debt freedom post EVER and a full blown career crisis.

This time, I’m trying to do things differently.

I’ve been using “Happiness Lists” (you can download my free template here) to realize that life is actually pretty amazing. I’m trying to trust that with hard work and dash of faith, that things will fall into place. But even beyond that, I’m trying to keep the changes in perspective: life isn’t going to begin or end, no matter the outcome.

 

 Any tips for handling stress?

4 thoughts on “The Pain of Getting Exactly What You Want

  1. TJ says:

    “Yet, here I am. Still believing that when I achieve “X,” then I’ll be happy.” <- Story of my life.

    YOLO is an extremely cheesy catchphrase, but it's also begrudgingly true, and I think for those who are inclined to save like I am, it's important to remind yourself that you can't just delay gratification forever and keep hoping for some future that might turn out completely different anyways. I know that from my experience, whenever I have hit some goal, I usually end up with a feeling of "that was it? Now what?" and I move on to the next thing

    Being mindful of your present is something that I continue to work on. Also love your happiness list!!!!

    Like

  2. Melanie @ Dear Debt says:

    Totally been there! I’ve realized you’ll never be X when Why. It’s all a fallacy! You have to try to find happiness in the little moments and accept the pain in others. Move through it. And try to live a good life at all costs. So hard, sometimes.

    Like

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