In his memoir, On Writing, Stephen King stated, “By the time I was 14, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.” In fact, he received over 60 rejection letters before selling his first short story, The Glass Floor. This did not stop him from writing however. You may find yourself in a similar situation; a situation where you feel like giving up all because someone else is telling you that it’s time. My advice to you? Don’t.
I recently read an article that was titled, “When it’s Okay to Quit Your Job for Another One”. Seems like it might very well be an article stuffed full of good advice, doesn’t it? In fact, the title was a real attention grabber. I mean, I took the bait and I opened it. I even read it and I will say that yes, it did contain a lot of great advice but, let’s take another look. This article is telling me when it’s okay to quit my job and to find another one according to someone else and his/her own experience. While I may be able to glean some good advice from the experience of this person, their experience is not my own.
In actuality, I don’t need an article or anyone else really to tell me when it’s okay for me to find another job. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that such a decision is mine and mine alone? Or wouldn’t it also stand to reason that it’s okay any time I feel that it’s okay? Maybe I’m sounding a bit “preachy” here but you get the gist.
I think that far too often, we let this kind of mentality rule our lives. We wait until someone else gives us permission or until society tells us that it’s okay. Why do we do this? We know what we want and need yet, it’s almost as if we don’t trust ourselves enough to let us know when it’s time or that it’s okay. We don’t trust ourselves to be our own guide.
Maybe I’m so passionate about this because this is how I lived my life for far too long. I was always seeking the approval of someone else before I’d move forward with something that I wanted to do. All it would take was for one person to tell me that it wasn’t a good idea and I’d let the dream go. I was told that it was not a good idea to leave that soul crushing desk job that I held onto much longer than I should have. I was told that I should be lucky that I had a job at all. In fact, I was told that I should be grateful for that job. Whether or not I was happy really didn’t factor in at all. I was told that it wasn’t okay to move around to new places, to not wear my hair a certain way, to wear this or that…the list was truly endless. I’m sure that most of you can relate.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. You do not have to wait until someone tells you that it’s okay. You don’t need that approval from anyone other than yourself. You know when the time is right to do something. You know because you already have all of the answers that you need inside of you. When you really take the time to just be still and listen, you’ll find answers to all of the questions that you have right there inside of you. Someone else’s timeline for you isn’t what’s important because that is their story and not yours.
You don’t need anyone else’s approval. All you need is your own.