During my junior year of college, I reached a low point. After spending so long overachieving and trying to prove that I was more than my prior shortcomings, I had to take a hard look in the mirror. I had to re-evaluate my path.
As I’ve shared in previous articles, I only gained the mental clarity and proper headspace to evolve by spending time in solitude, attending therapy, and making a habit to journal .
I returned to college my senior year completely transformed. The relationships that kept me nourished and grounded for the prior 3 years didn’t hold the same weight. I felt an empty gap inside, and I yearned for something deeper, more connective, and stimulating.
I didn’t feel this way because these relationships failed or people did anything wrong. Rather, it was my own transformation as an individual that gave me a new idea for what relationships I wanted to build and explore.
The hardest part was understanding why I felt this way and being okay with the new version of myself while letting go of the old. While those friends are still some of my most cherished relationships today, I have had to set different expectations from them as I have evolved my interest, goals, and myself.
It’s critical to listen to our intuition when we feel there is something missing. Those feelings of discomfort are easy to run from, but doing so only makes them pile up until they become a weight we can’t carry.
When I listened to my internal voice, I sought relationships where I felt like my experiences were understood. I not only wanted to share my story and feel recognized, but also wanted to understand others so I could build more connective relationships. I wanted to make new friendships, explore ideas, and establish deeper connections.
Ultimately, this led me to create Wish Dish: a platform that connected people through shared storytelling and meaning. Using my experiences, I was able to build a business network that aligned with my visions and ideas.
It opened a new world that I had always been looking to find, but never quite knew where to look.
This experience fortunately turned into a consistent pattern: I reflected daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. I assessed where I was, where I wanted to go, and asked myself, “How do I get there?” This became my blueprint to finding my path when I didn’t know the next step in the journey ahead.
To break this down in a simple and formulaic way:
- Reflecting on the past lets you understand what steps to take next
- Building relationships based on your future plan results in more fulfilling relationships
This feedback loop allowed me to lean into my intuition and let my internal compass guide me.
Additionally, this process allowed me to continue standing out on my own terms, and push the boundaries for what was possible for myself. I became more comfortable taking risks as I became more comfortable with who I was––All while charting my own path on my own terms,regardless of what anyone thought.
This journey filled me with an incredible network of supportive relationships that have all been extremely influential in my professional journey. Finding the right support network and social groups has been critical to my evolution.
To leave you with a few parting thoughts:
- Focus on the internal and the external will follow
- Reflection leads to progression with a clear end goal
- Don’t be scared to let go of relationships or not give as much to them as you did previously. Staying stagnant inhibits growth