Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉
I recently arrived to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
I don’t know anyone. I’m traveling alone. And I’ll be spending the next 3 months here.
I’m fully aware how insane that sounds to some people. I was super nervous the day I left, in large part because I was waiting on a verrrrry last minute visa to arrive in the mail, so I wasn’t even sure I could even go until a few hours before I had to leave for the airport. But I knew it would be fine either way. Because the thing is, honestly, it’s always fine.
There’s this quote I was obsessed with in high school:
“Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, then it’s not ok.”
I still love it, because it reminds me to zoom out and take a bigger perspective on things.
When bad shit happens, I always used to fall into this stressful and dramatic microcosmic view of it, like “this sucks so this will suck forever!” But then things would work out. Every missed flight, every breakup, every fight with a friend, every everything has turned out ok. So I started to realize…
I can save myself an awful lot of emotional drama if I just go ahead and assume things are gonna be ok, even when they’re not.
It’s always true, and it allows me to feel much more stable, grounded, unstressed, and grateful.
How can you start to trust that everything will always be ok? Easy. Do more shit.
The more things you try and experiences you have, the more the truth of the statement “everything will be ok in the end” becomes apparent. But very often, we create lives based on avoiding experiences and risk-taking, and then it seems really plausible that if we finally DO take a risk, it WON’T turn out ok.
But that’s an illusion, and the only way to break it is by doing more shit.
This is actually one of the reasons I love getting older. I didn’t have many experiences under my belt at 20 for example, so when I decided to drop out of school, I wasn’t sure I could figure it out and I was terrified. When I quit acting at 25, I wasn’t *totally* sure it would be ok. But I’ve done a lot of shit since then.
In the last few years especially, I’ve just thrown myself at life. I’ve made as many decisions as I possibly could, and just figured shit out over and over. I’ve taken so many risks and tried so many new things, and succeeded and failed in equal measure over and over. (Actually, I’ve probably failed a whole lot more than I’ve succeeded.)
And what I learned is this: Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok then it’s not the end.
Seriously. It’s so simple but so true. And my trust, both in myself and in the world’s ability to just keep going, has grown exponentially in the last few years because I’ve made exponentially more decisions, taken exponentially more action, and accepted failure and success with exponentially more enthusiasm and determination.
When you hide from risk taking and decision making, it’s easy to get bogged down in the fear and pressure of it all.
For example, if you only make one big decision a year, and you put all your eggs in that one life-experience basket, that’s a lotta pressure. Which makes it easy to be disappointed and feel like giving up and retreating in your comfort cave when it doesn’t quite work out. But life is a numbers game.
If you want to be able to trust in your ability to roll with whatever stuff life gives you, then you need to open yourself up to be given more stuff.
And as a quick aside here, it’s easy to say “don’t be afraid of failure” when you fail constantly. Because when you fail a lot, you get to see how much failure is just a part of the process, not some death sentence.
Do more stuff. Try more stuff. Fail at more stuff. Go more places. Start more projects. Meet more people. Make more decisions. Throw yourself into life.
As you start to see that you can handle pretty much anything, your trust in yourself will soar, and it will be supported by your trust in the world to just keep moving forward no matter what. Success and failure start to blend together into a endless loop of life, in which you don’t need to be quite so attached to any one external facet of yourself, because none of those things define you.
What defines you is your ability to handle it all.
So do more shit. Make more decisions. Learn to trust in yourself, and the world. Because nothing will expand your life more than this.
I’m writing this from a coffee shop in Chiang Mai. I just finally got a normal night’s sleep last night, and I’m absurdly far behind in email and work. I haven’t met anyone, or rented a bike, or gotten a massage, or booked an apartment, or visited a temple yet. I don’t even know how to do any of those things yet.
But I’ll figure it out. Because it’s not the end yet. 😉
Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.
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