While Nick was disappointed he couldn’t continue his studies, he didn’t let it overpower him either. He believes those who throw it in allow themselves to be consumed by a challenge “you always have choice in the matter”. “I think what made it hard was thinking I knew better than the world, I thought I had it all figured out, that I was the man, it wouldn’t have mattered what anyone else said” Nick heard all the common, and valid advice, but didn’t listen, though he admitted he’d subconsciously heard enough to keep himself away from wrong paths.
The biggest turning point for Nick was breaking up with his daughter’s mum, this took him from thinking he had it all, to it all disappearing. He was forced to come to terms with the fact he was going to be a weekend dad. Nick didn’t become depressed, though he knew what depression was like. Nick didn’t let this situation overpower him and become the end of the world. He looked at it as a new opportunity to reset his expectations of himself.
Time for a new perspective
Nick lost a lot of friends at this turning point and spend a lot of time soul searching. There was about six to eight months of reverting back to his old behaviour, but with a bit more moderation. He was still focussed on fun, but this time also relaxation and helping him find himself. None of “this time” was done to the destructive levels of before, instead it was to help him unwind and relax. Nick commented this was “helping me get away to clear my head without running away” and felt he was under a lot more of his own self control. He didn’t feel like he needed to impress anyone, whereas he knows now that was an important thing for him in the past. He was actually always worried what others thought, he didn’t know who he was or what he believed in.
He’s returned back to nursing study and knows he needs to have a taste of success in order to stay focussed. If not, he won’t give up, but he’ll reassess his goals, he’s become very cautious with expectation setting with himself and anyone else.
Looking back on personal growth
Now he’s doing extra at his placements but in smaller amounts, and he’s not doing it to prove himself to others, he’s doing it to prove himself to himself. Originally he didn’t understand the why behind what the uni and placements were making him do, and didn’t have the patience to try to understand either. He realises he simply wasn’t focussed, and he was misspending all his energy.
Nick is much more aware of who he is now, so part of that knows he need proper me time. Who he is, what character he has and how he’s perceived while he’s acting true to himself are now priorities. He has an idea of how he wants to be seen, and it’s based on core character issues much more than “peripheral stuff”.
His focus is now on the core and he knows that where he was once unclear, he’s much more clear. Nick understands he can’t find who is he if he can’t be who he wants to be.
Nick urges you to be clear on how you set your expectations of yourself, and if you’re not realistic, you risk self destructive behaviour. He believes this all comes back to focus and being clear on what’s possible and having a strong sense of personal responsibility.
Let’s wrap up
- Often in life the most challenging experiences can inspire you to become even more focussed on what’s important.
- Sometimes you’re not ready to learn from others, or even yourself. Always keep checking if you’re ready.
Often you need to make decisions you would have done differently if you had another opportunity to. That just makes you human.
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