Why letting go is always an option

Chiho Numata

2020/04/26 14:30

“No reason to stay is a good reason to go.”
(From the song, Something’s Gotta Give, by Camila Cabello)

Camila Cabello

This lyric struck my heart because it’s common to settle even when we’re not comfortable. That applies to a lot of things; social activities, groups and toxic people in general. A lot of us tend to settle even when we are unhappy because changing the environment seems a lot of effort and what you're doing now is completely “normal” . For example, say, you are a college student, who is busy studying, hanging out with friends, doing volunteer work, going to circles (clubs) , working part time and you recently found an interesting program. But the thing is, you don’t think you have enough time for it. You could...

  1. Give up on doing something new
  2. Tighten your schedule and do everything
  3. Sacrifice something to start something new

A popular opinion would probably be choice 1. I know for a fact, that many people do not even look for new things to try. That is fine if you heartfully believe you want to use your time and attention on your current activities, but how do you know for sure when you’re not open to different options? Are you even doing these activities because you value them or because it’s “normal” to be part of it?

You may now be guessing that I am suggesting that choice 2 is the best. Well, not necessarily. Choice 2 is only the best if continuing what you’re currently doing is worthwhile. This is a good opportunity to think about your activities and how important they are to you. Ask yourself if you’re doing this because you value it, or because it's “normal” for others to do it. If they all seem to be a critical part of your college life, try doing all of them. If some seem less important, spend less time or consider doing choice 3. What's also important is, it’s okay if you’re not capable of doing choice 2. Everyone has different limits at a certain extent; it’s not possible to squeeze everything in your schedule. Again, think about the activities you are doing. Are you doing it because everyone else is doing it? Do you have high values towards it? If so, continue doing it, and sacrifice something else that has less value to you. If you want to try something new, you shouldn’t give it up for staying in the same environment and doing something you value less. For example, it’s “normal” for students to continue clubs until they graduate. But if the student wants to study abroad and that experience seems more valuable, they should do as their heart desires.

Another reason why we settle is because we have low standards due to self-underestimation.

Here’s another quote that I really like.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
( From the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

In this movie, one of the main character is dating a guy who shows no respect to her girlfriend and abuses her, yet she does not break up with him because she is “in love” with him. Of course, it’s important to settle when you are comfortable or happy with what you have. But a lot of us, especially girls (because we are more susceptible to emotional attachment), let upsetting things pass by because it's hard to admit we could be happier. We do not value or feelings enough, and we tend to underestimate our strength and inner beauty. We think that we are not good enough so we stick with things or people without realizing the pain it is causing, like in the movie.

Having very high standards, overestimating yourself, or doing something against social norms just because you want to standout is also not right. What I am saying is, it’s not okay to view ourselves not special, or lie to our values. Sometimes, you have to let things go so you can open yourself to new and better things that truly fulfills you. Remember you are filled with so many options and our time is limited. From time to time, you should think if what you’re doing is worth your effort and time. Think about priorities. Think about what you truly desire and what you deserve.

Thank you for reading this article to the end.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of TEDxUTsukuba.

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