It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

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Fellow lovers of personal development, self-growth, striving for brilliance (or whatever you cool kids want to call it) the message of the day is pretty simple; it’s okay not to be okay. If there’s anybody who knows about being hard on oneself while striving for a better life and aiming to become an improved version of the one who entered the world – it’s me.

For example, at the end of my leaving (forever) party I took to the microphone and performed a speech. Being the reasonably confident chap that I am, I envisaged myself strutting up to that microphone, have people eating out of the palm of my hands and emulating Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream.‘ Or even at least a Tony Blair, or President Obama level of oratory.

It really wasn’t that good.

It wasn’t terrible, but it was far from what I wanted it to be and people reassured me it was “ok” or “nice.” Bleurgh. That’s what you say to your little boy when he comes 7th in a race. “Daddy, I got a medal for coming 7th in sports day today!”

“Naaawww, that’s – nice, son!”

I don’t really like nice, I’m an all or nothing kind of guy. I want to be fantastic or brilliant. I’m extremely hungry and I don’t think that’s the worst mentality to have, in all honesty. It gets shit done. But there’s one word that is absolutely dangerous to your soul, your well-being and a good night’s sleep, and that is the pursuit of perfection.

Personal development isn’t about being perfect at everything, on every occasion. It’s about constantly striving for a higher quality of life and becoming a more valuable human being. It’s about looking in that mirror every day and saying “I commit to being better than I was yesterday.” And here I sit in my local Starbucks, knowing that this time next week I will be on up there in the sky, on a one-way ticket to Malaysia and adventure. This time, next week – I will be living my dream!

All that being said (stand on your head) – uʍop ǝpısdn ǝlʇʇıl ɐ ƃuılǝǝɟ ɯ,ı

Am I doubting myself? A little, although I am aware there will be times ahead when I do. Am I excited that I’ll soon be living my dream? Hell yes! Am I okay? No, I’m not okay. I’ve shared a lot of tearful goodbyes this week and I have a lot more to come – it’s pretty draining. I’m pretty sure that once I’m off that plane next Monday and the sun is kissing my skin – I’ll be much more than okay. Hopefully.

But for now, I’m not okay and that’s really okay! Get me? OK!

Following your path and your own heart sounds sexy on paper, but in reality – it’s hard. Proper hard. Titanium encrusted nails in your face kind of hard. But the euphoric feeling of getting what you want, truly outweighs the blood, sweat and swearing that goes into it. Take self-employment for example: Last year I fully committed to ditching the need for a boss and generating enough income to survive every month and fund my new and improved lifestyle.

And so I chucked myself into it, blindly. I was far from okay. I tried many projects and ideas that I swore would make me richer than Richard Branson within a year and looking back, most of them were lame ideas. When I was failing, I wasn’t okay – I was extremely frustrated. A year down the line, I’m so much more than okay. I don’t think there’s going to be any Google takeovers by myself any time soon, but right now I’m very appreciative of being able to take extended breaks and cranking up my favourite tunes on my chosen dinner breaks.

This is just a wee note (and a hungover video, damn you Newcastle and your 2 for 1 cocktails offers) to tell you that in your quest for a better life – It really is okay not to be okay. Fellow lovers of self-growth and those on a path of awesomeness – quit the perfection chase. Even Dr King had to practice at speaking.

Song For The Moment – Jessie J: ‘Who You Are.’

Notable Lyrics:

Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It’s okay not to be okay…
Sometimes it’s hard, to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!



Join the Conversation

18 comments

  1. Caroline Leon Reply

    Hey Anthony, awesome post. Love your honesty and insight (I have it all to come so it’s nice to know what I’ve let myself into!). I think you are absolutely right about not being so hard on yourself. What you are doing is so inspiring and even more so when you are this honest about the lows as well as the highs. I can’t wait to hear about Malaysia as it’s on my list! Bon voyage matey 🙂

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  3. Chris Reply

    Oh, the things I’d do to Jessie J….

    I agree with the sentiments here 100%. it certainly is ok not to be ok, and it was that belief that pushed me to leave Australia back in 2007 and go elsewhere. I felt like too many of my friends were of the ‘It’s not ok to be not ok’ mould, and it was just dragging me down.

    Power to you man.

  4. Lauren Reply

    I like this — for me, it extended beyond just the “if you’re not happy with your 9-to-5 just up and go” kind of OK. You seem to be saying that if you feel lost, stupid, confused, or like a failure on some days, that’s OK, but it’s just a feeling on a random day, not who you are all the time. I think if more of us embraced this, we’d be less hard on ourselves about the things that really don’t matter.

  5. Gerard ~ GQ trippin Reply

    Keepin it real… Thanks for the sharing the shade and light that comes along with this kind of decision. This ride isn’t going to be perfect, but there will probably be way more highs than lows after all is said and done. Carry yourself!

  6. Will - My Spanish Adventure Reply

    Great post A-man,

    A nice and truthful account as to what goes through the mind of every traveller on the eve of the unknown and epic journey that awaits.

    That fear you have now? You’ll be looking back on it with a smile.

    Take is from someone who knows.

  7. Scott Reply

    Hey man, just wanted to say that I am sure I will totally be able to relate come February and I am wishing you all the best for next week!

  8. Julia Reply

    You just had to get Jessie J in there, didn’t you? 😉 It’s Kate B I feel sorry for, I bet she’s crying herself to sleep at night now…

  9. Kim Reply

    You will be okay because you are okay with not being okay! Seriously though, I know the feeling! Good luck and best of luck as you begin this journey!

  10. Anthony Reply

    Thanks to everyone who commented on this article. I’m in Kuala Lumpur right now and I’m feeling VERY ok 🙂

    I’d usually respond to each comment, but the journey over here was looooooong!

    1. Caz Makepeace Reply

      Hey! I”m in Kuala Lumpur now reading this. I love this post and Jessie J’s song. Not being okay is part of being human and that is okay!

      1. Anthony Reply

        Hey Caz!

        It really is, no one should feel the pressure to be okay all of the time. How did you find KL and how was it travelling with 2 children? 🙂

  11. Top 10 Travel Blogs from 2011 Reply

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  13. Vida Reply

    Wonderfully said! True that. Just as I say that it’s okay to suck sometimes. We shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. 🙂

    1. Anthony Reply

      Thanks, Vida! So true 🙂

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