What Have You Done That You Didn’t Think You’d Do?

What Have You Done That You Didn’t Think You’d Do?


What have you done in your life that you never thought you would or could do?
Focus on your accomplishments instead of dwelling on “what am i doing with my life?”

After recently having a birthday. And being single and over 30. Sometimes I have the passing thought of “what am i doing with my life?”. And “I never thought my life would be like this.” I don’t have these thoughts often. And thankfully I no longer get wrapped up in them like I did when severely depressed. But they still pop up every now and again.

Stop Those Thoughts. Reverse It.

One way to talk yourself out of these self-deprecating thoughts is to turn it around. Instead of thinking about what you haven’t accomplished that you thought you would, think about what you have done that you never thought you could.

As a child I probably thought I’d be married by now. As a child I also thought 30 was “old age”. And also as a child, I never thought I would be running half marathons. I never thought I would see the Northern Lights. I never thought I would live in NYC.

There are plenty of things that I never thought I would, could, or wanted to do in my life. Yet I am here doing them.

I Could Never Do That

Running is the top thing I never thought I would do. And I mean that. I had actual thoughts saying “I will never run for fun. I hate running. Why do people run?” (Okay, I still have these thoughts).

In school, I hated gym class. I wasn’t out of shape or overweight. I just hated gym class, physical activity, running, sports, teams, competition, etc. I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t care either way. I didn’t participate in any sports through school.

Above all, I hated running. Part of the New York State physical fitness test is to have every student run a mile. During the yearly mile run, I would be in the back, walking it, with the other gym class outcasts. I wouldn’t even attempt to run it. I wouldn’t even start out jogging. We were just walking and chatting. Didn’t care.

I started running for health in college. Even now I still don’t enjoy it. But I do it. It keeps me healthy. Running is absolutely something I never thought I would do. I never thought I could be capable of running any distance. Let alone a half marathon. Let alone that would turn into a hobby.

Change Your Focus To Remind Yourself Of Your Strengths

So sure, I haven’t yet done a lot of things I thought I would do by the time I was 30. But I’ve had the self-discipline to start and continue running. To challenge myself many times. To stay fit & healthy. To stay motivated and ambitious.

Besides, what did 18-year old me know about anything anyway?


10 Replies to “What Have You Done That You Didn’t Think You’d Do?”

  1. I’m with you on the physical activity thing. When I was a kid I was the least athletic person I know (and I was chubby too), but now it’s a huge part of my life and could not imagine not being physically active. Right now I’m trying to face some of those things I don’t think I can do but should try. Most involving career type things. It’s funny how in one area of your life you can be ballsy, but in other areas fearful.

    1. Well things get scarier when it directly involves money! Try to remember how scared you were when you ran the half or played your first volleyball tournament. And how you scored more points than you thought you would. (I’m making this up, please reword where needed!) Sometimes remembering our confidence & the positive result of a previous situation can give us just enough oomph to get moving on our next challenge. Good luck Tonya!

  2. I have these thoughts too and just turned 24. I would have never thought I would be considered a great writer. I would never have guessed I’d be able to interact with so many awesome people who support me online. I would’ve never thought I’d run 2 5ks and 2 10ks. So that’s gonna keep me going. Kudos to your continued running!

    1. Congrats on your runs! And on being a great writer! Both are fantastic accomplishments and mean even more if they’re things you never thought you’d be able to do. Keep that focus!

  3. I definitely get bogged down in those thoughts a lot myself. Nothing in my life is remotely like what I predicted it would. Most of the time that’s ok – sometimes it sucks a little. When I’m feeling particularly down, I actually check out my Facebook albums, because, honestly, my 20s were insane. I traveled all over the world and had all sorts of adventures and like everyone else, the photos I put up on Facebook just highlighted the best moments… so checking them out occasionally reminds me that if I had done everything the way I expected I would, none of those awesome memories would exist.

    1. Looking at old photos is such a good idea! We generally take photos of happy things & times. It’s so easy to judge ourselves on only on the past month/year instead of looking at the whole of our life experiences.

  4. LOL about the gym class outcasts! One year I was in what we called the reject gym class. I think the whole class walked the mile that year. It was awesome.

    This is a good way to look at things, though. With my own milestone birthday looming, I was thinking about how much I’ve travelled which is nothing that 18 year old me would have even considered something to strive for, but now I can’t imagine my life without it!

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