“Stay in your lane”…
Something that we have all heard at least once. I know I have heard it an abundance of times and I am sure I have had to say it to a few people myself.
As much as we like to use the phrase, what lane are we all talking about exactly? Until recently, whenever I told someone to stay in their own lane, I meant for them to mind their own business. However, what about lanes in life? It was actually an Instagram post from Idris Elba (that piece of perfection but let’s stay on track) about getting rid of people that tell you to stay in your lane.
At first I was like “what?”. Honestly, what’s wrong with minding my own business? Once I stopped drooling and actually listened to what he was saying, he wasn’t referring to staying in your lane the way I usually meant it. This wasn’t about minding your own business.
Life has lanes. As we grow, there are several lanes we encounter in life. Do I step into the lane of work right after high school or do I go down the college road? Do I step into the lane of working for myself or do I work for someone else? Do I stay in the lane I have been in or do I step into the lane beside me and follow my dreams? That is what he was referring to. Life has all of these different lanes/roads we can follow but some of us have people in our lives that are so afraid of failure that they stay on one path forever because it’s comfortable. Those same people tend to try and tell you to “stay in your lane” in hopes that you stay just as stagnant as they are. They are afraid to step onto a new path but also jealous that you have the strength, the audacity to want to try something new.
“How dare you?!”
In their eyes, how dare you want more for yourself and be willing to get it? How dare you be comfortable with change? How dare you have the courage to step into the lane beside you that is going in a totally different direction? They will never say such things to you directly. No. They’ll do things like tell you about all of the ways you may fail if you step into this new lane and follow it to its end.
-“Yeah, you could go back for your nurse practioners but that’s going to take like two or three years, can you even afford that?”
-“Do you know how many small businesses fail in their first year?”
-“Ok but what if you don’t like your new job?”
-“Aren’t you a little too old to be thinking about changing careers?”
-“Can you even make money off of that?”
-“Are you going to have time for that, I mean with being a mom/dad and all?”
They will never admit that they wish they had the courage to even consider stepping into a new lane. They will never admit they are insanely jealous of how brave you are being. They want you to stay in your lane because it makes them feel better about staying in theirs.
Don’t be like them. Don’t listen to them. Jump out of your lane if you want. Try the lane to the left of you. Try the lane to the right of you. Hell, try the lane going east to west if you want. Don’t be stagnant just because the people around you are. Do you.