You Can Change Your Life!
To change your life, especially if you’re no longer in your twenties, can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. For many years I felt miserable. Work sucked. My relationship sucked. My financial situation (or lack thereof) sucked. In general, my life sucked. I read countless books and articles on how to “Change Your Life!” but to no avail. They mentioned vision boards and gratitude journals and while those are great things to do, there were no practical steps to take and no real guidance.
I was depressed, and hated my job but felt stuck because I didn’t have the education I needed to pursue what I did want. The relationship I was in at the time was not a good one and I knew I had to get out. I simply wanted more for my life and for my kids’ lives, but I felt so overwhelmed. I knew that I had more in me, and I knew that there was something else out there for me. There had to be! I wanted desperately to have a different life. How do you change your life when you don’t know what steps to take to make those changes?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but I felt deep inside me that there was something else out there for me. I suffered from miserabilism. Look it up, it’s a word, meaning “the tendency to be gloomy or pessimistic”. Or as a co-worker once called me, I was a Negative Nellie. Like many women, I just kept on complaining and wishing that someday my life would change.
The feeling that I wanted more in life, was actually more of a knowing that there was something more suitable for me out there. I was not fulfilled but I knew I needed that in my life. I was bored and I needed to find a way to make a difference, in my world, my kids’ worlds and for others. What can you do if you’re feeling like you want to change your life?
First, you have to really know yourself; your deep down authentic self. I discovered a great article by James McWhinney, author of The Wellbeing Revolution. In this article, he lists 6 questions that really dig deep. Don’t skip over this. It’s very beneficial to understanding what you value and why, and what your dreams are.
Second, once you have an idea of what your dream is, it’s time to change your life! Yes, right now, because guess what? Even though it’s scary, and you may not be ready, as Mel Robbins says in this video, “It’s never too late, and you’re right on time”. I don’t care if you’re 16, 45, or 75, it’s NEVER too late to change your life!
Write down your answers to those 6 questions above. Jot down all the dreams you currently have, or have tucked away in the past because you didn’t think you could do it. Write ’em all down!
Now, you start researching. It doesn’t mean you’ve made a committment to anything, just start to ask questions, Google something, or start following people who are doing what you want to do, or have what you want to have. Just take that first step to find out some information. When I got tired of saying I wanted to write a book, and “Oh that’s a story for my book”, I decided that life is too damn short to spend whining over past choices, and regretting the things I didn’t do. You’ve only got one life.
You may not feel like taking that first step, but I promise you, if you hit on something that excites you and energizes you, how can you justify not changing your life? I opened my computer and signed up for writing classes at U.W.O. Step one- done! Now all I had to do was follow up.
You want to be happy. You deserve to be happy. We all do. Whether you’re annoyed by clutter in your house, or a crappy go-nowhere job, or a great job that just isn’t fulfilling, or a relationship you know deep down you should not be in…just take that first step. If you need a little push, read some books like Mel Robbins’ The 5 Second Rule, or check out a Tony Robbins podcast or flip through some Will Smith quotes like these three:
“There are so many people who have lived and died before you. You will never have a new problem; you’re not going to ever have a new problem. Somebody wrote the answer down in a book somewhere.”
“On the other side of your maximum fear, are all of the best things in life.” – Will Smith
“If you can’t beat the fear, just do it scared.” – Will Smith
If you’re in an abusive relationship you may be scared to leave, fearing the consequences. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re staying out of fear or because it’s just too hard to up-end your life, it’s not going to get any better. That relationship is only going to get worse. Enlist help from people who love you, and get out. Maybe you’re in a relationship that’s just not the right one for you. If you know he or she is not the one for you, end it amicably and consider it a lesson learned. There’s no point in waiting. Waiting only wastes time. If it’s not working for you, why are you still in it?
Seriously, jot down your reasons. You might be shocked that any excuses you give all boil down to this. FEAR. Just like the quote above tells us, your problem, or reason for staying is not a new one. Someone has gone through the same situation and successfully removed herself from a relationship and is now happy. Research it! Talk to people who love you or are supportive of you. You can do this, but only if you take that first step in the right direction. Take it! Change your life.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~
Take some time to rediscover your dreams. What made you happy as a child? Is there something that gives you comfort, or energizes you when you allow yourself time to focus on yourself? It doesn’t mean that if you love gardening, that you should quit your job and become a gardener, necessarily, but use that list of questions above to guide you through this process. And it is a process; it doesn’t happen over night.
Be kind to yourself, be patient, but don’t use patience as an excuse to procrastinate. Grab The 5 Second Rule, and check out podcasts that focus on finding what makes you happy. Then take those things that make you happy and look for how you can use them to fulfill your dreams. Remember those 2 two courageous women I told you about in my blog titled Be A Courageous Woman-Follow Your Dream? They changed their lives. You can too.
Listen to podcasts. You have time, while you cook, getting ready for that job you hate, instead of watching t.v, while you drive. Podcasts are such a great way of learning, or just relaxing. Try one of these:
- Women Inspiring Women, with Melanie Mitro
- Second Life, with Hillary Kerr
- How To Fail, with Elizabeth Day
Good luck and I hope you feel excited! I could never have imagined years ago that I would be writing a blog and a working on a book, because I hadn’t taken that first step. Until one day, I realized I would seriously regret it if I didn’t at least try. I was 56 years old when I decided to change my life. You are precious and your dreams are important. Don’t waste any more time. Change your life!
Thanks for reading. Check back next Friday for another post encouraging you to be your best.
Carol Paino~ Parts Of Ourselves.