Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Like you just can’t move forwards in your life no matter what you do? Not sure how you can face another week/month/year feeling as bored and unfulfilled as this?
And despite daydreaming about changing your life, it just feels like there’s a massive obstacle standing between you and everlasting happiness. (Even if you’re not too sure what that is.)
You’re not alone. So many people suffer with this kind of suffocating discontent.
And you’ve realised that. So being the intelligent person that you are, you’ve probably done numerous searches online in your search for a way forward.
But you just found endless blog posts that suggest that switching your thinking and getting more grateful about what you do have is the answer.
But what if this just isn’t enough?
What if you’ve done more than your fair share of mindfulness meditation, you’ve practiced gratitude journaling for months, you’ve chanted mantras and you STILL feel unhappy with your life? What then?
Does it suggest that you’re just not doing it right? That with a little bit more practice, a longer journalling session you’ll finally feel happy?
NO! Far from it!
That horrible sense of discontent that you just can’t shake off isn’t a symptom of negative thinking but instead your soul crying out for change.
And you can do it. I know you can. You simply need to take these effective first steps and you will instantly claim your place on that path to a better life.
First admit why you’re feeling so stuck
Sorry, but I’m going to give it to you straight. You already know why you’re unhappy.
You don’t really need to do any special meditation or contemplative practice or anything like that to get to that point of understanding. By all means, go ahead and do those practices if that’s what works for you but ultimately it won’t change much.
Because if you shake off that paralysing fear of what could go wrong if you own up to this emotion, you’ll realise exactly what you’re supposed to be doing with your life.
It’s quite likely that deep down inside, there’s a little voice that just keeps nagging at you.
‘This isn’t the life you were supposed to lead’ it whispers.
‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could [insert exciting thing] instead’ it suggests.
‘We could try doing [insert other exciting thing] instead ’…
And what do you do? You push that thought away, terrified of what that might really mean, of the implications of your inner rebellion.
You doubt yourself, you doubt your gut feelings, and you’re just plain scared.
And the result is nothing. You just stay right where you are.
Nothing changes. Nothing improves. You just keep feeling stuck, stifled and limited.
So today I want you to be brave. I want you to take a deep breath, close your eyes if you need to, and silently admit to yourself what is bothering you so much.
What’s wrong with things as they are? What could be better in your life? What do you secretly dream of doing when no one is around?
It’s really important at this stage that you don’t consider your personal limitations such as your finances, your skill or your circumstances. If you really want is, you absolutely CAN find a way to get there.
Looking for the destination is the first step.
Then make the decision to change your life
You’re stood at the top of that metaphorical cliff. You can see the glistening sea far below you and you know that you want to leap down there, feel the cool, refreshing water envelop your body and feel amazing.
But jumping is the scary bit. Because what if you hit the rocks on your way down? What if the water is too cold? What if you forget how to swim and end up struggling or even drowning? What then?
So even if we’ve admitted where we want to be, we still avoid making the leap. Fear paralyses us yet again and instead we decide to just ‘make the best’ of the current situation, even though it’s killing our hearts.
We just keep going to that soul-destroying job, getting completely overwhelmed with the stress, hating every moment of our working day and daydreaming of what life could be like.
It could be so different. All it takes it that decision.
The decision to stop settling for second best. To stop tolerating the crushing monotony and the sickening tedium. To stop letting each day slip through our fingers like sand without ever being lived to its full potential.
It could be so much more amazing and you know it.
Tell me, what is YOUR decision? What will you do that will change your life?
Next take the tiniest step possible
It can often feel as if the task of changing our lives is so momentous and so impossible that we just don’t do it, just like climbing that metaphorical mountain.
But even the biggest dream or task is achievable if you break it into small steps. And I’m not talking about ‘kind of small’ here either, I mean the tiniest thing you can imagine.
It needs to be so small that it’s almost effortless whilst still moving you towards your final goal of changing your life.
Let’s look at an example here. Lots of people want to try meditation, so they download an app, subscribe to a challenge and try to meditate for 30 minutes every day, or something similar.
But once the initial enthusiasm wears off and life gets back to normal, their interest wanes and guess what- they never ever develop a strong, regular meditation practice.
What could they do better to make meditation a part of their life? You got it- they could take tinier steps.
They could start their practice by meditating for just one minute every day. That’s it. Yep, this sounds like almost nothing, but it’s still enough to create the habit, to make meditation a normal part of the day and to develop your meditation skills. And you know what? You’ll STILL benefit from the meditation itself.
How could you take a tiny step towards changing your life? What is the first thing you could do right now that would move you forwards?
Then actually follow through and take action!
Sure, you can find out so much about how to change your life by reading great blog posts like these (!), by loading your Kindle up with tons of self-improvement books, by listening to empowering podcasts and spending your time daydreaming.
Or you can spend hours thinking about how much you hate your job, make the decision to go freelance and decide that you should really update your CV or create an awesome portfolio website.
But if you never actually DO these things, you’re wasting your time.
So finally, I want you to put everything we’ve been talking about here into action. No more talk.
Be brave, be strong and in the words of Nike, JUST DO IT.