17th January 2016
This week our author Monica Castenetto offers some tips on how to “unstick” yourself when you’re no longer happy with your life but don’t know how to change that:
Have you come to a point where you don’t love your life anymore? And yet you find yourself repeatedly putting off making a change for the better? Here are 5 tips on how to change that:
Do something or let it go
How long have you been thinking about making a change in your life – without doing anything about it? Quite a while?
There’s definitely a place and time in life for contemplation, just “being”, waiting-and-seeing, or getting ready for change. Life doesn’t always have to be about action.
But if you keep your idea hanging like an un-ticked box, it will make you feel restless and dissatisfied, constantly debating with yourself about why you should do it, and why you can’t. It will sap your self-belief and you might end up feeling paralysed.
Ask yourself: do you really want this change? Be very honest. If your answer is yes, what small thing could you do now in order to move one step closer towards it – and do it. If your answer is no, let it go.
Taking action will give you confidence, and a sense of direction and purpose. That’s very energising, and that will make you feel more positive.
And letting go? That will feel liberating, and create space for new ideas to form.
It doesn’t matter where you start, just that you start
Every journey starts with a first step, and I have read wonderful stories of life change which start at the end and work their way backwards to the beginning, or jump around between beginning, middle and end. I have seen clients starting a big life change with a tiny action, but then going on to tackle bigger actions because they’d got moving.
There are many starting points to creating life change, and each will start you on your journey. You can plan, but you cannot exactly predict how your change is going to turn out. So get underway, and know that you will learn as you go along. You can always adjust your course if you need to. Trust that you’ll end up where you need to be – wherever you start.
Any time is a good time for change
Do you think that now is not the right time for change? We all have many responsibilities. We all have times in life when we have a lot going on, and when adding more actions into that mix would be difficult. But there’s never a “right” time.
I believe that Even busy times can be good times for making changes – because they force us to be focused and efficient. You know the phrase: “If you need something done, ask a busy person.”
Ask yourself what can you stop doing, or delegate, or become more efficient at, to create more space?
There are no mistakes
One of the reasons we create excuses for not taking action is our fear of making mistakes, or failing.
Thomas Edison apparently tested thousands of different materials for light-bulbs before creating a cost-effective and long-lasting light bulb. The “failed” tests were all part of the process of his successful invention. “Mistakes” or “failures” are just part and parcel of any worthwhile endeavour.
So what if you allowed yourself to think of mistakes not as a bad thing, but as part of the process of change? They might even be a useful learning experience, helping you to learn and move forward in better ways than you could ever have imagined.
Tap into your courage… it’s there!
Humans beings are equipped with a fight or flight mechanism which means we’ll never be completely rid of fear, and for good reason. So whenever we encounter something that’s outside of the familiar, we are likely to feel uncomfortable, afraid, or panicked. That’s not all bad – that response has evolved to make us pay attention, go slowly and be safe.
But we don’t want this to stop us having a fulfilling life! Many of life’s worthwhile experiences – falling in love, having a family, moving up in our career, learning a new skill, having an adventure – involve stepping outside of what feels comfortable for us. And we can do it!
Can you remember how it felt when you last did something despite being scared? Was it exhilarating? That’s because, as we realise we’re bigger than our fears, our confidence grows.
So tap into your courage – take the plunge. What’s the worst that can happen – and would that really be so bad?
If you want to read more from Monica on overcoming your own excuses, read her blog post 5 Surefire Ways to Conquer Your Excuses
And you can buy Monica’s book here