To change your life, you must address the rut(s) you may be in. Where the rut is familiar and comfortable, change almost never is.
Change is hard, scary, and features all these little road blocks to try and keep you in your comfort zone. It’s your brain’s way of keeping you safe. A self-preservation trigger that happens without conscious intent.
This internal alarm keeps you on the path of least resistance. The one that requires less thought because you’re on auto-pilot. You know exactly what to expect (even if it’s negative).
Staying in a toxic relationship, a job you hate, or habits you’ve had for decades seems easier than changing those things into circumstances that are actually better for you. Isn’t that strange?Staying in a toxic relationship, a job you hate, or habits you’ve had seems easier than changing them. #ChangeIsGoodClick To Tweet
It seems counter-intuitive but people do it every single day.
Let’s be clear…if you’re fully satisfied with your life, that’s great! Experiencing joy and contentment with your daily life, the people around you, your career, and yourself is truly a gift.
On the other side of that, there’s clearly a lot of dissatisfaction, sadness, anger, and frustration in the world today. Despite more opportunity than any other living humans in history, so many appear to be going through the motions of their lives rather than living their lives.
Change is Difficult – Not Impossible
If you want to change your life, you must first address the why of it all. Honesty is critical here because you can’t fix an issue if you refuse to name it.
This was the hardest part for me when I hit a major wall a few years ago. Seeing the vast canyon between where I was and where I wanted to go was discouraging, exhausting.
I literally thought to myself…
- Maybe I’m overreacting and things are actually fine (they weren’t).
- This will take forever – I’m never going to get there (I did).
- I’m not strong enough to deal with all of this (I was).
The time was going to pass no matter what. Days, weeks, months, years were going to slip by me whether I changed everything or nothing. I opted for everything. I failed repeatedly, I gave up entirely once, I started over a dozen times, and there were days it felt like I would cave under the crushing weight of the stress.
If you feel like that, if you’re struggling beneath the weight of circumstances and filled with self-doubt about your power to change your life, there’s something you must always remember:
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
A. A. Milne “Winnie the Pooh”
Doubt is going to rear its head. Stress is going to rise over and over again. Fear of the unknown will make you 2nd guess, 3rd guess, and probably 50th guess your choices.
Some days will be harder than others. It might take longer than you want or expect.
Plan for these roadblocks. They’re going to land in your way (a lot) and you have to know how to handle them. You can’t let them cut your journey short. You can’t let them stop you.
The Change Your Life Road Trip
1. Know the terrain. This is necessary before you take any trip. Mentally walk through your day. Every moment of it. From when you open your eyes at the start of your day to the very end where you climb in bed again. What’s your routine? What are your responsibilities? Who do you interact with? See the layout of your usual day clearly.
2. See the map clearly. As you think about the people and situations in your life, which ones fill you with positive thoughts? Which fill you with negative energy? It’s important that you’re honest with yourself, that you name your truths. Don’t lie to yourself about how you feel. Allowing such a habit is how lives pass without true fulfillment.
3. Pack your luggage. What do you want to keep about your life? What people and circumstances must travel with you? What can you not live without? These are the things that move ahead with you. That make your life better, stronger, happier.
4. Identify what to leave behind. This is where it gets tough but you can do this. In the dark of the night, when it’s you and your thoughts, what do you wish away? While you may feel like a “bad person” thinking about this…you shouldn’t because it’s human nature. All of us have a relative, a friend, a job, a situation that we wish would just stop being part of our lives and the reasons are probably varied.
For myself, this list included a toxic marriage, damaged family members, friends who weren’t really, and jobs that sucked the life out of me day by day. Own your list and your reasons. It’s your personal truth.
5. Run an internal safety check. Before any journey, you want to make sure you have essentials. This is about your mental, physical, emotional, and even financial health. How do you feel? What do you need? How can you attain it? Stocking up on the things you need – and replenishing as necessary – will get you to the end of your trip in excellent condition.
6. Get on the road. Taking the things you need, leaving behind the things you don’t, and knowing your destination are just the beginning. Now, you must begin. You can think about changing your life, you can talk about it, you can make plan after plan, but eventually…you have to get behind the wheel and drive. Don’t put it off, don’t make excuses, don’t lie to yourself. If you have a place you want or need to be, it’s time to go.Think about the people and situations in your life, which ones fill you with negative thoughts? Then, make a change.Click To Tweet
You’re going to hit bad weather, construction, and maybe even break down a time or two (or twelve). There are times that you’ll run out of things you need, your essentials, and you won’t know how to stock up again. You might get frustrated with some of the things you brought with you…or regret some of the things you left behind.
Stay the course.
Keep your hands on the wheel and maintain control. To change your life, you have to cover the miles. Stay in “drive” more than “park” and avoid “reverse” whenever possible.Keep your hands on the wheel and maintain control. To change your life, you have to cover the miles. #ChangeIsGoodClick To Tweet
If you know what you want, why you want it, and commit to the necessary time and effort it takes to get it…you’re ahead of a billion other people who live their lives in “neutral.”
Shayne McClendon is an author and positivity practitioner. Shayne believes love crosses all boundaries, social castes, races, genders, and belief systems. If you are lucky enough to find soul-deep love, you should fight for it. Life-certified, reader approved.