Changing your perspective and the way you think is the first step you have to take in order to change your life. But usually, it’s also the hardest, especially if you don’t exactly know how and where to begin.
1. Be true to yourself
Before you start changing your life around the first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself. You may already think you are, but this may not necessarily be the case. We humans are masters of self-deception. Many people have changed their life, jobs, partners, location etc., only to find it wasn’t really what they wanted after all. Sometimes it is a good thing to know what you don’t want, and the only way you will ever really know, is by doing it.
However, you can cut out some of the needless heartache by being honest with yourself in the first place. It is all too easy to follow somebody else’s dream and not your own. This may be through obligation, perhaps to ones parents who want to see you follow family tradition, or through love; you love someone and so you follow their dream, or maybe just because you don’t really know who you are or what you want, so you emulate somebody else’s idea of success or happiness.
This is the tricky bit and that’s why it has to be the number one priority at the top of your list.
Only you know who you truly are and what you will be happy with.
2. Identify what is holding you back
The most common excuse we use for not following our dreams is lack of money. We can’t do this or we can’t do that because haven’t had the opportunity, or haven’t got the money. You were born in a barn and had to walk barefoot to school – whatever the excuse is, drop it right there.
People in much worse situations than you manage to live happy and ’purposeful’ lives.
If you really want something, there are ways of making it happen. And if it isn’t happening, then you need to really have a good talk with yourself; be honest, see why it isn’t. It might not be your destiny. The universe has a strange way of providing you with all the resources you need and it is up to you to take the opportunity when it arises.
Another block could be family or peer pressure. If people love and respect you, and what you are doing is with good intention and from the heart, they should give their blessing to almost anything you do.
Some people blame things on events in their past and maybe you have to go back and identify what it is about a situation in the past that is holding you back, but don’t dwell there, or you will miss your future.
3. Make a decision and take action
Once you have made a decision, you need to act on it. Otherwise you have changed your thoughts and mindset, and not moved forward. This is a torturous place to be. I decided I didn’t like my job and it was an unsuitable career choice a good few years before I had the guts to hand in my notice. I also did the same with a relationship that wasn’t working out. Had I just acted on my decision when I had made it, I would have saved myself and others a lot of unnecessary angst. Not to mention the time I wasted; both my own and other people’s. So remember, once you have made an informed decision, which you know you need to take; then take action.
It’s easy to look to others for a solution for the situations we find ourselves in. Sure, take on board other people’s opinions and guidance, but remember, at the end of the day your decisions and actions are your own. By entrusting yourself with the decision, and being responsible for the outcome, makes you stronger and more empowered.
4. Talk Your Walk
Yes, I did write that correctly. Your language has a huge impact on the way you feel and the decisions you make. I am not just talking about your internal self-chatter but also your external language that you use with others. Instead of using negative language about your situation, replace it with positive life affirming word play. If someone enquires about your life plan, instead of a response that is full of self-doubt try a’ Yes, I am following my dream, isn’t that exciting’ or ’Yes, I am succeeding’, or ’Yes I am empowered and happy’.
Watch the words that come out of your mouth, as they have a power all of their own.
5. Remove self-limiting beliefs
So, you can’t possibly do this, that or the other because you are not good enough. Right?
Who said? You did most probably. Or a family member did, or a friend or work colleague did.
It doesn’t really matter who said it, but quite frankly you won’t know unless you try.
6. Stop looking for approval from others
Stop it, right now. Trust me, it will stop you in your tracks and mean you will make decisions based on what other people think. What has other people’s thinking or opinion got to do with you or your life? Nothing is the answer. If someone doesn’t approve of what you are doing then quite frankly that’s tough. It’s time to develop a backbone, and if you are looking for approval, try seeking it from yourself.
After all, you are the one who will be living the life you have chosen.
7. Be flexible
In life, things rarely turn out exactly the way we planned. Life is a rich journey, and we learn many things along the way, by taking detours, making pit stops and occasionally picking up passengers. However, being flexible does not mean backing down at the first hurdle in your way, or giving in to other people’s demands. That’s not being flexible, that is being weak. Yes, trees are flexible and bend with the wind, but they don’t lie down and die and pretend they are not a tree. You are what it is in your nature to be and your job is to carve the best of you out of it, and use your strengths and weaknesses for the good of all.
Remember, happiness does not lie at the end of a big bank balance, or the latest technology, or a fast car.
So go out and do something exceptional with your life. Something you want to do. Really.
What’s stopping you?