While I’m sure there are a few people who are entirely happy with their lives, few of us can say that there isn’t something we’d like to change. But how do you change your life?
For most of us, all we ever do is think about wanting to make that change. Few of us ever speak the words out loud, and even fewer still actually act on that desire and work on making that change a reality.
Change is frightening. Whether you are talking about a career change, a lifestyle change, a relationship change, or something else entirely, fear of change prevents so many of us from ever discovering what our lives could become.
You don’t have to sell all your belongings and move into the woods (unless you want to – then by all means, please do!).
You don’t have to declare you’ll never eat sugar again in order to lose weight and lie a healthier life.
You don’t have to walk into your boss’ office this afternoon and quit your job because you want to follow your passion.
What you do need to do is to start something. Find someway to help you start to move forward towards your dream. Maybe you’re not even sure what your dream is, you just know you want more – or something different from what you have now.
One of the ways I’ve found clarity in what I want from life is through exercises I’ve done both in my yoga teacher training, and through marketing and business courses I’ve taken. Those exercises have all been in self exploration, and may not make sense to anyone but you when you first complete them.
I was recently sent this great journal by Meera Lee Patel
Start Where You Are: a journal for self exploration is a beautiful journal filled with self exploration exercises much like those I’ve completed in the past to help spark reflection through writing, drawing and chart making. All three have been key in helping me find my way in the years since I left college and made my way through working full-time as an insurance agent, and then leaving to become a fitness instructor, to where I am right now.
Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist and has chosen fantastic quotes and created beautiful images for this journal. Just looking through it and reading quotes as I sit at my desk is a great motivator.
One thing I’ve learned is that the most successful people are entirely, and unapologetically themselves. There truly is no need to be anyone but yourself. You are the only you there is, so be the youest you, you can!
I truly believe that until you are honest with yourself about what you really want and need, you will never be able to achieve it. It can be easy to close off even from yourself and not let yourself think or feel what needs to change because of fear. No matter how much you think you want it, until you are real about why you want or need to change, you never will.
Opening up to yourself is the first step. And working through exercises like those found in this journal is a great way to start. Many times I’ve found that where I really wanted and needed to be at the end of an exercise was a completely different place than what I thought at the start. Something happens when you dive into self exploration and embrace it. Big shifts happen if you really give it 100% and life becomes so much more clear.
Once you’ve taken the time to really dig deep and see what is in your soul, what you want and need from life the next step can be scary. Knowing what you want is one thing, telling someone else is a whole different ballgame. This is probably the most frightening thing, opening yourself up and telling someone else what is really going on with you. But it needs to happen.
Regardless of their reaction, getting it out there lifts a huge weight off your shoulders and will allow you to move forward. I remember the day I gave in my letter of resignation at my old job. I had known for months that I was going to leave but nobody at work did. I felt sick. But as soon as I announced it and gave my letter I felt instantly better. It certainly helped that they were entirely supportive, but even in the times when I’ve had to announce things that I knew would upset people, just getting it out in the open makes you feel so much lighter.
I know this has become a little heavy, but when you are wrestling with a change, it always feels like a mountain no matter how big or small it really is in the scheme of life.
The point of this post isn’t to get you to walk into work tomorrow and quit so you can immediately fulfill your dream of moving to Fiji to write a novel. The point is to take some time to do a little self-exploration to find out what is truly in your heart, which is the first step in moving forward in order to make those dreams a reality.
It doesn’t matter where you are starting from. In order to change your life you just need to start.
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