“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
You have all of these beautiful ideas floating around in your mind when it comes to the things you want to do with your life but all too often we let things like fear of failure get in the way of bringing our dreams to physical form. We all know someone in our lives who talk endlessly about all the things they’re going to do but they never actually do them… This could be a family member, a friend, or maybe it’s you.
Change Your Life
What makes change so scary is that it puts us in a state of not-knowing. If we decide to change our career, for example, we may be scared because we’re leaving a stable position in pursuit of a passion that may take some time before it pays off. In fact, in the back of your mind, you may think that it will never pay off. This is terrifying! But if you never try you’ll be locked into a different state of not-knowing. A kind of state where you’re always wondering about what could be.
The question is: Which is worse? Taking a risk and not knowing if it’s going to turn out as you hoped, or playing it safe and not knowing whether or not you could be doing something more meaningful with your life.
If you’re looking to facilitate change within your life, you can take comfort in the fact that not every idea that we have for you here is radical. You don’t have to run out and quit your job or move to another country to change your life in significant ways. In fact, most of the most significant changes that take place in our lives result from small actions that end up laying the groundwork on which our dreams have been built upon. Read on to find out exactly how you can go about changing your life for the better, starting today.
Ask Yourself the Questions No One Wants to Ask Themselves
We ask ourselves many questions throughout the course of our day like – what’s for dinner? Or, what should I wear today? But we tend to avoid the more complicated questions that we know have answers that are hard for us to face. Why? Because they show us the truth. When you are wanting to change your life for the better, the truth is typically not what we want to hear. The truth makes us aware of how far we have to go in order to create the life we want to be living- and you have to face the facts if you want things to change.
Take some time to sit down and ask yourself these questions to get a feel for more specific areas of your life that you want change in. Be honest with yourself and know that by telling yourself the truth you are taking the first step in facilitating change. Remember, you can’t get to where you want to be if you don’t know where you want to go.
- What is your purpose?
- Are you living it?
- Are your actions exemplifying your values and beliefs?
- Are you growing and learning or experiencing stagnancy?
- Are you doing the things that matter to you?
- When is the last time you took a chance?
- Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
Grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Write down your answers to all of these questions and put the date at the top. Keep it around to use as a reference and base decisions you make throughout your day off of what you wrote down on that sheet of paper. As you start to make decisions with your purpose and personal satisfaction in mind, you’re bound to be surprised by how quickly your life changes.
Take Control of Your Life
No one is going to bring you the life of your dreams on a silver platter. The world is yours for the taking but here’s the thing- you’ve got to take it. Start to run your life as an entrepreneur would run his/her business. This means making the tough decisions you need to make and assessing specific risks that need to be taken in order to have the best shot at achieving success.
Tell Yourself You Can Do It, Because You Can
Your language needs to align with your goals. It’s both reasonable and healthy to voice your frustrations as long as you don’t let them keep you from pursuing your dreams. If you want to write a book, for example, but you have no writing experience you might find yourself saying things like:
“I can’t do this.”
“I don’t have the proper education so people won’t take me seriously as a writer.”
“I’m not good enough.”
It is tough to succeed when you are always telling yourself that you can’t do what you want to do. Start saying things like:
“I might not know what I’m doing, but I’m going to do it anyway.”
“I am deserving of what I want.”
“I can do this.”
“I will take another step towards my goals today, even if it is small.”
Changing your language will drastically alter how you approach the achievement of your goals. Our thoughts affect the outcomes of the situations we put ourselves in, so go in there with the right attitude and even if you do fail, you will be more inclined to be satisfied with whatever happens.
Let Go of the Opinions Others Have About You
It really is none of your business what others think of you, and it ultimately has no effect on your ability to do the things you want to do with your life. Keep in mind that whether you’re doing the things you want or don’t want people will always judge you. Might as well accept it and be judged for doing the things you actually enjoy! And here’s the kicker- doing more of those things will cause you to become more and more content with who you are, and the opinions of others will mean less and less to you.
Assess Your Habits
Do you spend a little too much time watching Netflix? Or do you sit down to get work done and continuously give into distractions like checking your phone? These are habits that you could benefit from changing. Start small- if you spend more time than you’d like watching Netflix, lessen the time spent little by little each day.
Cutting out a habit cold-turkey usually has the lowest chance of working because it took time to create, and therefore will take time to eliminate. What habits in your life could you work on changing today to make a more productive day for yourself tomorrow? Your time and energy are your most important assets. Make them work for you instead of against you.
Do you feel like you’re deserving of good things? Pay attention to how you react when someone gives you praise or offers to help you. Do you get all squirmy, avoid eye contact, and deflect their words?
You have to feel worthy of your desires to experience them. Work on accepting compliments instead of telling someone they’re wrong and let others help you when you need it. When you know your value, that you’re worth something, you invite all sorts of beautiful things into your life because you are willing to accept them.
If you struggle with this, affirm your worth to yourself through your words. Affirmations change the way we feel about ourselves, and if you tell yourself that you are worth your desires, you will eventually believe in your heart that you are.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Yes, it is a nice place to be – comfortable. But, stay comfortable for too long, and you will soon become stagnant and stubborn to anything that challenges that sense of comfort. Do things on a daily basis that take you out of the box like starting a conversation with a stranger or wearing an article of clothing you’ve always wanted to wear but have been too intimidated to.
You will never rid yourself of all your fear, but you can create a better relationship with it. You can bring fear into your comfort zone as you put yourself in situations that cause you to feel it more regularly. It will be very uncomfortable at first, but, change is almost always difficult.
Realize that Change is Inevitable
Change is not something you can avoid. Whether you play a part in facilitating it or not, it will eventually come for you. Once you accept this, you’ll be more willing to accept the change as it happens. As you adapt to dealing with change, you will be better equipped to handle when something new doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, or you get blindsided by something unexpected.
Change will come to you in three different forms- crisis, choice, or chance. Choice is the only form you have some sort of perceived control over and even then- anything can happen. It will serve you best to accept that both wanted and unwanted scenarios will make their way into your life.
Devise a Short-Term Strategy
The key to achieving long-term success is setting short-term goals you can reach on a regular basis. You can’t become a doctor unless you go to med school! What small steps can you take today to work towards creating the future you want? What about this week? This month? Come up with what you can do on a short-term basis to contribute to your goals and stick to your strategy. Make adjustments as you get to know what works best for you and what doesn’t.
Create a Vision Board
When we were kids, we were professional daydreamers, always visualizing ourselves in the situations we wanted to be in in the future. Creating a vision board is a more practical form of daydreaming and great for providing you with a concrete example of the life you want to be living. Here’s how you do it:
- Get a poster board
- Find images that represent the things you want and print/cut them out
- Take your favorite quotes that motivate you to keep pursuing your dreams and print/cut those out as well
- Glue them all to the poster board and hang it up where you can see it every single day
Visual inspiration is a powerful tool that can help you stay on track with making the changes you need to be making in your every day life to get to where you want to be. Take your time with this, and create something that inspires you every time you lay your eyes on it.
Let Go of the Past and Embrace Your Future
How do you move forward if you’re stuck looking back all the time? The past may have some rough experiences mixed into it. But it is what has made you into the person you are and will continue to contribute to the person you want to become. Put a positive spin on all of the lessons you’ve learned. Keep them in your back pocket for reference when you need them.
Nobody said the road to change was going to be easy. In fact, it’s often one of the toughest routes to take because everyone’s path looks a little different. One thing’s for sure- if you want to change your life for the better, you’ve got to say yes to the road less traveled. Be honest with yourself, gain inspiration, have discipline, and watch in amazement as you create the life of your dreams.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” -Andy Warhol