‘How Can I Change My Life?’
Is a Universal Question
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‘I want to change my life,’ so many people say, ‘but how?’
To change your life you need a strong desire to change, a belief that you can change, and the courage to break free from the things that are keeping you trapped.
I knew since I was very young that I didn’t want to live my life trapped by circumstances. As I child, I saw people around me living miserable lives, feeling powerless over their situation. Even then, I knew that there was another way. A better way. I just had to grow up and figure a few things out before I could really understand what that way was.
I cannot remember a time when I haven’t had the conviction that there is always another way, and that we don’t have to accept things the way they are if we really don’t like them.
Despite this seed of awareness though, I didn’t begin to change my life until adulthood. Until then, I lived my life controlled by my own thinking, the conditioning of society, and the expectations of people around me.
Something that needed to change before I could change my life was my self image. As a teenager and in my early twenties, I found it very hard to believe in myself and my abilities.
I didn’t trust my own judgment enough to believe that I could make good choices, so I followed everyone else’s advice instead. This led me into a lot of less than ideal situations before I finally gained the courage to break free and to trust in myself.
In my mid twenties, prompted by the intense grief I felt following my mother's death from cancer, I took a good look at my life. I realized that there were quite a number of things that I needed to change.
Over the course of about a year, I proceeded to change my life dramatically.
I don’t suggest that so much radical change within a short time is right for everyone, but for me it was necessary. It was basically a time of rebirth in my life.
I finally ended an unhealthy on-and-off romantic relationship that had been going for about four years. Rather than allowing myself to be persuaded to stay around with ridiculous comments such as ‘nobody will ever love you the way I do,’ I decided to take a stand and break free.
Once I could gain distance and clarity, I told myself I'll be lucky if nobody else ever loves me the way he did! It was an obsessive, manipulative, and generally unhealthy ‘love,’ if it was love at all.
I also began to stop being such a ‘people pleaser.’ Up to that point, practically all my decisions were made based on what other people wanted, or what I thought they wanted. Until then, I hadn’t even really dared to think about what I wanted.
Many of my friendships, which I came to realize had also been unhealthy, fizzled out when I was no longer willing to be a doormat. The ones that had a basis of mutual respect, however, have endured until now.
I decided to leave a business that was far more draining than rewarding, and made the decision to live and work abroad.
Around that time, I also met the man who would become my husband. I think that destiny timed things perfectly, as I had finally reached a point in my life when I was ready to make positive choices. I was able to appreciate and form a healthy relationship with Ian, something I’m sure I couldn’t have managed prior to that time.
The long-buried seed of knowledge that there is always a choice had finally begun to blossom. Beginning to change my life meant breaking free of all the limiting beliefs I had allowed myself to be controlled by.
To begin to change, you need a belief that change is possible. Even the smallest change can bring a glimpse of a whole new life and a whole new world.
You also need to really want change to happen.
Change is difficult, scary, uncomfortable, and something most of us avoid until we are dragged into it, kicking, and screaming. Even when we are desperately unhappy, we often cling stubbornly to the familiar, believing that it’s better to stick with ‘the devil you know.’
Creating a willingness to change is an act of bravery. It takes courage, and a belief that things can change for the better, and that you have the ability to cope with any difficulties and uncertainties that change may bring.
With willingness to change, and a belief in the unlimited possibilities the universe has to offer, as well as courage, trust, and lots of patience, ‘How can I change my life?’ can become ‘I am going to change my life!’
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