Do you identify with being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be or spending tedious hours working in something you don’t like? Are you endlessly lacking the motivation to pull yourself out of the haze of familiarity? The good news is you always have a chance to press that re-start button on your life – to take control of it and start living a life you will proud of on your death bed.
I recently moved to California from Minnesota, which has been a huge change that many have labeled as “scary”. However, starting my life over again in so many ways has taught me to rely on myself, grow more independent, expand my comfort zone, pursue and prioritize my happiness and branch out to new ideas, people and experiences. I still have a lot to learn and hurdles to jump, but it has been truly empowering to delve into the kind of life I want to be living. Changing your life is really not as overwhelming as you may think-so I implore you to pull yourself out of that rut and to pursue that opportunity you have to radically change your life- starting with these five, essential steps.
1. Stop Making Excuses
You are your own biggest enemy. Excuses come in many different forms and phrases, but we all make them every day as a way to get out of things. Maybe they’re things we want to do but don’t have the motivation to follow through on or perhaps we make excuses because we are scared to take that next step. Either way they are the number one reason you are being held back from living the life you want to live. The people you envy for living the “life you wish you were living” are those who finally overturned all of their own excuses and took that leap. Trust me, from one excuse maker to the next, there’s no excuse that’s important enough to hold you back from living the life you want to be living.
2. Tackle Your Fears
This is a hard one, but something we should all be doing in our every day lives regardless. So many people live in fear, because it comforts them. It provides them with a safety net of familiarity and security. However, think back to the times you grew the most in your life- I can almost guarantee it was when you faced adversity or were stretched outside of your comfort zone. The things that scare us are the things we should be running full throttle towards, ready to embrace. Everyone’s fears look different, but they all stem from the same insecurities. Are you afraid of being alone? Then force yourself to spend quality alone time. Are you scared of venturing outside of the familiar? Then plan a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. Whatever the fears in your life may be masked as, identify them and take active steps towards conquering them so that you can move closer to your ideal life.
3. Discover What You Love
This may sound pretty basic, but it roots into the deeper idea of knowing who you are- knowing what you love to do and what makes you, you. Some people spend their lives searching for themselves by trying on different identities and roles, while others associate themselves with their career or marital status. These things aren’t you, they are only part of your identity. So find the things that you truly love to do in your free time. What makes you light up? What fills your life with joy? They don’t have to be impressive pastimes or elite hobbies. They can be as simple as watching the sunset, hiking with your dog or treating yourself to your favorite coffee drink at Starbucks. Make a list of all the things you love-big and small. You would be surprised at how much you discover about yourself when you sit down and think about the things that brighten your day. Now take this list and do these things on them often! Doing what you love will lead to a happier, more authentic life and ultimately the type of life you want to be living.
4. Get Involved
Wherever you go and whatever you are doing it is important to be actively involved with those around you. So many of us are “me-oriented”, only focusing on what we have to do to propel ourselves to the next stage of our lives. However, the world is full of interesting, genuine, loving people that we often times overlook in the bustle of our lives. If you are serious about pressing the restart button on your life then I challenge you to get involved in the community around you. Learn about the culture, sign up for local events, introduce yourself to neighbors or people at the bar sitting next to you. Observe the interactions you have with others, even if it’s just a smile or a “hello” as you walk by on the street. These interactions, big or small will not only give you a more optimistic view of the world and those around you, but will bring joy to both others and yourself.
5. Live In The Present
Again, this statement seems like an obvious one, but in reality living in the present is something most of us do not do, including myself. It’s entirely too easy to get caught up in memories of the past or even easier to place anxiety or hope in the future. While there are times to reminisce over the past and anticipate the future, all we ever have is the present moment so it is essential to live every second of it to the fullest. The happiest, most fulfilled people are those who grasp the true meaning of “living in the present”, because instead of being caught up in a mind full of anxiety, regret, and anticipation, they are too busy enjoying the beautiful life that has been bestowed to them. They are done letting excuses hold them back, they are actively tackling their fears, they love pursuing what makes them happy on a daily basis and they are out there, spreading this lifestyle to those around them.
As Napoleon Hill said “Do not wait; the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command.”
Go out there and make your life yours.