Being stuck in a job you hate sucks. But what’s even worse is feeling completely clueless about how to turn things around. If the thought of being paid (well) to do work you love feels like a pipe dream right now, that’s probably because you’re getting too far ahead of yourself. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that’s the best approach to take when you want to transform your life. So, stop thinking you have to make a scary and dramatic change, instead, here are five small changes that can transform your life.
Write down what you want
“But I don’t know what I want!!”
If that was your first thought, challenge it. Yes, you may not know exactly what you want to do for a living right now, but you still know what your perfect life looks and feels like. That’s the thing you actually want. The job is just the vehicle you think you need to use to get there.
So, for now, worry less about how you’re going to get to where you want to be and just focus on clearly defining where you want to be.
You can do this by grabbing a piece of paper and writing down your five-year vision right now. Be specific about where you want to be, who you want to be there with and how you want to feel.
Perform a self audit at the end of each day
If you feel stuck in life, that means that something about your current lifestyle is not working for you. Right? To make a change, you must first determine the specific actions you are taking that are delivering the wrong results.
To do this, simply take 10 minutes at the end of each day to write down the things you did that day. Next to each action write down if that activity moved you closer to or away from your goal.
Once you have done that, take stock of the things you are doing that aren’t beneficial to creating the life you want. Start eliminating those actions from your daily life. Do more of the things that move you closer to your goal.
Stop trash talking yourself
We all know that ‘lucky’ person who seems to get what they want when they ask for it, yet when you ask for the same thing, you get a different result. A key reason for that is the mindset of that ‘lucky’ person. People who go into situations assuming that things will go in their favour usually get the result they want because they present themselves differently.
If you can’t seem to catch a break recently, it’s time to look at your thoughts and flip any negative self talk.
Pay attention to the pessimistic conversations you have with yourself and the way you berate yourself after making a mistake. Cut those conversations short and counteract them with some kinder words you would say to a friend.
Question the decisions you make
When a person is feeling stuck, they are often battling an inner conflict between what they want to do and what they think they should do. If you feel unable to make a decision about what you should do with your life, start by looking at the decisions you make each day and who they are for.
Ask yourself ‘will this make me happy?’ and ‘do I want to do this?’ before making a decision. This simple exercise will help you to better understand the motivations behind your decisions and reveal if a big reason why you are stuck is that you live for others’ approval.
If this exercise reveals that you do, indeed, make decisions based on what you ‘should’ do and what will make others like you more, the next step is to decide once and for all what matters to you most: being happy or being liked.
Side note: we often believe that people will stop approving of us if we do what we really want. The reality is that you tend to command more respect and admiration when you start putting yourself first and living authentically.
Go with your gut more
Remember the last time you felt ‘funny’ about a decision but you ignored that nagging doubt and did it anyway? What happened? We’re willing to bet, it turned out how you thought it would and you found yourself saying “I knew this would happen”.
If you feel stuck and unsure about what to do, there’s one piece of advice that will never fail you: go with your gut. Your intuition tells you what you really want to do when you eliminate external pressure and expectations.
Even if you go with your gut and things don’t work out as expected, you’ll feel less angry and resentful in the long term because you did what you knew was truly best for you at that moment in time.
What small actions have you taken to achieve big life change? Share them in the comments below.
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