Ok, so the shit’s hit the fan. Something has to change. You’re exacerbated. Tired of being sick and tired. The energy spent moving forwards and backwards in repeated motion is making making you crazy. It’s time to jump ship and reach land. Where do you even begin to start?
I believe it’s with you.
Sure, you have to put your kids first, ensure your loved ones are cared for, pay off those loans, make ends meet – but if you don’t look after yourself first then who will look after them? Everyone needs you healthy. And if you can order in a sprinkling of happy that would be a nice lil extra, wouldn’t it?
So if you’re at that cross roads, overloaded with thoughts, and you’re balancing on a delicate axis, unable to know where to start or what to say then here are my top 5 tips for moving forward when life just feels like it’s gone a little bit wrong:
1. Reach out. Get in touch with a friend or someone you trust who you know has been through something similar and survived. Surround yourself by likeminded, positive people who understand what you’re going through and put a pause on the company that makes you question or doubt yourself.
2. Explore the values you hold most dear. You don’t have to fork out on expensive coaches although if you can get an affordable one I would recommend making this valuable investment. For a DIY first session, start by taking a book of post-it notes and write down as many values that you can think of that mean something to you (one per post-it). What values do you hold dear, that you wish people in your life had more possession of? Which values do you swear to live your life by? And what values do the people you admire the most possess? Which values would you like to have more of in your life? We’re talking things like integrity, trust, honesty, loyalty, constantly learning – that kinda stuff. Let’s unearth what values are important to you (not what everyone else thinks we should value!).
3. Look at your passions. Taking the post-it notes again, do the same task on your passions. Think about what you enjoyed most as a child as these were natural passions to you and would have made you feel alive. What about now? Are you describing your life as you know it? The common truth is, many people realise when they do this exercise that there is a conflict between the passions they have cultivated and their true values. Perhaps you have surrounded yourself with people and things – the high powered job, material possessions, money – but really you would like to live a simple life down by the sea. This clash can bring about tension, a strange feeling that something isn’t quite right. Your job is to recognise then go about making the right changes to bring along more alignment.
4. Think big start small. In small steps, start to bring more of your passions into your world and design a life for yourself that is more in line with your core values. This will help you feel more balance and help you regain some control over the activities and work you do. You don’t have to make drastic changes. You want a life by the sea? So start to take more day trips. Use your ‘fuck it fund’ (read HERE) to hire a car and drive down to the coast. Or plan a weekend away to an airbnb cottage where you can take lots of walks and get tonnes of fresh air.
5. Allow your dreams to become a reality. And finally, have a serious think about what you want to do in your life. Think about the dreams you have always had, the fantasies you would occasionally indulge in! These are not just fantasies people! They’re your subconscious aching for something more. It doesn’t matter how weird or wacky, or seemingly boring or simple. So long as you don’t give yourself a chance at it, you’ll always be stuck in a place where you wondered ‘what if’. Which is a dangerous place to be because if you’re not fully present in your life, you will always be thinking about ‘what was’ and ‘what could have been’. Even if you learn from trying that trapeze class that you can’t stand heights – bursting the bubble is just as effective in this process!
And if there was a tip number 6, I would say, don’t let fear stop you from doing anything! If you are experiencing fear, recognise it, and then figure out how to overcome it. So you can go after what you really want.
My story I always wanted to work internationally. In development. Maybe for an NGO or a charity, or for the UN or government or on the flip side of that I wanted to be a war correspondent for the BBC. Yet I never thought I had the right qualifications (especially as I only got a 2:2 at university) and so I didn’t bother applying for jobs because I didn’t fancy the rejection.
So travelling to developing countries for holidays and volunteering, both abroad and back home in London, gave me a connection to my core passions and allowed me live more in alignment with my true values. And it also gave me some really valid life and work experience. And lead to me starting my own business!
A few years ago I heard about a survey carried out by the NHS that revealed the number one thing elderly people said to nurses just before they died was ‘I wish I had done more’.
Imagine its the future, based on where you’re at now in your life, what might you wish that you had done more of on your death bed? Asked the girl you secretly loved to marry you, irrespective of whether she loved you back or not? Not spent 50 years working a job you hated? Those survey results really got to me.
I didn’t wanna be an old lady that appeared in 2063’s survey results saying the same thing they said in 2013, and I could really see at that stage in my life how it was possible I could be! One of the biggest things that was holding me back though was fear.
Facing your fears head on, its a scary mofo of a sensation – what if we go wrong? What if we get hurt? What if we embarrass ourselves? What if it fails? What if its uncomfortable? Or opens up a can of worms? Trouble is, the never knowing, can kill you in the end. It creates walls, and who wants to be locked up in a prison of their own fear? As the mighty great Osho says ‘suppression is equal to death’ and I wholeheartedly agree.
So get out there – start small, but dream big! We can MVP our own lives, as much as we can test ideas in business… Let me know how you get on?
These were my Top 5 Tips for Being More Aligned With The Life You Want. If you enjoyed this, why not try these other relevant stories: