“I’ve recently gone through a rough break-up and I guess everything happens for a reason, and I think the reason this happened is because I need to get my life back on track and find a rewarding long-term career. I read your blog and know you have gone through a similar situation. How the heck did you do it??”
~Male, Washington DC
Thanks for reaching out, believe me I know where you are coming from. It’s a difficult place to be in, starting over or trying to define what it is you need to change in your life to have the life you want. But here is basically what I did when I was at my lowest point, when I figured I had nothing to loose so why not give in to hope.
|Write it down…|
Step 1. I wrote it down.
For me, I took the time to write down what it was that I wanted to change about my life in specific detail, I laid out my goals. But the twist was that I wrote down what I wanted my life to be, and not the things I didn’t like currently or wanted to change. It’s a little twist but it’s a critical one to make. I believe that what we think, affects what we say, which affects what we believe. Our beliefs, good or bad is what determines our outcomes, so they are pretty darn powerful! So with that in mind I didn’t want to think, write or say anything that was negative. And focusing on what I wanted to change has a negative association, where focusing on what I want and what my goals are has a positive one. I hope that makes sense. It’s a subtle difference, but really a critical one.
For example: If one of my goals, or areas of improvement is “Be successful at work”, instead of writing this on my list which is not only incredibly vague but also negative, because it assumes I’m NOT currently successful at work (or capable of being successful).
I instead would really ask myself the tough questions…
What would make me successful?
What do I need to do?
How do I go about it?
What are the steps I need to take?
But most importantly if I was in a dream/perfect world what would ULTIMATE success look like?
What would it feel like?
Why is it important to me, and what would it FEEL like once I AM “successful”? Get very granular with it. So when I’m “successful” does it mean I get to go on vacation? If so where? ect….list it all out.
For you because you are questioning your career path or wanting to maybe redefine that specific area, I would start from the top. I mean THE TOP. Picture yourself in your DREAM job, the one you don’t even really let your mind day-dream on, because it makes you feel selfish and idiotic to dream that big. The one you’d be embarrassed to tell your friends for fear of the reaction “wait! what?? you want to be what??”. Write that down. Then work backwards from there. If it requires schooling, put that plan in motion. If it can be done quicker but harder without it, maybe make a plan around that route. But say that goal out loud, write it down, until you believe it and are excited about it. Then start telling people what you want to do. Those thoughts, and words will turn into actions which will lead to results.
I did this for every area of my life. Many of my personal lists you’ll actually find in my early blog entries! I went through the categories in my life, and reinvented them. Love life, health, relationships, family, parenting, all of it.
|Vision Boards are Key!|
When I was done I literally had the blueprint to my own success, and you will too. I realized for the first time that it really was as simple as that. Knowing exactly down to the details what it is I wanted. Of course that changes over time, but those core questions you ask in the beginning always help guide you and keep you on track.
Now you will have the detailed game plan. Now suddenly “success” MEANS something to you. Gives you the motivation to work hard, because you can see what you will get for all that work and effort. For me it was the critical light-bulb moment that changed my life.
Step 2: Visualize it, put it in action.
I made a Vision Board. I talk about it in my post: Your Challenge, but I got the visual representation of all the things I’d detailed in my list. So go find some great photos (“Google images” is a great place to find the exact photo that represents all the things you have on your list), and make your own goals board. Make sure it’s in a place where you can see it, to remind yourself what your goals are and what it will FEEL like when you achieve those goals.
Step 3: Believe and let go.
This step sounds so simple, but it’s the hardest one by far! It really takes getting back to the kind of faith and belief you had in magic as a 5 year old when you believed in Santa. Sounds insane I know, but that’s what it takes. It requires you to let go of logic and skepticism, and the fear of failure, and just believe.
Don’t worry about all the details of how those items will come into your life, just know that they will. In sales we call that the “assumption close!” Change your vocab form “if” to “when”. Focus on what those experiences will feel like when you have them…and honest to god, before you know it, you WILL have them.
Understand that as you are building the life and the person you want to be, that things come into your life in ways that may or may not be exactly the way you visualized them…so periodically revisit your list, I bet you will find that you had experiences close to the ones on your list or that relate to your list and you never even realized it!
Through this process be kind to yourself, constantly feed yourself positive energy, even when you don’t feel like it. If we ARE our thoughts, then think good ones regardless of how childish and stupid it might feel, eventually it will be second nature. Mine in the beginning was “I can do it, I am strong” it’s one I made up to get me through my workouts after my twins were born, and I said it to myself 500 times a day! Finally I realized it had a broader meaning, and it was true, whatever it was I COULD do it, I WAS strong. To this day it runs on auto-pilot in my head all the time, so it completely destroyed the thought “i cant do thiiiissss!”
We are programmed to be down on ourselves and be hard on ourselves, we think that equals humility. But it just perpetuates the cycle of negativity that is very hard to break free from. So flip it. Think the opposite of the negative thought. Stay focused on the end result, the place you want to be “if the world was perfect”. Realize that even if that relationship is the one thing you believe strongly now IS/was your “perfect” trust that everything truly does happen for a reason and the reason may be that you didn’t dream big enough before, there is something more perfect for you in store. Have faith, believe it. Try to learn the lessons as they come, put them into improvements and you will be well on your way! I promise 🙂 …i hope that wasn’t too intense of an answer! lol
Good luck and keep me posted!! 🙂
Written by: Sarah Centrella