Occasionally, you find that life has stalled. Things aren’t going right and yet nothing is obviously out of place. Very often it will be a feeling or a hunch, rather than clear cut evidence that life is out of kilter. What you need is some clarity.

You might start to notice your energy levels drop, or a creeping sense of dissatisfaction, and when you stop to look, you’ll more than likely find that this has been going on in the background for quite some time. It’s only now that it has reached a point where you become aware of it.

This can be quite a challenge! How do you put something right if you don’t know what that thing is?

Before we start looking at what you can do to pinpoint the problem, bear in mind these thoughts:

  • You might only need a small tweak in one area of your life to get things back on track. Very rarely is any drastic action required, so don’t panic!
  • Be mindful of what your gut instinct is telling you and keep any knee-jerk reactions that could derail your long-term progress under control. Avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water!
  • Be prepared to open your mind to seek clarity. In these instances some blue-sky thinking can work wonders.
  • Often the problem might not lie where you think. If you hate your job, your first reaction might be to change it. However, it could be that your social life is dead, so the only thing looming in your existence is work, which seems to consume your life, and so you hate it. If you had a fulfilling life outside the office, the job would fall back into perspective and not seem so bad after all.

“Be careful not to compromise what you want most for what you want now.”

(Zig Ziglar)

Moving forward, there are 2 main elements to consider in the stock-take of your life:

  • The Future: What do you want that is not already happening?
  • The Present: What’s going on around you at the moment?

The Future

Let’s start with some future thinking before we get bogged down in the present. Ask yourself these questions to get the ball rolling:

  • What’s your perfect story? Write a few paragraphs describing exactly how you want your future to be. Really experience the sights and sounds of it and become aware of the emotions it evokes in you. Clarity is vital at this point.
  • What would make your life more fulfilling and how would that feel?
  • What is your true purpose? That’s a tough question, I know, but give it a stab.
  • How much do you want the changes you are envisioning?

“After you get what you want you don’t want it?”

(Irving Berlin)

The Present

Time to come back down to Earth and be a bit more practical in having a look at what’s going on for you right now:

  • Choose about half a dozen areas in your life that are important to you, which might be categories like career, family life, hobbies, finance, health etc. Give them each a score out of ten that reflects how happy you are in that area currently. For the ones that score lowest, think of what might make them better.
  • Draw up two lists:
    – What I like in my life
    – What I don’t like in my life
    How could you get more of the first and less of the second?
  • What are your needs as a person? Are they being met? If not, how could you make sure they were?
  • What’s the key magic ingredient that is missing from your life currently?
  • Make a list of all the skills and experience you’ve accumulated over the years. Don’t be modest, but really sell yourself. Note down every little thing that adds to your kudos. Do these things that you’re good at point you in any particular direction?
  • What things or people sap your energy? How could you counteract them?
  • When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? Sometimes life can become a bit stagnant if you don’t challenge yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, but taking a different approach can often be stimulating.
  • If you find yourself being held back by confidence or self-image issues, what hard evidence is there for whatever your stumbling block is? Think back to an occasion when this wasn’t true and notice the difference.

I hope these ideas help you to remove some of the sticking points that might be holding you back and give you some insight. Looking inwards to find clarity can be difficult, so give yourself a pat on the back for taking up the challenge and always major on the positives (what you want), rather than the negatives (what you don’t want).

Good luck on your travels!

“I never know what I want, but always know what I don’t want.”

(Louise Wilson)

You may also find this post useful about how to embrace the future.

 

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