Have you ever watched one of those house-flipping shows, where homeowners buy houses, fix them up, and then sell them for a profit? I was watching a recent episode where the featured homeowner (a first-time flipper) had hired a contractor to do renovations. But this homeowner was agreeing to everything the contractor wanted. Now the contractor had some good ideas, but ultimately, if the homeowner consented to all of his suggestions, there would be nothing of the homeowner in the finished product. In an attempt to help, the host of the show inquired, “This is your flip and you’re going to let the contractor tell you what to do?!”
Think about how often people live their lives this way. They have their own lives to design and create, yet they allow others to dictate how their lives ought to be lived. Whose life are you living? The person you are; the career you have; the place where you live—are they what you want? How you talk, walk, or act—is that truly you? Or are these things based on what you think others expect from you? In an attempt to please or be accepted by others, we can sometimes lose ourselves. If you’re feeling you’ve strayed from the path of your true identity it’s time to rediscover your authentic self.
First off, you have to decide what it is you want to create for your life. Write down your answers to the following questions:
- If I knew I could not fail, what would I be doing differently in my life?
- Is there a passion or pleasurable hobby that I haven’t included in my life for a long time?
- Is there something I haven’t yet done that I’ve always wanted to do (change my career, travel to a certain destination, learn to dance, become financially independent)?
It’s important to write down your responses; writing keeps you focused and on track. Understand that it’s okay if you don’t have the answers right away. But ask these questions regularly and your brain will go to work on the answers for you. Try not to judge your responses based on whether or not you think they’re possible to achieve or implement or whether or not others will accept your choices. Analyze them based on what you truly want from within.
Next, take small actions towards meshing those desires and dreams into your life today. Notice the suggestion is to take small steps. Great things can be accomplished by taking one small step after another. Ask yourself: What one small action can I take today? For instance, if you want to change your career, you could start bycollecting course brochures from educational institutions. If your desire is to learn to dance, you could research on-line for dance classes. The next day, ask yourself again: What one small action can I take today?
Taking small steps is beneficial; doing so can help fend off feelings of being overwhelmed and frightened about making change. Make no mistake, change can be scary, even when you know that the change is positive and could make your life significantly better. However, if fearful thoughts do pop up (What if I fail? What if I make a mistake? What if my partner/kids/friends/neighbors get upset?), make a point to change your thoughts (I’m capable of creating and living a life of my own design. I’m worthy. I’m strong. I can do this and I will). As Sharon Quirt and I wrote in The Keys: Open the Door to True Empowerment and Infinite Possibilities, “Changing your inner dialogue in this way will help give you the confidence to take another step in the direction of your desired outcome. You truly are capable of moving forward and progressing to your goal; once you’re aware of that fact, you’re in total control.”
You are in total control of your life and you get to choose how to live it. Make sure you are putting your own special stamp on your life. Stay connected to your true self, pay attention to your hopes and dreams, and live the life you were born to live by deciding what you want and by taking small steps towards making your dream life a reality. Begin today—live your life your way.