Sometimes you feel very clearly that change is needed, but sometimes this need is hidden behind various vague clues. How do you know it’s time for a change if you don’t notice it so clearly? Andrea Owens, author of How to Stop Feeling Like Shit , will help you with these five pointers to get you off to a good start this year.
I believe that people change for two reasons: pleasure and/or pain. They see something they want or want more of and they go after it. And sometimes they get into a situation where they can’t last a minute longer and so they leave that situation. Sometimes it’s action, sometimes it’s mental change, and sometimes it’s a combination of the two. There are also the people who feel from uncomfortable to just terribly lousy and don’t even know why. That is why I have made a list with indications that it is time for a change.
1. You are jealous of others
You think everyone has it better and easier than you. You want a marriage like the neighbor’s, you want to love your job like your sister does, you want a life like that lady on Facebook or you want to dance like the Solid Gold dancers from 1979. What it is also what you envy, it means you want more in life. You adore something in the lives of others. So, why can’t you have that? If you think you can’t, that’s nonsense. Your dedication to ‘not being able’ is simply a story you are stuck with. Detach from this story and commit to another. It’s all about the story you tell yourself!
2. You feel touchy
In other words; angry, frustrated, or irritated. Resentment is a sign that a number of different things are happening in your life.
- There is a communication error somewhere. Solution: You have the power to break through that and tell the truth. What happened? Guess whose responsibility that is?
- Perhaps boundaries have been crossed. Solution: consider whether the boundaries are clearly marked in advance. If not, learn from that and do it next time. This time it was your fault, next time not anymore!
- Connected to the above two: you tolerate something that can be changed. Solution: either change it or change the story around it.
3. You numb yourself
We all want to feel relief quickly. Sometimes this relief comes from spending money, drinking alcohol, or losing ourselves in a game of Candy Crush. But, what are you avoiding if you regularly numb yourself? Is it your wedding? Is it your fears or your insecurities?
Personally, I numbed myself whenever I felt overwhelmed. Perfectionism and control ruled me and because those were both things I couldn’t achieve, it just made me feel worse about myself. That’s why I started drinking, shopping, and dieting to try to be perfect and gain control and to numb the feelings of failure and fear. Of course, it made me feel even worse and the whole cycle started all over again. I avoided my real feelings (surrender, acceptance, and vulnerability scared me terribly) instead of facing them. It was clearly time for a change.
Facing your problems instead of numbing you is scary, I get that. But the fact remains that they don’t go away if you ignore them. They only get worse. I can’t keep encouraging you often enough to learn to deal with them and solve them.
4. You try to change others or think others should change
If everyone would just do what you say and stop doing all this and that and just shut up, your life would be so much better. ahhhhhhh…..
Here’s the truth: someone else’s problems aren’t about you. Stick to your own problems and make sure you can deal with them. My life got so much better when I realized this and stopped (I haven’t fully mastered this yet, but every day is getting better) to try to change, fix or control everything and everyone around me. What needs to change in your life is that you start focusing on your own problems instead of those of others.
Trying to “solve” other people’s problems and ignore your own problems is a terrible way to feel better. And it doesn’t help either. So, deal with your own problems and make an appointment with a therapist (be careful not to waste all your money on an hour of just complaining about others!).
5. Your intuition tells you it’s time for a change
This sounds logical, but I still think I should add it. Perhaps your intuition already tells you that it is time for a change, but you are not listening to it yet. The fear of change trumps the fear of staying the same. But ask yourself:
Your intuition is your subconscious that is always there for you and always knows what is best for you. Your intuition always wants to help you find happiness and fulfillment. But the path to it is often unknown and it’s so terrifying, so we either ignore it or go the other way. But tell me, when has ignored your intuition ever helped you?