How to make changes to create a life you love


“Change is not something we should fear. Rather it is something that we should welcome. For without change nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever more forward to become the person they’re meant to be”. BKS Iyengar

I recently published my story about leaving a job in the corporate world to pursue my dreams and I noticed from the responses that it resonated with so many people. People who, like me, were stuck in jobs or lives that made them unhappy but were not sure what they could do about it.   So in this blog I’ll answer the question I was asked repeatedly; how do you go about creating a life you love?It wasn’t an overnight success for me, nor was it an easy road. It was a decision I agonised over for years and at times it was too hard and the fear too great that even when opportunities presented themselves it sent me running back to what I knew, the familiar routine. But as Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results”The bottom line is we need to learn to change what we don’t like or love what we can’t change. Taking a risk, head first into the unknown is scary but also liberating, it leads to us questioning ourselves and finding excuses not to take the harder route and to stay put. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” but rather than asking what we’re walking away from we should ask what we’re walking towards.What stops us?Change always seems so hard and for that reason we put it off for as long as we can and in doing this we are also postponing our happiness. We all have a choice in life and if we’re not living the life we want or we’re unhappy then we have the remote control, we can change the channel, but it may not be easy. As Seneca said; “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”It is natural to experience fear as everyone who has done this has felt the same. We think; what if we can’t do it, we might fail, it’ll be hard, what will people think? We also have limiting beliefs that can hold us back: I’m not good enough, I haven’t got enough (money, skills, experience).Because it is hard we can find it so easy to procrastinate, they’ll always be an excuse, a barrier or a better time. We’re all guilty of playing it safe for fear of losing what we have, there is this perceived security which keeps us clinging on. We perceive security in our pay checks, the things we’re used to the status quo, even if these things do not make us happy. One of the main reasons people won’t leave jobs they hate is because they need the paycheck to pay the bills.Security comes in many other forms than financial and there are other ways to pay the bills, don’t let the perceived ‘security’ be an excuse for not taking action and taking a step out into the unknown. After all what is secure these days, jobs, money and relationships seem to come and go and are no longer the dependable stable foundations in our life we’d like them to be.So once we’ve dealt with our fears and our limiting beliefs the next question is how do we make it happen?Make it happenFor some we know what we want to do we’re just not sure how to make our dreams reality but for others it may just be that we know we’re unhappy where we are, we’re not sure where we’d rather be though. You don’t need all the answers, you don’t have to plan every detail, You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going, as long as you’re pointing in the right direction.If you need some clarity about what you’d rather be doing begin by writing down what you enjoy and what you’re good at, compare these lists, ask friends and colleagues for their input. Get to know who you really are and what you value. Write down everything you’d do if there were no limits (money, people, self believe etc). Consider how you’d like to be remembered or what is it about others that you admire most?Contemplate what limiting beliefs are holding you back and let go of these. Have courage and confidence that you’re capable and that anything is possible.Once you know what you want start by making a 1 year plan. Set goals about where you want to be and when, be specific about what you’ll be doing a year from now, how much will you earn, how many customers will have you, what hours will you work. It helps by visualising this and writing it down be clear about what you want but also sets your intention and makes it more real. It seems such a big and daunting task at first but nothing is ever too big, it can all be broken down into smaller bits.Then put that plan into action. Benjamin Disraeli said “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” Start today, this may be updating your CV, registering with an agency, booking an online course or researching your new career path. There may be some voluntary opportunities to help you get new experience on your CV. If money is an issue sit down and work out a budget, see the bank and see if they can help temporarily as you work through things.It doesn’t have to be a sudden change from one to another, sometimes there is a transition, maybe you work part time in your current job until you’ve qualified, gain experience or built up work in your new field? Seek out like minded supportive people who’ll help encourage you along the way, widening your network in this way may also lead to opportunities.I always believe that opportunities will present themselves if we are open to them and in the right mindset, being open and thinking positive is also key to making the road a little smoother. It’s about taking small steps each day that bring us closer to our goal.“A journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu