“I Need To Change!” How To Change Your Life For The Better
We all have things that we'd like to change about our lives, or about ourselves. Most of the time, these considerations are probably just fleeting thoughts or daydreams that crop up during bad days. However, sometimes something happens and you just know you have to change your life in a significant way, for good. But how do you identify the major things that need to change? Plus, how do you ensure that you make positive changes? When you have a deep sense of dissatisfaction, it can be hard to figure out exactly where to start.
This guide tackles the question “How can I change my life?”, exploring the best techniques you can use and discuss the key signs that you're successfully transforming your world. So, whether you want to change your career, your relationships, your behavior or just about everything in your life, we'll help you create an action plan that works.
Signs You Need To Change Your Life
First, let's give some more thought to the indications that you need to change.
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If you experience one or more of the following on a regular basis, this a strong indicator that you need to take a different approach to your life:
- You often daydream about a better life. We all do this from time to time, but if it’s a regular escape then you're clearly not satisfied with what you have.
- You have a rose-tinted view of the past. Similarly, if you'd rather live in your memories than in the present, you aren't enjoying your life as it is.
- You feel like you're settling. Plus, you might tell yourself that being an adult necessarily involves feeling disappointed in your reality, but this isn't true. You deserve more than a life that feels like it's second best.
- Your relationships lack depth. Perhaps you feel like no one really knows you, that you can't connect with others or that you aren't meeting people who have the capacity to understand you.
- There's a gap between your words and your actions. For example, if you're saying you have all these goals and yet you aren't pursuing them, you need to work on ways of becoming more productive or need to set new goals entirely.
- You have a sense of disenchantment or numbness. Once again, you might try to talk yourself out of this and believe everyone feels this way, but they don't. It is possible to feel fulfilled and happy.
- You're lying all the time to avoid facing the truth about your life. You tell people you're happy and that things are great because it's too painful to accept how deep your dissatisfaction goes.
- You deny yourself opportunities for new experiences because they're too scary. For example, you might be afraid of the unknown in any form, or you might excessively focus on how others will see you if you do something different.
5 Ways To Change Your Life
Working out how to change your life depends in large part on exactly what isn't working for you. Further, even if you think you know what needs to change (e.g. your current job), you might be confused about what you'd like to have instead (e.g. which future career would truly make you happy).
The following five techniques will help you figure out what you want to change and how you want to change it. Throughout, we'll also consider how to design realistic steps that you can take to create changes that last.
1. Discover Your Life Purpose
If you're like most people, you've never really worked out your life's purpose.
Perhaps you've been told (by parents or teachers) what it should be, or maybe you've gravitated towards what seems to impress others without really thinking about whether it's good for you. To narrow down your true purpose, ask yourself the following questions:
- What drives you? In other words, what things can't you stand to live without and what touches you at the deepest level? Try to think about what you cannot resist trying to do, change or explore?
- Think, what replenishes your energy? What never fails to make you feel better, more excited and more powerful?
- Write down your 3-5 greatest talents.
- What do you care about so much that you'll make sacrifices for it? For example, these sacrifices may involve risk, reduced earnings, or increased time commitments.
- Who do you want to help? Whose lives are you driven to improve and enrich?
If you make notes on all of these questions, you'll likely begin to see a pattern emerge. What you should be left with is a sense of a life purpose that reflects not only what you're good at but also your values, your passions and the areas of the world in which you want to promote positive change.
2. Get Inspired! Create A Vision Board
When you start thinking “I need change”, one of the best things you can do is create a vision board.
In a nutshell, this is a visual representation of your desires; how you want to change, and the life you want to live.
Vision boards are often used in conjunction with Law of Attraction work, where the focus is on maintaining consistent levels of positive energy that facilitate forward momentum.
Most people say that vision boards serve as concrete reminders of what you want to achieve, making it more tangible and keeping your inspiration levels high.
You can place them anywhere in your home (or in multiple places) to remind you of what you're working for.
You can add anything you want to the board; your own photographs, artwork, specific words, things you've cut out from magazines, tickets, and so on. In short, anything that makes you believe in the future you want to create!
Quotes About Change To Add To Your Vision Board
When you need change, quotes can be incredibly useful. If you’re looking for specific words to place on your vision board, here are ten inspirational quotes you can consider using:
- “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
- “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Theresa
- “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- “Be the change that you wish you see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation that is not nurturing to the whole [person].” – Maya Angelou
- “To know the world, first know yourself. To change the world, first change yourself.” – Anonymous
- “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer
- “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein
- “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
- “True lives are lived when tiny changes occur.” – Leo Tolstoy
3. Replace Every Negative With A Positive
As suggested by some of the above quotes, part of working out how to change your life for the better involves learning how to see it differently in the first place. You may have previously assumed that positive thinking is implausible and disingenuous and that it trains you to be satisfied with a life that isn't good enough. However, the most effective positive thinking technique for sustained change isn't anything to do with lying to yourself. Rather, it's about ensuring you look for the good in all scenarios.
For example, suppose something you want to do doesn't work out. Accept the disappointment, process it and work through it. However, also challenge yourself to find at least one positive in this scenario. Does it open up a further opportunity, leave you with more time for something else that you care about? There's always something productive to be learned or enjoyed, no matter how bleak things seem.
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4. Accept Yourself For Who You Are
When you think you want to figure out how to change your life completely, it's important to take a moment and ensure that you're not trying to turn yourself into something you’re not.
By all means, transform your reality, but do so in a way that's true to who you are, not in a way that rejects fundamental, unshakable parts of who you are. In addition, be clear that the changes you want to make are for you, and not for someone else you want to please or impress.
If you have difficulty accepting who you are, reflect on why this is the case. What experiences in your history led you to have low self-esteem or to want to be someone else? It is only when you fully embrace your nature, your gifts and the unique personality that you can find your life's purpose and create satisfying change that lasts.
5. Set Goals, Make Plans And Achieve Your Dreams
When you make huge changes, it's vital to set specific goals and to work towards them. In particular, these goals should be clearly defined, achievable, and in an order that makes sense. Dreaming of ways to change your life is a good start, but it's the practical strategizing that will take you from wishing to being. Split your larger goal into sub-goals, and experiment with creating a timeline to try and stick to.
However, don't be punitive here. Some aspects of your plan may not work out and will require redesigning. This doesn't mean change is impossible, or that your dreams are out of reach.
In addition, note that setting goals and achieving your dreams may require learning how to change your lifestyle. Living in a safe, comfortable way has its merits, but to change your life you'll need to leave your comfort zone and start doing some of the things that scare you.
7 Signs Your Life Is Changing
So, as you start to learn more about yourself, begin to cultivate new habits and spend time focusing on a different kind of life, how do you know if your plans are working? Not all changes are enormous and immediately obvious.
Keep an eye out for more subtle signs that your life is changing, including the following seven:
- You don't only know what you want, but also what you don't want. You're cutting back on unhealthy ways of behaving and withdrawing from toxic relationships. You've learned to say “no” when it's appropriate.
- You're connecting with people and experiencing real, gratifying encounters in which you feel heard and understood. This may be happening at work, at home, and even just with random strangers, you meet.
- Your emotions are larger and more volatile than they used to be. This can be tricky to deal with at first, but you'll get back to a more even keel further down the line. This is just a sign that you're waking up from numbness.
- You are more self-aware than ever. Initially, you will start to understand your needs. Plus, you can take a third-party perspective on the choices you've made, and you have a clearer sense of your life trajectory.
- You are able to see challenges and hardships as useful learning experiences that can get you to where you want to go, instead of viewing them as signs you should give up.
- Notice feelings of increased authenticity. You are more honest, less afraid to be genuine, and happier to accept your true self. You prioritize being “real” over pleasing people.
- Finally, you have stopped blaming other people and external factors when you feel unhappy. Instead, you're looking inwards to see what role you can play in changing things for the better.
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Discover How To Use Visualizations To Create Positive Images That Project Into The Outside World
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