Do You Ever Feel Like Something's Off?
Like a Cat in a Swimming Pool!
Sometimes life has a funny way of lulling you into a false sense of normal. Things change around you slowly and in such a way that you barely notice until one day you wake up, I mean really wake up, and think WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!
Are you living your life half asleep most of the time, simply maintaining the status quo and holding on until Friday, or your next vacation, or that glass of wine? Don't get me wrong, all those things are great, but they shouldn't be what sustains you.
Life is not meant to be merely survived, it's meant to be lived.
So, in what area or areas of your life do you feel like a cat in a swimming pool? Where are you allowing things to happen that you know your former self would scoff at. And the more important question is why?
We often have a way of forcing things to work even when we would rather be kicking and screaming in protest because we believe we "should". But it's important to figure out where and how this "should" came about in the first place.
The biggest culprit is almost always guilt. But did you know that guilt is a self-inflicted emotion? Whether someone else is instigating it or not, you have the power to allow it to affect your decisions and life choices or not. No one has the power to make you feel guilty unless you let them.
Where Did It All Go Awry?
The first step to reclaiming the life you were meant to live is to identify where things went off the rails. Sometimes there is an obvious turning point, a fork in the road if you will, that is easy to pinpoint. But more often than not, it's a series of small, seemingly insignificant decisions that led, one wrong turn at a time, to a place you never intended to go.
I'm sure the owner of that cat didn't just slap a life vest on her and throw her into the pool. It was likely a series of small moves and positive reinforcements over an extended period of time that got that feline into such an awkward predicament.
But unlike the cat in the pool, you can make conscience, well-planned decisions to steer your life in any direction you choose.
You're in the Perfect Place
You can only ever be where you are, so start there. Once you know where things started to tip in an undesirable direction, start to reverse engineer it. It doesn't need to be an instant lifestyle change. In fact, that would be a very jarring experience.
Start with some of your more recent wrong turns. They're not as deeply ingrained as things you've been doing for years. Gently start making conscience decisions and follow through with actions that are more in line with the life you want to lead. Little by little you'll turn that ship around and start going in the right direction.
Be patient and kind with yourself through the process. This may be the first time you've steered your life from such a lucid perspective, so don't try to go too fast. This slow approach is also easier on the people around you because they will almost certainly be affected by your changes and this will give them more time to adjust.
Keep On Keeping On
Once you start to see positive progress, move on to more serious or complicated issues.
Again, take it slow. You didn't get into this situation overnight and, in most cases, you probably won't get out of it much faster than you got in.
Sure, the physical change itself may appear to happen quickly, but the mental preparation for it will usually take some time.
But you will reclaim those areas of your life that you decide to work on, as long as you're diligent and consistent about doing the work.
Take one day at a time, and journal about your progress so you can find encouragement by looking back and seeing how far you've come.
And always remember, when it comes to making changes in your life, be a turtle. They're slow, steady, and best of all, they love swimming pools!
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