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Ten Tips to Creating a New Life Direction
by Laura Berman Fortgang
1. Make a list of all you can't stand about work/life
Those who are really stuck may complain that they don't know what they want. Not true. Make a list of all you do not want or like about your current situation and you will find on the flip side, something you DO want! Write it down.
2. Recognize that ALL change (good or bad) means loss
The 'evil' we know is sometimes less scary than the 'evil' we don't know. It is normal to be afraid to make a change because of what you stand to lose. However, the only way is forward, so you might as well accept whatever perceived loss of status, money or identity and realize that more happiness awaits. In fact, if everyone else is telling you you are crazy for making a change, you are on the right track!
3. Reframe 'I can't!' to 'I can!'
"I'm not good enough." "I'm too old." "I'm not qualified." NOT TRUE! Look for examples in your life, your surroundings, in the media or in books of people who have done things against the odds and use those examples as symbols of what's possible for you. Change your vocabulary and watch your results change.
4. Understand how the past got you stuck today
Many of us make vows when we are young that get us stuck as adults. "I'll never be like my parents!" "I won't be poor!" "I'll show them!" Whatever it is, the motivation you chose at some early point worked but is no longer working now. Determine what your old motivation for your life was, decide if it still serves you and if not, CHANGE it. Fast!
5. Realize that discovering your 'purpose' does not have to be hard or grand
Many people, when searching for direction in their life may also be putting their life's purpose into question. Most make the mistake of thinking they have to have a Mother Teresa-level of purpose to rate. It's just not true and that likely keeps you stuck or suffering. Who you are everyday and what you do naturally (whether it fits your job description or not) is your purpose. How you affect others positively is your purpose. What you contribute that is uniquely you is your purpose. It's right under your nose. Recognize it and try to make it central to whatever you do next.
6. Gain a criteria for happiness
Most people know they are not satisfied but really lack clear criteria for what will make them happy. Humans feel satisfied when their needs are met and they don't have to compromise their values. Write down what you truly need (emotionally, not financially) and value. Do you need stability? Honesty? Recognition? Do you value spirituality? Adventure? Education? These are not optional. Get purposeful about getting these things in your life and new directions become clear.
7. Research ALL that interests you
List all fields, jobs, careers, or areas of interest. Choose no more than three at a time to research. Besides the internet, try to talk to people who will let you have an informational interview or give you the real scoop on the areas you are interested in. A process of elimination will begin and one particular area may get traction through luck and coincidence that starts to feel like the front-runner.
8. Tell the truth about your money life
Money is usually the first thing that stops people from pursuing what they truly want. Don't let it stop you. Get straight with your money. Even if it's painful to see, know what you have and don't. Don't let it stop you. Moonlight, borrow or barter to move toward your new direction.
9. Put Yourself in Opportunity's Way
It's time to push the envelope. Take risks, get out of your comfort zone and get out there. See opportunity where it is -- everywhere -- and don't be shy about asking for favors or things that seem pushy. There are great rewards out there when you put yourself on the line.
10.Create a Plan and Get Support
Make a timeline for how you are going to cross over into something new. It usually takes 1-3 years to fully transition into a new direction. Don't fret. Make a monthly plan and get plenty of cheerleaders around you. No naysayers! Hire a coach or get a group of like minded folks around you and you will be settled in a new, satisfying direction before you know it.
And note: Unbearable situations seem more bearable when you know you are on your way out. Hang in there!
Many more articles in Personal Development in The CEO Refresher Archives