180° Turnabout Unnecessary

You don’t have to change everything to feel good about your life

When people list the ways their lives aren’t working, they often add that they are afraid they have to change everything about themselves in order for life to be “better” and it all feels too hard. If something in your life feels “not right”, it is easy to believe that everything is wrong. And it isn’t so.

I always tell my clients, “You are an amazing being already, just by being you. You don’t have to change anything to be ‘good enough’.” The truth is, I have yet to meet someone who isn’t remarkable and unique. Many qualities you have are positive. There is good in your life and in yourself already. And there is much that is positive around you, even when life feels most challenging.

There may be something you want to, or need to, change in order to feel more fulfilled/alive/relaxed/successful. If everything is possible, what might you like to change in order to have the life you long for?

Let’s use the example of a compass. Often someone feels discouraged when they tell themselves the only way for life to be better is with a complete 180° turnabout. No wonder they feel overwhelmed.

You don’t have to make a 180° turnabout to feel good about your life. Many of your habits, beliefs, attitudes are working for you. If something in your life isn’t working, how can you shift a few degrees on the compass? In a couple of feet, a shift of a few degrees is nothing. In a journey of 1000 miles, the shift is more visible. You could find yourself in Vancouver instead of Iqaluit, or Barbados instead of Dallas, Texas.

Let’s say your goal is to be more conservative at work. You don’t have to become an entirely different person. All you need is a small change of requiring others to be more respectful of your boundaries.

Or what if you want to be less anxious or depressed. What one thing could you do differently that can, over time, have a profound effect on your ability to feel more buoyant and relaxed in your life? Breathing exercises? Visualization? Counselling? Learning to have boundaries?

A change of only a few degrees will move you to a very different outcome. This will, in turn, give you greater courage to improve one more (small) thing in your life. Until you are living the life you long for.

Take Action

If you find yourself discouraged about your life, look for one small action you can take to set yourself on a new path.

If you always say yes, practice saying no. If you never relax or take time off, turn off your computer one hour earlier and take a walk every day. Plant flowers, play with children, give yourself permission to make mistakes. You can shift your compass point a few degrees and feel better. A few steps in a new direction is the beginning of a new life.