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Image / Self / Advice

Stuck in a life rut and ready for a change? Here’s how to make it happen


by Niamh Ennis
15th Jun 2021

Read time: 4 minutes

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You’re stuck. You’re totally fed up watching, as everyone seems to glide past you, moving on up to newer brighter things, grabbing new opportunities and you stay in the same place, feeling stuck.

Change is tricky. For a myriad of reasons, we place a huge amount of resistance around change. Not just because we are scared of it but because we know deep down that it is moving us away from somewhere familiar, somewhere safe. Real, sustainable change requires us to move towards somewhere that involves uncertainty, excitement, terror, joy, nervousness and fear.

When you’re in the process of making changes in your life, big or small, there are a few guiding steps that you can take, to ensure you go in the right direction, at a pace that feels comfortable for you.

CLARITY

The first thing to do is to get greater clarity on exactly where it is you want to end up. You don’t jump in your car, turn the engine on and scream at the car to take you to where it wants. Instead, you have a definite image in mind of your end destination, how to get there, the landmarks to look out for along the way, how long it should take and what you need to bring with you for the journey. All of this gives you the confidence to expect and know that if you stick to your planned route, you will get eventually get there. Similarly, you need to know exactly where you are going in your life. To do that, start with loosening your focus on where you have been. All too often we slip into comparing where we have been with where we are now. What matters is, where do you want to go next?

Think about your desired end destination and lets for a moment, assume that there are no obstacles in your way…

Where is it? Picture it in as much detail as you possibly can.

Who’s there with you or are you on your own?

How do you look, what are you wearing, are you smiling or grimacing?

How are you carrying yourself?

Just how are you showing up in this image?

How do you feel? (This bit is vital as it is that feeling that we are aiming for always and it informs how we will feel when we get there!)

Having increased clarity around this vision enables you to visualise just what and who it is that you want to become. Without this, you will flounder.

DECISIVE ACTION

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. What matters to you only matters to you, but don’t underestimate just how much it influences just how you show up in your life, your relationships and in your career, so be very sure of what your current values are. I say current because your values evolve as you evolve. The easiest way to determine what your values are is to ask yourself ‘what matters most to me, right now, at this moment?’ Think in terms of the different areas of your life – you, your family, your career, your relationships, your health and your friendships.

Focus on what matters most in each of these areas – not what needs to be prioritised, or requires attention more urgently, but what actually matters most to you?

That’s quite a distinction and it’s here that you may stumble most. Train yourself to consider what feels best for you and not what you have been told you should want, think or do. Take complete ownership over what these might be and what they might look like.

The added benefits of being connected to your values are; that you’ll start to make much better decisions for who you are now. All you have to do from here on is to check in with yourself and ask ‘does this really feel in line with my values and will it get me closer to them?’

Your values become your reference point, which is exactly how it should be. Taking decisive action really gets so much easier from this place.

MAKE THE CHANGE

This is exactly when the real magic happens: when you can see exactly where you are going and what route you need to take to end up where you want; you possess a clear understanding of what matters most to you right now, and you know now what steps you need to take to help you get there. This clarity gives you the confidence and the self-belief to do everything you need to do.

The final piece is that you give yourself permission to make that change, knowing it won’t always feel comfortable, that there will be speed bumps on the way, but because this matters, change matters, you will keep going. And you will get there once you allow yourself.

We know that vision without action is just a dream so this is your invitation to stop thinking about it, stop hiding and take action. When you get there, you won’t look back and ask why you did it you’ll most likely ask ‘why did it take me so long to take that first step?’

In the words of revivalist Vance Havner: ‘The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.’

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Transformation Coach and Founder of The RESET for Change 3 Month 1:1 Private Coaching Programme for women going through their own Chiron Return and host of The TOUGH LOVE ENERGY™ Podcast. She’s known for her practical solutions to life’s challenges and her ability to tell you not what you want to hear but always what you need. niamhennis.com.

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