I know your secret.
You’re disappointed with your life.
You feel guilty to admit it. You have so much to be thankful for. You know it, but your world does not look like you thought it would. You are not who you imagined the grown-up version of yourself to be.
Truth be told, you didn’t realize life was going to be this hard. You’ve been beaten up a bit, let down, even disillusioned. You have so many responsibilities. You spend most of your time focused on making it through each day.
You put on your happy face and pretend everything’s okay, but deep down you know it’s not. You feel off. You just don’t know what to do about it.
If so, know that you don’t have to accept things the way they are. You can change your circumstances. I’m here to help you do it.
I’ve been working as a life coach focused on women’s empowerment and mid-life transitions for more than a decade. I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients from all walks of life. Thousands of hours of interacting with people has taught me that we all tend to struggle with similar problems.
If you’re unhappy, chances are good that at least one of three things is going on in your life.
- You’re living according to someone else’s expectations.
- You’re aren’t happy, but you aren’t unhappy enough to change.
- You feel physically bad, or bad about the way you look because you’re not taking care of yourself.
In this week’s video coaching session, we’re going to walk through these common stumbling blocks and turn your disappointment around. (You know the drill. Press PLAY. Happiness waits.)
Step One: Question Expectations
Your life doesn’t look the way you think it’s supposed to, and you’re afraid that means there’s something wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
No matter what age you are, it’s pretty likely you have a picture in your mind of what you think you should have accomplished “by this age”. Parents, peers, and society give you plenty to live up to. Just open up social media and you see nothing but shiny, happy, smiley faces and accomplishment, right?
Life paths are as unique as fingerprints.
You must give yourself permission to walk yours, at whatever pace you happen to be traveling at.
If, deep down, you’re afraid you’re not measuring up, just ask yourself a question or two.
Whose version of success are you living into?
Shouldn’t you be using your own?
If you don’t define success for yourself, you’ll end up living someone else’s version of it. #GetYourGrooveBack
Why does it matter?
True happiness will elude you if you’re living someone else’s idea of success. It won’t matter what you’ve accomplished. It will feel hollow, even when you’ve knocked yourself out to get it.
Define success for yourself. The only expectations that should get your attention any longer are the ones that help you make your version real.
Step 2: Get Dissatisfied Enough
Change is hard and scary, and we humans suck at it. We dislike it so much we avoid it – at great cost.
A typical story goes something like this. Life is demanding. You want to keep everyone happy, so you say yes (a lot). You hate rocking the boat, so you tolerate a little more and settle for a little less every day.
You don’t realize it’s while it’s happening, but you’re dying a death of a thousand tiny cuts. The individual little slices don’t hurt badly enough to get your attention, but pretty soon you look down and notice you’re bleeding – all over.
The only way to stop the bleeding is to get dissatisfied.
Dissatisfaction is greatly misunderstood. Most people avoid it, and look at it like it’s something to be ashamed of. It’s not. Dissatisfaction is a gift. It shines the light on what’s not good enough in your life, and you must know what isn’t good enough to make it better.
Think back to that picture of success you just established. (This means you actually have to do step 1). ☺
Where do the circumstances of your life meet your picture? Fabulous! Keep doing what you’re doing.
Where don’t your life circumstances meet your picture? What isn’t good enough yet? Write it down. Congratulations, you’re officially dissatisfied.
This next part is a critically important but often missed step in the change equation.
I need you to get dissatisfied enough to actually do something about it.
WHY do you have to change? What will you miss out on if you don’t adjust your sails? What will it cost you (and those you love) if you don’t go for your dream? What will you regret if you don’t take action now?
When your why becomes strong enough you will find a way. #GetYourGrooveBack
Real change requires conviction. You need to reach a point in your thinking where change is not optional. It’s necessary. It’s not enough to try. You have to decide to do.
You get to conviction by emotionally connecting with how much you have to lose. Let yourself feel that sting of disappointment. (I know it’s a little scary to be with dark emotions, but they only last a minute once you give in to them. Besides, haven’t you been feeling kinda crappy for months now? Give it a go.)
Want to know what’s cool? This exercise is going to act like a velvet-toed-boot-in-your-butt. When you realize that nothing you just imagined has happened yet, and you can still change it, you will be on FUEGO. And you will have your why. Go get ‘em tiger. ☺
Last but not least…
Step 3: Take Care of Your Body
When you feel bad physically (tired, run down, sick) or you feel bad about how you look physically (weight, style, personal grooming) it’s very difficult to feel confident and happy about your life.
The fact of the matter is, you have to take care of your physical body. The one you’re in is the only one you’ve got. That warrants some attention, don’t you think?
I’m not asking you to become a gym rat, stop eating bread, or schedule an hour of meditation a day. Nothing extreme is required.
This is about basics. You need a good night’s rest, and you need it every night. You need to move your body, and you have to feed it foods with actual nutritional value. You need to drink adequate water, and you need a few quiet minutes (think 5 -10) to check in with yourself each day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m much more confident when I feel good about the way I look. We all understand the bounce in our step that comes with a good hair day or a great new pair of shoes, right?
Cultivate that bounce.
Take care of you. Get your hair and nails done. Play with products. Take care of your skin. Put a little effort into your appearance. Wear clothes you feel good in. Put on a pair of shoes that give you some sass.
If you’re unhappy with your weight or any other physical challenge, get dissatisfied enough (see step 2 of this blog) to do something about it.
Sanity check. If you’re reading this and thinking it all sounds well and good, but it’s not for you because it sounds too selfish, know this…
Self-care is not selfish. Martyrdom is. #GetYourGrooveBack
We all know that person who puts everyone else first. She drags around bedraggled and put upon, complaining about how hard her life is and reminding you about all she’s done for you. Do you want to be around this woman? (Uh – no).
Are you being this woman? (I know. Yuck. I’m sorry.)
Self-neglect is uncool. It’s old fashioned, and playing in this sandbox keeps you powerless and pissy. Stop it.
Take care of you. When you do, you’re energy and vitality will infuse your life with positivity – and happiness. Check out How to Be Happy Right Now for a few more coaching tips on how to bring happiness into your life.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Let me know what you think by commenting below. I love to hear from you. Help me spread some positivity, and share this blog.
Wishing you a week of full of questions, dissatisfaction, and a return to self-care. ☺
You Got This!