Have you noticed some red flags in your relationship? Here is what you should do about them.
Emotional baggage is something most of us are carrying around to some degree. After all, we are all shaped by our experiences. But it’s less about what the experiences do to us than what we do with them. We are shaped by what we choose to make those experiences mean about who we are, what we deserve, and what we are capable of.
We make choices all the time, from whether we want tea or coffee, to what we will wear to work. Even what we’re having for dinner. Most of these are easy and quick. The choices can be obvious or not. Sometimes, we decide not to choose. We will simply stick our heads in the sand and resist making any choice at all. But I would argue this is, too, is a choice. This often comes down to a culmination of stress or an institutionalised situation where we’ve lived with something so long we’ve lost all hope of an alternative reality.
Ironically, it’s often when we need most new ideas and options that our creativity and ability to muster those options seem to desert us. That’s perfectly natural, but it’s also dangerous. Of course, when this happens it can be very easy to find other people who are more than willing to make the choice for you. In fact, you need to be vigilant, because other people may try to make your choices for you. This can happen even when you have a clear idea of what you want.
Here are my thoughts on the danger of giving up your choice.
Your Choice Is Yours Alone
“It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you. Nobody wants you to do what you want to do. They want you to go on their trip, but you can do what you want. I did. I went into the woods and read for five years.” – Joseph Campbell
If you don’t choose for yourself, someone else will choose for you. Beware of other people closing down your options or diminishing your possibilities before you have had time to fully explore them for yourself. Remember, other people’s advice is usually a reflection of what they would do (or not do) in the situation, often based on their past experience – not yours.
Their insight may not be what’s best for you. Of course, it’s always wise to seek advice and gather more information. As I mentioned in the previous post, it took a friend’s insight to help me make some important shifts in my own perspective.
That’s very different, however, from letting other people make your choices for you. Take what advice makes sense to you and gives you fresh ideas and leave the rest. Don’t tie any emotion or judgement to those opinions.
Above all, don’t get railroaded. Set your boundaries. We’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating. Remember, this is your life. It’s up to you to set your own boundaries so others can’t manipulate you.
Hard choices are often so because we have to communicate those choices to those we care about, who may or may not understand the reasons. If you can help them understand, do so, but all that matters is that you understand your reasons. Your reasons are good enough.
Find Out More
Are you ready to make your own choices? Need help setting boundaries? My latest book, Your Life Your Way, offers insights, tips and tactics that give you the tools you need to live your life, your way.
Want a better night’s sleep? Try The Paula Meir Sleep Hypnosis. Now with 50% off when you use the code SLEEPWELL50.
There are two types of people in the world. Those who have lost someone they love and those that have not – yet. The latter are almost always the ones who will tell us how we should grieve, that we should “get over it”, or will offer up inane platitudes about it being “for the best”. I’m here to tell you that you are free to ignore them. Grieve in your own time and in your own way.
Six years ago I made a decision which changed the course of my life.
I gave up my ‘big’ corporate job which had seen me flying all over the world, supporting and advising key executives, and generally trying to get people to do the right thing for themselves and the business. I constantly put the business first and was in a permanent state of stress. My health was suffering, but, as a single parent bringing up two boys I felt I had no choice but to stick with it. Then, one day, in a meeting room everything changed.
The global business where I worked was steeped in difficult politics, and there was blame and bad behaviour everywhere you looked. The values that I live and work by were being compromised daily, especially how people were treating each other and it got too much to bear. On this particular day, in this particular meeting, something inside of me switched and I heard a voice deep within say “you are done”.
I’d reached a pain point which meant I could no longer go on.
So I didn’t. I resigned from my job, without another job to go to and did something I had always wanted to do. Set up my own business. I’d been in the ‘people’ game for the best part of 25 years and knew I could use my skills too help people and businesses make better decisions for themselves and others.
Don’t get me wrong. This was far from an easy decision. Like most people I had a mortgage and all the usual commitments that accompany being a single parent, but the pain of staying on the corporate treadmill became too much to bear.
I completely re-evaluated my life.
My journey continues, but now I run a successful wellbeing clinic and consultancy, where I help people become better versions of themselves. And in 2017, I wrote my first book “Your Life, Your Way”. I am living proof that you CAN make a positive change in your life. So here are x steps that I took to help me make the change in my life.
So how can you do the same?
Be Honest With Yourself
Being honest with yourself about your current situation, is SO important. When many of my clients and patients first walk into my consulting room I always encourage them to be honest with themselves about the context of their lives. It’s so easy to ignore warning signs (physically and mentally) that deep down we know exist, and it’s I realise it’s sometimes much easier just to ‘carry on’ hoping things will change. However, I can guarantee that if this is the case then your happiness is being compromised by something which is in your power to change. Some people think that what the past has created for them and the experiences associated with that is the best they are ever going to get. I am telling you there is much more life and joy waiting for you than you realise.
Look At The Bigger Picture
In my course “Five Weeks to Freedom” I encourage people to look objectively at everything which influences and impacts their life. Their environment, work, relationships, family, friends, health and habits and anything else that provides their map of the world in the present.
Surround Yourself With Cheerleaders
One of our biggest inhibitors to change is….. other people! As human beings we hate change. We are hard wired to maintain the status quo. Doing the same thing day in day out, surrounding ourselves by the same people, doing the same things, is something which gives us comfort and security. Therefore, it’s not too surprising that when you announce you are going to make a major change in your life some people won’t like it. You play a role in their life story. If they see that role changing it will disturb them. A true friend is a cheer leader. Someone who will support you through whatever change you desire to build yourself a happier, successful, and more fulfilled life. Start to remove the naysayers out of your life, most of the time their reactions will be about them and not you. You don’t need them, they are like vampires, and will suck the positivity energy out of your soul!
Be Prepared To Make Big Decisions
Every day we make decisions, even if we don’t decide to do something that is STILL a decision!. Most of this decision making takes place in our sub-conscious. For example: have you every driven to work and not noticed the journey? Much of our life is operated on ‘automatic pilot’. So, when a decision comes along which is going to make a fundamental difference to all those sub-conscious decisions then this is going to make us feel a little funky. Changing jobs, houses, relationships are all huge decisions that often involve a radical change in our daily story of who we are and what we do. And, it is often the fear of change, and the thought of impacting lots of areas of our life which moves us away from making the big decisions which will, ultimately, lead us to greater happiness.
Trust Your Instincts
The human brain is a remarkable organ. This complex piece of machinery is designed to undertake many complex tasks every second of every day. But there is one thing it does exceptionally well: wherever possible it keeps us safe. Our human instincts have evolved over many thousands of years, but the instincts which keep us safe are pretty much the same as they were when we were living in caves. When something isn’t ‘right’, we know it, it’s our intuition kicking in. Deep down we know when we are faced with a situation which doesn’t feel right. And the same goes for where we are in our lives at any particular stage. You know if you aren’t happy in a relationship, job, or particular situation. Your body and mind will be telling you. You may feel in a constant state of stress, you may have trouble sleeping, perhaps you are drinking little too much, or you are seeking pleasure through other addictive behaviours. These are all ways in which the brain is telling you that something isn’t right. Listen to your body and your brain, and if something isn’t right… it’s time to make a change.
To Sum Up
Following these five steps will definitely start you on a path where you can shift your thinking and move away from the story of your current situation. I do understand how hard changing a situation can be, especially when it presents seemingly unsurmountable challenges. But, I promise you, it can be done. I am living proof of that!
If you want a little more information or help in understanding how you can make a change why not register for my latest webinar: Finding your purpose, living your change. It’s completely free and will give you some valuable tips on making those changes in your life that will bring you happiness and success (both at home and at work!).
Let me leave you with this thought: maintaining the status quo, putting on a brave face, smiling for the camera when you really want to weep, is no way to live, it is robbing you of the love, joy, accomplishment and amazing future you deserve.….today! Now!
Are you feeling ‘unstuck’ in life? Take my quiz and learn easy steps how to move forward.