“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”- Andy Warhol
Major Life Change…
Realizing when our lives aren’t where we want them to be can be harder than it seems. How do you distinguish between life with all its usual day-to-day responsibilities and compromises and a situation where you are just plodding on unhappily?
How do you know that a big break isn’t just round the corner if you just keep on keeping on, no matter how much it’s making you unhappy in the present moment? Knowing when to carry on as you are and when you need a major life change might be a challenge but is an important skill when you are thinking about happiness and wellbeing.
There’s plenty to be gained from regularly looking at your life and asking “is this what I want?” whether that’s letting go of the things that are holding you back, making conscious decisions to improves things, or simply acknowledging that you have plenty to be grateful for. Here are some ways to recognize when you need a major life change:
Here are some ways to recognize when you need a major life change:
1. You need a major life change if you’ve hit a dead end.
Sometimes day-to-day life can crowd out your dreams and ambitions, and you might have found yourself in a situation that is going nowhere. There’s little that’s more dispiriting than feeling as though you are a million miles from where you want to be and that you are simply going through the motions. It isn’t always easy to see a way out when you are stuck in a rut, but promising to yourself to make one small change every day is a great start when you want to turn things around.
2. You need a major life change if you’re creating a life you don’t want.
There are images and ideas everywhere about what the perfect life should look like. The influences and pressures of the world around us can be so strong that you may realize that you are carefully putting everything in place for a life that, if you really thought about it, you don’t actually want.
It could be that you live in a buzzing city where everything revolves around a sparkling social life, dating and getting ahead, so you are putting off settling down even though you’ve found the person that’s right for you. Or maybe all your friends are having kids and you feel you should start a family, even though you can’t escape a niggling feeling that it’s not what you want right now. These are just two examples, but the overriding societal pressures can push you in all sorts of directions.
Even if your life looks successful, if it isn’t the life you truly wanted for yourself it won’t make you happy and starting to do things your own way is vital.
3. You need a major life change if you’re bored and unhappy most of the time.
It is important to acknowledge that life is full of difficult, tedious and unsatisfying moments. To think otherwise is just setting yourself up for disappointment. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be content and satisfied with your life for the majority of the time. Many people find themselves staying in unfulfilling jobs, frustrating situations or failing relationships because they think that that’s “just life”, and they have to get on with it.
This is miles away from the truth. Whether your discontent has a clear cause or is something that comes from within you, there’s always a way to address it.
4. You need a major life change if you are surrounded by people who don’t bring out the best of you.
Maybe you have a partner who doesn’t believe in you, perhaps your friends burden you with their stresses without offering any support in return, or your colleagues underestimate your abilities. If the people around you make you feel unappreciated, insecure or exhausted, it could be time to reassess your life and those who you choose to give the most time to.
This needn’t lead to drastic change, (unless, of course, it needs to) but simply an effort to reconnect with good friends you’ve fallen out of touch with, meeting new people through joining groups, the internet or travel, or clearly communicating your needs in your close relationships.
5. You need a major life change if you always view life negatively.
It is part of being human to have the odd crisis of confidence and think everything is (and always will be) terrible, but unfortunately, this sort of negative thinking is habit-forming. A pessimistic view of life makes it difficult to believe in your own abilities, the kindness and generosity of others, and the potential you have to achieve want you want.
6. You need a life change if you’re waiting for something to happen.
We’ve all done it. Hoping that the love of our lives is going to walk in and whisk us off to somewhere new and exciting, that we’ll win the lottery and be instantly transported to a world of yachts and endless carefree days, or that we’ll become a huge success overnight. Daydreaming like this is completely normal and to be expected even at our most content, but the problem comes when it’s our only escape and source of happiness.
This is a sign that you are desperate for some positive change in your life, but it’s unlikely that this sort of change is going to come from a random stroke of good luck. If you think that happiness lies in a lottery win, you are not only going to be disappointed, (as few of us will ever have millions of pounds fall in our lap) but avoid being proactive and making the practical changes in your life to be more satisfied with the way things are.
Things rarely change for the better without a nudge in that direction, so if your life isn’t everything you want it to be right now and you constantly dream that things are different, it may be time to initiate some changes yourself.