It’s only recently become so clear to me that life truly is cyclical. And I don’t mean the circle of life, I mean in terms of ups and downs, changes, feelings, and situations.
For the past few months I’ve felt ‘stuck’ in a few avenues of my life. Unfortunately, it’s not a new feeling. I’ve been here before. The last time I remember feeling this stuck was when I packed my bags and moved to Melbourne by myself. Sometimes, you get so uncomfortable that the only way to alleviate the pain is change. It could be something drastic, like moving cities or countries, or it could be something a little more delicate like changing jobs or going on a holiday.
Life will never be linear and that’s something that I’ve recently come to learn. Because we continue to grow, learn and develop, we will have times that we feel we have hit a ceiling in our current situations that initiate a feeling of unease, tapping us on the shoulder letting us know it’s time to grow some more.
So what about those times where multiple avenues of your life don’t make you feel like you’re living your truest self? What if, the only way you know you’ll feel like you’re on the right track is a complete upheaval? Where do you start then?
Start with one thing at a time and through the process of elimination. It’s easy to think you need to do something radical in order to get yourself back on track but in reality, changing the aspect that is causing you the most suffering can be imperative to your happiness and mindset.
If you hate your job, start with that. Having a job you despise has an incredible impact on other facets of your life. I’ve been in an underwhelming job, working for an organization I didn’t align with and it wrecked havoc on my happiness, in turn my moods, relationship, and social life. I spend 50 hours a week in my work environment so of course it’s going to adversely effect me as a whole.
If you’re living in a negative environment with people you don’t get along with, move out. Your home should be your sanctuary. Home is your place to escape to, feel comfortable in and initiate a sense of warmth and security. Moving house is easy but living in a house you hate, is not.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, leave. People do it every day and don’t look back. Stay with a friend until you find something more permanent. Hire an Air BnB for a week until you know where you’re going to go but don’t let the fear of change or ‘what if’ hold you back. If it hasn’t worked for the last 2, 3, 4 years, it’s not going to change.
Leaving any toxic, unhealthy environment, situation or place will do incredible things to your wellbeing, even if the other areas of your life aren’t yet in alignment.
Even if you see yourself in all three of these situations, starting with one to change will take so much weight off your shoulders and enable you to feel more clarity on which problem to tackle next.
Another key focus I always have is something that comes a little harder to me but its something I’m learning, as I get older. Talk to people who care about you. It’s hard enough to go through these situations at all, let alone doing it by yourself. Confide in someone you trust and use them as a sounding board to get your thoughts out of your head. Someone who won’t judge if you change your mind or push you to leave until you decide you’re ready. Sometimes even the act of articulating it out loud will bring you clarity and may even conjure up feelings that you didn’t even know were there. An objective person, outside of your own head, can also ask you questions to drill down even further to why you’re feeling the way you are and brainstorm different options with you. I have a friend that I go to when I’m feeling this way and she’s incredible at listening and asking the questions that I’m too scared to answer. It’s a blessing and a curse to have someone like her because she makes you get real with yourself and say things aloud that you have been suppressing.
Lastly, look after yourself. I find myself doing more yoga and walking more when I need time and space to think. But if those don’t work for you, find something that does. It might be reading, or listening to a podcast or doing a crossword. Whatever works for you, as long as it’s not self-destructive like drinking or drugs, do more of it and do it unapologetically.
But above all, the most important thing to remember is to love yourself in the process and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Change is hard for a lot of people, myself included, but it’s not forever. This feeling, it’s a part of the process and it usually means something pretty incredible is on the horizon.
So, if you’re currently in a similar place to myself remember, life is cyclical. This is just a phase of the circle that needs to be completed before you move onto the next. Don’t fear this feeling. Grab onto it and let yourself feel lost, stuck, confused because I promise you, it just makes coming out on the other side that much better.