Is there a wrong or right way to change things up in your life i.e. change careers, rediscover who you are and what direction you want to move towards?
My honest opinion, yes and no.
Yes, because if you don’t listen to your own needs, desires and values and make decisions based on fear, you may find yourself in a place that feels completely out of alignment to who you are. We can also make decisions based on what we should do, expectations and obligation that have been created from the culture we’re exposed to growing up.
And No, because when it comes to how it needs to look. Such as thinking you have to go back to university, you have to take that job because it pays well, you have to move to a different state, country or place to have a better life. You have to quit your job and travel; you have to stay in your job until you get another. All of these options are circumstantial. This is the strategy work you can do to meet your individual needs and after you have an idea of what direction you would like to move towards that’s aligned with your values.
We believe there is a right and wrong ways because we think it should look a certain way and the reality is, that’s not how humans work. We all have different experiences, beliefs, circumstances and values. As a result, the way I like to live my life may not align with the way you want to live your life. Which is why conforming to social norms can be problematic and feeling the pressure and expectations to live by these social norms can also cause suffering. I quit my job and it was the best thing I have done. Changing my life to live in alignment with my values has changed me and has given me a sense of freedom I never felt before. Has it been easy, hell no. Is it worth it, hell yes!
If we think less from a place of what’s the right way people change careers, and their lives to, what feels right for me, we will start to make decisions that are based on our own wants and needs. One way to notice this in yourself is when you envy someone’s life or feel inspired and interested by the way someone is living their life. Become curious and interested in why that is.
How do we make decisions that are aligned with who we are and not just conform to social norms?
First step to changing your life up is by getting to know yourself to a degree where you know what feels right for you, what your fears are and what resistance to change you have. If you have been following the status quo this may take some deep inner work. For example, sacrificing your own needs to take care of others, because that’s a quality that’s valued in society. This can be detrimental if we’re not checking in with ourselves and asking, is this really what I want or am I doing it from a place or guilt, obligation and expectation? How do I feel when I sacrifice my life? i.e. resentful, frustrated etc.
Our beliefs around the right way or the wrong way to do things are not quite accurate as we think. When our beliefs are created from fear, self-doubt and past experiences they can cloud the way we make decisions and respond to opportunities.
For example, if I want to change careers or change things up in my life, and I believe that:
Work shouldn’t be fun or interesting
I have to work hard to make lots of money
I need to sacrifice myself to be successful
We can have fun outside of work and a job is just a job.
These thoughts and beliefs are limiting us and we will make changes that are aligned with those beliefs. Deep down we may want more in your life, to have a life that has purpose and fulfillment and to have goals and ambitions.
Our beliefs are formed from our upbringing and the culture we grow up in. We need to question our beliefs and surround ourselves with people that are chasing their dreams. That way we make informed decisions on the change we want to make and how we want to do this.
You may be thinking, this doesn’t sound possible or realistic. This is where the logical and analytic part of your brain comes in. Thinking logical and analytical has its place. This perceptive is helpful after you know what you really want. You can use it for strategy work. If you continue to ignore your dream, desire or goals that are not aligned with what you’re currently doing it will not go away and what you resist persists. It will show up in your life in other ways, possibly destructive ways.
The deeper level to this is that we hold these beliefs at a subconscious level, where we don’t even know why but we desire to do something and then hold ourselves back from it and don’t know why it seems so out of reach. We place all these rules on how our lives should look and how we should live them. When we do this we’re placing limits on:
The opportunities we see and go for
What we want our lives to look like
How do you make the change you want and do it your way?
We identify, question and change our current beliefs around what we want and how we believe we can achieve it. These beliefs are what have led us to ignore and place limits on our needs, values and goals.
We identify our values and honour them by living in alignment with them and when we find we can’t, we become aware that we’re not living in alignment and that’s okay too as long as we have a plan of improving our situation.
We identify what our human needs are and honour them.
We tap into our intuition, our internal guidance system and understand what really motivates us.
We understand the part of us that is protecting us and keeping us safe and become better at listening to what it’s saying and why. We honour this part of us and treat it with love and care. Which means no more bulldozing and criticising that part of us that is protecting us and holding us back from our goals. There’s a good reason why and it’s important to acknowledge it.