“So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s D.O.A.”
Sounds familiar? There are times when we can all feel that we are failing miserably at this game of life. Everyone else seems to have cracked the code to a successful life; the job, the partner, the kids, the house, the car, even a cute dog for good measure. Others seem to have it all sussed, seem so confident, while you may feel you are indeed ‘stuck in second gear’ and slowly edging downhill. Clearly there is a need for a gear shift but how? First off, who says life is a competition? Winning or losing presupposes a competition or test of some sort. Who then sets the standard for this test? Who decides the winners and the losers? How is it possible to be second or third in life? If you are constantly measuring yourself against others are you allowing them to set the standards for your life?
Many people who feel stuck and directionless when asked what they want in life will answer with what they don’t want. They will say ‘well I don’t want this and I don’t want that’. When pressed they are unable to clarify what it is they want and herein lies part of the problem. You cannot hit a target you cannot see. You cannot reach an unknown goal. Well, you might get a lucky strike, but it is unlikely. So it helps to know what you want but more importantly it helps to know what you need. You may want to be a rock star but won’t suffer too much if you are not. But you may need to pursue your passion for music or suffer greatly if you don’t. Wants can come from a sense of lack and a belief that we will be happier when we have more. Needs come from our inner core, our inner drive for fulfilment. When we pay attention to our needs we have the potential to create the life we need as opposed to the one we think we want; the one set down for us by others.
Many people are following a path in life that has been predetermined for them by others, whether by parents, school or society, not one they have consciously chosen for themselves. Often when things are not working out it may not be a sign of failure but may be an indication that a change in direction is required. Instead of going down the route of self doubt and self castigation it can be an opportunity to take stock and reassess the situation. What has brought me to this point? Do I want this? Do I need it? How will my life be impacted if I don’t get it?
By being in tune with our own needs we are able to address life’s challenges with more clarity and confidence. Confidence means to have firm trust. Self confidence requires inner trust. Who better to trust than yourself? If you really want to feel you are succeeding in life and wish to start a new chapter, begin with building a trusting relationship with yourself. This means making time for you, tuning inwards, listening to your own inner truth, not looking outwards to live a version of other’s lives.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Marcus Aurelius.