Do you feel stuck? Are you frustrated and dissatisfied with your life? If you’re in midlife, that feeling is probably compounded by the realisation that your clock is ticking. The whispers in your head of: ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ and ‘Surely there’s more to life than this,‘ are now deafening and you can’t ignore them anymore. You want more and although you’re not quite sure what that is you know things can’t stay the same.
‘If you don’t like how things are, change it.’ Jim Rohn
If you’re going to make something great happen in your life, it has to be now. But how? How do you step into a new chapter with optimism and excitement? If who you are right now isn’t who you want to be, how do you remake yourself into someone you can be proud of? Start with these four keys.
1. Craft a vision for your life
‘Your vision of the future shapes your current behaviour.’
Do you know what prevents most people from succeeding? They don’t really know what they want. Like a leaf in the breeze, they drift from place to place never having a clear focus or direction. That lack of clarity can eat up years of your life.
In order to move your life into a place that is more fulfilling and satisfying you have to know what you’re aiming for. That future must resonate with you and the clearer it is, the easier it will be to connect to it. The easier it will be to decide what things you need to spend your time on and why.
So, who is that future version of yourself? Does it get you excited and motivated to get out of bed each day? If it doesn’t, then you’re not dreaming big enough.
But clarity goes beyond just knowing what you want the end result to be. It means figuring out what you need to do to get there. It’s about setting up a process to make reaching those goals a reality.
If you’re struggling to figure out how, this may help:
- Take stock of your life and be honest about where you are right now.
- Create a picture of where you want to get to and make sure you connect with your core values.
- Imagine multiple possible futures that you would like to explore.
- Test them out and that means taking action.
- Assess your results and take the next step or pivot.
If you really want to transform your life, start with a vision, a focus. Seek clarity and the rest will follow.
2. Don’t let the past dictate your future
Maybe it’s time to let go, look forward, and dream a new dream.
You’ve made mistakes, had one too many failures and you’re not where you want to be. Understanding that where you are is not where you’re necessarily destined for is important. It’s pointless to let those failures and setbacks negatively control your view of the future. As painful as your past may be, you are responsible for the meaning you attribute to it. You have the power to regain control by reframing your experiences. What story will you tell yourself about those events? Is it a story that keeps you a helpless victim or is it one that empowers you to take charge of the situation as best you can?
Life will test you but choose to see it as working for you not against you. The way you feel about your future and its possibilities will be largely determined by the narrative you create around your past. Choose to redefine problems as challenges, setbacks as opportunities and feel more optimistic about the future.
3. Cultivate a positive, uplifting but challenging environment
“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.” Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
You may not realise it, but your environment can determine the actions you take both positive and negative. To encourage the right behaviours, it’s imperative that you make it easier to do the things that will further your goals and harder to do the things that don’t. As author James Clear writes, ‘Adjust your environment so that the number of steps between you and the desired behaviour is less than before’. In other words, design your environment to make it hard to say no to the right actions.
But cultivating the right environment goes beyond that. It includes the people you choose to interact and spend time with. You will lower or raise your expectations depending on those of the people around you. If you’re around people with high expectations, you’ll rise to those standards. Psychologists call that the Pygmalion effect and it encourages excellence, but the opposite is also true. Hang around people with mediocre expectations or worse and that is who you will become.
The bottom line? Be aware of who you allow into your inner circle and choose wisely.
4. Commit to taking consistent action
Vision without action is merely a dream. Joel A. Barker
Now here comes the tricky part and it’s true of most things. If you want to reinvent yourself then you will have to get your hands dirty, you’ll have to do the work. Bringing your vision to life is a process that will take time, but it hinges on your willingness and commitment to taking action. By having the courage to take action, step by step and seeing things through, you build confidence which encourages you to push the boundaries a little further.
The road is fraught with danger. Things will go wrong; people may criticise, and you’ll sometimes question yourself and your abilities. You are not alone. Even the most accomplished have battled with self-doubt. What makes the difference in how your life turns out, however, is what you choose to do when you hear those voices. If you want to reinvent your life you don’t give up; you keep on fighting.
Take that first step to a new you
Are you filled with trepidation? Maybe you’re thinking you’re too old to start over. If you’ve gotten this far, you know you’re ready to make a change. All you have to do now is accept responsibility and decide to take control of your life. You don’t have to be sentenced to a life you hate. Start dreaming again and get on the path to reinventing yourself today.
Now over to you.
Are you fed up with the way things are?
Do you believe you can reinvent yourself?
What are your dreams for the future?
Let me know in the comments.