The #1 Thing To Do When You’re Unhappy

If You Don’t Like Where You Are, Then Change It. You Are Not A Tree.

Throughout the entire cycle of life, chapters end and chapters start. Just as doors close to mark the end of an era and doors open to let new faces and opportunities in. Some doors stay close for extended periods of time and others open up too much.

I love doors. I think they are fascinating and have strong metaphorical power.

The thing with doors is that someone needs to take action to open and close them. If you just keep looking at the doorknob, wondering what might happen, but never take any action, the door will remain closed. The same action is required in our lives.

We are the ones that need to take action.

If we don’t take any action, nothing is going to happen, and nothing is going to change either.

 

How To Take (Heart-Aligned) Action

 

1. MOVE FORWARD

Remember the hopes and dreams you had when you were a kid? Every now and then, try to honor that little monkey inside of you. Your goals may have changed (or not), but try to regain the enthusiasm, determination and faith you had when you were younger. Always keep on moving.

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – Christopher McCandless

I’ve recently watched my kids finish marking school periods in their lives. My youngest said goodbye to her elementary life and my oldest finished his first year of high school.

We can learn a lot from the way in which children move forward so quickly. They have dreams, and they take steps to get closer to those goals, without hesitation.
 

2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL

Sometimes the actions we take won’t bring us closer to what we are looking for, and that is fine. Try to naturally go with the flow of things. Fail forward.

Even if you don’t succeed immediately, at least you’ll have changed something about the situation you were unhappy about. And when you are looking for different doors to open, you start a process that will finally lead you to the right one. Trust that whatever may come, you will learn and add experience to your chapters.
 

3. STOP PLEASING YOUR WAY THROUGH LIFE

Over the last 30 years I have been creating a life filled with decisions based on what others thought fitted me. So, looking back, I just followed the conventionalist’s playbook “must-do’s for a fulfilled life”.

These unwritten societal rules were taught to me whilst growing up in the seventies and eighties. I was taught that some doors weren’t supposed to be opened for people like me. And that life was going to be hard and challenging. Being successful meant being rich with other people looking up to you or even jealous of what you’d have. And would we want to reach ‘success’, we’d need to conquer multiple stressful situations.

In this backdrop, I chose to be a ‘good girl’ and sought to please my parents and loved ones. I tried to do what was expected of me. I chose my study and my job this way. And most of the people I met, did the same thing. The choices we made didn’t come from our heart. They weren’t the doors we picked out or even wanted to walk through. And they certainly didn’t feel right. But we did it anyways. Just because we were told so and because it made our loved ones very happy.

But realise this: When family members or friends force their decisions upon you, they indirectly want you to follow their dream, for the simple reason that they were not able to reach their dream. That is why they urge you to create a second chance for them – through you.

Lots of people are still chasing someone else’s dream. Thinking that that is expected of them. At times, even convinced that it is their own dream.

Sometimes doors don’t open for us. No matter how hard we push. And that is okay. Take it as a reflection moment. Are you meant to go through that door? Are you making this decision with your whole heart’s intention? Why are you trying to get through?
 

4. CHECK IN WITH YOUR INNER COMPASS

Interestingly we often stopped thinking and feeling into what suits us. On top of that, we think that life has to be difficult. But take it from me – reaching my extrinsic goals NEVER brought me that wonderful feeling of being happy, fulfilled and content with what live has to offer me. Isn’t that interesting?

Five years ago I started analysing my days and seriously wondered how I ended up there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad life and lots of beautiful things happened to me. But the beautiful things just happened, and they came so easily. Falling in love with my hubby, being blessed with my kids. But the career part was a hard one – exhausting and not enjoyable. Every time I would reach a goal it felt more like ticking off a box then indeed wholeheartedly enjoying a milestone.

So, I realised it was time for me to sit still and start cleaning out. I found myself sitting in the lobby of a hotel, and ironically, it had all these doors. Some opened automatically, others didn’t.

I have no idea for how long I sat there, but I clearly remember my AHA moment. To open a door doesn’t need to be difficult. It is a natural movement, and when you walk through a door, sooner or later you’ll recognise whether you are suppose to be there. It is even okay to join others to walk through a door together and then later to say goodbye again.

It is all about making choices and actually taking the time to check in with yourself whether the room behind the door suits you or not. If it doesn’t suit you, that is fine, but then it’ll be your judgment, and not that of others. Only you can recognise that it is time to move on and pick another door. But you’ll have to take action and open or close a door, or you will never find out.

Trusting your inner compass whilst adventuring on your personal journey has nothing to do with anyone else. And when you take the chance to open a door and it feels natural, it will truly feel like reaching a milestone, and time for a celebration.

So start opening the doors you’ve been wanting to go through, and shut the ones that have proved not to serve you or didn’t make you happy. You’ll find life to be more enjoyable and less complicated.

 
Now I’d love to hear from you – how do you take action when you feel stuck or unhappy in certain situations?

Is there a certain area in your life that needs some urgent change? Maybe you identify that you might be suffering from the pleaser syndrome in your relationships? Or maybe you have feared change up til now because you are scared it might be the wrong decision?

Or have your already taken brave steps towards your own happiness? Please share your story with our wonderful tribe in the comments below.

 

Photo Credit © Blake Bronstad via Stocksy

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