These thoughts roll around in my head once in a while, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed. When everything seems to be slipping out of your grasp, anyone would panic, right? Once you’re in that state, nothing seems to work, and days start to blur together. If you remain in an extended slump, all that you see is tainted with an ugly hue and motivation fades into a dull buzz in the background. There’s something else that you’d rather pit yourself against and a small voice in your head cries, “Get me out of here!”
That is a sure sign that something needs to be done.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks and exercises to calm down and get myself back on track. Many of which were imparted to me on a week long self-development boot camp I attended a few years ago. Each attendee took something different away with them. I found that taking a step back to see myself from a different angle, more often than not, will help find the solution that befits the situation best. Sitting down with pen and paper and laying it out visually works well, too.
At the very least, having an idea, no matter how rough, of what changes can be made to my daily schedule, organisation of tasks, plans and activities felt like it would lead me into the right direction. Sometimes, having a set objective to work towards is all it takes. If needed, realign goals, set new ones or modify any existing ones.
Change takes courage, and sometimes you just have to go for it like you’ve got nothing to lose.
You will instinctively know, most times, when you want change to happen in your life. This could be when you’ve boxed yourself into a corner or when you want to continually improve yourself, or reach higher. After this happened to me a few times, I did some soul searching and decided I wanted to improve, start new things and move forward from my stagnant position. To get what you want or need, sometimes you have to reach out and take the opportunities presented to you. So, that’s what I did. Researching, surfing the net for information, going to seminars, attending local events and festivals: I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. It was hard, but it was worth it. Slowly, but surely, I found my feet again and if I should fall, I’ll know how to get right back up.
Keep in mind that some changes can affect others around you, or have a domino effect reaching far and wide. Or worse, you could end up digging yourself deeper into your original hole. So be careful, communicate with others, write things down if you have to and make the change with confidence. This was also something that had resonated with me during boot camp. It was advice that I would eventually apply to a great many decisions I would make now and in the future. I think managing change is a tough business and it should not be made light of.
Another lesson learned was that, on occasion, others may tell you to change or influence you and drag you along with them. Don’t feel that you must obey or get bullied into taking their advice. Think critically and take everything with a grain of salt. At the end of the day though, the decision always lies with you. Whether that decision is right or wrong, worth it or not, it’s all up to you. Just don’t regret anything after you’ve made up your mind. Yes, there may be things that are out of your control–you can’t do anything about those–but surprisingly, there is a lot that you can take responsibility for. Even affecting seemingly small things like the time you wake up each morning, the people you hang out with, and what kind of thoughts go through your head, can be forces for change.
To maintain the changes, I tell myself that I’ll need to put in enough time, resources, effort and perhaps even a budget to implement any plans and allow for them to take effect. It’s important to keep my hopes up, stay positive and keep pushing forward towards my goals. “Don’t underestimate yourself,” was a very prevalent sentiment during the camp and I would do well to remember that every once in a while too. Dreaming of be a writer one day, I know that there will be plenty of obstacles to navigate throughout the journey. By managing myself well, I will regain control of my life and a large portion of my sanity.