You probably didn’t even notice it happen.
Looking back, you can’t even recall the moment that your life shifted towards the path that you ended upon.
One day you were filling your vision board with inspirational quotes and images you thought would motivate you to pursue your dreams. And before you knew it, years had gone by reflecting a life that is nothing like you had envisioned.
How could you have gotten so off track?
What happened that so abruptly derailed you from the goals you were so set on achieving?
I’d like to point out that I’m not an expert in life coaching, nor do I have a Ph.D. in the study of the human mind. I can’t give you a scientifically proven reason why we tend to lose focus on who we aspire to be, nor do I have the ability to time travel to dissect what went wrong along the way.
But I am someone who is fascinated by this sort of thinking and can give you an honest view as to why you may have gotten here.
Why it took you years before you stepped back to view your life without those rose-colored glasses that have been clouding your eyes.
Why you “all of a sudden” feel unfulfilled with how you’ve been spending your days.
I believe that I am qualified to do this because I’ve seen it happen around me. To my friends, family, coworkers.
People who had drastically different visions for themselves years ago only to somehow fall into the trap of doing something that they don’t wholeheartedly enjoy.
Whether it be being stuck in a career they never actually wanted but somehow continue to show up for each day, or living in a neighborhood they have far outgrown or settling in a relationship that their heart has not been in for a long time. We as humans tend to continue this cycle of doing things that don’t serve us.
Although I’ve tried really hard not to fall into this spiral of unfulfilling prophecies, I have woken up many mornings questioning the decisions that I’ve made and if they will benefit my future.
Should I accept this job offer?
Will this man make me happy?
Is this purchase a smart investment?
I constantly would second guess my decisions wondering if I am directing myself down the right path or a deep hole into debt and unhappiness.
But the truth is, we will never know if the choices we make are the “right” ones. We can only trust our instincts and blindly follow the path that feels right.
We will never be entirely sure if the men we choose won’t break our hearts, or if a promotion will bring us the satisfaction we crave in our careers. But we can decipher how these choices make us feel now, by analyzing how we feel in the moment.
Here are a few methods that may help you figure out if you are truly happy in the life you are living.
1. Journal It Out
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Journaling is a foolproof way to work out everything that you are feeling or thinking at the moment. And it gives you the opportunity to refer back to it anytime you need a reminder that something once didn’t make you feel good.
This is my go-to method when I’m battling a difficult decision in a relationship, or when contemplating a big career move. Getting all my feelings out on paper helps me bring clarity to a difficult situation and provides a release so I can let it all out!
2. Talk to People with Different Perspectives
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When going through my last breakup, I reached out to several different people to help me decide if I was making the right decision.
Of course, I gravitated towards the friends who were rooting for the relationship to succeed and urged me to keep trying, but others were able to show me how unhappy the relationship had made me.
Having these different perspectives allowed me to make a calculated decision, seeing things from all sides.
3. Reassess Your Goals
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As I said earlier, we often have visions and dreams for our lives that somehow get derailed along the course.
When we take a moment to step back and refocus, we get a better sense of what we are after, and if we are heading in the right direction.
For example, a raise at work could easily keep you at a job way longer than you originally intended, prolonging your aspirations to start your own business. The temptation for a higher salary and financial security took your eye off the goal, carrying you in another direction.
Take the time to reassess what your dreams are, where you are now, and what you need to do to achieve them. Pretty much the same thing you did in your teens when you were deciding what career path to take.
Recreate those vision boards. It’s never too late to refocus your vision and achieve your goals.
Although you might not know how you got where you are, it’s never too late to work towards a life that is truly fulfilling. And maybe you can pass on the advice to someone else just like I did.
About The Author:
Courtney Ciandella is a yoga instructor and a freelance writer residing at the Jersey Shore. She is passionate about health and wellness, as well as educating others on how to maintain a balanced lifestyle, mind, body, and soul.