I am about to get into some things that might hit heavy to some people, it sure hits heavy to me. Have you ever had a time in your life where everything came crashing down? Maybe a time where you weren’t taking care of yourself, and then in result you started to hurt the ones closest to you?
What about a period of your life where you truly thought you had no options or direction ahead of you? Have you ever thought that maybe others would be better off without you, and that you feel as if you had no purpose other than messing up everything around you? Have you ever thought, “What happened to me? Who am I anymore? Where did I go? Why am I like this?”
If you are reading this, and you relate to a time where you felt some of this, or all of it, or maybe even more than this, congratulations, you are normal. As perfect as it would be, nobody lives a life that stays at 100%. Life fluctuates, you have your times where your life is at your absolute peak, where you’re so happy with everyone in your circle, your daily routine, your future plans, and everything you have going for you.
You have the times where life is average, and you’re just going through the motions, nothing too exciting is going on, you’re just going day in and day out, kind of …average.
Then there’s the times we all wish we could avoid, the bad times, I call them the “low points” in life. Maybe you lost something or someone close to you, or you lost many things that were important to you, maybe you made a huge mistake that cost you a lot of things, or maybe your whole world was completely shaken up, and you think, “I need to seriously change some things.” You might even think, “I need to find myself again.”
When we hit low points in our lives, the move seems to be, to make changes. To be quite honest, this is a good thing as we should always welcome change and the opportunity to grow into a better person. If you are reading this, going through a rough time right now, wanting to make changes and essentially better yourself and your life, that’s great.
If you are wanting me to tell you how to do that, unfortunately I cannot. I don’t know your situation, I am not a therapist, and most importantly everyone is different. What I can do for you though, coming from someone who just spent the last year of their life going through this process of change and building themselves back up from the bottom to the top, is give you a few things to keep in mind when you're going through the process of finding yourself again, or “bettering yourself”. These are some things I wish someone would have told me when I started this.
PATIENCE IS EVERYTHING
If you find yourself trying to change things for the better, in hopes it will improve your life, while this is a good start, you are going to have to be patient. Your problems didn’t all happen in one night, so you cannot expect them all to go away overnight. It is a process to make any difference, especially when changing things in your life. As nice as it would be to flip a switch, and have everything in your life be different and the way you want it to be, life doesn’t work that way.
If you want to do better, if you want to be different than what you have been, and you want to see lifelong worthwhile changes in your personality and life, do the work, you aren’t on a time limit, do what you have to do, and things are going to start to show overtime on their own, just like anything else you have to work for in life.
PEOPLE MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE ON YOUR SIDE
If you need to cut things out of your life that weren’t the best for you and what you are trying to accomplish with the changes you’re making in your life, do it. People are not always going to understand why you’re doing what you are doing, and that’s alright. You aren’t doing this for other people, at least you shouldn’t be. If you are changing your life for the better, you are doing this for you, not for others.
Another thing, when you are trying to change a way you have maybe always been, you might have some people out there who have negative things to say about you and you trying to make changes and work on yourself. While this sucks at first, do not let a single person derail you and your goals.
People can talk, tweet, or think whatever they want about you, but if you are genuinely trying to change your own life for the better, then there’s not a single thing that somebody can say that will phase anything that you’re trying to do. Eventually you’ll learn that the people who support you more than outweigh the few who are trying to see you fail.
The support you will get overtime from others, along with your results, will completely make you numb to not only negativity from others, but anything that tries to stand in your way during this process.
IF YOU AREN'T 100% INTO IT, DON'T DO IT
It took me a long time to realize this, but if you are not fully into something, and if you aren’t fully into it for the right reasons, whatever you are trying to do, isn’t going to work, or it at least won't stick. If you are just trying to change things to show someone else you can, or to prove others wrong, don’t even try at this point.
You have to genuinely want to change for the right reasons. This goes for anything in life, if you aren’t doing something with your heart, you lose interest, you’re more likely to end up quitting, or you don’t keep up the work once you have accomplished something.
IT IS OKAY TO LOOK BACK
Most people try not to look back on the past, to try to focus on the future and moving forward. While this makes sense, it is okay to look back on the past. It is important to look at where you came from and to see how far you have come on your journey, no matter what your journey is.
If you are starting at a rough patch, a “low point”, in efforts to change things in your life, it is okay to remember every once in a while where you were at the beginning of your journey, it is okay to use it as a reminder of what you do not want to be any longer, of who you are today.
KEEP IN MIND IT WILL NOT BE EASY...
SOME DAYS WILL BE HARDER THAN OTHERS
While you would expect most days in your journey to make changes in your life, and to “find yourself” again, to be full of positivity, just like anything else in life, there could be some harder times than others. There will be some days where you feel like you aren’t making enough progress, and you will want to give up. There might even be some times where you have “slip ups” and tend to do something that goes against the ways you are trying to live now.
There might be some times where someone says something negative about you or what you’re trying to accomplish. Your plans might even need to change along the way, because hey, it's life and most things do not go exactly as you planned it in the beginning. These are all things that could be discouraging and make you wonder why you even are doing this, and make you want to give up and go back to living your life the way you were because you may not feel like this is worth it.
This is when you have to make sure you’re doing these changes because you genuinely want and need to make these changes. This is when you have to realize that no one is going to do this for you and if you want to see results, if you want to make these lifelong changes to your life, and you want a different life than what you have been living, then you have to take these times with a grain of salt, and keep moving on in your journey. One thing that always helps, is to think about the positives you have obtained from this so far, and to realize that you decided you wanted change for a reason, you wanted better for yourself.
INVEST TIME IN YOURSELF
If you feel like you have lost yourself, and you are trying to feel back to your norm again, or even figure out what that norm is, the most obvious answer is to spend time on yourself. While this seems obvious, this is something most people tend to not do. Take time for yourself and figure out who you are, what you like doing, what calms you, brainstorm what may have gone wrong so you can prevent it from happening again in the future, find independence, the list goes on.
If you feel like you need to take a little break away from most contact with other people and clear your head, do not feel bad about this, try it. Unplug from social media, stop looking at what everyone else is doing, and focus on finding yourself and your own inner peace. This could be a great area to care for yourself, and find yourself.
Get back into activities you may have enjoyed but strayed away from, connect back with people you may have lost touch with, even searching for new things, activities, and people to surround yourself with can always be something you could try. The main point is to work on yourself. Give yourself the attention and time you need to bounce back to a happy place for yourself.
While I have dozens of more tips and things I have learned along the way recently, I have made this article long enough as it is already, and quite frankly, you have to figure out what works best for you on your journey to finding yourself and becoming a better you. If you are currently on this journey or are at the start of it, congratulations, you have taken the biggest step of the whole process, you desire change, you desire better for your life and for the people in it, and most importantly for yourself. What you do from here is up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to better yourself. Find the change you are wanting, and be it.