How happy are you with the life you are living? Perhaps you are content and wouldn't change a thing. Perhaps you are content, but there is something nagging you and telling you that there is something more out there for you - your dream life.
It may not surprise you that according to the Office of National Statistics, and the data collected from the Census 2021, the average rate of life satisfaction has declined. There was also a decline in people feeling as if what they were doing was worthwhile. Feeling this way leads us to unhappiness. From speaking to clients, family, friends and ex-colleagues, this trend seems to be continuing as we head towards the end of 2022.
It seems very simple to say that if everyone was a bit happier in their lives, then the world itself would be a happier place. But think about when our life is going the way we want it to. We’re happier, right? And because we are happier, we tend to be kinder to others and also give ourselves more compassion. What about when our life is not going the way we want it to? Anger, resentment, frustration. These are all words we are familiar with, and emotions we feel because the world seems to be against us.
Why do we put up with lives that do not satisfy us or make us happy? Why do we put off pursuing our dream life? Why would we continue to live a life that is not bringing us joy? Why do we not change the things we want to? Why wouldn’t we design our dream life?
Below are some of the reasons that people don’t change their lives:
1. Life priorities get in the way
2. Lack of confidence or the tools to make the change
3. Not knowing how to keep the motivation and momentum going
We all have different priorities in life. Some of us have children, or we care for elderly relatives. Some of us have jobs that demand our undivided attention for a majority of the day. Maybe the car has failed its annual service and now that needs attention. Your child needs extra tuition and family funds need to be redirected. There is always something that seems to get in the way of us living our life how we want to. How many times have you told yourself, ‘I’ll do XYZ when things quieten down,’ but somehow things never seem to quieten down and you still don’t get to do XYZ. When will you get to do the thing you want to, that you know will lead you to your dream life? You are a priority in your own life. If you do not start to make yourself the priority, and keep letting other things get in the way, then your life will not move in the direction you want it to.
Confidence, or lack of, is a big factor in people not living their dream life. When working with clients, it is usually because of past failures or being out of the game for a while that stops them from trying anything new. Past failures and the way that others have reacted can affect our confidence. It can make us question whether we will be able to do the things we want to. And that gives rise to self-doubt which lands us in a spiral that ends in us not doing the thing we want to. And our life then stays exactly the same.
Having the tools to change our life is important. f your mindset or your energy is not at a level to help you make the change then it will prove more difficult. If you don’t have the knowledge or the support to make the change, it may also be difficult. But it’s not impossible. And that in itself is a mindset shift. You may not have the knowledge now but we are all blessed with Google. Information is literally at our fingertips! And support may not come from those closest to you. It may need to come from those further afield. People who have gone through the very change you are seeking.
When I first thought about coaching, I knew nothing about it except believing it was purely for CEO’s of large companies. I could’ve taken a course, but instead I hired a coach, and then another and then another. I learned what coaching was from those who were already coaching. I have gone on to take courses too, but most of my knowledge has come from those already in the game. Being coached helped me to see what was possible for me and the change in career for myself. As much as I love them, my friends and family would not have been able to show me that. I needed to see it for myself.
But what if you’ve already started to make changes and you’ve lost momentum or motivation? It happens more than you’d think! When we set our goals or declare what we want to do, we don’t always plan out how we are going to do it. We see the big picture and head straight for it. We don’t think about how we are going to measure that we are on the right track. And when we don’t see the results we think we should be getting, this can feed into destroying our motivation or making us lose momentum. I’ve seen this in the past with clients who have set a goal. But because they didn’t set incremental goals or standards for what they were working on, and because their big goal was not happening quickly enough they stopped working on it. So instead of continuing, their goal was never achieved. And this in turn can feed into the loop of lack of confidence, because they didn’t achieve what they set out to, and so they decide not to try again, because they already proved to themselves that they would fail.
We have to break the chain or the loop at some point if we really want to live our dream life. If we don’t, we will stay in the same place and in a few years’ time we will revisit our choices. And we’ll consider it again. The sooner we break this way of thinking, the sooner we can get on with the life we want to live. The sooner we see the benefits of our change. The sooner we decide to make more changes that leads us closer and closer to the life we dream of. It doesn’t happen overnight and yes, life will get in the way, but how badly you want to change your life will determine on how successful and quickly you will be able to change it.
Part of my work as a coach is to help women design and create their dream life. Why do I do this work? I see so many people living lives that they just aren’t happy with. They are stuck in jobs they no longer enjoy. They are in relationships that are not supportive or loving. They have put their dreams on hold because of life circumstances and now don’t have the confidence or don’t know where to start to pick them back up. Are you in the same boat as my clients?