How to Change Everything, without Changing a Thing!

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It happens to the best of us:  one day we wake up and feel bored, restless, frustrated, and confused with our lives.

Suddenly (but not really ‘suddenly’), everything we’ve worked for feels ‘old hat’ and unfulfilling. We crave something more while fighting off feelings of guilt for not being grateful for what we have.

(Side note:  you can be completely grateful for everything you have AND still want more...that’s fine and completely normal, no guilt required.)

Like many women over 40, most of us struggle with a deep desire and unrelenting need for something else in our lives, but we can’t quite pinpoint what’s missing, or what will fill that craving.

Instead of trying to figure it out, we push it away, distract ourselves by staying super busy, and let it fester under the surface until one day, all we have left are regrets for a lifetime of wasted opportunities.

I don’t want that life, and I don’t want that life for you either!!
 

THE FEAR OF HAVING TO CHANGE “EVERYTHING”

While there are many fears around figuring out what’s missing and what needs to change (the unknown is always a scary place!), one of the central beliefs that keep us stuck is that we’ll have to change everything: quit our job, move across the country, ditch our friends, and shave our heads (okay, so maybe not the last one, but you get my point!).

Almost everyone I’ve worked with has had this fear that they’ll need to drastically change everything to get the life they crave because they feel so stuck, so restless, and so bored.  

Nothing is working, so I have to ditch everything!

Sound familiar?

While doing a 180 is indeed an option, it’s not the only option, nor is it a requirement.

Most of the time, when we’re feeling this sense of restlessness and unfulfillment, it means there’s a gap between what our mind is telling us we’re supposed to do or supposed to want, and what we actually want (in our hearts).

We’ve spent a lifetime allowing our heads to rule the roost and decide what we want and how to get it, but there’s another factor in the equation:  our hearts.

What we truly want from a heart-centered place isn’t something most of us have paid a lot of attention to because we weren’t taught to listen to our deepest desires and give it value in our lives.  

But, at some point, our hearts beat a little louder, so we’re forced to take notice.  The problem is, we don’t always know what it is that our hearts want, and that’s okay.  

But, at the core of the restlessness and feeling stuck, is this disconnect between what we think we’re supposed to want, to have, and to be; and what we actually want, have, and are.

Make sense?  (if not, keep reading, and I’ll explain it from a different perspective!)
 

TO CHANGE “EVERYTHING” = CHANGE NOTHING

So, what do we do when we feel that disconnect, and we don’t know what we want (but, we’re painfully aware of what we’re supposed to want, but don’t want!)?

Let’s assume you’re feeling like nothing is working right now and you need to change everything in your life to finally feel happy and fulfilled.  

Sounds overwhelmingly scary!


But here’s the cross-my-heart truth: to change everything, you don’t have to change anything.

Let me explain that, because I know, taken at face value, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

When we look to make changes, most of us immediately look around us - our external world - for the top contenders.  When we scan the world around us, what we see in our crosshairs are the people in our lives, where we live, where we work, where we shop, how we spend our free time, what’s on our to-do list, etc.

When we desire something different, what paralyzes us from taking action is that we like certain aspects of our lives and we don’t want those elements to get swept up in the tidal wave of “change”!  

Maybe our marriage is rock solid, and we don’t want to toss that aside (or change so much that our partner doesn’t recognize us, or the relationship anymore).  Or, maybe we love our job, and we have career goals that excite us, and we don’t want to walk away and start over somewhere else.

When we feel an overwhelming desire to change “everything,” we fail to recognize that it doesn’t have to be that black and white.

Also, more importantly, we fail to recognize from where the real change needs to come.
 

LASTING CHANGE STARTS ON THE INSIDE, NOT THE OUTSIDE

Here’s the golden nugget in this article:  to make the most impactful and sustainable changes in our lives, we don’t necessarily have to change anything in our external worlds.  Most of the change needs to occur on the inside.

That means we don’t need to ditch our partner, sell our home, find a new best friend, or hand in our notice; instead, we need start by changing our mindset, releasing outdated beliefs, facing our fears, cultivating gratitude, and raising our energy levels.

Upleveling all of that, is what allows us to view the world differently and experience it with fresh eyes.

That doesn’t mean we may not still desire incremental changes in our external world; that’s perfectly fine!  But, you don’t have to change everything, and honestly, all of the external changes come after the internal shifts (which makes it not nearly as scary at that point).
 

UPGRADE YOUR INTERNAL “GLASSES” TO SEE THE WORLD MORE CLEARLY

Think of it like this...let’s say you wear glasses.  Imagine you go to see a movie you’ve been dying to see for weeks.  But, you forgot your glasses. You go anyway because you’ve been looking forward to this for weeks.  Most likely, you won’t enjoy it as much because you can’t really see what’s happening on the screen. It sounds fantastic, but that frustrates you even more!  And, since you’re already on edge and annoyed, other things will get under your skin: you’ll feel colder in the theater, and the popcorn will taste staler. You’ll walk out of there two hours later feeling dissatisfied and disappointed.

But, not to be discouraged, you decide to go back the next night, and this time, you remember your glasses.  Same movie, same theater, same popcorn, but this time, it’s crystal clear, and you enjoy yourself immensely. You don’t notice the temperature in the theater, the popcorn tastes like perfection, and you leave feeling uplifted, energized, and thoroughly satisfied with the movie and the entire experience.

While that’s not a perfect metaphor, the idea is that your mindset, beliefs, attitude, etc. are your internal glasses.  If you walk around without wearing those glasses, or they’re clouded and dirty, you won’t see clearly, and you’ll experience your world in a way that is less than satisfying, and dare I say, disappointing.  

But, when you're rocking a crystal clear pair of your internal glasses, your experience of the same thing is entirely different in the most beautiful and uplifting way.

Even if you go out and make a ton of changes in your external world that feel new and exciting, it’ll only feel that way for a limited time before it too becomes suffocating, boring, and unfulfilling.  Why? Because you’re still walking around without wearing your internal glasses.
 

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re craving changes and you don’t want to redo your life completely...guess what?  You don’t have to!

Start on the inside, clear away the blocks, renegotiate the limiting stories and beliefs, and see where that leads you.  You’ll likely be surprised at what few things on the outside actually need changing.

How do you do all of this?  By spending the time to focus on yourself.  

You need to exercise your internal muscle to hear your inner wisdom, ask tough questions, try scary things, and get real with yourself.  

If doing it on your own isn’t going to get you anywhere, then that’s where I come in!  I’m now accepting applications to fill a few spots in my Midlife Awakening coaching program, so click HERE to check it out and submit your no-obligation application!  

Or, sign up for my weekly email where I provide insight into ways to peel back these layers and create a life you adore.