About a year ago, I was feeling defeated and frustrated. There were several things in my life that just weren’t progressing the way that I had expected them to, and I felt like I was going nowhere. I remember going to bed one night, full of anxiety about the next day, specifically being overwhelmed with dread about the next day at work – and then, I had an ah-ha moment.

An ah-ha moment occurs when you discover something about yourself, your environment, or even the universe that you hadn’t known or been open to before. You feel the new awareness deep in your soul. They can no longer be ignored or denied.

My ah-ha moment that night when I was reminded of the Jim Rohn quote – one that I was extremely familiar with, but on this night, it meant so much more:

“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.”

In the context of where I was in my life, this was the kick that I needed. For years, I had been forcing myself to work jobs that I hated and conform to a work environment that I knew was not conducive to my well-being or advancement. It wasn’t working. It wasn’t going to work. No matter how hard I tried to make it fit, I was faced with the same misery, over and over and over again. But I was not a tree, so why hadn’t I initiated the change that I needed.

This is the simple power of an ah-ha moment. It’s like an awakening or having vision to see things for what they are, for the first time. Sometimes these moments are blatantly obviously and at other times, we are so distracted by our own thoughts and feelings that they are clouded out. It’s time to start paying attention and stop blinding yourself to what you already know is true. When something is not working, it is up to you. You have to find another way… or create one.

Don’t become a victim to excuses and self-defeat. There is always another way. Staying in a situation that isn’t working, and expecting a miracle, is insane. You can see yourself out of it. You are capable of change, improvement and even starting over.

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When you find yourself in a situation that is not working for you, here’s what you need to do:

1) Recognize that it’s not working

There is no criticism or judgement in this step. Everything is not meant to work for you. You are an original and if something doesn’t fit into who you are or who you’re becoming, it’s okay. Acknowledge it, knowing that while it may work for some, it’s not what’s best for you.

2) Stop all efforts to force it to work

We are resilient beings, but if something doesn’t work for us specifically, then it’s time to try something different. What that means is, stop trying to force it – or stop trying to change yourself – to make it work. And stop blaming yourself. We always condemn ourselves first. We tell ourselves that abusive relationships will get better, that we need our jobs (even if it’s to our own detriment), and that we should stop wanting more and just be grateful for what we have (because we’re not displaying gratitude otherwise). Stop. It’s time to stop putting yourself last. Stop trying to force it, no matter what it is. Let it go.

3) Accept that different is good, and needed

It’s okay to do something that may be the opposite of what you are currently doing or that others may think of as ridiculous. Whether it’s as simple as trying a new movie genre or starting a new hobby, or as epic as changing careers or moving cross country, open yourself up to an endless list of options and get creative, explore. Now is your time to find what fits you. Fully exploit your inner compass. It’s called: intuition (or your gut feeling, or your inner peace). Trust it. Don’t just go with what looks or seems right, make sure that it feels right too.

Never Stop Assessing What’s Not Working

Every part of your life experience is a journey or a process. Over time and situations, you’ll change and evolve. The people that are a part of your life will change. The goals, relationships and things you have acquired will change. Remember, change is constant. So you will have to consistently assess what’s working in your life and what’s not, so that you keep moving forward, because life is too short for stagnation.

It’s time for you to take stock in what’s not working and what is holding you back or making you stagnant.

Think about areas where you are not admitting that something isn’t quite right. It doesn’t always mean that you’re at your wits end or that you’ve failed. It just means that it’s not for you (at that time).

Examine, what you are trying to force to work in your life. When maybe it’s time for change?

Now is the time for you to be honest with yourself.

Brutally honest.

Do a self-assessment of your life and then explore your options, because with the right plan of action, you can make change that moves you forward. The change that moves you towards a bold, beautiful and brilliant life.