what to do when your life direction changes
BY SHANA LYNN YAO
When things aren’t adding up in your life, start subtracting.
One day I woke up and realized I was really feeling really “average”. It wasn’t like anything out of the ordinary was really wrong, it was just this feeling that I had recently accomplished some goals I had been working on, yet I didn’t feel really happy about it. In fact, I noticed my mind beating myself up for not have done more and being further “ahead”.
Normally, when people think they are missing something, you usually think about adding more - like something is missing that you need to do, move towards, or add in. But after thinking about what I needed to add, suddenly it all became clear.
Instead of adding something when you are feeling like you are missing something, in fact you need to do the exact opposite. You need to actually subtract something instead.
At its core, when things aren’t adding up, the reality is that you are in a state of LACK. We live in a world where we have so much more than we consciously realize. If you are reading this, you have a laptop, a smart phone - you have a device that brings you all the information you want and need at the touch of your finger. We have food when we want it and a warm place to sleep.
That sounds like I’m exaggerating but it’s true. So when things aren’t adding up, the first step to getting more is to actually SUBTRACT and simplify.
It’s about editing out the complications, the clutter and the noise. It’s about removing obstacles and barriers, and clearing the path to something better and easier. So next time things don’t feel like they’re adding up in your life, here are five things you can do to start subtracting and put yourself in a position to get more of what you want.
Decluttering is one of the simplest things to do to create an amazing and noticeable positive impact on your life.
Decluttering helps eliminate stress and visual distraction. And it doesn’t have to be big - decluttering something as small as a drawer, to purging your closet, or cleaning a room adds into big changes that simplify your life.
2. START SAYING NO TO AVERAGE
Have you ever ended a busy day - one of those days when you didn’t have time to breathe - and yet when you lay down in bed, you wonder what you did all day?
This may be hard to hear but that’s an indication that you may be doing a lot of AVERAGE things or may not have taken time in the morning to get centered and find clarity in your OWN VISION. You may have said “yes” to a lot of average things, hence leaving you with a feeling out being out of control or having life run you instead of the opposite way around.
If that’s you, it’s time to start subtracting. Take a look at the items on your calendar and to-do list. Which ones energize you or restore you? Which ones drain you and leave you feeling depleted? If your list is overwhelming, just pick one and see if you can either remove it from your life or delegate this responsibility to someone else, allowing less time for it, etc.
Once you take control of your days and start filling it with a lot of UN-AVERAGE things, it will start adding up in ways you can’t even imagine right now. You’ll have more energy, and more mental and physical space to ALLOW things you want in.
3. SUBTRACT NEGATIVE SELF TALK
Have you ever listened to the voices in your head? As humans we have 60-80,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are unconscious, and 80% are negative. WOW - that’s a lot of thought going on and if you aren’t careful, you could be depleting your own happiness and success with the “background noise” in your brain.
One way to start noticing what that voice is telling you is to be present when something triggers you. Something like comparing yourself to people on Instagram. Come on - we’ve ALL done it - and if you can keep yourself in neutral and listen carefully, chances are you’ll hear that little “why is that person getting all these likes? Why do they look so happy, beautiful, insert what your voice is saying…
While you may never be able to completely remove those voices, being aware of the THOUGHT AFTER THE THOUGHT will allow you to hear the negative, judgmental and self-defeating voices you tell yourself. This is one area where adding in something new—a positive and affirming message to yourself, and asking yourself powerful questions like “Is this true? Is it really really true?”
You can also ask yourself, if a friend told you they had that thought, what would you say to them? Listen for the answer and then…say it to yourself. Keep doing this until those nice words become natural and you will train your brain towards more positive thinking, allowing more positive thoughts and things to come to you.
4. SUBTRACT AN UNCONSCIOUS HABIT HOLDING YOU BACK
Sometimes unproductive habits creep into your life and you don’t really even notice it - it’s just what you call “life”. That is until you really start to notice the consequences of these habits.
For example, maybe every time you want to do something for yourself that is a little challenging - like working out or writing, or looking at your budget - and because it requires extra work you find yourself looking at your social media, or CREATING a “to do” that wasn’t on your list today but you do “need” to do it some time. At first, it’s not a big deal. But over time, you start to feel more and more nervous and stressed about the thing you’re NOT doing and avoiding. You suddenly realize you have no money to pay your bills, or your health slowly declines.
If you’re noticing consequences that you don’t like, take a step back and look at what’s behind these consequences. Is there an unproductive habit at play? If so, what would it take to remove that habit?
It’s hard to do things we don’t want to do so an easy way to subtract an unproductive habit is by replacing it with a new, more productive and exciting one one. So, for example, fi you want to workout to stay healthy, instead of making yourself go to the gym or go running which you hate, join a dance class and invite a friend. If you need to budget, set a reward if you start budgeting and saving you can buy that purse you’ve wanted for a long time or take that trip.
What can you subtract today to make your life begin adding up in a new and exciting ways? The more positive CHOICES you make towards CREATING your best life, the more your life will start to open up and ALLOW more space for the positive and more time to enjoy the other things in your life.
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