If everyone and everything seems to affirm that you should be happy with your current circumstances, then you shouldn’t feel like something is ‘off’, right? Wrong.
If you’re not happy, if you feel misaligned or unsatisfied, if you feel like you’re just going through the motions – then these are signs to pay attention.
I used to be that super shy, quiet girl who got straight As and who would say yes to everything because I thought that was the right thing to do.
I had a full-time job with a corner office and was studying to go into medicine. School was fully paid for. Friends and family kept expressing how proud they were of me and how “lucky” I was.
…but I didn’t share their enthusiasm at all.
Everything in my gut was telling me that I wanted to do something more creative with my life.
I realized that I was sacrificing my own happiness just to make others happy.
I went from being that shy girl to becoming a full-time multi-passionate creative entrepreneur, touring across Canada, releasing several albums and performing on stage with my music. I now spend my days designing websites and marketing campaigns, creating educational videos to help other creators on their journey, and recording music for my next album.
I went from feeling completely numb to being filled with vibrancy, excitement and passion for life.
I want you to know that you are never ‘stuck’ with your current circumstances.
We often tell ourselves that we don’t have a choice, mostly because we don’t want to upset the people around us.
You always have a choice.
Because YOU are the one making the decision – no one else.
Here are 3 steps that have helped me in my journey:
1 – Define who you want to be. Clear out 30min in your schedule to write a description of who you want to be. What would you be doing differently? Where would you be going? Who would you be spending your time with? How would you feel? How would you act differently? When you’re writing, don’t think about whether something is possible. This is a free-flow writing exercise so just let the answers pour out of you. The more detailed you can get, the better. Write in present tense i.e. “I am feeling happy…” rather than “I want to be happy…”.
2 – Be around others who align with who you want to be. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t hang around other successful entrepreneurs in the early stages of my journey. If you want to become a musician, join a community or meetup of other musicians. If you want to be more fit, get a personal trainer to keep you accountable. The key is to find a group, community, meetup, friend, mentor or coach that will normalize and encourage the new version of you.
3 – Take baby steps. What’s one small thing you can do today that will move you in the direction of who you want to be? Maybe it’s taking time out for yourself today. Maybe it’s enrolling in a course or researching relevant meetups in your area. Maybe it’s just giving yourself permission to do step 1. Don’t think about ‘how’ you’re going to make big changes – just think about how you can make a 1% change. Because 1% is better than 0%.
Give yourself permission to move at least 1% closer to who you want to be.
You’re brave enough to start, I know you are.
Auret Esselen is a YouTube Strategy Coach & Brand Asset Designer who helps creative entrepreneurs create profitable content. Sign up for her free training on how to grow your passion or business using YouTube.