Living Fearlessly: Staying Focused & Getting Back On My Path

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional. ~ Glenda Cloud

The other day, I was talking to a friend and she told me that she noticed how happy I seemed.  What I said to her next was a defining statement that sums up where I am in my life:

“I am in such a different place in my life right now. I am not the same person I was this time last year.”

That powerful statement describes my state of mind right now.  Ironically, my life has not drastically changed on the surface since last year.  I am still a work in progress.  But there is one thing that has changed from within.  I am more at peace with my life and focused on what I need to do to make it better. 

Yes, I am experiencing something new.  Growth.

I got lost somewhere along my path and was having a hard time, finding my way back.  It felt almost as if I was asleep and could not wake up.  Yet I can see my life and knew I needed to take some action.  I just had to find my way back.  

It’s one thing to know what you need to do and entirely another to take the steps to actually accomplish those things.  As it is said, the first step is always the hardest.

When I turned 40, I looked at my life and was so dissatisfied with it.  I was single, never been married and never had children.  I always wanted the husband, the kids and the white picket fence.  I was also starting over again professionally and was just feeling unsure regarding my life on a whole.

My bad choices in life had gotten me to this point where I did not have the things that I wanted.  My bad choices stemmed from my lack of self-worth.  It was hard for me to admit this but I didn’t believe that I was worthy of these things.  So I settled because I didn’t think I could achieve better.

You have to believe that you are worthy and then make the changes in your life in order for the Universe to open those new doors for you.  However, believing you’re worthy also means being accountable for the choices you make and making a pact with yourself to make better choices going forward. 

When you make poor choices, you are essentially getting in your own way.  You are holding yourself back from your full potential. I could not see this.  I spent a great deal of time blaming others for my poor choices that led to setbacks and disappointments.  

We all have our “a-ha” moment, as Oprah calls it. Life can be fixed if you are willing to take the steps to make changes. 

First, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was single because of my own choices.  It was no one's fault but mine.  I can’t control how a man is but I can control who I choose to be with.  I had to be accountable for my choices in men and make a promise to myself to try to make better choices going forward.

I also had a hard time letting go and accepting things.  I placed high expectations on people, which is just setting myself up for disappointment.  I have learned that I cannot control others and their actions.  But I can control how I let it affect me.  I can't expect people to be how I want them to be.

You have to know who you are and what you want out of life before you can know the true extent of your worth.  When you know your worth, you make better choices because you know you are worthy of everything great.  Our power of choice is a great one.  But I was giving my power away by settling.

Dare I say it?  My 40’s were forcing me to focus and grow. Better late than ever, huh?

I took some time to really reflect on what I needed to do to turn my life around.  There is no universal answer for bettering your life.  There are the basics but ultimately, you have to do what is best for you and that will keep you on your path.

Finding my way back was two-fold.  While I needed to figure out what to do, I also needed to learn how to stay focused.  The only way I was going to continue on this path of growth was by staying focused.

First of all, I needed to be accountable for all the choices I made in the past and will make in the future.  It’s actually enlightening when you realize that you always have a choice.

With that said, I then needed to let go of my past poor choices and accept that they do not define who I am today.  I also needed to accept what’s beyond my control.  Acceptance is such an important factor in being happy.  Many times, I was stressed out over things that I had no control over. Once you accept something at face value, then you can make the choice on whether you want that person, thing or situation in your life.  Again, it’s your choice; your life, your rules. 

I then realized that there were things I have always wanted to do but never got around to them because my focus was on unimportant things.  So I created a list of small goals that once accomplished would not only better my life but make me happy. My list consisted of things like getting my driver’s license, finish writing my book, exercise more, take one big international trip this year, meditate more, and take some continuing education courses.

As soon I created the list, I felt excited.  Writing it down somehow made me feel more accountable.  I know the list will change over time as I accomplish goals and set new ones.  That makes the list so important to have as a reminder of what I need to do to better my life. 

Since creating my list, I have been so focused.  I also am happy.  I’m still single but I am so focused on being the best person I can be so that I know when the time is right, love will find me.  What has kept me focused is thinking of the “end game” and what I could have if I pursue the goals I have outlined on my list. 

I live each day as it comes as if my future is already great.  I stay focused because I know that is the only way to ensure that.  I also enjoy the present moment.  When you believe your future is already great, it takes the pressure off so you can enjoy the now.

Life is not perfect. I just take it one day at a time.  Some days I win and some days I fail.  But then I remember what my dad used to always say: “It's okay to fail.”  What counts is that you get back up and try again.  Conquering the impossible is all about taking chances and just trying.

Growth is a beautiful thing.  I never thought I’d say this but change is good.

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