How To Change Direction In Life (Get Unstuck)

Many people are stuck in behavior patterns that hold them back or they feel stuck and they don’t know how to break the loop they find themselves in, and sometimes they aren’t even aware of the fact that they can break it and they feel victimized by life itself, unable to move forward.

Some may not even know they are stuck in a loop of destructive pattern.

It doesn’t have to be destructive in a way that addictions are, it can be destructive in ways that simply keeps them stuck in the same old same old (a dull life basically) where nothing new ever happens. 

How to break the chain of behavior that keeps you stuck or stagnated?

The obvious answer is to start doing things differently, seeing things from a different perspective, and to change the attitude we have about something, but to actually do that seems to be something people struggle with a lot so I felt inspired to write this article.

What is lacking, and this is what I see, is that most people don’t commit to a continuous effort to change something.

They try something once and if it didn’t ‘work’ (they didn’t get an instant gratification or fulfillment) they disregard it.

But change is a process and very rarely does a life direction change overnight and even if it may look like a change is sudden the truth of the matter is that there’s a lot of work and effort behind the ‘sudden’ opening up of a new path.

This doesn’t mean it has to be a physical effort, it can be something someone have pondered for a very long time such as leaving a bad relationship or quitting a job they hate, and then when the day comes when they have mustered up enough courage (because it takes courage to change) and they decide that “this is it, I have had enough!”, almost immediately the new path opens up before them and they find themselves on a journey that is so much more fulfilling and wonderful than they could have imagined.  

The path has been waiting for them all the while they held themselves imprisoned in the negative situation and the moment they let go (that’s the action/effort part and it can be the most difficult thing you have ever done in your entire life) the new could take its place, a new flow could start to unfold.

As soon a someone makes a decision that is life affirming and in alignment with their values, things start to happen because now you’re flowing along your real life and not a life that was based in fear and anxiety.

But even so, now you have to follow that flow (make a conscious effort to stay on course) and not go back to the abusive relationship or whatever it is that you have removed yourself from!

Now you need to replace the place where fear once lived with something that is life affirming and empowering and you need to do it continuously until the new flow becomes established in yourself. 

The same goes with anything in life; 

If someone wants to start meditating for example, it’s not enough to meditate once and then disregard it saying “it didn’t work”, or even worse saying things like “my mind won’t let me, it just won’t be still”.

Don’t expect that the first time you meditate is going to be a blissful experience. It probably won’t.

The same goes with journaling and consulting your intuition by writing and asking questions in a notebook specified for that; it’s not a one time thing and then that’s that.

It’s an ongoing conversation and in the beginning it might take some effort to actually sit down and write and listen to what comes up, but very soon it becomes like the most natural thing to use journaling to get clarity and insights in regards to every aspect of your life.

And the answers you receive are not static, it’s not like you go ahead and do this journaling thing once and you ask a big question like “what’s the purpose of my life, why am I here?” and then you get an answer and that’s that.

That’s not how it works at all.

You ask and receive an answer and then move with the answers you get and in doing that you get more and more clarity and with every step you take following the direction of your heart, you life situation automatically changes too and then new questions are asked and new answers come and then you have established this new loop within yourself where you feel empowered and confident.

It’s a living and moving thing, not something we do once or twice.

It becomes a joy to live this way because you will feel that whatever you want to know or do, you can.

You come to realize that all the answers are within you and all the power is within you. 

Unless our automatized thinking pattern (conditioned thinking) change we’re stuck in a loop of simply reacting and behaving like we have been doing for probably a very long time, or at least for a time long enough to get us frustrated, and then that frustration keeps us blocked or stuck and the loop gets more and more reinforced the more frustrated we feel.

What to do if you’re stuck in a loop of fear and anxiety not knowing how to break free

I have to change” is a great thing to become aware of, and I think many knows that, but they don’t know how to actually change, so here’s a few things that will help you get unstuck and start moving in a different direction in your life.

Knowing that every behavior, the more it’s lived out, the more reinforced it gets, and the more ingrained it become into our character and way of being.

The great news is that this includes both the negative things we do and also the positive things we do.

We can chose to either:

– Do a weekly workout or a weekly sitting-on-the-couch-drinking-beer-kind-of-thing.

Lots of people long for the weekend when they can “relax” and get drunk for example, but you can also chose to go to the gym and do a workout, or you can go for a long walk that has a more relaxing effect than getting drunk has. 

– Do daily meditation and be still for 30 minutes or watch a new episode of that soap-opera or reality show that you have been following for god knows how long.

As you can see it boils down to what we prioritize and value in our lives. 

We have at any moment in time the freedom to chose where we want to have our attention and focus, we have the freedom to chose our attitude and before we can really know this we have to become aware of the what we have our focus on in reality and not merely what we wish or intend to have our focus on.

Some are not even aware of the fact that they can shift direction in any moment of life just by changing focus and perspective. 

It definitely helps to develop a moment to moment awareness where we become aware of where we have our attention versus simply mindlessly reacting to whatever comes our way.

It also helps tremendously to get your priorities straight and for me personally I honor my inspiration so much that it would not matter if someone called me right now and asked if I wanted to go to the beach with them or something, because no matter how lovely that sounds, I’m committed to this now (writing this article) and whenever I’m in this flow of writing I’m enjoying it so much that I often even ‘forget’ to eat. 

I know the importance of going with my inspiration, but I see this in people all the time; they postpone what they feel inspired to do, but then the moment is gone and “tomorrow” never comes, the flow simply dies out because they didn’t honor it.

And then they ask why they feel stuck. 

You have to go with it, and when you start doing this you come to realize very quickly that this is the way to live, you can’t but follow it, it’s so much more enjoyable than to do things out of obligation or because you feel that you have to because of this or that reason.

I do this because I love it, that’s my only motive with this and I know it will take me many hours to write this article, and while looking out I can see the sun is shining and the weather is gorgeous, but I am so enjoying this so I chose this over that, because I value this more over that.

If this was not important to me I would do something else. 

Look at what you spend your time doing and by doing that you can see where you’re values and priorities are.

That’s the beginning of increased awareness and when we see something we don’t like very much it’s in our power to change it.

We can chose a different path any time and although it may take some conscious effort to start moving in a different direction, what does it even matter if you indeed want to change the direction of your life?

I sometimes hear people say that they are thinking of or that they want to start a blog, but few actually start doing something about it.

Maybe they see it as an overwhelming project once they realize that there’s actually work and effort involved, but if there’s something you really want to do you will find a way to do it.

But if your main purpose with creating a website for example is to merely make money then you’re not going to enjoy it and you will give up very quickly, or your effort will be filled with struggle. 

You have to have something else that drives you and that is to have a desire to share and provide something of value, it has to be something that emanates You, something that comes from your heart.

If you value it the chance is that there will be others that value it too.

If you don’t value it it’s dead and empty, simple as that.

If you don’t value and prioritize Yourself, your life will feel dead and empty, but as soon as you start to value yourself and prioritize your own well-being, things will start to flow in a way that makes you come more and more alive.   

Get clear on your values

What we value is shown in our doings, and where our priorities are becomes very clear when you have a closer look at what you’re spending your time doing.

If you want to change, if you want to become healthier for example, then start doing something that encourages that behavior within yourself, don’t just talk.

Do.

And do it continuously until you have created a new pattern of behavior.

If this is important to you (something you value) you will do it, because our true values are always demonstrated in what we actually do. 

When we become aware of that our perspective changes too.

We come to realize that thinking “I have to change” is not enough – in order to change we have to start to make a change somehow and from taking the step towards a new direction the path itself will open up itself to you and it will show you the next step and then next and so forth.

One little step, taken not only once, but continuously, is what makes a new path established and thus changes the results in our lives too.

To mention a couple of examples in my own life that I hope will inspire and encourage you;

I used to be a heavy smoker (had been smoking from when I was about 12 years old) I decided in my early 30’s to stop smoking, so I replaced that habit with a new, healthy habit. 

Because the truth is, that there will be a void that needs to be filled in place of the old one, and if you don’t fill it, something else will find its way to fill that in you, and usually it’s a new type of addiction (like for example you start to over-eat or something), so what I did was that I broke the chain of addiction where it was the strongest and the strongest was right after I had had something to eat.

That was the time when I usually enjoyed a cigarette the most (after dinner/food), so instead of automatically reach for that pack of cigs, I went out for a walk around the house which took me approximately 15 minutes, and when I came home again the urge to smoke was no longer there.

(And this made me feel good about myself which helped reinforce the new healthy behavior). 

I did this continuously and soon enough the pattern of behavior had changed and I no longer automatically reached for the cigarettes.

Some may say something like “I don’t have time to walk around the block every time I start craving a cigarette!”, and to them I’ll say that you don’t have to do what I did, you can do something else that doesn’t take 15 minutes.

You can go brush your teeth ever time you want a cigarette.

That’s a replacement too and it won’t hurt you, but as you do that conscious act it will keep you on track as long as you follow it and soon the craving to smoke will have left your being.  

Some habits or additions might not be that easy to break, but they absolutely can be broken and we absolutely can change the direction of our lives in regards to anything we want.

Another example I can share is when I became free from medicines.

When I went to rehab (this was over 12 years ago) I was not only a drug addict but I also ate a lot of medicine for anxiety, depression and what not, I mean it was a crazy amounts of pills I popped at that time and the doctors told me that I would always have to take meds (for the rest of my life) and they told me that my brain would never again function normally without meds and that I could never feel happiness in my life unless I took this pill and that pill etc (long story).

But I decided to not listen to them and I decided that I will be healed, and I will be healed fully.

I decided to get off of all meds and become 100% drug free.

And find happiness in my life.

So I did.

It wasn’t an overnight thing, I didn’t one day decide that now I will never again take those meds, it was a process that took time and effort on my part and it took trust – I never doubted myself, I knew I would be healed, I was determined it was going to happen.

I surrendered to the process and gave the whole of me to it. Come what may. And yes, it was hellish at times.

Just as hellish someone else’s life experience is who reads my article right now.

It doesn’t have to have anything to do with addictions; it’s all about values and priorities.

I valued myself and I prioritized myself. You can do it too no matter what kind of mess you find yourself in.

You can start moving in a different direction in life by becoming clear of your values and staying true to them. 

In the rehab I learned that cravings are not long lived; they surge up and die rather quickly but most people have an immediate response to the craving and they don’t give it any time to vanish, but instead they respond to the craving by giving into it right away when it surfaces.

It hooks you. But what if you stopped for a moment and noticed the craving without doing anything about it immediately as you usually might do?

Like I did in the process of getting free from meds;

What I did was that every time I felt anxiety well up within me, I stopped and asked myself if I could wait five minutes and then see again if I really needed to take a pill right now. 

Sometimes I felt I really needed to take a pill or three, but many times I also felt that I could wait five minutes, and then another five minutes without taking any and soon enough the anxiety vanished (until the next time it welled up and so forth, then I started the process anew).

I obviously did a lot of inner work as well at this time in my life (it was a 24/7 rehab center) but I learned that living just ten minutes at a time helped me to stay present in the here and now and to meet my fears as they were and that was what liberated me and allowed a new pattern to be created within me.

And to make a long story short I eventually was completely healed and I became free from all meds and all drugs and I found happiness and freedom 🙂

The ten minute technique also works on worry.

If you continuously worry (you’re stuck in a loop of worry and anxiety about the future) about how you’re going to pay rent next month (to make an example) you block out the solutions that are available to you because fear always clouds our vision.

But if you live ten minutes at a time (and not thinking of next month) there’s a surrender to this moment only and that creates a more relaxed state of mind that will allow you to see things more clearly and thus you will be able to handle things more intelligently and not our of fear.

(Nothing good comes from living and moving from a place of fear and worry).

Breaking patterns when it comes to your life direction requires that you leave the old behind (a situation, a behavior, a mental attitude, even old friendships might have to go) and when you know your values your decision making becomes so much easier.

You will know what’s important to you and you automatically go with that (being true to your values becomes the ‘new norm’).

I can help you identify your values and to clarify for yourself what is truly important to you individually and show you how you can live in alignment with that which is really true and authentic to you.

Lets talk: Schedule a session with me

Burriana, Nerja

I took this pic yesterday when I was out walking.

Sometimes the clouds come down real low here in Nerja and it’s so beautiful to see.

Don’t give away your power; trust yourself.

Here’s a long article with tips on how to discover, develop and listen to your intuition: 

mariaerving.com/how-to-listen-to-intuition

Visit my Social Stream Website with lots of free articles and postings:  

mariaervingonline.com

 

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Comments

  1. Hi Maria
    You’re a good subject to explore., I think the first thing to do is first of all to herself to trust anyone.

  2. Pingback: How Our Thinking Shapes Our Life Experience · Maria Erving :: Maria Erving

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