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What To Do When Life Isn't Working: Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

What To Do When Life Isn't Working Out.

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – Rumi

Have you ever felt like life is just not working out the way you’d hoped? Like it is maybe even totally upside down? I know I have. It is disconcerting, to say the least.

When my dreams about my marriage crumbled, even though I took the final step away, I was devastated. I thought that was it for me; I would never trust or love again.

But, I learned to do both: with myself, first and then with the Universe, and then with my beloved.

Why Is Life So Hard?

Early on, I learned some things about myself that just weren’t true.

The thing is, I didn’t know they weren’t true for a long time, and so I acted like they were. And for as longs as I was willing to hold those beliefs, so were the people and circumstances I attracted. If I let myself feel, I would be scared a lot, feel small, unseen, unheard, unworthy, unlovable…a lot of “uns”.

Learning to break a lifetime of ‘uns’ is not easy. It took a leap of faith, courage and it took help from a compassionate coach. Now, I am that compassionate coach for my clients, and I help them take that first leap of faith to a better life.

How Do I Make Life Go My Way?

Whether you are struggling in your career, your relationship, or just feeling like life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be overall, what do you do when it just isn’t working out the way you’d hoped?

Keeping on keeping on, doing the same old, same old is not going to cut it. Doing the same thing over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. You will end up busier, but will you end up happier? Not necessarily.

So what then?

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:

  1. Am I Committed to the Outcome?

  2. Am I Willing To Sacrifice?

  3. Can I Give Up The How?

Am I Committed to the Outcome?

It’s time to get very clear: crystal clear. It is not enough to have a goal. You have to know WHY you want that goal: what is in it for you, your family, your community, the world?

Let’s say your goal is a relationship goal: you want to get married. Ok, cool, cool. That is fine; that is your choice, a worthy goal. But, why? Examine your intention. Is it because your friends are married? You feel left out? You don’t feel worthy without being part of that same social group?

Hmmm. We have some work to do. There is nothing wrong with the goal, but …the outcome is based in neediness and lack.

Instead, perhaps you fall in love with yourself first? Get clear on who you are, why you are worthy of marriage, and what kind of partner you can be. What do you have to give? Be responsible for your own needs and able to give and take lovingly, responsibly. Then you can attract a partner who is a reflection of that.

Let’s say your goal is a lot of money. You want to be rich. Ok, cool, cool. That is fine, that is your choice. Money is a worthy goal. But, why? What is your intention? Is it because you never had any as a kid, and you want to hoard it now, just have it in the bank and see it grow. Just let anyone try and get their grubby paws on it?

Hmmm. We have some work to do. There is nothing wrong with money, but the outcome is based on a lack mentality, and the grasping will result in unhappiness.

Let’s refocus on how you can improve your life, learn to give and receive with an open heart, practice compassion. Then you can attract abundance.

Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Whatever you are trying to make work takes work. If you thought you could get somethin’ for nothin’, you were mistaken. Life doesn’t work that way. There is always some quid pro quo, Clarisse.

You have to decide what you are willing to sacrifice to get the outcome you desire. You can also determine if it is a burden or a gift. (I recommend gift)

If you desire a successful relationship, you will need to give up some of your alone time. If you view this as a burden, really, don’t bother. Conversely, consider the energy when you both feel your time together is a gift. (Of course, time alone is still essential.) Are you ready to think of another person?

Imagine you would like to write a book. You will need to be willing to sacrifice a great deal of time to make this happen. Other people will be out frolicking, laughing, and having a fabulous time (at least in your daydreams), and you are stuck at that desk for hours and hours typing. Visualize the cover of your masterpiece in your local bookstore and you on Oprah’s couch. Is it worth it?

What about the money you want? You know it means financial freedom, no college debt for your kids, the house you’ve always dreamt of, that family vacation, a chance to retire before you are 70. All of that is wonderful, but it is in the future. Right now, what it means is no ordering out, cutting up your credit card, driving that old car for 5 more years. Can you do it?

Can I Give Up The How?

Once you have firmly committed to an outcome, you might be tempted to launch into control mode. While the action is an important ingredient in every plan, so are some intangibles:

  • Intuition:

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”- Einstein.

Trust and intuition go together. To pay attention to that little voice of inner wisdom, you need to trust that it is there for good and not evil.

You likely are well acquainted with the “chattering monkey” version, the negative critic version of the voice in your subconscious that says, “you are too fat, skinny, loud, much, etc.” So, now you are supposed to listen to another voice that will guide you on the path to success? Yup.

How do you know the difference? Practice.

Start tuning in regularly to yourself. When you are talking to a loving friend, you know you recognize their voice because it is familiar.

Make your intuitive, inner wisdom familiar.

Spend time every day in 5-10 minutes of quiet.

Ask a simple question: “What am I feeling?” and listen for an answer.

At the end of the 5 to 10 minutes, journal for 5 minutes. Write something/anything that comes to mind. At first, it might seem strange, but it will feel more and more like you are tuning into that friendly conversation.

Soon, you will get inspiration, insight, impressions, directions about areas of life that you need guidance in. Listen and, most importantly: follow.

  • Flexibility:

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”- Einstein.

Did you know that Vera Wang started out as a figure skater? Harrison Ford built sound stages? What you are doing right this second will not be what you are doing in the next second. Right? Don’t get so invested in one thing that you miss everything else. There is an interesting line between being focused and having blinders on. To be successful at something, you must be willing to through yourself into it wholeheartedly.

If you are in a relationship, you cannot have one foot in and one foot out and think that you will have a fulfilling, loving, intimate connection that you long for.

Ain’t gonna happen. You have to be willing to get your heartbroken, be all in.

And, if there is emotional, physical, mental or spiritual abuse, you have to be willing to be all out.

If you are in business, it takes work, focus, dedication to get it going. And if, after a reasonable amount of time, your product or service does not meet the customer's need, be prepared to pivot. Why would you keep trying to jam a square peg in a round hole?

A part of success in any area of life is a willingness to assess. If things are not working, then change is required. Consult an expert, get advice, re-calibrate, try new strategies, refocus, develop new habits, use other successful models, learn from a mentor, employ a coach, have an accountability buddy.

Want to learn more about my Life Learning Strategies and how I tackle life's ups and downs? Book a free Clarity Consultation today: I'm here to help.

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