Life is full of ups and downs. But sometimes, you may feel like nothing goes your way, and it’s mostly going downhill.
If you’ve had enough of how things are right now, you may want to make significant changes in your life.
With that being said, what are the things you can do to turn your life around for the better?
Public Speaker | International Award-Winning Author, Suffering Ends When Awakening Begins
I grew up in a dysfunctional family. My parent’s marriage was doomed from the start. They separated after I was born and got back together a year later. Our home was filled with emotional and physical abuse including being whipped with a leather belt.
Back in 1973 at age eleven, my mother devised a plot to end the life of my two siblings and I. She did this by putting sleeping pills in my ice cream, backing the car in the garage, closing the door and then nailing a blanket to the basement doorway.
My mother told us that “it’s a surprise for your daddy when he gets home from work today.” She would’ve succeeded if it weren’t for a voice that woke me out of my final sleep that said, “Get up and go for the door! Go for the door!”
The tentacles of the devastating effects of this trauma (and others), stretched far and wide. It destroyed any positive self-image I had of myself. My self-worth and confidence were shattered into billions of pieces, taking years to recover and try to make sense of what had happened. I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. It was as if I was always on the outside looking in, feeling out of place, unwanted and unloved.
At 15 years old, I ran away from my home in Chicago and hitchhiked to Florida. I lived on the streets for three months, became involved in selling drugs, and was sexually abused.
At 19, I fell in love for the first time. I was going to ask my girlfriend to marry me on her birthday, which was only a month away. However, she was killed along with my best friend, when we got into a car crash.
Living a life of reckless abandon, I was involved in two other serious car accidents, two motorcycle crashes, and a boat accident.
Later in life, when the markets crashed in 2007, I become homeless with my wife and four small children. This was the turning point in my life. Although it took me many years to begin to understand why my life was the way it was and learn how to make a change, I begin to seek out how to do just that. I started with the movie The Secret that a friend gave to me, and began reading and listening to people such as Bob Proctor, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and others.
When I thought that my wife had an affair in 2010, that was the last straw for me. After all, how much suffering can one man take? I didn’t care any longer if I lived or died. I gave up on my business, my wife and family, and myself.
Despite my morose outlook on life, I agreed to go to marriage counseling. In one of the sessions, after I told her my life story, I jokingly said to the therapist that I should write a book. If people could read about all the hardship, adversity, and suffering that I went through, it would give them faith, hope, and courage to overcome the challenges they face. As a result, they would be able to have a more positive outlook on their lives.
As soon as I finished that sentence, it was as if the spark of life ignited once again in my gut. Having the thought of writing a book (even though it wasn’t a desire to do so) my spirit, mind, and body were revived. The life force reentered my being, giving me the will to live and carry on. Six years later, I finished that book.
What I realized through these events in my life was that I was an expert at suffering. I came to learn that our thoughts create our reality through the frequency we tune into and the way we maintain our vibration. A good indication of this is our attitude. In other words, if we’re not feeling good, we’re not thinking good.
This is clearly shown by Dr. Masaru Emoto’s book, Messages From Water. It shows how our words, thoughts, and vibrations can affect the evolution and shape of water crystals. If we have thoughts of hate or anger, the water crystals will be all distorted and ugly looking.
On the contrary, if our thoughts are of love, gratitude, or peace, the water crystals will turn into magnificent works of art. If our thoughts can do that to water crystals, imagine what our thoughts can do to ourselves.
Related: 12 Tips to Get Your Life Together
You can take control of your life by taking control of your thoughts
What if you could change or improve any aspect of your life by tapping into your innate ability as a co-creator? Yes, you have and always have had, the ability to create the reality and the life you desire. You are already manifesting things in your life without even realizing it. Thoughts create things; what you think about, you bring about. This is how I created a change in my life.
The situations and circumstances that surround our life are a culmination of our thoughts. They have been programmed into our subconscious mind, which manifests as decisions by our conscious mind. All the decisions we make in our daily lives are linked to the programming and belief systems, which make up our paradigms.
For people who find themselves struggling with various things throughout their lives relating to relationships, finances, work, health, etc., and cannot figure out why they keep struggling, the answer is simple; your decisions are based on your paradigms. Changing the programming will change the paradigm, thus changing your reality.
After many attempts to change, this is why some people still struggle with certain things over and over. They don’t realize how or what is happening, so they don’t know how to change, surrendering their circumstances to bad luck or karma. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Science has shown that we have 60,000-70,000 thoughts a day, with over 90% of them being the same thoughts from the day before.
How are we going to change anything in our lives if we cannot harness our thoughts and keep thinking in the same manner?
Programming confines your beliefs and thought processes within a box. This is primarily caused and/or influenced by parents, media, school, movies, work, religion, government, etc. It has you thinking linearly, to follow and conform to a society-based way of thinking. Furthermore, it denounces the creativity within, believing in oneself and trusting one’s innate ability to go within for answers. A great example of this is what we are talking about right now.
Manifest your own reality by using your ability from within
Sadly, many people living in a box would question the viability of creating your own reality. We have always had this power and ability. It’s something that is not spoken of or taught to us in the mainstream.
When we realize the beautiful awesomeness of this ability and power we have, we will not need to be dependent on something outside of ourselves to make our lives fulfilling, happy, and enjoyable.
There are many ways to go about manifesting and creating a new reality. Below is one way which is relatively simple and a good place to start.
First, you need to create an AffirMOtion
An AffirMOtion is like a compass to keep you focused in the right direction. (A positive affirmation about what you want to achieve, attached to the emotion [e.g., excitement, gratitude, bliss, etc] of how you would feel if you had already received what you set out to achieve).
Say your AffirMOtion when you wake up in the morning, at night before you go to bed, and at least 4-5 times throughout the day for about 3-4 minutes each time. The best times to say it repeatedly is when you are in that sleep inertia or grogginess when you are waking up in the morning, and right before you are falling asleep at night. For example, here’s one I used to use:
I am so happy and grateful now that, (I have a permanent home for my family. I am so blessed, thank you for making it so).
Write an AffirMOtion that resonates with you. Create one that best applies to what you want to achieve. Follow the instructions above and carry them out in the manner that I have listed below.
Continue even if you have doubts on your AffirMOtion
From my experience, this is more than likely what’s going to happen when you start (but not always). It might be hard to say it at first, then in a week you may feel like quitting. You might think this is B.S., this is crazy, or that guy doesn’t know what he is talking about. This is the time that you need to continue!
Your subconscious mind is telling you not to do this or that it doesn’t work. Don’t listen! Your paradigms, which have been programmed into your subconscious mind since birth, are telling your conscious mind to stay in your comfort zone and to not try anything new. Your brain produces a chemical called cortisol. If you stay in your comfort zone, your brain releases the chemical which makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
On the contrary, by stepping out of your comfort zone, you are reprogramming your brain and creating a new neuro-net connection. The more you say your AffirMOtion, the thicker that new connection becomes, and eventually the old connection will break away. The best time to create something new is when you move out of your comfort zone.
After two weeks of beginning this practice, you will believe what you are saying without a doubt. Napoleon Hill said, “What your mind can believe and conceive, it will achieve.”
Keep your AffirMOtion at the forefront of your mind at all times
Instead of letting your thoughts wander meaninglessly throughout the day, refocus your thoughts on what you want…your AffirMOtion!
Keep saying the AffirMOtion repetitively and carry it out in the manner that is listed below.
Make a decision that this is what you really want
Instead of having the mentality of “the door isn’t open, I guess I can’t go in,” find a way in! Go around, over, under, kick it in, or blow the darn thing up if you have to. You have to have the resolution, determination, and tenacity of a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs. Have that tenacious mindset. You only accept the desired outcome you want to achieve. Nothing ELSE! You have to be all in! Believe in yourself! Believe nothing is going to get in your way and it won’t!
Create an image in your mind of what you want
We think in pictures, not in words. Create a clear image of what you want, be specific and hold this image in your mind and your heart.
Attach feelings to the image
This is extremely important. This is the difference between an affirmation and AffirMOtion, between not creating and creating. How will you feel when you get what you desire? Happy? Excited? Grateful? Of Course! You need to manifest these emotions while you are concentrating on your image. Your image and your emotions about the image need to become one.
Think from the end
I cannot stress this enough. You will not attract what you desire by thinking how happy you will be when you receive it. You will attract what you desire by believing you already have it. You have to imagine yourself already having what you desire. Think, act, and feel like it already happened.
Stop the negative chatter
You will never get what you want if you think negative about yourself or think you can’t get what you want. When the voices start (and they will) putting doubt, confusion, self-depreciation, and unworthiness in your mind, SHUT…THEM…DOWN!
After you shut the negative chatter down, you need to go to a happy place. Think of a moment in time, a place, or thing that makes you happy. This will change and elevate your frequency and vibration. Then use your compass (AffirMOtion) and refocus your thoughts on what you want. It’s like Pavlov’s theory, but instead of training a dog, you’re training your subconscious mind.
You have to understand that in order to get what you want, the image you impress on your subconscious mind has to be greater than your paradigm or negative beliefs. In other words, if you keep telling yourself (or feeling that) you’re unworthy or this will never happen, you are also creating something, but it’s something negative. You’re creating resistance and the inability to become happy and never get what you want. So…STOP!
Imagine a balance scale. One side is your negative beliefs and the other side is what you want to create. What you want to create has to tip the scale and far outweigh your paradigms and negative beliefs.
This is one reason why so many people are unsuccessful at creating what they want. They are knowingly or unknowingly hanging onto counterproductive beliefs and negative thoughts, which have been programmed into their subconscious mind by their parents, society, and themselves.
I have 100% confidence that you will create what you want to bring a new level of happiness and joy into your life. You must believe it to be true because you had this ability all along. It’s only been lying dormant within you.
You are a divine being. Source is within you. You are the Source. You are a Co-Creator. You have the power to create and to be as happy as you can imagine. Discover who you truly are and realize the divinity that is within you.
Awaken to your true potential by empowering yourself. You only have to go within, nowhere else, only within.
Dr. Linda F. Williams, DSW
Certified Coach, Whose Apple | Trained Psychotherapist | Behaviorist
Here are a couple of suggestions to help you stay the course:
Recognizing something has to change and being willing to make that change is the first step. You’ve been through a lot to come to this. Congratulations on surviving all of that and for having the courage to move forward.
Give yourself a break
You didn’t come to this point overnight so make the change in small increments. This is a process, not a marathon. The slow steady change is sustainable. Sudden drastic changes are not likely to be maintained.
Accept a few uncomfortable realities
As you change, so will your tribe. A normal result of your changing your life is the fact that your friendship circle changes. Some people will leave because they need the old you to get along with you.
Let go. Toxic relationships will also go by the wayside. The people in your circle who respect and support your change are the keepers. They will respect the new boundaries that result from your new life and they will love you through the process.
It’s not going to be easy
You have to be okay with being uncomfortable. Discomfort is a good thing in the change cycle. You are embarking on the ground you haven’t traveled before.
Look at the discomfort as a sign that it’s working. You are retraining your mind to see things differently. That comes with bouts of fear, as well. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Psychologist | Trial consultant | Author
Don’t forget the past, but always look forward
Last November, the Woolsey Fire in Southern California destroyed hundreds of homes including mine. While I was grateful that I had survived, I had literally nothing but the clothes on my back.
I quickly realized that everything had changed. I had lost not just my “stuff” but my life’s story that my home and “stuff represented. I cried (and still do) over what was lost, but knew I had to turn my life from despair to hope. To do that, I had to create a new story.
During the disaster, people were exceedingly generous—through caring words and deeds. I let people help me, which was a challenge for my independent self. I was offered and accepted a place to stay; my ballet teacher gave me ballet slippers until I could get my own. I was handed a box of Christmas ornaments from someone I hardly knew. The acts of kindness went on for months. I appreciated every single one.
I made it a point to continue my daily routines as best I could. That meant work, seeing friends, attending church, continuing ballet and ballroom dancing. This proved invaluable for reaching new normalcy. These activities anchored me in a hopeful future.
The lessons I learned from such a traumatic event? Don’t forget the past, but always look forward. People are wonderful; help is there and a new story is just around the corner if you just reach for it.
Charlene Walters, MBA, Ph.D.
Writer | Motivational Speaker | Business & Branding Expert, Own Your Other
When my husband passed away unexpectedly when my children were just two and four, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I was shocked, hurt and unsure of our future. I was mid-PhD and working too.
Having two toddlers, however, assured me that I had to come up with a plan fairly quickly. The way I looked at it, I had two choices. I could lie around and feel sorry for myself or I could gather strength and try to set the best example for my children that I possibly could. I chose the latter.
Was it easy to bounce back from this tragedy? No. I was often sad and overwhelmed. Did I do everything perfectly along the way? Absolutely not. I did as much as possible and tried to own my new reality, my new “other” as best I could. It wasn’t what I wanted or planned for, but it’s what I got so I learned to embrace it and move forward.
My advice to anyone who feels that their life isn’t turning out the way they wanted or envisioned it to be is to take control. You can turn it around; it’s all about having the proper mindset.
Keep moving forward and always remember what’s important. Life is so very short. It’s cliche, but so true. Make the most of yours.
Writer | Author, The Gift of Crisis
Be aware and recognize your self-sabotaging beliefs
One of the most important things you can do to turn your life around is to become aware of the parts of yourself which block intentional and conscious decision–making. Self-sabotaging beliefs cannot be addressed until you first recognize they are making substantial contributions to your life.
Look at yourself on every level – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually
This helps to clarify who or what defines the worldview that contributes to your unpleasant circumstances, and which accumulated beliefs are self-sabotaging as opposed to life-affirming.
As an intelligent and capable adult, you are no longer the product of your childhood environment or a victim of circumstances. You are a co-creator in your life – free to choose the person you will become and the actions you choose to take.
Look for sources of inspiration beyond yourself
In wanting change in my life, to turn things around, I came to recognize the yearning I felt to be inspired by something greater than myself; to let myself be pulled outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t always like it because sometimes it was quite uncomfortable.
However, to have new experiences in your life, to recreate yourself and start anew, you have to be willing to have new ideas in your conscious awareness.
There comes a time in the spiritual journey when you start making choices from a very different place; when you are willing to abandon attachment to the small perception of your life and move to embrace the idea of unseen possibilities.
As we can choose responsible attitudes and behaviors that we want to implement in our lives, we can also choose action and choice that is rooted in truth; our own truth when what we say, what we do and what we believe are in complete harmony.
With intentional and conscious decision-making, you no longer make choices to avoid something but instead make choices to create something.
Related: How to Inspire Others
Speaker | Author, Live the Life You Have Imagined
The first step is you must reach your low point
It doesn’t have to be when you are strung out under a bridge; hopefully, your low point comes before that. For me, it happened when my long-term marriage ended and I took a good look, a really good look, at my life and decided I was not going to live the same way – working too much and not enjoying life – what I called “A Life By Default.”
Reflect on how you want your life to be
Instead, I thought long and hard about what type of life I wanted to live and took small incremental steps to get there. These steps were so tiny, almost imperceptible, to others until the momentum and a sheer number of changes resulted in significant results.
Here’s an example of the steps I took to ‘get healthy and fit’. I started with 30 sit-ups and 5 push-ups a day. When that habit stuck after several weeks of trying, I joined a women’s boot camp. Then I started walking; then walking/jogging; then running; then an elite running team; and then competing in the National Senior Games in track and field.
No one noticed when I first started, but by the time I could run 800 meters in under 4 minutes and have lost 35 pounds to go from an extra-large to a medium, people could notice.
Do the changes for yourself and not for others
It’s important to note that I didn’t make these changes for others; I did it for myself. The confidence that came from reaching my goal and changing my life has permeated to other areas of my life.
It is such a big change from where I was a few years ago – high strung and nervous to happy and related – that family members even asked me if I was taking something (i.e. prescription drugs) to be so happy!
Nope, it all starts with deciding you want to change and taking those small, incremental steps that are so small that the change is slow, steady, and painless!
G. Scott Graham, MS, LADC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor | Psychotherapist | Business Coach, True Azimuth, LLC |
Author, Ten Things You Need to Know About Coaching Before You Get a Coach
Do something big
This should be something hard, something that punctuates the end of something old and the start of something new.
I hiked the Appalachian Trail in my early twenties after my spouse left him for another and the marriage I was a committed to for life ended. I decided to run a marathon and tackle Europe’s GR20 when I turned 50 to punctuate the half-century mark.
I quit my job and started my own coaching practice in 2006 when I realized my life was out of alignment and my employer was, “sucking the life out of me and pushing me to be less and less compassionate in the name of business and money.”
There’s no end to day-to-day and weekly strategies you can try out to help shift your life — from goal setting to journalling to affirmations, to coaching and counseling.
What most people need (in addition to that) is a way to symbolically recognize the transition — that is in itself meaningful and challenging. It definitely needs to be challenging. Lighting a candle while you drink a bottle of wine on some random evening won’t cut it.
You need to set a goal for something you have to strive for.
The “event” itself becomes a metaphor for the life shift you want to do and inspires you in an “if-I-could-do-that-I-can-do-this” kind of way.
It doesn’t have to be physical. It can be speaking in public, starting a blog, volunteering in a significant way like becoming a volunteer EMT or even going someplace you have never been to — as long as it is well out of your comfort zone and requires a significant effort.
Certified Transformational Coach, Silicon Valley Dreambuilders | Motivational Speaker
Imagine the kind of life you truly want
Two years ago, I was in the midst of a contentious divorce, working at a stable but unfulfilling job, and in a new relationship. I turned my life around starting with a very simple but profound step: imagining the life that I truly wanted.
I had imagined a life that I thought I could have, that I thought was within reach for me, that I thought I was qualified for… I had imagined lots of scenarios, but they were all limited based on what I thought was possible. Until that time, I had never asked myself what I really wanted in my life.
We will never achieve a level of success that we don’t first allow ourselves to imagine. We have to imagine it before it can ever happen.
Of course imaging a great life doesn’t make it so. There is always a decision & action that is required too. I decided to step forward into this life that I had imagined – the life that felt amazing to me. I took action.
I found a new career, enrolled and completed training, started my business, got my first clients, and eventually left my old job to run my business full-time. My divorce went to trial, but I focused on the outcome that I wanted – a resolution where I had blocks of time with my son & was able to move forward freely in life. I took the steps I needed to with my attorney, and the outcome was exactly as I imagined it.
My life has transformed in 2 years – externally, but also internally. I laugh more. I wait patiently at stoplights. I don’t even notice when another driver cuts in front of me. My relationships are richer & better – with my son & with my new life partner. Life is good.
I realize it sounds simple, but this started with imagining a life that I loved, and taking one step after another in that direction. If it worked for me, it can certainly work for you too.
Related: How to Move on After Divorce
Owner, Gunsmith Fitness
Take ownership of your mistakes
Until you own your mistakes you cannot turn things around for yourself. Acceptance of who you have been being the most crucial step to self-forgiveness and healing.
Write your new goals
Don’t let your goals slip away from your mind. Put them in writing an refer to them frequently to remind yourself of where you want to go. Writing goals down is a great way to stay accountable to yourself and others.
Check your relationships
Friends that take you back to the habits you are trying to kick should themselves be kicked to the curb. They are not bad people but your new agenda doesn’t align with theirs so therefore they are a hindrance to your progress. Now when you leave some people behind, find others ahead.
Make new friends
That does not mean replace the old ones but find like minded people to journey with you through this patch.
Get your finances in order
Save, start the business you have always dreamed of or invest, but whatever you do secure your financial future. Lack of money will take you back to square one faster than you can say “I’m broke.”
Get healthy and look great. Shop for good clothes and build your self-esteem back. The power of believing in yourself and liking yourself can propel you to achieve your dreams. Don’t look back. Keep on the momentum of the work you are doing on yourself.
Lifestyle and Travel Blogger, Heartbeat of Your Home
Assess your priorities
At some point, we all stand at a crossroads in our life. Various job offers, different types of treatment for an illness, choosing a place to live, a career path… The examples are endless, but the result is the same – one path is traveled and the others are left behind.
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom for 11 years. It was one of the best decisions my husband and I have made, and I will forever cherish this season of my life.
My goal was to return to the workforce after my youngest child started kindergarten. Soon after he began school, I went back to my career and worked part-time as a pediatric nurse. Six years later, I was offered a promotion to a full-time nursing supervisor in the hospital where I worked, but this meant that I would have to go to night shift.
I decided to take the job, and I absolutely loved it. My skill set was conducive to this role and I flourished in my new position.
Some people can function effectively on night shift, and I have great respect for them. I am not one of them, however, and I was living in a constant state of exhaustion. I began to exhibit just about every symptom of chronic fatigue possible and I became depressed. I was unable to help my kids with their homework most nights, I missed several of their extracurricular activities, and I wasn’t as available to them as I like to be. I felt as though I became a walking shell of myself, and I was miserable.
I’ll never forget the day I sat in a heap of tears and my husband said to me with much love and concern, “You are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually depleted. You aren’t even yourself anymore, and I miss my wife.” I knew he was 100% right. It was as though I had been on a hamster wheel, and I forgot I even had a choice to get off the wheel! The reality that I stood at a crossroad hit me hard that day.
I was forced to take an honest look at my priorities, and assess how the reality of my life aligned with them.
After many heart-to-heart conversations with my husband and lots of prayers, I made the decision to step down from a job I loved and the salary it provided. I took the only available position in my hospital at the time working on a per day basis. This was not a career move, it was a quality of life decision.
During the time when I was contemplating what to do with my job situation, I was introduced to the idea of starting a blog. I immersed myself into studying how to start a blog, and four months after stepping down from my position I launched my lifestyle and travel blog, Heartbeat of Your Home.
Through this experience, I’ve learned how easily you can fall into a trapped mindset and forget that you have choices to change your situation. I have also been reminded of the reality that letting go of something good can enable you to grasp onto something much better. While standing at a crossroads is not a fun place to be at the time, a huge blessing can be on the other side of it.
I experienced the reality that a crossroad once scorned as a curse can be recognized later as a gift.
First of all, you need a clean mindset and have to do a mind makeup strongly that you have to change things, nothing starts working until you motivate your own self that you are capable of something beautiful which comes within you.
Now start with a small task, as it’s easy to do small tasks then jumping on the bigger ones, make a note and plan things to research and start writing them, again you must have a motive you have to set in your mind which you have to achieve, it could be anything but you need to set goals to make wonderful things out of you.
Prune your relationship
I believe and remember that to enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. ~Buddha
Make new friends
The best part is to make new friends and share things and listen to them, it’s always good to share ideas as nice thing comes out of the ideas, that’s true, you have to make new positive friends with whom you can share things and learn from their life, there are always things to learn from someone else’s life.
It’s important to catch up with the health as nothing can be achieved until you have a good life cycle, No matter how hard life is you have to make sure that you take time out for your own.
Save some money
It’s important to save some money as you need this money to make things change for you by investing the money in something nice, which gives you benefit in long run, it’s never enough when you going to start a business, so keep it little tight.
Starting a business
Here comes the tough part where you have to decide how and where to start and how to put all the pieces of puzzles within you and make things done right, you have to make sure that a decision you make will change things and bring good results, no matter how hard you have to work to make it happen, so you have to focus and wish to have some luck on your side as well to make things right at the end for you.
Stop wasting time
The worst thing we could do to ourselves is to keep watching TV and not doing something which makes us good in any sense, that’s the most disturbing thing, you need to get yourself out of your comfort zone if you wanted to achieve things which you have dreamed of.
Learn something new
Do something you really like in your childhood or something which makes you excited no matter what as long you enjoy doing it, just do it!
Anything bad happens as it happens with everyone, just don’t get stuck with it, you have to remind yourself that nothing comes cheap and you have to strive hard and you have to focus on the larger pictures of life than getting stuck with the things which push you back, just do not complain life about it, smile and walk.
And at last do a little charity, no matter how much it could be $1 or thousand bucks, just do something regularly, or made up your mind that no matter how much you make you will give 2%, 5% of that income in charity to the most unfortunate ones, and trust me you will be feeling awesome and that feel cannot come with anything else, just keep doing it and I believe it will work out for anyone!