Are you holding yourself hostage?
Is it time for a “you-turn”?
You might wonder why we are asking these questions! It’s because there are lots of unhappy people. Many people are not satisfied in their jobs, their relationships and, in essence, their lives. If you’d like your life to be better, consider the following.
People ask us how to find their passion, their purpose, and a life they really want. Their goals may be about work, career, hobbies, relationships and more. It’s about the things they want to do in life and who they want to be. The problem is that people hold themselves ‘hostage’ so they stay stuck and don’t reach their dreams. Let’s look at a few of the ways people do this so you can avoid it
One way to hold yourself hostage is to settle for just meeting basic needs. That’s when the goal or dream doesn’t have enough power to motivate. They can’t see beyond where they are now.
Another way people hold themselves hostage and stay stuck is by spending time looking in the rear-view mirror and expecting to move forward. It doesn’t work that way. People tell themselves that’s how they have always been, and things will never change. They’re right, things won’t change if people don’t believe they’ll change.
The third, and very ‘useful’ way to stay stuck is to blame someone or something else. That’s a way to avoid the guilt and shame from settling for a ‘lifeless’ life. It’s easy to say. ‘If only he or she would ...’ You fill in the blanks. Sometimes people blame the economy, parents, bosses, etc. We admit there are certainly circumstances that make it much more difficult to achieve goals.
Yet, none of this blaming attitude works to move forward. You want to know why? It’s because we only have control over ourselves and not over others. We may encounter many challenges but as we face challenges, we can learn and grow. On the journey to reach our goals, we may have to change the route. But if we don’t give up, we can also look for ways to make life enjoyable and meaningful as we move toward our ultimate goals. Now that we realize it’s up to us. Let’s look at what can help us escape so we aren’t holding ourselves hostage.
1. Get clear on what living the life you really want would mean to you. In other words, what’s the ‘why’ that will keep you motivated and going through the tough times? Look at your present life, and back at your past, to see what holds you hostage from going forward. Ask yourself lots of questions. When am I letting fear control me? What do I regret not doing? Children are often willing to try new things. They fall down, get up and try again. How can I be more resilient and see past disappointments and ‘failures’ as learning steps? Ashley Stahl said, “You can make a ‘you-turn.’ It’s a decision to let go of fear and come home to yourself.”
2. Look at what brings you joy in your life? What you really want for your life often shows up in what makes you happy and contributes to you feeling fulfilled. When you enjoy something, you may find you are in flow. Flow is a concept brought forth in positive psychology by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It involves times when people are so engrossed and enjoying what they are doing, that they lose track of time. These times of flow are often a good indication of some activities that would contribute to a life of passion and purpose. When am I in flow? When do I feel the most joy? Csikszentmihalyi said, “A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”
3. Take action by doing more of what makes you joyful. Maybe restrictions and responsibilities keep you from jumping in totally and leaving the past behind, but you can start in the right direction. We realize that there’s only so much time in each day, so how we use it will ultimately create our life. When we start moving in the direction of our dreams, we find that our Higher Power and the Universe come alongside to help. All sorts of “Godincidences” and helpers appear! So, now is the time to start on your way to the life you want. Mark Williams said, “Today is the future we promised ourselves last month.”
What about you? If you’re holding yourself hostage, we encourage you to make a “you-turn” and start living the life you really want. Then your life can bring you even more happiness and fulfillment.