Have you ever felt like your life was all planned out for you in advance? That there is an endless list of boxes that need to be ticked before you can be called a success? In many ways our lives are dictated by a blueprint we adopt at a young age, these are the expectations that are placed on us by the world around us:
In this, my first blog of 2019, I want to challenge you to do something different with your life this year. Read on to find out how to make 2019 a year of positive change by scrapping the blueprint today!
What is this Blueprint?
As young children, we are taught many things – our basic education, how to ride a bike, the difference between right and wrong and how to share, to name just a few. We’re also taught, on a more subconscious level, what is expected of us and the various steps to achieve or boxes to tick.
If you observe young children at play, you will see them act out social dramas. One person is the mammy, another is the daddy, someone plays the baby – and the roles that the children enact as their chosen character reflect what they see as the social expectation of these characters. Essentially, from a young age, we learn that it is necessary to go to school if you’re of that age, to get a good education. When you’re finished your education, you will get a good job, save to buy a house, get married, have a family and so on. This is the unspoken blueprint that we all unconsciously subscribe to.
In trying to tick all these boxes we can lose ourselves, we can get so caught up in the next box that we need to tick and we don’t even stop and ask ourselves ‘hang on, is this me? Is this what I want?’ In my view, the quarter-life crisis or the dreaded mid-life crisis happens because we have failed to stop, think and evaluate.
For example, the marriage box is sitting there waiting to be ticked, so you reason, I have been going out with her/him for x years, we might as well get married. However, deep down you’re not sure. You feel insecure about being unmarried at a certain age and so you focus on what everyone else thinks rather than being true to yourself and finding the right person for you.
There are Other Options
While the scenario I described above is seen as the norm, life does not have to follow this set blueprint that someone else drew and you willingly adopted. Or maybe you are ok with these steps. The point is that life can be anything YOU want it to be!!
Many of you may remember a poem from your school days, ‘The Road Not Taken’ which talks about the decision to choose your own path. It is scary going out on your own, choosing to declare that you want something different for yourself. But, is it not scarier to just accept, without question, whatever life hands you?
If you dare to think and live differently, for yourself, how different and truly satisfying could the rewards be? When you listen to your inner voice, find out what it is you really want and build a life based on your values, and with your goals, life can be incredibly satisfying.
That’s all well and good you might say, but, what if I don’t know what I want?
You, as an individual, matter
So often in life, we are taught to put others needs first. While this is a noble approach to life, it can lead to problems before long. When we’re so caught up in trying to be the perfect daughter or son, brother or sister, mother or father, or even sales or marketing professional, we neglect our own needs. Many a stay at home parent can tell you of the sense of losing themselves in caring for others, that one day they wake up and have forgotten who they are.
However, it is not only in caring for others that we can forget who we are deep down. The pursuit of constant box ticking can cause you to lose sight of yourself too. This leads to a situation where we’re confused and struggling with where we are in life and where we want to be.
Life is busy, it can feel like a whirlwind at times and if you don’t ground yourself, you can get whisked away, not unlike Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – she had the power all along!
How do we ground ourselves?
If you’re feeling lost, stuck or don’t know what end is up, I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that there is no special pill that you can take which will overhaul your life overnight. But there are steps you can implement that will result in incremental changes which will, overtime, revolutionise your life.
The first step is to begin to think differently, or what I call scrapping the blueprint. Take some time for yourself this year to step off the merry-go-round. Rediscover who you are and what it is you want from life. Forget about those preconceived ideas of how life should be. How do you want it to be? Remember, boxes are for admin use only!
Get outside of yourself in 2019, look at new possibilities, try them on for size and decide how you will custom-build your life. Life is precious, and we only get one shot at it. It’s up to us how big we dare to dream.
Take Action Activity
Take 10 minutes with a pen and paper and reflect back on 2018 and your life to date. How do you feel about the key areas in your life today? Are you happy with where you are?
If not, what is it that stands out for you? What is it about this situation that could be improved? What can you do each day, week, month for the next 12 months to move yourself closer to where you want to be?
Allow your mind off the leash you keep it on so much of the time, let it roam and write down what comes to you. Be honest with yourself.
Again, you may not be able to make your dreams come true overnight, but a lot of small steps, positive change can move you forward and a lot can happen in a year.
Having done this you can set out a plan for 2019!!
This free resource will help you get a clear picture of where you are today so that you can figure out where you want to go.
Download your free Life Satisfaction Worksheet
Parting Thought: Growth is challenging, but it is also rewarding. Will you set yourself the same old new year’s resolution you’ve tried and failed with before? Or will you decide to think differently and live a new life full of positive change in 2019? Set yourself a goal that is meaningful to you and achievable for you.
When you put your mind to it amazing things are possible.
Comment below and let me know if you have been unconsciously living by a blueprint and whether you’re ready to scrap it today.
If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘I’m in, but I don’t know how’, that’s ok. Lots of people feel stuck and unsure about how to achieve real positive change in their lives. I work with my business and personal coaching clients to give them clarity of thought and to make sense of the jigsaw that is their lives. Contact me, Sinead, here to book your free 30-minute discovery session and take the first step towards a year of positive change.