4 Ways To Change Your Life When You Feel Like You're Treading Water

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I Want Something Life Changing

Stuck in the deep and murky waters of life?

How many times in our lives have we found ourselves in the deep and murky waters of life? How many times have we just paddled water, hoping that life would change?

You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there and not moving. Every minute of every day you are at a choice point.

You can choose to sit and wallow, spinning circles around our concerns, or around the drain for that matter. Or, you can make another choice — you can decide to start swimming in a direction that will take you towards what you want in your life.

Do you want to change your life? 

In my book StoryJacking: Change Your Inner Dialogue|Transform Your Life, I wrote about the differences between spinning and wallowing versus getting curious and finding new pathways through our predicaments.

Who among us has never wallowed? I know I have. Who had never spun out about an issue or situation? I know I have.


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No one is immune from the seesaw of emotional responses until you start to notice what you’re doing. You get so attached to your idea of what’s right that when you don’t win, it can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Losing a relationship, an argument, losing anything, is a plot twist in a story. Maybe you had gotten attached to a particular ending, the happily ever after in your minds.

If you don't like the twist, you may find your mind in a spin, over-analyzing, or obsessing, or whatever you wish to call it, and I ask you, "What amount of energy does this spinning cost you?" "Who does that serve?" and "What is helped by your spinning?"

Because at the end of the day, does the obsessive thinking and spinning change anything other than yourself?


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When we dig our heels in and get overly attached to our perspective, we stop listening. We shut down communication and we close down solutions. Steven Covey called it "the dialogue of the deaf" — everyone talking and no one listening.

From this stance, it's easy to become the victim of someone else's offender. If you take the role of victim in the story (you know the ones, "This isn't fair," "I'm right, you're wrong," or "I shouldn't have to change, you should change"), this is akin to just sitting in the deep water, hoping not to drown. Good luck with that.

But what if you want life-changing? 

You can navigate the plot twists and here are a few steps that can help you transform from spinning to doing something useful: develop a mindset that is open and focused on solutions (MOFS).

You can have your own opinions and they may be part of the solution. Yet, what is possible if many minds are working on a solution? We may need to juggle ideas and play with outcomes, yet there is energy in creativity.

There is brilliance in the willingness to bring your own sphere of genius and also engage with other peoples spheres of genius too.

Here are a few ideas to help get you started on your journey to change your life:

1. Let go of the idea that you are right and everyone should agree with your opinion.

I know, that's a hard one. And, our mindset is a powerful tool to encourage this idea. If I can create a little wiggle room, something that opens up the idea that there may be more than one right observation or idea, it can be liberating.

2. Get curious about the role your playing (victim or hero) and decide which role is more empowering.

3. Be brave and willing to look at yourself; you are the key, and your attitude is part of the solution.

Look for actions that will help you navigate through the plot twist in your story.

4. Become determined to change your relationship to the story you are telling yourself about the situation.

Explore what the situation has to teach you.

Life-changing takes a lifetime, so be patient and keep working on yourself. And, when you find yourself adrift in the deep waters of life, start swimming!


RELATED: How To Change Your Life When You Feel Stuck


Lyssa Danehy deHart, LICSW, PCC Professional Coach, and the Author of StoryJacking: Change Your Inner Dialogue, Transform Your Life) helps people challenge their limiting stories and create an authentic and empowered life. You can learn more about Lyssa or schedule your complimentary introductory session.

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