I want you to try something. Find a mirror and stare at it. Study your face, your eyes, and all the little details that normally go unnoticed. Do this until you no longer look like yourself—like it’s as if a stranger is staring back at you through the mirror. Trust me, if you stare at yourself long enough, your image will become that of a stranger.
This is because the person you see whenever you glance at a mirror is not actually you. It’s only a mirage—the image you want the world to see. But if you truly study your reflection for a long time, the real you will start to show.
No, nothing on the surface is going to change. But on the inside, the real way you think about yourself, that’ll begin to come through. It sounds like some new-age BS, but try it. See how long it takes before you start to see yourself differently.
It’s not just the physical way you see yourself that’ll change; it’s your thinking, too. When you start to see yourself as you truly are, you’ll also start to think about what it is you really want out of life. You’ll figure out what drives you to want to be better—to want to reach your goals.
This period of reflection helps you to re-prioritize your life. Maybe your 9-5 day job is getting in the way of your dreams, but you’re either too content or too damn scared to make a change. So you push those thoughts, as well as your dreams, to the back of your mind and act like you’ll get to them eventually. Here’s a newsflash for you: eventually never comes when you don’t do anything to make it arrive.
You won’t fall into your dream life just because you want to. You can’t expect to become successful at something if you only mess around with it from time to time. You must make a plan and you must take action!
Others often see the things in us that we can’t. For instance, I’ve known many talented people who dreamed their lives away. They assumed eventually things would happen for them if they waited long enough. Even though they didn’t put in the work to make it happen.
How many people do you know who are like this? Maybe you know a naturally talented artist who is capable of creating amazing work. But for whatever reason, this person just never gets it together. They continue to work the same boring, unfulfilling job while their talent goes to waste. They never make a change in their life, and the only thing they end up with is regret for never accomplishing the things they spent their life dreaming of.
The sad thing is, this is most of us. I know I’ve spent far too much time wanting to be a writer but never actually writing. I focused on other things that didn’t make me happy: relationships, bad jobs, worse friends. So many wasted years that I could’ve used on perfecting my writing ability. But back then I was in the same boat as many of you. I was too content and scared to make a life change.
It doesn’t have to be scary, though. The best thing you can do is to start slow and work your way up. Say you hate your job, where you live, and your current position in life. You can’t expect to change all that over night. But you can improve upon it little by little.
You do this by setting and meeting small goals throughout the year. And over time you make your goals bigger and bigger; it’s the snowball effect.
Start with your job:
- Apply to other jobs. That’s the easiest step for change.
- Work harder at your current job until you start to get interviews lined up. The harder you work, the more recognition you’ll receive—and hopefully this’ll carry over to somewhere better.
- Try to be as positive as you can. Positive thinking is the best way to improve all aspects of your life. When it comes to your job, it will make others view you in a better light and treat you accordingly.
That’s a pretty basic example, but it works with all types of life changes. You start with the smaller and easier to attain goals and work your way up to the more difficult ones. The more goals you hit the higher your confidence and self-esteem will rise. This leads to more positive thinking and a greater value of yourself.
Quitting your job to become a full-time writer is pants-shittingly scary. But writing a short story and submitting to a local writing contest isn’t. Starting your own business is a terrifying new venture, but testing the waters through selling things online isn’t. You must be brave.
You see, start small and the fear won’t be able to derail you. Let’s go back to the writing example. You start small by using your free time to write short stories. You send these stories in to various places and the worst thing that’ll happen is you get rejected; no big deal. You work your way up to writing a whole novel. Then use your past submission experiences to gain a better chance of your novel getting picked up.
Once you hit a certain level of success in the writing world, you can seriously start thinking about quitting your job to become a full-time writer. And since you started small and worked your way up, you’ll be much more likely to make the transition successfully. Plus, it won’t be so damn scary because you’ve already had some success in the past. You aren’t making a blind leap of faith.
This works with all aspects of your life. you must build a solid foundation before you start erecting that giant monolith of success. And where does it all start? It starts by looking at that reflection in the mirror and telling yourself the time for change is now. The time to start living is today!
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