Ever worked in retail?
Before I started on the path of working for myself, I worked in a clothing store, a housewares chain, numerous car dealerships, a small downtown boutique, a specialty foods store. All retail.
In the lovely world of retail, sorry, in the soul-sucking world of retail, there is always a time where the store shuts down to do an inventory count. Where they take stock of what they have and what they're missing. A full picture view if you will.
So it would make perfect sense that we would do the same for ourselves.
But too often we don't.
All too often we plug away at life not really asking ourselves this very simple but very challenging and potentially life-altering question.
Am I REALLY doing what I desire to be doing with my life?
In other words, is my life really the life I want to be living? When I step back and look at the big picture, am I on the path that will lead me to a life that is inspiring to me?
Big question. Very big question.
Because it forces us to get really honest with ourselves. Which can lead to feelings of doubt, fear, upset, frustration, anxiety and so on.
Perhaps you look at our life and we realize that, regardless of how good or bad it looks from the outside, it's not actually the life YOU want to be living.
Maybe you got carried away by the promise of a raise or a big bonus at the end of the year. Maybe someone got sick and you had to adjust your life and you now find yourself going in the opposite direction you'd hoped.
It doesn't matter how you got there. The important thing is getting brutally honest with yourself, and asking truthfully if this is the life YOU want to be living. Not your partner, not your family, not the society you were raised in. YOU.
A great way to do this is to close your eyes and get really still in a quiet and private place. Then think about your life. Think about what you're doing. Your job, your home life, everything. When you think about them, notice if your body feels like it's contracting or expanding.
If it feels like it's contracting, then think about what you'd rather be doing. Think about all the possibilities. Notice your body. Does it contract or expand each time?
When you're living a life that makes you feel expansive you'll be far more open to (and it will be much easier for) the universe to help you out. #synchronicitiesmuch
So what happens next?
What if you ask yourself this question and discover that you would rather not sit at a desk all day, and in fact, you want to raise sheep and preserve jam out in the countryside whilst hanging your clothes on the line to dry?
Ok, well first things first, don't panic. Be proud of the fact that you were honest with yourself.
And next and perhaps most importantly, don't let your inner critic come in and spew a shit-storm of criticism and negativity your way. Be kind to yourself.
If you're out of alignment in your life, in a big way, or a small way, that's completely normal and totally ok. The important part is that you're aware of it and can slowly steer your ship the other way.
Note the word slowly.
Just because you may have had this realization doesn't mean you should pick up your life and move to a farm and immediately plant a raspberry bush and hang up your clothesline. Or whatever it is you feel you really desire to do with your life.
As I mentioned before, the important part is that you're aware.
Now this may be wrong. It may be right. I don't know. But this is what has worked for me.
I start to plan and visualize. I write out where I want to be and by when, and work backwards from there. When doubt starts to creep in, I refer to something I learned from Tim Ferriss called "Fear Setting" . You can watch his TedTalk on it below.
Basically, he makes himself aware of the cost of NOT doing the things he wants to do. More often than not, the cost of not doing it outweighs the cost of doing it.
Then I start to take steps. Some of them baby ones, and some of them big ones. It doesn't matter the size, all that matters is that there's movement.
Then the most crucial component of them all is patience.
Just because you make a clear decision to change your life, doesn't mean it happens overnight. Or even 365 nights. But, if you're taking action every day in that direction, you will get there. It's just the facts.
So this year set aside some time to ask yourself this question.
Because I'm not sure if they told you this yet, but this isn't a dress rehearsal. We don't get another shot at this particular life. There will be an end to your life. So it's best you make it as wonderfully and unapologetically you as you possibly can.
Sincerely your Real Rebel Podcast Host,