There are so many times in my own life when I felt hopeless and desperate for change without fully understanding the change that I wanted, let alone needed. But there that pain was at the end of the day embedding itself further and further into my mind, body, and heart – that pain that was telling me I could do more, BE more. These dire thoughts and disbeliefs came in waves like the ocean following the gravitational pull of the moon, they were cyclical but never fully forecasted.

It wasn’t until I had been fully encapsulated in the stormy waters that I started to recognize it was time – time to pull the plug on self-doubt and fear, letting the pain spiral down the drain. How do YOU know it’s time to make change happen for yourself?

Here are three tell-tale signs:

A Feeling of Less

No matter what, you feel you are lesser than others, or that you comparatively have less than others. 

Most times, the feeling of “lesser than” comes from a lack of fulfillment and the disappointment that follows. For instance, “I feel less because I am not in the career I always wanted to be in.” or “I feel less because I am nowhere near making the amount of money I thought I should be by this age.”

You Feel Stuck

The ocean is in full-on consumption mode and you are getting sucked under with the fishes. Nothing of what you think you have tried is working including your ability to swim away from all the negativity weighing you down. 

You’re Searching for Resources

You are fully aware you have reached your “I can’t live like X anymore” threshold and are actively seeking out help. Sometimes great resources swim to the surface for you while others are unrealistic, too expensive, or take too much of your time.

Great, you’re drowning in disappointment, desire, and probably a shame storm, but how do you pull yourself to shore? With one stroke at a time.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Keeping yourself afloat is a great short-term goal with your ideal getting back to shore, but know that other storms will come and may even float your backward sometimes. It’s ok. It’s normal and to be expected because not everything is in our control. However, we can set ourselves up for longer laps and shortening distances with:

  • Taking advantage of positive, proven resources 
  • Finding a person, a tribe, or an outlet you can share your journey with 
  • Empowering yourself with power statements when the going gets tough
  • Redefining failure; there really is no failing just chances to learn, grow, or change
  • Celebrating your wins because each stroke matters!

A great example here is thinking back to your first swimming lessons as a kid – did the instructor have you jump into the deep end the first day without ANY formal training? Dear God, I hope not because you probably wouldn’t be here today! No, you started with building your skill sets, your balance, and confidence in the water – all baby steps to jumping off the diving board, right? Your life is like the pool waiting for you to jump in but you control when and where you decide to get your sea legs. In the words of Dory, “Just keep swimming” towards the change you both want and need and you’ll make it where you want to go!

Article By: Amy Nubson

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Finding my voice made me feel at home… made me feel calm.

– Amy Nubson