I was stunned at where I found myself. This was so NOT where I imagined, dreamed or ever planned I would be. In my twenties, I found myself a single mom. And I had no solid plan on how I was going to truly care for myself and my child. My life felt like it had spiraled out of control. Sometimes our lives need a tweak or the ability to reframe our thinking. But sometimes we need a whole reboot. I knew that if I wanted my life to become a life I was proud, structured around my values, and full of peace and joy then I needed a complete overall. So what do we do when our life needs a do over? Here are 7 steps to completely make over your life.
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7 Steps to Completely Make Over Your Life
Recognize Your Kryptonite!
Chances are that there is something in your life that is slowly killing you. It may be something that use to make you feel better. But now it is killing you. When our life gets to a point that it is spiraling out of control and all we feel capable of doing is running around putting out fires, it’s time to say enough is enough. Unless we deal with THE MAIN or one of the major sources of what is keeping us pinned down in an awful life, we are going to stay stuck.
So what is you Kryptonite? What are you using to keep the pain buried or deaden your feelings? And be honest with yourself.
This is NOT the time to get off on rabbit trails. As I’ve mentioned in this post, “Are You Trapped in Crisis Mode?”, I’ve seen people rationalize staying in an abusive relationship over a couch!
For me, I realized that I was very unhealthy when it came to choosing relationships. While I had made many other good choices up to that point in my life, I tended to almost self-destruct in the unhealthy relationships I chose. I decided to give up any type of dating relationships until I could heal emotionally. Now, did I do this perfectly? No! But I started to walk the direction I wanted to be in my life by recognizing MY Kryptonite.
What is your Kryptonite? What is preventing you from being able to see your life or to take a first step toward a more emotionally healthy life. It may be alcohol or substance abuse, over or under eating, gambling, sexual addictions, relationships, overspending, or even rescuing others.
What do you keep reaching for to comfort yourself when life feels overwhelming, knowing that you will only feel worse afterwards?
Take the First Step
When we are trying to break free of an destructive or addictive type behavior, we are going to need help. So take the first step and let someone who cares for you know what is truly going on with you. Seek out resources in the community or a support group where you will find others who are struggling with similar issues. Read here why you need a support team and here on how to build a support team.
And this should feel different than just complaining about your life. We need to take action!
We are going to be as open and honest as we know how and then be ready to LISTEN and TAKE ACTION.
I was very blessed to have 2 woman who walked along side of me as I shifted my pattern and thinking when it came to relationships. And God brought them into my life at the different points I needed them. But I had to be willing to ask for help and listen.
It is easy to vent about all our problems and point to everything but us that needs to change. And I’m not saying that others may not need to change.
But this stage is about discovering what steps we can take AND then taking action!
Get Comfortable With Painful Emotions
Taking those first two steps is huge. It can be life-changing. But what I am about to ask you to do next is really hard. However, if you can manage this step you will start to gain traction. Right beyond this step you will begin to see new growth. This is a pivotal step in the 7 steps to completely makeover your life!
We have to be able to stay in our painful emotions. How do I know it is true? Because I have been there. And after working with hundreds of people, I have witnessed how universal and pivotal this step is.
Whenever we decide to make a major change in our life, it will feel so different or unnatural that we will began to second guess ourselves.
And then we may feel panicked that we are “messing up.”
Let me give you an example. Say a mom decides to stop giving money and rescuing her adult child. Typically her son would call whenever he needs money with some excuse about losing his job or getting evicted.
What do you think is going to happen when mom does not give money or rescue like she has always done? Son is going to start calling more, maybe screaming and threatening. Then if that doesn’t work he may change his tactics and start blaming his mom, telling her that he is going to be homeless and out on the streets. How do you think mom is going to feel? Yuck, right?
So if this mother does not have some support and a plan to deal with these emotions, she is likely to give in and once again “rescue.” She will feel like such an awful mother and a mean person that the only way out is to give in.
But as we have support in our life and a clearer idea of where we are headed we can negate the old messages and start creating new messages.
For example this mom can start reminding herself that she is not an awful mom. She can call a supportive friend to remind her of what is TRUE! She may have given too much to her son in the past, but she knows now that what is best for her son is to allow him to stand on his own two feet and work through his own problems.
This is a truly hard step, but as I mentioned it is crucial and real growth is in this stage! You can do this! And remember, it won’t always feel so painful and yucky because we are on a pilgrimage and this is just a place along our journey.
Look Below the Surface
As we began to break some old negative patterns, the painful emotions of panic and discomfort will rear their ugly head. But as we began to replace the past messages in our head with new positive ones we are ready to look below the surface.
Remember our Kryptonite? There was a reason you reached for it in the first place. So what is truly going on in your life. What painful message or emotional issues are you trying to “fix” or bury.
This stage is about deep growth. We have ceased some of our most destructive patterns and NOW we have the mental freedom to sort through our emotions. What are you feeling? What causes you the most stress? Is it a certain traumatic event? Or is it an old message about yourself that you need to release?
We are now able to make more conscious decision based on what is truly best for us and not just a reaction to a yucky feeling. We will recognize old patterns and triggers that can cause us to fall back into former unhealthy behaviors.
You have worked really hard to get to this step! This stage is ongoing because healthy vibrant life is about growth.
Let Go of Blame
While the prior step is ongoing we don’t want to get “trapped” in recovery unable to grow in various areas of our lives. One area that can trip us up is playing the blame game.
Letting go of blame may mean releasing the expectation of getting even with another person we feel is responsible for part of the pain and emotional turmoil we found ourselves in before. It can also mean letting go of “why.” Why did that person in our past treat us like that? Or why did the person we were in a relationships with choose to abandon us or even their child?
Well meaning family and friends can unintentionally keep us here too! I remember telling some of my friends that I was DONE with trying to figure out someone else’s why. I just wanted to move forward with my life and concentrate on “my whys”!
Become Your Own Knight in Shining Armor
Have you ever talked with someone and they go on and on about a problem. At the end of a long speech they will say things like, “Oh well, I tried my best.” Now, we have all been there where we feel at a loss about the next step. But sometimes, we can get stuck constantly looking around us for the answer.
We can become immobilized waiting for someone else to come riding in and rescue us and “fix this.” Yes, we all love a story that has a nice neat “happy ever after ending.” But sometimes we have to provide that for ourselves.
The book The Allure of Hope was very meaningful during this stage. We want to continue to have hope for future dreams but to be present where we are now!
I remember being in my late twenties and finally realizing that I was in a really good place. And though my life still did not have all the things I had hoped for I didn’t want to waste too much time “waiting.” And we shouldn’t. So live your life NOW.
Learn to trust your judgement. You have lived through some challenging days. You have walked away from old patterns.
So, yes we want to listen and ask for wise advice. But trust that you have what it takes to move forward and make good choices.
Create New Healthy Habits
Have fun! We are no longer running around putting out fires of our own or other’s messes! We have so much more mental and physical free time. Now, we can concentrate on learning new things, developing our ideas and creating new healthy habits. And meeting other healthy people. Read here on how to recognize a safe person.
It can take a while to get to this stage or where you live consistently in this stage, but it is so worth all the hard work and effort. And sometimes we may need to rework these steps when our family encounters tough issues.
Life is so much more enjoyable when we are deliberately walking toward our goals. If you are not experiencing this then I want to help you get there.
I created a free Printable “7 Steps to Completely Make Over My Life” journal worksheets. Would you take advantage of this printable? Or perhaps share this post on Pinterest or Facebook so others can find hope as they walk through the steps?
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