I'm going to ask you a stupid question. Have you ever dreamed of living a different kind of life? Of course you have. We all have. Maybe it's a different career or a change to your family situation. It could be anything. We all have things we want to change. The real question is: How do you know when you need to change?
In this entry, I am going to show you the 4 signs that indicate you are in need of change in your life. As you read through this, you may find that all 4 signs do not apply to you. However, if you can positively identify with even one of these, there likely exists a need for change.
So, let's get started.
1. When your current path results in consistent disappointment or discouragement.
This may seem fairly obvious, but I see many people who miss this sign altogether. I have come across countless people who are simply trudging through life. As life has become more difficult or less satisfying, they tend to put their head down and press on with no plan to do anything different. Oftentimes, there is no goal setting or positive outlook. They have come to accept that their current circumstance must be their lot in life. This often occurs when someone has consistently fallen short of their hopes and dreams and becomes discouraged. All they can see are the hurdles to a different life and no clear path to get what they want. You can identify these people by their talk of "trying to be realistic" with their goals. Are you one of these people? Did you used to dream of a different life than the one you now live? Have you given up hope because of past disappointments? If so, you need a new path. You need change.
2. When you have lost sight of purpose in your life.
Many people who have sought my help fall into this category. Working as a counselor/coach for the past 20 years, I have seen how common it is for people to live without purpose. Most often, they have either not considered their purpose, or know it and choose not to pursue it out of fear.
I can identify with these people. I lived without purpose for many years and, honestly, never really thought much about it. That was true of me until I began living a life that was inconsistent with my values and paid a steep price. That price shook me to my core and caused me to re-evaluate everything in my life. That is how I discovered my purpose.
I am a firm believer in having a vision for each area of your life and being intentional in pursuing that vision. That is where purpose comes in. It gives you the fuel to follow that vision even in the difficult times. If you are living without purpose, you have a need for change.
3. When you have difficulty bouncing back from times of struggle.
It would be great if life was smooth sailing. But life can be unpredictable and the toughest times often come without warning. Maybe you've been through a job loss, the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or something else. You know how hard it is to go through that. It is in those moments that life can get pretty bleak and next steps can be difficult to identify. What do you do? What carries you through? It is essential to be able to have confidence in the future even when the path is not clear. Maybe you're going through one of those times and feel like you've lost your "bounce-back." Or maybe you've been through one of these times in the past and things just haven't been the same since. If you can identify with this, you have a need for change.
4. When God seems distant
There are times in life when faith feels like a luxury. Kind of like, "I'll figure out the whole God thing after I figure my way out of this." All too often, we make our faith some distant goal on life's hierarchy of needs. Our focus is on the crisis or the disappointment as opposed to the one who leads us through it. Maybe there was a time is your life when God came into clearer focus or maybe you never considered Him at all. For each of us, He has gone before us and laid the path. We just have to be willing to walk it with Him. If God is not part of your change process, you have a need for change.
While these 4 signs are important to identifying your need for change, they don't tell you how to change. In my next entry, I am going to review the 4 steps necessary for achieving change.
Are you in need of change? Have you successfully experienced change in your life? Leave a comment and tell me about it.