Dissatisfaction can creep up on you: Until now, you’ve done everything in your life the way you “should have.” You graduated college in four years, did great internships, got a job right after graduation and settled into life. You moved out, pay rent on a cozy and affordable apartment, and it seems like everything in your life has fallen into place with little effort. Everything works — except what’s going on inside you.
You realize that you’re sad, dissatisfied, that life, which seems neat and tidy on the surface, isn’t fulfilling. It’s time to make a change.
Maybe it’s work: maybe you picked a major based on convenience or what others expected of you. Maybe you thought it would be more interesting than it was. Instead of changing your major, you were too scared to make a change. Maybe you thought it was too late, or that you had no other options.
Or maybe it’s your love life: maybe you’re stuck in a rut relationship-wise, neither moving forward or turning back. Maybe you stopped loving your partner the way you should love, or maybe you’re chronically single and too frightened to put yourself out there. Maybe life seems flat, dull, without a spark.
It’s time to make a change.
Dissatisfaction happens to all of us. Despite careful planning and all the right choices made, almost nothing works out exactly the way we wanted to, and it’s mature to recognize when dissatisfaction is causing major holes in your possible happiness. The “right” choices, even when they may have seemed perfect on paper, may not be making you happy. So many of us get bogged down by our dissatisfaction and our sadness with life, that we become immobilized to change anything, too frightened to fail or to be uncomfortable.
But our life is not meant to be avoided. If you’re dissatisfied and yearn for something better, the power to change things is in your hands alone.
1. No one will change things for you
This seems like a no-brainer, but those who are immobilized with dissatisfaction and frustrated with life tend to think there’s an easy way out, and that someone should help them. Maybe you’ve got a whole network of support in your friends and family, but no one can make those big life changes for you.
2. It means being honest with yourself
Making changes in your life means being extremely honest with yourself about several things, like the mistakes you made, what you actually want in a partner or a career, and just how far you’re willing to go to make yourself happy. If you can’t have an open, honest conversation with yourself, then changing your life will be a lot harder.
3. It means being comfortable with being uncomfortable
Since you may feel totally paralyzed about your life, you may be resting on the fact that you’re just used to it. You’re used to feeling annoyed or frustrated, and you can deal with it. But making a change means getting used to being profoundly uncomfortable sometimes. Breaking up with a partner, dating a lot, interviewing for a new job, changing departments or apartments, looking for roommates you don’t hate, or maybe even moving back home to clear your head…all these things can make you uncomfortable.
When you make a big life change, discomfort is part of the package, but will hopefully lead to much greater happiness in the future.
4. The time is NOW.
At the risk of sounding too much like a self-help book, the time to start making changes to be happier is right now, not months or years from now. Do it in small ways, set goals for yourself, do research and plan. With every day you’re getting older, and sacrificing one more day to dissatisfaction when instead, you could be channeling your energy to reaching those goals and being brave, planning for the future and putting your thoughts into action.
A year from now, who knows where you’ll end up? You could get everything you always wanted, but were too scared to pursue.