It starts with a tap on the shoulder. If you brush it off, then get ready for the slap on the arm. Ignore this, and you’ll likely find yourself getting kicked in the shins. Now that’s hard to overlook, but if you do, at some point you can expect a big ol’ sucker punch right in the face.
That punch may take the form of something like, say, suddenly getting laid off. Or the shock of your spouse leaving or filing for divorce when you weren’t expecting it. Or maybe you are in a car accident where the other person is entirely at fault. You may exasperatingly wonder what is happening and why this is happening to you.
If you look back before the event, however, it is possible that there were signs along the way. Signs that you may have brushed off as being inconsequential. Messages that were actually telling you to start making changes in your life. Perhaps your spouse had been trying to talk to you and you never made time for her. Maybe she’d suggested counselling but you were just too preoccupied and put it off. Perhaps your company started to make layoffs in other departments and it just didn’t occur to you that you might be next.
Whatever the case, there are often hints beforehand that something needs to shift in your life. Learning to tune into yourself and listen to these signs is a great way to feel more centered, empowered, and balanced. How can you learn to do this? It’s not as hard as you’d think, but it does require openness to change and the challenges that come with it.
Are there any areas or circumstances in your life in which you feel unhappy or unfulfilled? Not feeling good about aspects of your life is the first place to look. Usually there is a reason, and more often than not, there is something that needs to change either in your outer world or in your mindset or approach to the situation. That unhappy feeling, restlessness, unease, or any host of other discomforts are already your taps on the shoulder. Listen in to your inner voice, and ask yourself, “how would I like to feel, and what do I need to do in order to feel that way?”
Change is not always easy. It takes us to unknown places. It shakes us out of our comfort zones. But taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, allows us to surf the inevitable waves of change rather than be blasted by the wave, wondering what the heck hit us. Who knows? You may even find that you love surfing and can learn to enjoy the ride.