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Last Updated on December 12, 2021 by Randy Withers, LCMHC
My life got off to a rocky start. The 18-year-old me played havoc with my life. She did some pretty stupid things and the 40-year-old me had to pay dearly.
I lived my life upside down. It has been both exhausting and exhilarating.
I’m in good company. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this same situation. It’s a scary thought but, it’s true. So many of us want to live a better life, but we just don’t know how to do it.
It’s growing up and learning to think more maturely that for some of us seems to come almost too late. Early patterns of behavior and coping are hard to ditch because they seem to become hard-wired into our brains.
Becoming aware of these unproductive coping skills and thinking patterns is the first step. It’s a catalyst for change if we want to live a better life. Awareness is everything. Without it, we’ll crash and burn.
My failures have been enormous, but the successes have also been overwhelming. I live with the consequences of my younger self every day.
Because of that fact, my life will always have to be lived with careful calculation. Through awareness, I have learned to live deliberately. If you want to live a better life, you need to do that, too.
Do You Want To Live A Better Life?
Have you ever tried to change something about yourself that you knew was not good for you?
Easy, peasy, right?
Nope, not in a million years. It’s hard work. If you never try, never commit to the change, you’ll remain stuck in a vicious cycle.
There are basic choices that are usually made early in life: career, marriage, and children. Crazy, isn’t it? The Younger You chooses your career path, your mate, if and when you will have children.
Does anyone wonder why the divorce rate is so high?
So how can we learn to cope with life’s early choices successfully?
Some people seem to have excellent coping skills from day one. It’s like they were born with some perfect gizmo in their brain that always points them in the right direction.
Then there’s the rest of us.
From the beginning, making the right choices was a struggle. It just does not come naturally.
Later in life, after disaster hits, we backtrack to try to figure out what we did that lead us to disaster.
It’s a daunting task. We don’t want to repeat those mistakes. For some reason, we just keep butting our heads against the wall.
The Self we show the world can be far different from how we feel. Our lives may not even look disastrous, but we know better. Our lives are always perched on the brink of disaster.
Am I complaining? Well, maybe a little at my younger self, but ultimately, I understand that it’s my responsibility to make lemonade out of the lemons of my life. So I keep on squeezing.
In the end, this is my life. This is the only chance I get. I have the privilege of writing the final pages. My hope is the ending will be well-written…
9 Truths You Need To Accept If You Want To Live A Better Life
If you want to live a better life, you have to accept certain truths. I want you to consider the following:
You are Stronger Than You Think
You have struggled a lot in your life. You’ve endured trauma, betrayal, and shame. But you’re not a child anymore. Life goes on. Your past doesn’t need to define you. You are wonderfully made. You can be strong if you choose to be. You can choose to break the vicious cycle of disaster in your life.
Make peace with your past. Forgive the former you. The past is beyond your reach. You cannot affect it. You can only live today. Forgive, forgive, forgive. It’s the only way to move on.
Comparing Yourself to Others Is A Waste of Time
We all have different priorities, different values, and different goals. It doesn’t matter what other people want or what makes other people happy. The only thing that matters is what you want and what makes you happy. Stop comparing yourself to other people. It’s not worth the effort.
You Are Responsible For Your Own Life
Becoming aware of problem behaviors is the first step toward living a better life. You can only make changes once you take responsibility for them. To ignore is to repeat. Remember: change is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Do you want to live a better life? Have you thought about becoming a Certified Life Coach? Take this free quiz to see if you have what it takes. Or, you can read this article about how to become a certified coach.
There will always be consequences to your actions. It’s hard to accept, especially if you feel that someone abused you or put you in a coercive situation. Regardless, you are responsible for the consequences of your behavior. When you realize this, you can start putting the pieces of your lives back together. Moving forward is the goal.
Remember the past so you can learn from your mistakes. That’s where wisdom comes from. Learn. Learn to let go. Move on. Don’t be a slave to regret. Regret is your quicksand. The only thing you can do is move forward.
You Must Live Deliberately
Life is a contact sport. Always be tenacious in your efforts. Strive each day to make the right choices from this point forward. Hang on like a bulldog. Sink your teeth into life and never let go!
Preparation Is Key
Never live as if tomorrow will never come. Although today is all we have, a responsible adult prepares for tomorrow. Remember Aesop’s tale of the Ant and the Grasshopper. Being wise is being mature. Do the best you can with all your resources.
Giving Up Is Not An Option
When life feels overwhelming, and there will be those times, believe in yourself and pull from the strength of the one that is bigger than you. Never, ever give up. Make the most of this day you have been given!