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How To Change Your Life Without Ruining It First

Elisha sitting under a tree reflecting on how to change your life

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘you have to reach rock bottom to know that something needs to change’ over and over. And there’s a reason – because it’s true!

But also, ‘rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life,’ is the more important side of the quote. Don’t think of hitting ‘rock bottom’ as a bad thing per se; think of it as the wake up call you need to put things right.

You usually don’t realise that there is a problem or that something is weighing you down until it becomes too much and you break. So what naturally happens when you reach the final straw is you decide to make some radical life choices to change that thing, (or to cut it entirely from your life).

Now, I think change is good. I love a good bit of change. It keep me on my toes and provides excitement and something to look forward to. HOWEVER, as a wise friend once said, ‘don’t make a permanent life choice based on a temporary feeling’.

It’s all well and good thinking ‘My job/relationship has become too much, it is making me unhappy, so I have to find a new one.” But you do have to know it’s the right choice to move on, before making any big decisions.

So here are my tips on how to change your life without ruining it first…

Elisha sitting under a tree reflecting on how to change your life

Before anything, assess the situation.

Leaving your job may seem like the best option, however, will you come across the same problems in another job? Before you quit, speak to your boss about why you are struggling and see if there is anything that can be done. If there is, then give it some more time and see if the situation does improve. If it doesn’t, then you know it is time to move on.

If it’s a relationship you are reassessing, I think this is an even bigger choice. If you end a relationship, you don’t necessarily get a second chance. There’s a lot more hurt at stake, and a lot of things you have built together to crumble down. So assess. Is it the person you are with that isn’t right for you, or is it the current circumstances? Are you happy in every other part of your life? If not, then maybe assess those first before ending your relationship.

Elisha in a field of flowers looking out into the distance

Lay the groundwork

If you come to the conclusion after Step 1 that you really do have to move on, then let’s get sensible about it.

In upset and anger, we can make bold choices like quitting our jobs with nowhere else to go, or ending our relationship without having another place to live. (So many people I know have ended their relationships and been forced to remain living in the same place until they can pay up and move on – and that sounds like hell! I’m so sorry for you and it sucks that it has to be that way!).

So ask yourself this question before making the bold choice. Can I afford to financially support myself for several months until I find another job? Have I got anywhere else to live once we split up?

If the answer to those questions is ‘no’, then start putting things in place.

Start applying for jobs. Start looking for rooms to rent or ask your friend if there is a chance you could stay with them until your lease ends. Or ask your parents if you can move back in temporarily.

Don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Be smart and lay the groundwork for your next step. Otherwise, you will find yourself stuck in ‘rock bottom’ for a long time after you make the change because you will feel stressed out further by your financial circumstances.

Be Brave And Make The Change

So, hopefully by now you have set things in place for your life change. You have a new job lined up, you’ve handed in your notice and you’re ready for the move. Or you have sorted out where you are going to live and have handed in the notice to your relationship. (Yikes!)

This is the scariest bit… but also the most exciting because this is now when your life has the potential to become happier than it has been.

Don’t expect things to change overnight, because they won’t. But embrace the positive change and enjoy the new things you are about to experience and discover.

Don’t Freak Out

There are five stages of grief, and I believe that these apply to any big life choice you make too. They are as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

I’m sure if you have ever experienced a relationship break up, you can identify a point where you felt all of those emotions. There is always a point where you start to second-guess your choices because you are scared and upset with the change. But hang in there!

You will soon come through to ‘acceptance’ and then you can move on properly. There is always a ‘learning period’ for anything. In a job, it’s getting to grips with the new rules and tasks you are entrusted to, and with the break up of a relationship it is getting to grips with not relying on that other person to be there for you.

But remember that you had a reason to make these changes, and a reason why you wanted what you currently have. You might have some teething pains, but in a few weeks time it will be as if those never existed and you will be excelling and moving forward with your new life.

Elisha walking down a path reflecting on how to change your life

Enjoy your new life!

The beauty of life is that you get more than one chance. Every day is a fresh start and a new chance for you to live exactly how you want to.

I believe that change is always good because change only ever happens when it needs to. So, whether your life change has made you exceedingly happy and you are so glad that you did it, or whether it has been a little harder than you expected, just remember that it needed to happen.

If you are unhappy then something needs to change. Sometimes that can simply be just changing your mindset, and sometimes it requires bigger steps. Never be held back by fear of the unknown, because if you are unhappy with your life then surely anything in the ‘great unknown’ is better than what you currently have?

You have a choice today. Choose happiness.

Elisha in a field of flowers reflecting on how to change your life