Wanting To Change & Taking Baby Steps To Solve Problems

"I hate myself," "I hate my life..." they're phrases we're all guilty of saying and things we read constantly on social media. It seems we live in a society where everyone is so content with feeling miserable and is so used to living a life riddled with problems that the idea of a life without problems seems so unfamiliar that it's scary.
We've become accustomed to lives of pain, depression and anxiety. We're so used to having to fight battles every day when we wake up that we can't imagine our lives without having to do so. Our pain and our struggles have become a part of us to the point where we've become fearful of letting them go. Instead, we harbour them, we keep them locked away, we ignore them and we deny ourselves chances of happiness because our demons have made us scared of change.

But it doesn't have to be this way.
Change is possible and a life without whatever it is you are facing right now is possible.
However, it is up to you to bring about that change.

I know that change is so scary and I know the dark thoughts in your mind are probably telling you that it's unachievable and that the happy place you want to be is unreachable, but if you begin taking charge of your own problems, you'll come to realise that those thoughts are lying to you and that you are more than capable of living the life you dream of.

You have to WANT it, though. You have to want to bring about change because, at the end of the day, only you have the power to switch your life around. Even if you only want it a tiny bit, literally so tiny that you barely want it at all, that's enough. Even if you only have the smallest bit of hope inside of you that things can get better, that's all you need to make the first step. Even if you're feeling so low, so drained and barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning or the motivation to contemplate your own emotions, just an ounce of strength is all the fuel you need to make that initial push and get you off the starting line. Once you want to start making changes, however minuscule and practically non-existent that 'want' is, you're already halfway there because wanting it is the most difficult part because it requires you to put yourself first, make your own happiness a priority and recognise that you are worthy of being free from this pain, something human beings are inherently terrible at!

So, once you want to change, then what do you do? Chances are, everything is a little overwhelming, you don't know where to start and your whole life feels like a massive MESS. But, it needn't be so daunting. When you look at your life as one massive problem, of course it's going to feel unsolvable, but, once you start breaking things down, you'll realise everything is more fixable than it first appears.
Take a moment to just STOP. Take a moment to evaluate where you are, assess where you want to be and then look at the things you want to change as smaller issues instead of one huge crisis. Instead of just saying, "Right, I hate my life and everything's going wrong," BREAK IT ALL DOWN. Compartmentalise your "problem" into little ones, whether you do that by writing it down on paper, saying it aloud or just having a deep think, stop and think about your issues and look at them as small, solvable problems. Soon enough, it all won't seem as daunting. Rather than viewing everything as one huge obstacle, view your problems as small hurdles which can be broken down and stepped over. View them as little things that, with time, can be sorted out, and focus on them one at a time. Once you realise that you can solve all these little problems one at a time and tick them off your list, rather than letting the idea of one massive problem consume you to the point where it looks unbeatable, you'll see that everything you want to achieve is achievable!

Once you've broken your problems down into small ones, decide where you want to begin. Do you want to get the easy ones out of the way first? Or make the biggest one a priority and tackle it head on, diving in at the deep end? It depends what's best for you. Just remember to take baby steps. Taking giant leaps in a bid to solve everything overnight makes the whole situation more intimidating but, by taking smaller steps and doing things little by little, everything feels far less daunting. Go slowly, as slowly as you want. Don't focus on how everyone else is dealing with their issues, just look at your own and never compare paces. Go as slowly as you need to and remember that you don't have to do it all at once! Not everything can be solved in five minutes and it won't all be fixed when you wake up the next day, but just keep moving forwards and, in some time, whether that's a week, a month or a year, you'll look back and be blown away by the progress you've made.
Don't rush yourself. Even if you're going slower than a snail, at least you're progressing. However slowly you are moving forwards, at least that's something! It's okay to stop, it's okay to pause for breath, it's okay to rest, because, at the end of the day, even on this problem solving warrior mission, you're still a human being! But, just don't go backwards. Even if you stop for a long period of time, just don't regress. Take as many breaks as you feel as though you need to, just don't move in the opposite direction.

You don't have to put up with the bad stuff. You're better than that. You're deserving of so much sweet happiness that it isn't fair on you to keep yourself in a dark place. Give yourself a chance of happiness, no matter how petrified of change you are. Change doesn't guarantee you happiness, it doesn't guarantee you a pot of gold at the end of the journey and a lifetime free from misery isn't inevitable...but what's the alternative? It's a case of either pushing past your fears and attempting to make a change with there being even just a small chance of happiness at the end of it, or feeling unhappy forever because you were too scared to give yourself a shot. It may not be easy, at times it'll feel impossible, but it is doable! You don't need to accept that bad days last forever, because they don't.

Start loving yourself enough to give yourself a chance of happiness. At the end of the day, have some respect for the person who has been there for you through all of this pain, the person who picked you up after crying yourself to sleep every night, the person who guided you through when you thought you'd reached the end and the person who kept you strong when you were most broken... who is that person? That person is YOU. You have been there for you and it's time to start giving YOU a chance.

So, to summarise:
1) WANT the change
2) Identify your problems
3) Break your problems down
4) Give yourself a chance
5) Take baby steps
6) Feel proud of the progress you're making

You can do it.

Love, Emily :)

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