5 Ways To Change Your Life (Without Changing It)

I am fairly young, only in my middle twenties, but the last three years of my life were unlike anything the typical twenty-something year old could’ve ever related to.

How I have so much exposure to opportunity humbles me greatly. In the past, I wrestled with myself in anger about opportunities I thought were dead to me and had fallen into the trap of guilt, imposter syndrome and tunnel vision. I never thought that I would experience the freedom I first had at the rise of my prime. I became the woman who grew eager to walk towards her own promised destiny again.

Photo by Hoang Le on Unsplash

This realisation, however, did not surface at a randomly given time. I had to experience dark and lonely moments; I had to tear down pieces of myself that were no longer serving me — pieces that were very hard to separate my newfound identity from.

Whether you are progressing in your journey or are currently feeling stagnant, there will always be challenges, but what is even more important to remember is that no moment in time ever lasts. Everything is bound to change, even when it doesn’t seem that way. This is how I changed my life — without changing it.

Accept The Current Storm (And Be Honest With Yourself)

Sometimes running from your reality will present itself as your comfort zone. We keep hoping and praying that things will change yet we do not have the same desire to do the inner work that will result in change.

We lean into safety and nurse our egos, instead of boldly analysing the storm in our hearts. Had I remained in that state for much longer than I did, I would have never known that the “university drop-out pregnant at 20” was an exceptional writer with wisdom from her life experience to share with the world. I would have never known the strength and persistence I possessed to push through the hard times.

I would have never seen the grace of opportunity and growth still within my reach. I would have slumbered upon every God-given gift and ability that was my birthright and have regrets much later in my life, all because I did not wish to face my reality and work on my brokenness.

Sweet lies become bitter as soon as you swallow them. Having the integrity for yourself, where you can sit down and have a long, difficult conversation with yourself, is the start to changing your reality, even if it’s not seen in the natural yet.

Redefine The Labels You Call Yourself

What do you already have within that can add immediate value to yourself and for those around you? Start there and expand your knowledge relating to that which you have. It can be anything, you just have to know the value in it.

I got my power back the moment I started to list and achieve doable goals that I knew my future self would thank me for. I was fully aware that I needed to put myself in some state of cognitive dissonance so that I could acquire a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve through those goals.

However, it does no good placing yourself in such a state if you’re not content with where you are now. In your current circumstances, you can strategically execute goals that will carve the way towards your desired place.

Water the land you’re in at the moment to see the dry ground sprout up some greenery around you. The land was never greener anywhere else. You just have to cultivate the one you are standing on right now.

Photo by Jason Hogan on Unsplash

To settle for complacency was no option, but I had to measure how cognitive dissonance was affecting my wellbeing. This should be a personal evaluation depending on your mental strength and should not be a practice for everyone.

Depending on the day, I felt either inspired and compelled to do better than before, or I succumbed to anxiety and depression out of feeling powerless to the circumstances I could not instantly change.

Faith Without Action is Futile

I called myself a writer yet an unsettling feeling always plagued me because I had nothing to show for what I claimed to be.

I had to find platforms and resources that would assist me in improving my craft. I paged through my old journalism studies’ textbooks and notes and also felt the need to research further on popular positions and trends as the online media industry developed, especially since I have yet to complete my degree.

What some would call a disadvantage, I used to grow and be more knowledgeable without being limited to resources that were handed to me.

I also tapped into book review clubs and am still enrolled on a free TEFL course. Don’t ask me how that’s going.

The point is, instead of moping about not having completed my degree, I chose to study what people with my skills — degree or not — could do with what they knew.

I saw how they executed the skill and analysed what I needed to improve on so that I could catch up. This gave me the confidence to apply for content writing jobs and cold pitching again.

I looked out for job opportunities that were available to me at that stage. If none were, I had to adapt, go back to the drawing board and expand on the knowledge and techniques that I needed to gain, so that when the opportunity came again, I would be ready.

I just could not afford to stop.

Embody The Person You Want to Call Yourself

Photo by Megha Ajith on Unsplash

Do you want to find yourself in a better place financially? Start creating multiple streams of income.

You want to be a fitness model? Then hit that gym and start taking portfolio shots. Develop the habits and routines mirroring those of the people whose shoes you’d like to fill one day.

Calling myself a writer last year would’ve made me a fraud. I hadn’t written in years and wasn’t confident enough to tell the world that I was a writer. Now, my work speaks for itself. I don’t have to tell anyone I am a writer. The fruits of my labour represent my position. It may not be much, but I started anyway.

Seeking a career mentor (writer and writing coach Elna Cain) and a spiritual mentor (Pastor R.C Blakes) helped me a lot. Having someone with more experience in a field you consider contributing your knowledge to acts as a guide when you have no idea where to start. My spiritual mentor assisted me in finding confidence to pursue foundational faith and ambition again. I also got rid of a lot of turmoil in my heart that kept me from progressing in other areas of my life.

Patience, Patience, Patience

Just because I thought I had it all figured out, did not mean that the things I wanted would land right on my lap, unless I had a good friend or family member in the company I was approaching. Fat chance!

Currently, I am still building my writer portfolio and use it specifically to showcase my ability to adapt to other styles and a range of topics. I’m also exploring web-related opportunities on the online media industry, namely digital marketing and content curation.

You may have several people to show you how they did it. They may offer every resource you need to get started but if nothing inside you moves, nothing will change. I am pleased with where I am now and even more ecstatic about where I am going. When you have been down and cannot stay there any longer, you will only go up — always choose to rise.

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Innocentia Tsele

Innocentia Tsele

A freelance writer and digital creator who writes content on family, self-care and self-development.