Your life is what it is because of you. Your choices and decisions have made you what you are today. The really great news is that if you're not happy with where you are, you have the power to change it. Believing that you have the ability to change your life (and the lives of those you care for) is very empowering.
Being able to cast off the shackles of the past and seeing the future as an opportunity rather than a burden is a great tool. Even if you have never done it before, it is something you can learn.
We are not the victims of our past unless we choose to be. Ideally, when things don't go well or right, we find a different direction and continue to move forward. I know this is easier said than done, but without taking positive steps, you can become stuck in the negative, and you could stay there for quite a while.
Dealing with issues as they come up - and not ignoring or hiding them - will give you more strength to get things where you want them to be. Even if you are afraid of rocking the boat, if you don't talk it out or take care of it in some way, you could capsize.
Think about what it is that you want for your life and for those you care about. From there, it is about small acts of progress. If you've lost your job, allow yourself a brief vacation and then get back in the hunt. If you're looking to rekindle your relationship with your partner, a romantic gesture or evening out may be a good place to start. Even something as simple as to-do lists can help propel you out of a pit and into your next project, job or relationship. I also think that visualising a positive outcome is helpful to achieving a successful result.
If you are unsure of your strengths, ask someone who knows you well. Remembering the positive things that others have said about your talents and abilities can be very helpful. You can also make a written inventory of what you think your strengths are and then add to the list as you discover more.
If you are stuck or simply feeling bored with your life, know that you have the ability to change it for the better. Sometimes anxiety or depression can keep you from gathering the energy you need. We all go through periods when our moods get low. Usually these times are temporary, but they can sap your energy and scare you. If that's the case, you may be able to put yourself on the right path with just a little help and perhaps the support of a caring person.
Never feel that it's too difficult or too late to make yourself happy. Once you've identified what's holding you back, conceive of a way to change or eliminate it. Promise yourself that happiness and satisfaction are just around the bend.
- Dr Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist and the author, most recently, of 100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence - Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too.