Do you feel unhappy? Like something is just wrong, but you can’t really put your finger on it? Do you feel like something is missing in life? I know I have felt like this more than one time in my life. After many years I have found something that really helps to balance my life. That’s what it all comes down to in the end. If you are reading this, I encourage you to finish, even though it will be a long post. It will be worth it.
Let’s get started!
I see my life as a circle, and in this circle I have a bunch of different pieces to fill. It’s all up to me how big I want them to be, and what I want them to be filled with.
Step number one is awareness: Start thinking about what your circle looks like right now. Make a drawing of it. Here’s an example of a life circle belonging to a person who works a lot:
As you can see, work takes up most part of the circle, not leaving that much space for things like fun, and love doesn’t even exist. My circle used to be pretty similar to this one but instead of work I was completely consumed by an eating disorder. I had barely no time for friends, I couldn’t work and I spent all my time thinking about food, looking up recipes, working out, counting calories, you name it.
Of course, I have been to treatment and I have done a lot of things that got me out of it, but I found that the most influential part of it was to start reevaluating what I find important in life.
Ask yourself this:
- What is important for me?
- What do I care about?
Then follow up with this:
- Do I think this is important because others (friends, society, etc.) tells me this?
- Do I think this is important because it’s something I should do?
If the answer is yes to the last two- scratch it! If you think psychology is really interesting but are afraid to pursue it because you’re “supposed” to study law you’re never gonna feel fully satisfied until you actually try to study psychology. Of course, there are some things you have to be willing to sacrifice. Take this for an example: I really feel like I should study at university and become something “real”, like a psychologist, or an HR representative. However, if I really really think about it…I don’t wanna work as any of this. As a result I don’t do very well on my tests –> leading me to feel worthless. What I feel passionate about is events and creative, social environments. In order for me to pursue this, I have to be prepared to make some sacrifices: It’s a competitive business, it’s hard work, irregular working hours, and you might not always be sure when you get the next paycheck.
So you gotta ask yourself: What is most important to me? What do I value the most?
All these questions are applicable in all areas of life. What kind of friend do I wanna be? What kind of relationship do I want? What is health to me? Is it healthy for me to work out every day? If the answer is yes, then go for it.
Once you have made your new circle the next step is to start taking steps in that direction. I think that’s a different blog post though…
Maybe the result of your circle is perfect already, or maybe it has become more balanced:
I have actually chosen to keep one of my pieces empty. I’m saving this piece for unexpected adventures and possibilities. This is a piece for all the new things I want to try out, all the things I missed during my years focusing so much on the eating disorder. I have replaced “training” with “health”: This will now include relaxing and rehabilitation.
This is an exercise you can do regularly. Life changes and so does your values. What’s important today might not feel important in 6 months.
What does your circle look like? Is it balanced? Of course it’s OK if a big piece is work, as long as it’s in line with your values. No one will judge you. It’s all about YOU.