I’ve been talking a lot about finding what energizes and engages you, what you want more of in your life. Sometimes even making that list is hard. You’re so used to what other people want or expect of you, you may have lost your sense of what really matters to you. Or you’re so tired from the day to day that you can barely think about what you want. 

Many times though, we can make the list. We can say I wish I had time to write. I want more family time. I’m longing for a vacation, massage, lunch with a friend. Sometimes we can even see the core value behind what we want, understand that it would energize us or fill a deep need. 

Almost before we’re done naming it, the resistance starts. I’d love to … but I can’t because … the kids need me to help with school work, we can’t afford it, I don’t have a single second to myself, it’s too risky, I can’t keep up as it is—how can I add that, I’m too tired, what if it doesn’t work, what if I’m no good, who am I to … 

Journal with Me

Let’s dig into that and find a way past it. 

Pick one thing you want to do, something you really want in your life. It can be specific, like earn a black belt in karate, or general, like have more adventure in my life. 

Got your thing? List all the reasons you can’t do it. 

Now, spend a little more time with this last question. Start asking: “What if?” 

Write down anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be likely. (You could write, What if I won the lottery?) You don’t have to figure out how to make it happen. (You could write, What if I had more child care? without figuring out who would do it or how to pay for it.) 

But if your questions lead you to more questions, you can go with that. “What if I went back to school?” might lead you to: What if I got a scholarship? What if I traded childcare with my sister? What if we use the vacation money since we couldn’t go away this year? What if I just take one class to start? 

Asking what if may not give you an answer right away. It may show you that there are answers, maybe complicated ones, that require some thinking or decision. But what if can open closed doors, help you see a possible path to what you want.

Interested in learning more about the power of your stories to create a life of resilience, connection, and meaning? Check out my Write Into Joy workshops to learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops.

Want to feel more engaged and energized? Get your copy of 3 Steps to a Meaningful Life You Love!