Here’s an honest fact about me: I let myself stay stuck for 15 years of my life, before I finally made the decision to change.
Here’s another honest fact about me: it was thanks to my ex-partner of 11-years, setting an ultimatum that led to the most disruptive experience of change I could’ve imagined, and had me diving head-first into the life that had always been waiting for me.
Some of you might be facing a massive turning point in your lives right now. Where you can feel with every inch of your being that life is going to take you one of two ways:
You are either going to stay confined and safe, heading in the same direction you always have.
Or you are about to take a leap and go on the biggest adventure of your life.
Feeling stuck can have us comfortably sitting on the fence all our life. But it can also be the greatest gift that’s just landed in our lap, because it is the arrival point in alerting us that there’s something in our life we need to pay serious attention to. When that first happened to me, it was a daunting and terrifying moment. For a while afterwards, I’d convinced myself I’d made the wrong decision.
I left a successful business, said good-bye to an 11-year relationship, packed up 8 years of a comfortable life I’d built together with my then partner in beautiful Byron Bay, and returned to my hometown of Melbourne and started from scratch.
It left a big gaping hole in my life. And being in that void was the very thing I needed to start taking the next steps toward pursuing my passion, getting un-stuck and heading in a direction that I’d been putting off taking.
The greatest lesson I learnt from being stuck, is that my system was actually trying to alert me to the fact that there was something seriously wrong in my life. Consider feeling stuck – however it’s showing up for you right now – as a message from your internal GPS guiding you to pay close attention to something you are desperately avoiding looking at.
The more we avoid it, the more audible a beast that message becomes.
Feeling stuck is a warning. It’s your biological alarm. And it’s showing up for very good reason. When it does, it’s tapping you on the shoulder, prompting you that it’s time to make a change. We can misinterpret that signal, or worse, ignore it for fear we’ll make the wrong decision. We hope to God, it’s going to miraculously go away. But it doesn’t. That moment of pause, of stuck-ness is your arrival point at being shown that it’s time for you to change direction, and the situation that has led to this stuck-ness, is actually your ticket to take action. It might be telling you: I need to start that passion project. I want to feel more inspired. This isn’t the life I envisaged for myself. I need to leave this relationship etc. Regardless of what it is, we often forget that if we weren’t ready for change, we wouldn’t be presented with the scenario that’s triggering us in the first place. We are only ever given exactly what we can handle in the moment, and it’s this idea that needs to be at the forefront of our mind when it comes to decision making.
A wake up call
It took me a long time to recognise that what I had gone through was the Universe’s way of giving me a major wake up call. I was forced to experience being taken to the lowest point in my life to hopefully see it as a valuable lesson in forcing change.
Lucky for me, it worked.
Those periods of feeling stuck demand patience and trust. When you are at your most vulnerable, neither feels possible. What we fail to see in those moments of transitioning is that there is a far greater picture waiting to be revealed on the horizon. When I noticed the changes that were happening as a result of taking action, it gave me the confidence to do more.
Fast-forward 3 years later and I think back to those defining moments. Those turning points that were about to propel my life in a completely different trajectory, presenting me with opportunities far greater than I could have possibly imagined, but didn’t know it.
I became a published writer, launched my business, landed speaking events that had me speaking across Australia, took women on creative retreats to the Greek islands empowering them to live fearlessly, held workshops on pursuing your passion, and had invitations to present as a guest speaker on international summits.
Stepping through that crossroads made me feel like I was looking at a before and after version of myself. The fearful, doubtful, insecure before me that played it safe, living well within the confines of her comfort zone. And the driven, passionate, excited after me who felt like she had just come out of a deep, dormant, sleep-like state and had finally woken up to the potential of life. Getting unstuck revealed:
That my fear of the decision I wanted to make was nowhere near as terrifying as what I had made it out to be in my head.
That the minute I made that decision, I instantly muted the voice that had been relentlessly nagging me to “change”, because I finally let it be heard.
The exhilarating thrill and excitement that engulfs you when you’ve finally come into alignment with EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be.
How close I came to missing out on experiencing an entire world that was waiting to open itself up to me, that set me on a journey of opportunities, adventure and feeling the greatest sense of aliveness, because I was terrified to take that first step.
My capacity to step into big change. Embrace it wholeheartedly. Realise my potential and recognise that I had the skill, knowledge and will to make it happen, regardless of the fact I didn’t have all the answers when I first set out on my journey.
Making the decision that’s the right one for you, comes down to trusting your voice, and the direction it’s calling you. The moment you connect with the direction you wish to take, is the moment you ignite a great internal switch. When you take the very first step towards pursuing that calling, you allow your most authentic self to emerge for the very first time. Personally and professionally. That shift has a domino affect across all areas of your life – from the type of people you attract, career opportunities that are presented to you and feeling a deep sense of internal empowerment.
Your greatest life is desperately trying to let you have it…I hope you go and claim it.
Paula Hagiefremidis is a published writer, speaker, mentor and creative facilitator. Her work empowers people facing a cross-roads of change to realise the transformative effect of trusting your voice, pursuing your passion and the ripple effect this has in opening up our lives creatively, personally and professionally. Through her business, Mediterranean Wanderer, she runs transformational creative retreats, hosts workshops, presents as a guest speaker and mentors one-on-one.
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