Let's first acknowledge that this is EXTREMELY normal. Everyone at some point (or multiple points) in life, teens and adults alike, find themselves spinning their wheels and wondering "what am I doing?" It can feel depressing, and exhausting. We feel you.
That's why we wanted to share this 3 part series based a few of the fundamental exercises we do with our life coaching students. These 3 posts are designed to help you (or to help you guide your teenager) out of a mental rut and offer some practical steps you can follow to start getting excited about your life and rediscovering your purpose.
So let's get started.
One of the main reasons we get stuck in a mental rut in the first place is that we've lost passion or excitement in our lives. This first exercise is designed to help you reignite your excitement for your life, and get you excited about your future.
Step 1. Get out a piece of notebook, open up a document on your computer, whatever you like best...but get ready to write. Without overthinking it, answer these questions for yourself:
Write down your answers. You can keep going as long as you want...the idea is to start DREAMING again. Once your juices are flowing a bit, now we move on to a little more specific:
Step 2. Answer the questions:
What kind of a life would you like to have in five years (or 1 year if 5 is a stretch)? What would be ideal for you? What would that look like?
Think about this question and start writing (again, try not to overthink it...don't police yourself, even if you think it's crazy). If you think it, write it down.
If you're having trouble, step away from writing for a minute. Get comfortable, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Really try to visualize yourself as clearly and concretely as possible in your ideal 5-years-from-now situation.
When you have some concrete ideas, write them down. Try to be as specific as possible. Again, try not to let a voice of doubt creep in and tell you not to write something down because "it'll never happen." Silence that voice and WRITE. IT. DOWN.
Step 3. Think about why each of these things are MEANINGFUL to you and what does it say about what you VALUE.
For me, for example, in 5 years I would like to have enough money to be able to spend summers in Brazil, where my husband is from. This is meaningful to me because living in Latin America has always been a dream (even if it's just for a few months a year) and would allow my kids to spend more time with their grandparents and have a first hand experience with their Brazilian side as well. This makes me realize that I value family, providing meaningful experiences for my children, flexibility to be able to leave for 3 months at a time, and being a truly multi-cultural family.
Write all these things down. Think about them. Dream about them. Get excited about what is and what could be. If it takes you several days or even weeks to go through these steps, that's okay. Take all the time that you need. In the next post, we'll provide you with some practical tools for how to work towards making those ideal futures happen.
Until then, just enjoy your renewed excitement about your life!