Personal Development

4 Questions That Changed My Life

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Written by Jeff Claassen

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Until June, 2013 I was coasting through life. Even though I am an extremely anxious person, I had very little to worry about.

At that time I made a decision that I don’t necessarily regret, but one that has changed my life dramatically.

I decided to leave my job and work alongside my best friend at his web development start-up. I had been a web developer for about 3 years so it was nothing new. Finding clients was going to be the most difficult adjustment, and it was critical to keeping us both busy.

I knew the risks, and I decided to take the plunge.

I’m sure you have guessed this already, but unfortunately it did not work out. We worked together for about 5 months, and then he informed me that he was unable to keep me on as an employee.

I was heartbroken, upset, confused, and didn’t know what to do. I fell back into my anxious ways and began getting depressed. I didn’t know what was going to come of my life. I felt like a failure.

I was quickly able to land a job that I’m grateful for and currently possess, but it is not one that I am passionate about. I wanted more for my life, but was unmotivated to do anything about it.

These feelings lasted for quite some time, but I finally decided that I needed to make a change in my life. I needed to try something new, because what I was doing obviously was not working.

Here are 4 questions that I am extremely glad I asked myself. They have helped me get out of the rut I was in and have guided me on a brand new journey.

1. Do I Want To Be Mediocre?

Some people are perfectly fine going through life just being average. They are content just floating by, staying under the radar, and not doing anything special.

I do not to live a mediocre life. I want to help people, I want to be known for something, I want more than what I have been in the past.

I strongly believe that everyone has something unique and important that they can offer the world. Some may appear smaller than others, but all you you have a special gift, experience, or mindset that can positively influence at least one person.

If you answered “Yes” to this question; Congratulations, you can ignore the next 3 questions. You have most likely already accomplished the mediocre life you want for yourself.

2. What Do I Really Want To Do?

While in the moment I had been content with my previous two jobs. Life was good, because of this I never examined what I really wanted for my life. I never asked myself if “this” was really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

After getting laid off, this question was always in the back of my head. At the time I just needed to find a job so I could pay the mortgage and support my wife, but I was really looking at who I wanted to to be and what I wanted to do.

I realized that I want to work for myself. I don’t want to answer to anyone. I don’t want to need approval for when I want to take a vacation or a day off. I want to be able to do what I want, when I want, where I want.

I’m not saying I don’t want to work hard. I will work my butt off to get to this point, and continue to work hard to maintain this lifestyle. I just want to live and work on my own terms and experience the life that I want for my wife and myself.

3. What’s Holding Me Back?

If you are able to recognize and understand what is holding you back, then you can make the appropriate changes to get past those obstacles.

I realized that the biggest thing holding me back was fear. Fear of everything… money, relationships, failure, success.

Fear was holding me back because I was letting it. For many years I had allowed fear to guide my decisions and this was the time to take my life back.

It is still a work in progress, but I take life one day at a time and am more mindful of the decisions I make. I try to base my decisions on the pros and cons rather than the fear I have. If the reward outweighs the risk, I try to take the plunge.

Throughout this process I have searched for inspiration to keep me going. I have found people who are doing what I want to do or have accomplished what I want to accomplish. Reading their blogs, listening to their podcasts, following them on Twitter is a great way to seek out and find inspiration to overcome your obstacles.

4. Why Can’t It Be Me?

Self-confidence is a big issue for a lot of people, and it holds them back from doing what they really want to do. They feel like they are not worthy of accomplishing that goal, or that they don’t deserve success. I’m here to tell you that this is not true.

I felt this way for a long time, and this was probably the hardest question for me to answer. When I looked in the mirror, I did not see anything special. Just a regular guy who should do regular things. I felt that I was not deserving of any success, and that I should just stick to the mundane life I was living.

After uncovering what I really wanted to do and searching for inspiration, I was able to find all these successful individuals and realized that they were once just like me. Many of them had the same thoughts, but were able to overcome those feelings and make a name for themselves in this world. They are making a difference in this world and I realized that I can do the same and SO CAN YOU.

I’m still a long way off from accomplishing all my goals, but I’m now on the correct path.

Now It’s Your Turn

Are you sick and tired of living an unmotivated life? If you answered “yes” then I encourage you to ask yourself these 4 questions. Hopefully they will help you just as they helped me.

Do you have any questions that you have asked yourself or think you should? Let me know in the comments below.

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About the author

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Jeff Claassen

Jeff Claassen writes about overcoming anxiety, stress, fear, and how to start living the life you always wanted to live. Life isn't always easy, and it's time for us to accept the challenge and take our lives back. To get started on your journey to overcoming anxiety, download our free Above Anxiety Essentials PDF eBook.