When you’re struggling with a life change, or making a transition — feeling confused and discouraged and disheartened — I’ve found five principles that can really transform challenging experiences into something meaningful.

1.  Time and time again, old core beliefs can defeat the best efforts to move forward.

Hearing what you’ve been telling yourself about what is and isn’t possible, what’s been happening (or not), what you deserve, or not, opens the door even wider, onto the landscape of what’s been waiting for you.

How to begin hearing those deep core beliefs that can keep you stumbling along, going nowhere fast?

2.  Mindfulness, and mindful attention to your own sweet self.

Gentle, non-judging, non-shaming attention to your own internal stories invites you to hear what remains hidden within your subconscious. Those very powerful stories are often the things holding you hostage, preventing you from making good, positive, life-affirming changes.

And what happens as you begin slowing down, and paying attention to the old, worn-out, self-sabotaging mind stories? You realize that …

3.  It’s actually really do-able to expand the edges, and boundaries of possibilities.

Everything becomes possible once you befriend the edges of your fears. I’m telling you, this is such a profound realization! No matter what you were taught as a child, no matter how scared you’ve been, no matter how high you want to fly … once you learn how to face your own dragons, you are free.

4.  Curiosity and creativity are powerful tools for transformation.

This work of making changes — whether they’ve shown up as a most unwelcome guest or something you’re embracing with all your heart — can be such a rich time of magic and miracles.

Using your curiosity, and weaving in creativity in its infinite forms, begins to produce remarkable results. And guess what? It’s fun!

5.  Creative action taken with conscious awareness of what’s possible is the path forward.

Because finally, when all the cows have come home, success or failure is about the action you take on behalf of your own sweet self and your sacred longings and desires.

It isn’t enough to write your new story, the one filled with true experiences of fighting beasties, and being an upstanding member of your tribe, and finding lasting, true love.

You need to begin to live it. That’s how you end up in happiness land. Start small, but start you must.

bird-in-flight

Here’s a Secret

Long-term success in your career, money, and/or that great relationship is founded on happiness. Those things emanate from happiness, not the other way around.

“Happiness is the cause of success, not the byproduct of it,” says researcher Vanessa Van Edwards.

Why happiness and transformative changes?

Because research shows that happy people earn more income, have less disease and illness, enjoy life satisfaction and purpose and meaning that make all of it worthwhile.

Because you’re not here to suffer and struggle and slog through a tedious, boring life.

Because no one, not one person, ever says at the end, “Gee I wish I’d worried more, and suffered even more deeply.”