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3 Ways to Know that You Are (Finally) Ready to Make a Change


Every person has had that moment where they have decided that they just cannot put up with a situation anymore and must make a change. However, getting to that point - or finally knowing that you are ready - can be challenging. How do you know that you are ready for change? These three signs will tell you:

1. You get angry at things you used to just put up with.

Day after day, you slog along in a job you hate, dealing with a boss you despise, and working with co-workers that drive you crazy. You put up with it, telling yourself that you need the job, that it’s not that bad, that it doesn’t actually crush your soul. One day, your boss sends you yet another request for the same information you have provided 10 times before. She’s done this hundreds of times, and hundreds of times, you have begrudgingly given her what she’s asked for. This time, you can’t stand it anymore and write a furious e-mail giving her a piece of your mind.  

Not only is this possibly a career-ending move, it also lets you know that you are finally ready to make a change. While many people see anger as a negative emotion, it is often the indicator that you are finally sick of putting up with your current situation you or relationship and are ready to move on. 

For me, I can distinctly remember the moment that I knew I had to end an engagement. My fiance was yelling about God-knows-what yet again, and I was raising my voice to yell back, “Shut UP!” It dawned on me that I don’t believe in resolving conflict by yelling, yet here I was, yelling to be heard. Right then and there, I knew I needed to make a change.

Going forward today, check in with yourself. Which long-standing situations in your life are finally making you angry? What about situations that have caused anger for a long time? Make note of these, and know that you are ready to make different choices. 

2. Instead of dreaming about a new life, you begin planning for it. 

I cannot tell you how many people I work with that tell me their life dreams and then qualify them, saying things like, “I have been dreaming of this my whole life.” or “I have always wanted to do this.” Of course, right after that usually comes, “But...”

Dreaming is a wonderful and definitely necessary part of moving forward authentically in life, but too many people get stuck there. Dreams without actions just don’t come true. 

Have you begun reading books about how to do the things you dream of? Have you signed up for classes or other experiences that would assist you on your path? Have you begun creating a list of things that you need in order to be successful? Then you have taken critical steps forward. You are ready to move from dreaming to acting.

If you are at this point, you will also notice a critical shift in the way you speak about your dreams. Instead of saying, “I need to,” “I’d like to,” or “I wish I could,” you will begin saying, “I have to,” “I am ready to,” or “I am.” Notice that one set of words are “dream” or “future” words, while the others are “action” or “immediate” words. 

When you finally shift from imagining yourself in a new life to actually planning for how you can make that dream happen and speaking about those actions in the present, you know you are ready to move forward.

3. The perceived pain of making a change seems far less than the pain of staying where you are.

For many people, the pain of leaving a bad relationship or job is so intense that they just stay for years. After all, they might be miserable, but it’s better to “deal with the devil you know.” right? 

For some, I suppose it is. However, there will come a time when you literally cannot take the situation you are in anymore. Perhaps you notice that you have aches and pains, or get sick more often or more seriously than you used to. Maybe you are completely drained of energy after being on the job or with the person in question, and do not have energy to do things you love to do.

It’s at that point that the scales have swung in favor of making a change. While every major life change comes with its challenges, when the pain and exhaustion of the situation you are in has become overwhelming, you are at the critical point. If you have said to yourself, “I have to end this,” “I cannot take it anymore,” or “I am over this,” you are ready to make a change. 

Take inventory of situations in your life that are draining you or making you sick. How much more do you think you can put up with? Have you hit that critical tipping point where making a change is more appealing than putting up with more of the same? If you are at the end of your rope and feel that change is more positive than staying stuck, you are ready to make a shift!

Are you in a situation now that you need to get out of? What is the situation? Do you think you are ready to change?