Where to Start When You Feel Like a Change

Do you need a change? Do you feel like you've reached a dead end, and that it's time to focus on yourself and give yourself what you really need? These basic keys can help guide you on this journey.
Where to Start When You Feel Like a Change
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

“I feel like I need something different in my life. I’m stuck in a rut and don’t know how to get out of it.” Everyone feels like this at some point in their lives. It’s an ambivalent feeling. That’s because we don’t know how to explain it. Furthermore, we don’t know where to start. We just know we feel like a change.

The writer George Herbert said that all life is change and there’s no reason to fear something that’s so natural. Indeed, in reality, rather than being reluctant to change, you want it. That’s because there’s something in your life that’s making you stagnate and feel trapped in a discouraging reality of little hope.

When you find yourself repeatedly going over this feeling in your mind, you have no choice but to obey. However, be careful, because radical and impulsive changes can make you lose your balance and may mean you end up in the wrong place. Therefore, it’s best to do a little reflection first to clarify what exactly it is you want.

Let’s take a look at the process that can take you to a better stage of life when you feel like a change.

You experience the need for something new when you no longer feel like yourself in everything you do and everywhere you go.

Woman thinking looking up and thinking that I feel like I need something different
You need changes that adjust to the type of existence you want to live.

What to do when you feel like a change

We live in a reality where change happens at an ever-increasing rate. It’s not only social scenarios that are being transformed. Nature also has its own changes. Everything moves, changes, oscillates, and drags you toward a series of ups and downs. It’s inevitable that you experience perplexity and even restlessness when faced with them.

Zygmunt Bauman describes this continual change as “liquid modernity”. He claims that, on a psychological level and in a context marked by evolution, we often yearn for change. Indeed, feeling that we need something different at any given moment is a recurring experience.

Aristotle also spoke about the need for change in his works, De Motu Animalium and De Generatione Animalium. He explained that all variation is oriented to a purpose, to an “ultimate cause.”  Variations in the cosmos are a good example, aimed at achieving the maximum degree of perfection. The same happens with us humans when we intend to embark on a new lifestyle.

Therefore, as a human yourself, you need to carry out different tasks and purposes when you find yourself yearning for personal fulfillment. However, where do you start? Let’s take a look.

Clarify what you need to know

It’s not a good idea to jump into the void and give free rein to your need for change. It’s better to think about each step so as not to make a mistake. That said, some people, when faced with the desire to do something different, embark on the most disparate projects. They’re impulsive and they limit themselves to filling the void with any activity and experience. Needless to say, they don’t find genuine satisfaction.

Therefore, you should try not to adopt this kind of attitude. First, clarify what it is that you’re yearning for and why. If you feel the need to dedicate yourself to another professional task, reflect on the reason why. If you want to change the city you live in, your social circle, or start new hobbies, work out what reasons have led you to this desire. Only when you’re aware of what you need and why will you be prepared to seek what you deserve.

Turn your thoughts into intentions

Where do you start when you want a change? As we mentioned earlier, the first step is to take a look at what it is you want. The second is to train your mind to mobilize every idea, purpose, and thought toward your goals.

Research conducted by the University of Shanghai claims that setting goals favor our quality of life. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if we’re experiencing dark moments and feel as if we’re stuck. In fact, the moment our brains cling to a clear purpose, hope blossoms.

Do small and different things every day and what you’re looking for will come

Before taking a risk and making a drastic change that you may regret later, it’s better to take one step at a time. Try to do new things every day, break habits, vary your routines, and meet different people… As a matter of fact, these small changes in your life can actually bring you the personal revolution you’ve been waiting for.

Woman with closed eyes and enlightened mind
When you’re clear about what you need, your mind must focus on those purposes.

You’re not lost, the process of change is a journey

You may well feel lost. That’s because you’re clear that you need a change but you don’t know where to start. Bear in mind that what you’re experiencing is completely normal. You need to understand the process as a journey. A journey that’ll be full of ups and downs, doubts, and uncertainties.

Drs Szu-Chi Huang and Jennifer Aaker from Stanford conducted a study regarding the importance of using the metaphor of travel in this context. They claim that any process of change is like making a complicated journey. You fall, get lost, and sometimes even lose the map.

However, you always have a compass close at hand. That’s your heart. It knows what it wants and it drives you on to continue to find what you need.

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  • Huang, S.-C. y Aaker, J. (2019). Es el viaje, no el destino: cómo la metáfora impulsa el crecimiento después del logro de la meta. Revista de Personalidad y Psicología Social, 117 (4), 697–720. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000164
  • O’Rand, Angela. (2012). The Changing Life Course. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sociology. 197-211. 10.1002/9781444347388.ch11.
  • Kaplan, Roger. (2017). The Dream of Changing Life. 10.4324/9781351324205-6.

The contents of Exploring Your Mind are for informational and educational purposes only. They don't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment of a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.