I’ll be the first to tell you how unreachable my big ideas seem at times. My imagination devises grandiose plans that I don’t always know how to act upon and carry out accordingly. I’ll also be the first to admit that making multiple large life changes at one time wasn’t easy to navigate at the time, but it sure was worth it.

A couple of years back, after experiencing symptoms of burnout and a constant craving for change, I decided that I needed to address the feelings of distress that were plaguing my day to day. It may sound dramatic, but if it hadn’t happened this way, I’m not sure I ever would have made the changes that I’m thankful for today.

To address the feelings of emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, and anxiety I was feeling, I started thinking about the changes I wanted to make in my life, and how I would make them. I wrote down my ideas, and I imagined how much happier and more fulfilled I would feel once I tackled each change. After realizing that I had the power to make those changes, I began making them.

One by one, I started to eliminate all of the major stressors and pieces of my life that were contributing to my unhappiness so that I could create space for more of what I deeply craved.

First, I decided that instead of spending my time wishing that I lived closer to my family and my hometown, and I’d simply move closer to home. Over the next few months, I moved cities, quit pressuring myself to find a job in an industry associated with my Bachelor’s degree, and left my job to find something that would bring me more fulfillment.

I also quit asking for permission and external validation, and instead, learned to trust my own decisions. I started committing to myself, and I freed my mind from the burden of needing to feel “accepted” or understood by everyone around me. I stopped feeling afraid to share my big ideas, and I found my voice.

I was making a lot of changes at once, but once I started listening to my gut, so many things began falling into place.

I started spending more time with my family. I felt happier knowing that I was closer to where I wanted to be, both in my professional and personal life.  I fell in love with a city that I had lived near my entire life but never truly experienced. I created a modern and cozy home that I love waking up to every day. I strengthened my relationship with my partner. I found a work environment that I enjoy and look forward to being a part of every single day. I started to embrace feeling uncomfortable and began living for new experiences.

Today, I look back at the changes I decided to make and realize how pivotal those small tweaks were for my health and well-being. I find that I smile more, and I stress less.

 Most importantly, I’ve realized that it’s my job to show up for myself and to fight for a life that truly fulfills me.

If I learned one thing from the changes I made, it’s to listen to your gut. Doing so can change your life, whether or not you think you need to make changes. Maybe it’s time to move somewhere new. Maybe you’ve reached a point in your life where you need a career change. Maybe you need to cut off unhealthy relationships in your life to make space to welcome new ones. Perhaps you need a new support system or an entirely new group of friends. Whatever your gut is telling you, listen closely.

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