When it’s time to take action

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Doctor with stethoscope
Valley News - Health

The American Counseling Association, Special to Valley News

Most people have few hesitations about taking actions to correct life’s small problems. They might complain about poor restaurant service, return yesterday’s defective purchase or visit the doctor about a troubling health issue.

But are they ready and willing to take action when the problem they’re facing turns out to be the actual life they’re living?

Too often people’s response to real life issues and disappointments is to simply push them aside, or to feel sorry and depressed that things aren’t going right. Unfortunately, allowing yourself to wallow in anger or blame or feelings of helplessness when life isn’t giving you all you expect from it, doesn’t fix anything. Instead, you need to turn such feelings into positive energy to help in building the better life you desire.

A starting point is simply sitting down with yourself and identifying what things have you feeling that your life isn’t working out the way you once planned. While the realities of daily living often take a toll on the optimistic visions, someone once had, you need not surrender totally to the problems and shortcomings you face.

Instead, you can begin to take small steps toward living the life you really want. One step is simply finding your own voice. It’s necessary to be able to express your feelings when things are disappointing you. Speaking up doesn’t mean that you’re being selfish or overbearing. You simply want to be honest and to have others better understand what’s troubling you.

If the demands of an overly busy schedule don’t leave you time for people and events that would make you feel more positive about your life, learn to say “no” when necessary. Your aim should be for the changes, even small ones, that help you move toward the life you want.

Identify your strengths and interests and put time into nourishing them. Begin by taking one daily action that moves you closer to your desired life. It can be something simple, like rewriting your resume, cleaning out old files or a cluttered closet or reconnecting with an old friend.

Your goal is to create an overall balance in your life. A life that is too busy often ends up without room for those people and activities that can help you better connect with the real you and the life you feel you should be living.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Send comments and questions to ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit http://www.counseling.org.