We all have good days and bad days. This is absolutely fine. We need the bad ones so we can appreciate the good ones. And we learn from both, good days and bad days.
But lot of us feel stressed and depressed for a longer period of time than just a day or two. And this is alarming.
We want things to be different, we want to make a change, but there's something holding us back.
All those “somethings” live in our minds. We create them ourselves.
We think that we won't make it.
That we are not enough.
That we have no skills.
That we are not fit enough.
That our friends, neighbors or colleagues are better than us.
That we better not start because we'll fail anyway.
That it's too late already.
The list goes on and on.
But how can we possibly know all those things if we don't do anything?
Well, the truth is, we can't. Not without trying.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
– Pablo Picasso
So why is it so hard to step out of your comfort zone and do something about the situation that you are not happy with?
There can be many reasons. The most common of them, in my opinion, is being comfortable. The second is insecureness. Changes always make us scared, and that's understandable. Everything new requires some learning and adjusting.
What if the new job is actually worse than the old one was?
What if I break up with him but end up with someone who's even worse? Or what if I won't find anyone at all?
What if this and that and so on and so forth?
You need to stop closing your eyes if you have a problem. You need to face it and you need to take action.
Years ago I was having a deep depression, even though I didn't know it back then. I was constantly in a bad mood.
Every day looked exactly the same. Every night was the same – staring the ceiling and wondering why the heck my life is so terrible.
Why was I so depressed?
The short answer is: I was afraid to make a change.
But let's take a little closer look to my problems.
Some years ago I was working as a researcher. I was writing my PhD and academical articles, without much passion for it.
The review processes were long, so sometimes I would wait for years to get published in a journal that may have been influential on my area, but once the article was published, I had no interest even to open the journal.
But I still kept doing it because that's what I had studied for years. I thought that maybe one day I'll start to like it.
I am very grateful for my supervisor for all his support. He was the best advisor anyone could ever ask, so I felt like quitting my academic career would meal letting him down.
But I should have thought about how I feel.
I should have asked myself if that's really something that I want to do, or am I trying to please others?
What comes to my personal life, I was in a really wrong relationship.
In the beginning of our story, I was very adventurous and interested in various things. He wasn't. He liked TV and pretty things and shopping, not hiking or talking or making dinner together.
But we shared the interest of working out, so sometimes we took nice ski trips to mountains or had marathon training “camps” in somewhere warm and sunny place. But that was about it.
After a year in this relationship I found myself, day after day, sitting at home, watching TV and in the weekends, shopping.
I hate shopping! And then, we did a little bit of running and sometimes went to gym together.
No hiking, no photographing, no spontaneous trips to see the sunrise in early summer morning, no long conversations. I suggested those things sometimes, but he never seemed too excited so I figured my ideas are silly and stopped asking him because I didn't want to look like a fool.
Why did I think that something I like and feel passionate about is fool?
But he was a good guy. I always had his support. He was kind and honest and took a good care of me, so I just couldn't say goodbye. I decided not to listen to my heart but kept convincing myself: He must be good for you, look at all the good qualities he has!
Of course we got problems. I made both of us suffer.
Why is it important to get yourself together and make a change if you are not happy?
These two things put together turned me into a pretty terrible person. Okay, let's be honest. I became a real bitch. It was me who had to take the responsibility for my life and my actions, but I still kept doing what I was doing. For years!
It wasn't only that I was in a bad mood and constantly complaining. All this stress and negativity started to affect my body too.
That, for sure, was one of the reasons I couldn't sleep. I would stay up for hours and hours, without being able to stop those thoughts racing in my head.
Sleep deprivation only lead to more problems. I was even crankier than normally, I couldn't focus, it made me binge eat. The last thing still happens – when I have a bad sleep, I'm not able to hear what my body says and I tend to make worse food choices than normally and eat more than I actually need.
Also, my running suffered a lot.
I felt like running was the only thing that I was able to enjoy and that's why I had to run every.single.day.
Sure, there was definitely a positive side. Running was my time, it was relaxing and liberating. But because it was almost the only thing that I enjoyed, I got obsessed.
I'd go crazy without getting at least 10K in every day. And needless to say, my results didn't get better. How could they, if I ran no matter how tired I was (and oftentimes not eating enough)?
Third, my hormone levels were swinging like crazy. I have had problems with my menstrual cycle for as long as I remember, but as a result of all that negativity in my life, together with excess physical activity, I lost my period altogether. I firmly believe that all that stress had a strong influence on my menstrual cycle too.
When we are in depression, we release stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. We lose our appetite or want to eat like crazy. We lose our sleep or want to sleep all the time. What almost always decreases, but in general, never increases, is the appetite for sex… Yes, happened to me too.
My life was such a mess and the only person who was able to do something about it, was me.
It was me who had to make a change.
Luckily, I found my way out. I made a big change and moved abroad for one year. I was afraid, but I did it.
Everything changed. Not overnight, not without pain, but it got a lot better.
My fears never came true.
Fast forward today, my life and the way I think of it has changed 180 degrees.
Letting go my past relationship was hard. Was I afraid? Heck yes!
But I soon realized how liberating it was. After some time alone, after meeting lot of different people and learning a lot about myself it was time for someone very special come to my life. Now I have the most caring husband that we have a lot in common with. I can totally rely on him and I couldn't be happier now.
I also made a big change in my career by leaving the academia and becoming a personal trainer.
People around me were sceptical about that. Here's what I heard a lot: After completing your PhD, you just leave your job? Isn't it suppose to be just the beginning of your career?
Tough questions. But simple answer: Yes, maybe I am crazy. But I need to follow my passion.
Luckily, there were people who were really supportive, too.
Was I afraid? Sure, and I still am!
I still haven't figured out how exactly I am going to make my fitness and teaching goals become true, but I'm sure that I'm on the right way. I enjoy training my clients, learning about fitness every day, putting together workouts, seeing my clients getting closer to their goals, see their dedication and determination.
Have you thought of making a change? Stop thinking, just go for it.
If you are unhappy with your work, relationship, body composition or anything else but you are not taking any action to improve the situation, nothing will ever change.
Sure, there are no guarantees. Things can go wrong. But you should think what's the worst thing that can happen. If you think of it, that's usually nothing too dramatic. And you definitely learn a lot along the way.
If you are depressed, feeling down and always in a bad mood, you lose your spontaneity, your joy, your positive outlook in life. You lose the little kid that we all have inside us. You don't let this little kid to have fun, explore and be creative.
It's not only you that your negativity affects.
If you are not happy with your life, it's hard to be kind and nice to others, too.
Your family suffers, your friends suffer. It's not only about you; you are responsible for them, too.
So, take that risk and make a change. If you don't do anything, nothing will change anyway. But there's so much to win.