Thinking about making a change in your life?  Discover 6 questions that can help you re-evaluate what you’re doing, what you want, and where you want to go.




Most of us at one point or another are going to hear that voice inside saying, “Is it time to make a change?”  The question is, what do you do with that voice?  

Hey Everyone, it’s Dr.  Karen Kendrick, and Welcome to Mastery Now.

If you’ve been thinking more about where you’re headed with your life these days, you’re not alone.  With the amount of massive disruption and change and uncertainty that’s been going on, it’s not uncommon to have some questions.  Questions about where you want to go in your life, what the quality of your life is like, and how happy you are. 

You might be asking things like, “Should I change my career?” Or “Why don’t I feel better?” Or “Do I want a divorce?”  I know these are big questions, and sometimes it’s hard to feel clear on exactly what you want or what you should do or what the right next step is. 

So what I thought I’d do in this episode is walk you through six questions you can ask that will help focus your reevaluation of what you’re doing, and what you want, and hopefully guide you towards some answers. 

So the first question to ask is, “Overall, on a scale of one to ten, how unhappy am I with what my life is like right now?”  Now, the reason you want to start here is because you want to get an overall sense of the scale of the problem and how urgent is it to fix it. 

When you start to quantify it into a number like that, you’re really forcing yourself to assess honestly how big this problem really is.  How much dissatisfaction or pain or anger are you actually feeling?  This is key because then that’s going to help you start to get your feelings out in the open and generate the motivation you’re going to need to probe further and explore your options. 

Now, if you’ve rated your level of unhappiness around an eight or higher, that’s a pretty good indication that you probably need to start doing something about it pretty soon, if at all possible.  Especially if you’ve been feeling like this for quite a while.  It’s never good to stay that unhappy for long periods of time. 

Now if you’re somewhere below that, say a five or six or seven, well, maybe you just decide that the issue isn’t that urgent, but you still want to do something to improve the situation, but maybe you just do it more gradually over time. 

Now if you’re below of five, then that should give you a pretty good sense, I think, that you probably have some time to figure this out.  It may not be a huge priority to make the change in your life right away.   But that doesn’t mean that everything is great and that you don’t need or want to make any changes, but that overall, things are probably reasonably okay and you can take your time figuring things out or perhaps maybe even things improve on their own. 

Question number two to ask yourself is, “At a fundamental level, what isn’t working?”  “What specific parts of my life aren’t I happy with?”  “Is it my health, my finances, my career, relationships, my spiritual life or something else?”  Or maybe it’s even more than one thing. 

Now I would try to describe things in detail here so you get a good picture of what you really see the problem to be.  And I find that one of the best ways to do that is if you can write out what you’re feeling, so you get in touch with some of these specifics. 

For example, if it’s your job, really spell out what aspects of the job you don’t like and why and how it makes you feel as a result.   If the issue has to do with a key relationship, well, maybe then you just try to pinpoint what the conflict is.  What impact is it having and what emotions are you feeling.  Again, try to write down as much as you can here so you get as clear as possible. 

Now, I should point out that sometimes when I have people do this exercise, they get more in touch with their emotions, and they wind up going back and changing the rating they gave for their level of unhappiness.  And most of the time, they change it to a higher number, meaning they’re more unhappy than they first realize.  So if this happens to you when you do the exercise, that’s fine.  Don’t be afraid to adjust your rating as you need to.  Just remember it’s just all information here that’s going to help you as you sort through things.  


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The third question to ask yourself is, “What are the reasons it isn’t working?”  “What is it about the situation, myself, the circumstances, or maybe even someone else that’s causing the issue?”  Now, this is again where you’re going to have to dig a little bit to assess what’s really going on. 

Now, this could be because maybe some bad decisions or bad information happened.  Or maybe that you’ve got a clash of values or personality or goals with somebody else.  Or maybe this is just a lack of motivation on your part or a change in your interests or your priorities.  Or maybe it was that somebody, or maybe even yourself failed to do or say something. 

So again, the idea is to be as honest as you can here, especially in terms of what role you think you might be playing in what’s happened or has happened.  Think about what you need to take responsibility for in the situation. 

Now, if you feel you can’t be objective or you find yourself just writing up this big list of complaints about other people or bad luck or something, then I would try to talk to a few people who really know you and the situation and get their perspective.  I know sometimes it’s hard to see things clearly if you’re angry or you’re burned out or you’re depressed or you’re feeling some other kind of strong emotions.  So getting some input from someone else who could be more objective can sometimes be useful.

The next question to ask, question number four is, “‘If I could snap my fingers and things would be different, what would I want things to look like?”  Now the idea here is that you want to start to imagine your better future and get yourself really into a more positive state of mind and boost your mood. 

Even though we all know it’s going to take more than just snapping your fingers, the question here and why we ask it, is because you want to put aside the issues for the moment and try to clarify what you want or need in order to feel fulfilled.  Now this is going to move you out of that sense of problem identification and move you more into some creative visualization of your future and maybe even some goal setting. 

Now you may be saying, “Well, hey, I don’t even know what I want yet.”  And if that’s true, and you’re not really sure what you want or need just yet, just keep asking the question over the next couple of days or weeks.  And eventually you will start to figure it out.  Just asking that question can start moving your mind in the right direction towards solutions and it can help you boost your mental energy.  Then once you start to have a clearer idea of what you want things to look like, then you can go back and refine it as you go and keep using it as motivation. 

The next question, question number five, is “If I think I may need help, what kind of resources or help do I need, and who could I turn to as my next step?”  Now, I realize that this may require some research or talking to people to get a sense of who or what is out there to help you.  And so again, you may need to do a little bit of digging here. 

Now, if this question does seem tough and you’re worrying that you don’t think there’s any support out there, then keep digging and don’t give up.  There are usually more resources out there than you think and it’s just your job to find them.  What I want you to avoid doing is assuming that no one understands or that no one wants to deal with this kind of issue, or that no one’s ever even had this issue.  Most of the time you’re not the first person to have had this problem or this goal, and there are people or solutions out there to support you.  So keep that in mind.  Just keep digging and don’t give up. 

And that brings us to the last question, question number six, which is, “On a scale of one to ten, how bad do I want this and what am I willing to do to make it happen?”  So this is where the rubber really meets the road here.  This is where you have to take a hard look at how committed you are to making these changes.  The idea is to muster up a level of passion and energy to start taking action, get things moving, and stay the course. 

Now, just to clarify, I don’t want you to think so hard about something that you wind up talking yourself out of doing anything.  Or something good or bold or courageous for yourself, to move yourself in a new direction, or to let go of someone or something.  So while I know it’s important to look before you leap in terms of evaluating some consequences, you don’t want to get analysis paralysis here.  You really just want to get yourself motivated and inspired by making a strong commitment to yourself and even other people in your life too, if that will help you as well. 

So what I recommend you do is write down your feelings about why you’re willing to make these changes and what actions you plan to take.  Now, you don’t have to have a complete step by step plan here, but at least some broad level next steps to start things in motion.  Then as you start moving forward, you can always get more specific with any targeted goals or tasks if you need to.  Just the act of writing things down again can be so powerful in motivating you and committing. 

So I hope this has been helpful as you go about this process of reevaluating things.   Just keep listening to your own inner voice and don’t settle for things that aren’t serving or fulfilling you long-term.  Just remember, life is short, and it’s your magnificent opportunity to create the life you want.

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