unhappy with where you are in life

5 Things To Do If You Are Unhappy With Where You Are In Life

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou

Are you feeling overwhelmed and unhappy with where you are in life? You are not alone.

I am going to share with you what you can do to shift from that negative space to much a happier state of mind.

Just a Little backstory!

I was born and raised in Uganda (a small country in East Africa). I spent my childhood and part of my adulthood surrounded by family, friends, good food, and great warm tropical weather.

I moved to the U.S a couple of years back, and life was not what I expected. Of course, there was the initial excitement over my new lifestyle, which soon faded.

It is never easy to pack up and start life anywhere new. It was challenging to start over. I had no friends; adjusting to the cold winters was extremely hard. There was the added pressure of navigating a new fast-paced culture.

I was constantly questioning whether my parents had made the right decision for me or not.

A couple of months went by, started working here and there, went back to school, and made some friends, but I still was unhappy and was longing for the life I used to have. I felt stuck!

Financially and emotionally, I was not in a good space. I knew I wanted better for myself but did not know what to do to get there.

Several years later, I finally feel much more at home, settled and happier.

All this to say, if you are going through a phase where life seems to be overwhelming, maybe financially, socially, emotionally, and you feel it’s too much to deal with. There are a number of options you can try to claim your happiness. Here are a few things that I have learnt along the way .

5 Things To Do If You Are Unhappy With Where You Are In Life

Create Time For What Interests You

To the majority of people, unhappiness starts from having a super busy schedule. It might be that you are unhappy with where you are in life because you feel overwhelmed and stuck with the same schedule week after week, month after month.

It could be that you have a job that takes most of your time, or you have a crazy work schedule and a family to support. Many of us also have both full-time jobs and side hustles.

 That leaves little or no fun in your life.

But, we all know that fun is a necessity; it’s part of what makes you who you are. So without it, some start feeling frustrated with life which can lead to depression.

As you see people spending time with friends, going away on vacations, you start asking, how do they have time to do all these things yet there are only 24 hours in a day”?

The reality is we all have 24 hours, of which you need 8 hours to sleep to be productive the next day. So that leaves you with only 16 hours in the day to get everything else done.

How do you change your mindset from- I am too busy to do anything else to I CAN, and WILL DO IT!

If you are unhappy with where you are in life because of a busy schedule, try these few things:

  • The first step is to learn how to prioritize and plan your day. Create a day-to-day schedule, have a list of the essential things, and set deadlines.
  • Wake up earlier. – If you have a 9-5 job, then maybe you need to wake up at 6 am to read a book, do your skincare routine, meditate or exercise. Doing this will give you something enjoyable to look forward to each morning before starting a busy day.
  • Get enough sleep so you are not worn out during the day. This way, you can create time to meet up with your friends after work for dinner without feeling burnt out.
  • Create a daily routine where you allocate at least 1 hour to do something you love. If it’s spending time with your kids, watching a movie, or reading a book.
  • Plan a vacation. Take time off to refresh your brain cells and recharge

Practicing these steps will boost your ability to think creatively and bring a spark of happiness in your life.

Change Your Career

  “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

According to this 2019 survey, most people seek to change careers either because they are unfulfilled, looking for better pay, flexibility or need a new challenge.

Any of these reasons can make you feel anxious and unhappy with where you are in life, especially when you see your friends or colleagues climbing up the career ladder yet you are still stuck in the same position.

Your career should be moving you forward, not stagnant.

Do not let fear of change stop you from progressing in life.

For some, it means getting promoted to a senior or managerial position. It might be getting involved in new challenging and advanced projects, or even going back to school to gain new skills for a completely different job.

Do not feel guilty to admit that, deep down, you think that you can do better than your current role.

I have worked in so many different careers starting with healthcare, moving on to Real estate, to accounting and now in working in Finance and blogging on the side. Not only has this given me self confidence in what I am capable of achieving, but I also have learnt to embrace change as part of my personal growth.

What should you do if you are unhappy with where you are in life because of your career?

  • Take time to find a suitable work environment where you will thrive.
  • Write down a list of things you naturally love doing and are good at. Look around on job search engines to see how these skills be applied to your next job or career.
  • Embrace change and be flexible- This is a major key in finding success and happiness.

Allocating time to think about what meets your needs will help you make the right decisions and further your progress.

Find Creative Ways To Generate More Income

Like most people, all you want is to have enough money to pay for all your necessities, have a savings account, and have extra to cover your other needs.

Happiness is not really about money but financial security. But as we know it, not so many people earn enough income from their job.

Living check by check and struggling to cover all your expenses or hardly ever have enough money left over to put away in savings will affect your livelihood.

Not having financial security can lead to financial stress. It will contribute to how you are feeling stuck and unhappy with where you are in life and sometimes make you feel worthless.

Here are some simple steps you can take towards gaining financial security

  • Sit down and write your financial goals – how much money would like to make a year, and from that, how much would you like to save.
  • Then, make a monthly budget (write down all your expenses, including your monthly needs plus how much you need to save each month depending on your goals. It will help you estimate the monthly income you should be bringing home.
  • Evaluate your salary. If your full-time job cannot accommodate everything in your budget, find a second job or start a side business to cover the remaining portion. If you are looking for business ideas, this side hustle post by Kelan Kline will be a great place to start.

Learn To Be Your Own Support System

I am very grateful to have such great friends, family, and a spouse who support me in my highs and lows, and I couldn’t trade that for anything else.

So it is essential to acknowledge that we need help and support from family, friends, spouses for spiritual and personal growth or whenever we go through stressful events. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith off your own opinions, and decisions without anyone’s support.

Although it’s nice to get approval from other people about what you are doing or want to do, sometimes your family or friends might not understand your personal growth and ideas. 

And might not support you in the way that you want.

This is where being your own support system will help. The simplest way to do this is by getting into daily habits that will motivate you to accomplish your goals 

  • Hold yourself accountable
  • Indulge in self-care and take care of your body, mind, and soul
  • Read or listen motivational books, podcasts, or watch inspiration videos on You-tube
  • Practice self-love and appreciate your values

Accept & Learn From Your Mistakes

When I was in college, I had opportunities to start my finance career earlier on through internships in the industry. But I chose not to go for it because I was already employed and comfortable with the job I had at that time.

This job was not related to what I was studying. It was not until I graduated and started to pursue my finance career that I realized the mistake I made.

Had I taken an internship, I would have gained experience and exposure to understand what finance related roles or companies would be the right fit for me.

I kept blaming myself for a long time because finding a finance job became a challenge, mainly because I didn’t have the experience, to begin with.

But I had to accept responsibility for my mistake and move forward.

Not owning your mistakes can make you feel unhappy with where you are in life because there is a higher chance of you repeating them.

Some people might view accepting their faults as a sign of weakness. But we all have made them at least twice in our lifetime, from staying in bad relationships to choosing toxic friendships.

What defines you is how you choose to recover  from your mistakes and learn from them.

 

To be successful and happy, you need to see an opportunity in every difficult situation. There is always a lesson to learn. Acknowledge what part you played in the situation so that you don’t make the same mistake repeatedly.

A few things I have learned through my personal growth journey is to take opportunities when they present themselves, overcome the fear of change and be willing to forgive myself.

 I chose to turn my career blunders into a road map and discovered new ways to make better decisions.

Change Your Mindset Today

If you are unhappy with where you are in life, I want you to know that you are not alone. We all have been there but you have to be willing to change your mindset and try new things to get out of that space. There are so many options. All you have to do is take one step at a time to gain the level of success and happiness you genuinely need and want.

16 Comments

  • Avatar

    Ana De- Jesus

    April 14, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    I COMPLETELY AGREE THAT IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE ACCEPT OUR MISTAKES AND USE THEM TO BECOME STRONGER IN OUR PERSONAL AND WORKING LIVES. I KNOW ALL TOO WELL WHAT IT IS LIKE TO FEEL UNHAPPY IN LIFE, AND BEING IN THE RIGHT CAREER AND DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY IS SO IMPORTANT.

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Kayleigh

    April 14, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing. How cool you are from Uganda. I am sure you have such great stories to tell about moving to a new country. I myself am from Germany…. but moved here when I was 10. I sometimes feel like I’ve lived two different lives because almost nothing in my life is the same as it was in Germany. It’s sad on one hand but on the other – I am happily married and have a wonderful family here in the US.

    Reply
    • Christine Nantongo

      Christine Nantongo

      April 14, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Kayleigh,

      There are so many stories to tell but I would love to hear how moving here to the U.S affected your personal growth. Good or bad.

      Reply
  • Avatar

    Denise Gardiner

    April 14, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Great post, Tina! I love your backstory. I worked jobs I hated for years until I finally decided to be my own boss. It takes discipline, but so worth it. I am now a retired Realtor, who became a blogger and also have a part-time hustle that I also do from home. I went through many dysfunctional relationships with men. Yes, definitely learn from your mistakes and move forward. I find changing your mindset and see the positives instead of the negatives will help guide you in the right direction. Also, surround yourself with positive people. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Christine Nantongo

      Christine Nantongo

      April 19, 2021 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Denise,
      Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m glad you found happiness despite of what life threw at you. It takes courage to acknowledge mistakes and strength to not repeat them. Positivity is great tool that we all need.

      Reply
  • Avatar

    Lydia

    April 15, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Such a great post! I have always enjoyed finding creative ways to either expand on my knowledge or skill in an area or generate some extra cash. It always puts a bit of extra pep in my step! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • Avatar

    Danielle

    April 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    I love this article! I’ll admit that I definitely let myself get caught up in the slog of daily life, and it makes me miserable. I’ve been working on writing a similar article about the importance of active rest in order to stay happy, energized, and creative

    Reply
    • Christine Nantongo

      Christine Nantongo

      April 19, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Danielle,

      Yes, a busy schedule without rest will lead to misery. Please take time to include some fun activities or self-care in your weekly routine

      Reply
  • Avatar

    Haley Wright

    April 28, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    This is an amazing post! So many things that people don’t take into consideration when they feel unhappy, like changing your career, can make a huge difference. It really comes down to your environment and who you surround yourself with, what you do to occupy your time, etc. Great post!

    Reply
    • Christine Nantongo

      Christine Nantongo

      May 5, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Haley

      Career is a big factor in having a happy life. Most people who are miserable at work carry that negative energy into their personal lives.

      Reply

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