by Phyllis Reagin
Living an extraordinary life often means being true to yourself, no matter the circumstances or others’ opinions. It means living a life with no regrets. That you didn’t say no to what matters to you. Too often, we our dreams off to the side, expecting that one day we will get to them. Then we look back and realize we didn’t live the extraordinary life we were meant for.
During Glen Close’s recent Golden Globe acceptance speech, she revealed that her elderly mother looked back on her life and felt she hadn’t achieved anything. By the expressions of the women in the audience and later discussions on social media, this resonated with a lot of women.
Here are five ways to live an extraordinary life:
1. Be strategic about your choices
Some women believe that life has just “happened” to them and that they haven’t been strategic about the choices they made. Either they went down a certain path because their parents or partners thought it was a wise choice. Or, they decided to do something based on the moment without considering what it means in the long run. If this sounds like you, then you need to hit the brakes and reconsider where you are heading. Take the time to make sure it’s aligned to who you really want to be in this chapter of your life.
Start by asking these questions:
– What make me feel the most alive when I am doing it?
– What can I not live without doing?
– If I could choose to do anything and money wasn’t a concern, what would it be?
– What and who do I need around me to feel the most at ease in my life?
2. Stop only living in the vicinity of your dreams
You may be doing some things that aligned to your purpose but not in a full out way. Maybe your dream is to be a writer of fiction books, but you spend your days working as an editor of others’ fiction books. Being in the vicinity of your dreams is the not the same as really living your dreams. Make a promise to yourself that this is your moment. You need to act and not get stuck in overwhelm or fear. Commit to achieving baby steps and know that with each step you complete, you have moved that much closer to your dreams coming true.
3. Get in the driver’s seat
Perhaps, you are giving less weight to your feelings and desires than is deserved. The backseat belongs to you. It’s time for you to jump into the driver’s seat of your life. When you are ready to take control of your destination, you need to relinquish any doubt that you can steer your own life. It’s also important to be gentle with yourself and know that it may not be a perfect journey, but you are better for it by guiding it from your own hopes and desires.
4. Making “No” a favorite word
So many women have difficulty saying no. It is really about them not saying yes to their priorities. To live an extraordinary life, you need to be firm about saying no to what doesn’t serve you. Saying “no” leaves room for all the right people, opportunities, and possibilities to enter your life. Give yourself permission to be your own best champion for the life you want to live.
5. Don’t let your dreams expire
Glen Close’s mother lived a life of regret and it was too late for her to live the life she was meant to live. If you feel you are on a similar path, it is time to make life changes now. Don’t wait for the right moment, the right opportunity, the right partner, the right anything. Each choice you make to live a life aligned to what makes you fully engaged and alive, is you choosing to live an extraordinary life. One day, you too, will stop and survey your life. Make the decisions that have you say, “I wouldn’t have lived it any other way!”
Glen Close’s emotional speech was a proclamation that committing to yourself is the most important decision you can make. Now is the time for you to commit to living the full color version of yourself.
Phyllis Reagin is a confidence coach and founder of At the Coach’s Table. A former leader for a Fortune 500 entertainment/media company, she has coached hundreds of female leaders, teaching them how to uproot their insecurities, to assertively deal with others and situations, and to find their empowered voice. Widowed while 8-months pregnant, Phyllis uses these important life lessons to help her clients face challenges with resilience and confidence.
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