10 things you can do when you realize you aren't as far along in life as you thought you'd be

at one point or another, we’ve all gone through phases in our lives where we feel ‘less than’. and if we’re being honest, some of us feel like that right now. we believe things haven’t gone the way they should have. we’ve determined that if we would have only made better choices earlier on, we’d be better off by now. it feels like we’ve run out of time to right our wrongs and experience a life of true happiness. and nothing makes sense anymore. we’re questioning everything and everyone, trying to get answers as we struggle not to succumb to our own vices. it’s tough, no doubt. and it’s easy to throw in the towel and merely exist. 

but i’ve got news for you. you’re not alone and there is a way out. lots of people are confused on the direction they need to take in their lives. and many of us struggle with racing against the ticking clock in our heads and on our social media pages that compels us to try and keep up with everyone else. but now that you’ve realized you aren’t as far along in life as you would’ve liked, you can now accept the fact that there are some things within your reach that you can do to change that.

10). remember, it’s not too late for you to course correct.

today. right now. in this moment. as you read this. understand that it’s not too late for you. you can still accomplish those goals. you can still actualize those dreams. you can still get your act together. you just gotta remember not to let social media rush you; as though your “time” has passed. because it hasn’t. you’ve still got time. but what are you going to do with that time now that you’ve realized you aren’t where you wanna be in your life? that’s the question. 

9). confide in one person you trust about how you feel. 

friends are one of the few medicines of life. they’re the collaborators you choose to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. the people you entrust to help you unpack your thoughts and frustrations. the reassurance you need to ensure that you aren’t alone in how you feel. because none of us were made to go through life by ourselves; we need people to help us get through. and if you feel like you aren’t as far along in your life as you thought you’d be, that’s something you need to communicate with at least one person. and make sure it’s someone you trust that will actually have something meaningful to contribute. 

this isn’t the time to confide in the wrong person; the one whose idea of “advice” is minuscule commentary like, “that’s crazy”, “whaaaat” and “so what you gon’ do?” you need to talk with someone who will hear you and respond to you with their honest (and informed) assessment. but most importantly, you need to confide in someone who you know will leave you with actionable advice on how to change your current predicament, keeping in mind that they may not have all the answers. and quite frankly, it’s not their job to have all the answers about your life. but as a bare minimum, they should at least offer something that helps point you in the right direction.

8). watch ‘the pursuit of happyness’. 

if watching a movie based on the life of a single father who gets evicted with his young son and is forced to hop from shelter to shelter while struggling to find a job and decides to take an unpaid internship at a brokerage firm even though he wasn’t qualified on paper for the job but nevertheless, refuses to give up his pursuit of a better life for himself and his son which ultimately results in him becoming an american businessman, investor, stockbroker, motivational speaker and author isn’t enough to make you realize that it’s not too late for you to change your reality and get your life back on track, i don’t know what is.

7). write your plan down on paper — make it real.  

rihanna might love it when you talk that talk, but talk is inherently cheap. and if your discontent with where you currently are in life is enough to make you want to do and be better, you’re gonna have to write your vision down and make it plain. what would you want to do with your life? what are your passions? once you can articulate your passions, you’re one step closer to finding your purpose; and there is prosperity in your purpose. 

after you have a sense of what you want to do, you should think about how you’re going to get there. do you know any people who are already succeeding in what you want to do? are there some classes and/or trainings that are necessary to better equip you? these are good questions to think about as you put pen to paper and write your plan down. and it doesn’t have to be perfect or thought out completely. you just need to write it down. writing it down makes it real. and if it’s real, you can only ignore it for so long.

6). read a book. 

not just any book. pick a resourceful one. one that will likely inspire you to be better and encourage you to take the leaps required to get to the next dimension of becoming your best self. one of my many go-to’s when i need to recalibrate and reset is ‘necessary endings’ by dr. henry cloud. i’ve found it helpful because it really forces me to challenge the people and things that have prevented me from moving forward…which ultimately puts me in the mindset to declutter my life of the dead weight and move forward authoritatively, which I like.

5). think about the people and things that consume majority of your time. 

whatever (and whoever) consumes your mind, controls your life. period. and if your days are spent gossiping on the phone with complacent people who wouldn’t know leadership if it invited them out to dinner, that’s on you. if you spend most of your time binge watching reality tv and your favorite netflix series, that’s an issue you need to fix. why? because you can’t course correct your life until you course correct the actions that led to where you currently are in your life. that’s why. and that brings me to my next point…

4). take responsibility for the actions that have led to your current predicament.  

life is all about choices and consequences. and blaming where you are (or aren’t) in your life on someone else means you never have to rise up and take accountability for your own life. that’s problematic. and it’s counterproductive. and all things considered, the sooner you get real with yourself about the part you played in narrative of your own life, the sooner you realize that you have the power rip up the current script and write yourself a new chapter. because after all, the story isn’t over yet and people love a good plot twist. 

3). stop saying “i’m not where i want to be in life.”

you may not feel like it at the moment, but you’ve got to speak things that are not as though they were; that’s a faith move. so, instead of using your words to talk about everything you aren’t, use them to decree and declare everything that you are. you is smart. you is kind. you is important. (i couldn’t resist). but seriously, you have to encourage yourself. remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ. you are strengthened with all power according to His might. you proser in all things. you experience all blessings because you are in fact, blessed. you are surrounded by favor like a shield. you are anxious for nothing because you know it is better to make your requests known to God through prayer. you are a crown of glory and the apple of God’s eye. He believes in you — so believe in yourself. 

2). take the time to be thankful for the life that you have.

during times when we are ashamed about not being as far along in life as we would’ve hoped, it becomes increasingly easy to focus on everything we aren’t. but don’t allow everything (you think) you aren’t deter you from embracing everything you are. it’s all about perspective; and yours needs to be optimistic if you’re ever going to successfully course correct. so spend some time dwelling on all you have to be thankful for and everything you bring to the table. be grateful for where you are in the journey and take it one step at a time. it’s easier said than done and it may require some time, but it’s necessary.

1). keep the faith. 

it’s great to establish good counsel around you so you can go to them in your time of need. it’s great to be able to write your plans down so you can actualize your dream and create actionable items that will bring you one step closer to the life you imagine for yourself. and it’s great to go to conferences, watch positive films and recite affirmations.  

but at the beginning and end of the day, the only thing that can define a thing is its creator. so, who better to talk to about when and where your next step should be in life than the one who finished your journey before He began it in you? God hears your prayers regardless of if they’re said aloud or recited silently to yourself. it’s one of the greatest privileges we could ever hope to have, as it gives us a direct line of communication with Him. and He’s even more invested in your success than you are. He’s just waiting on you to shift your focus from what’s bad in your life and turn to the one you know is good. Him.