Seize the Day
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How are you feeling?
When we are asked that question, a cheery “good thanks” is the standard answer, and fair enough – possibly the person who enquired wasn’t hugely interested in your state of mind.
But, really – how is your life making you feel? Are you burdened, guilty, worried, yet fearful of making a change?
It seems that, though life does have plenty to offer, there are too many women who feel that they are missing out on a big part of themselves – but are too scared to make a change.
Here is the secret though – you can do it.
And forget the excuses: too old, too busy, not enough money, not smart enough: the fact is, hundreds of thousands of women are empowering themselves to make big changes and to seize the day.
Nyree Hatzimihail, career counsellor at Queensland University of Technology, says making a change – whether it be work, education, leisure or socially based, whether it be saying yes to that date or signing up for a philosophy course – could be the best thing you ever do.
“I meet so many women who want to make a change because they feel like something is missing, and I always urge them to take the steps to change the things they want to,” she says.
“They might have devoted years to their family, or spend too much time at work, or feel that they want to find a new relationship that works, but often are held back by fear or guilt.”
Ahh, guilt – something every woman is all too familiar with.
Nyree is practical when it comes to dealing with this.
“Guilt will never leave women, no matter what we do, so we should get used to it and forge ahead,” she said.
“Women can often feel something is missing, but they are programmed to put others first, so will put off making a positive change in their lives. You need to realise you are worthy of coming first.
“This is particularly a concern when women want to study something without a clear cut career outcome, or want to volunteer: they may feel it is self indulgent, but if you have fulfilled your duties and met your responsibilities, then having something to focus on which is all yours makes you feel more confident as a woman, a wife, a mother, an employee.
“You need to say ‘now is the time,’ decide what it is you want, research it, and go out and get it – trust your instincts and believe in yourself.”
The key is visualisation: when you are older, looking back on your life, what do you want to say you achieved? What missed opportunities might you regret?
“People need to imagine how they might feel once they have achieved this goal,” Nyre says.
So, whether it is accepting an invitation out, pursuing a relationship, taking a course, volunteering, studying, changing careers – self belief, determination and pride will get you there every time.
Nyree says the sense of feeling undervalued and overwhelmed is more common than many might think.
“The thing is, you are not only person having these thoughts - the woman at Myer sale standing next to you, the woman in line at the supermarket – these women are probably having the same doubts,” she said.
“Everyone has them, and most people think other people have it better.
“You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors - others lives can look amazing but you don’t know what happens in another person’s quiet time, chances are they are looking for more too.”
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