Can’t Get Past That Stuck Place In Your Life? Here’s What to Do

It’s inevitable, you know.

One day you realize that everything you’ve been trying hasn’t worked.  You’ve read the books, gone to the seminars and retreats.  Maybe you’ve tried to work through your issues with friends and family members.  You’ve journaled and even done all the exercises in all the programs you’ve bought (which only about 2% of people who buy programs actually do).

Maybe things have changed a little (or maybe not).  But you still feel stuck in the same issue, swimming in circles and getting very tired.

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

You might be tempted to keep doing more of what you’ve been doing, hoping that this time it will be different.  But don’t. That’s what I used to do, and I created more problems than I got rid of. Several times, my “improvements” produced even worse results than I was getting before.  I couldn’t believe it.

It took a while, but eventually I learned that just because you’re doing something different doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. If you want to turn your life around, you can’t just change what you think is wrong. You have to base your improvements on objective evidence, timeless wisdom, and advice from experts.

Here’s how:

Study What’s Working (and What’s Not)

All too often, we decide our approach is wrong because of how our life looks to us.  We don’t feel as happy as we think other people are.  We’re not as successful financially, emotionally and in relationships as others.  We feel that our lives are lacking because of what we think our lives should look like.

Because it looks that way to us, we believe that it must be that way, and therefore, we have to change it.

Big mistake.

The truth: no matter how successful you are, something in your life will always look wrong to you. If you allow it to distract you, you can spend your entire life chasing little, nitpicky problems, and you’ll never get to the big, hairy monstrosities that really deserve your attention.

How do you know what those monstrosities are? Easy: you look at the results in your life. Before making any changes, you should consider:

■  Past results – What have you done in the past that worked? Why? What hasn’t worked? Why?

■  Reactions – What have you done that others notice?

■  Relationships – How has what you’ve done affected your relationships?  How do others describe you?

■  Feelings – Where do you feel the most stress and resistance in your body and in your life?

Study these long enough, and you’ll probably begin to see patterns of what works and what doesn’t. If you’re like me, you’ll also be surprised by how much time you’re wasting on stuff that doesn’t work and how precious little time you’re spending on stuff that does.

Easy fix though, right?  Start doing what works, and stop doing what doesn’t work. It’ll turn your life around faster than anything else.

Base Your Changes on Timeless Wisdom

Of course, you can’t learn everything you need to know from looking at these results.  That’s merely the low hanging fruit. At some point, you’ll want to find out what has worked for others and then try a similar approach for yourself.

Reading all the personal development advice is a good start, but you should also look outside that arena. Some of the most useful insights you’ll discover will come from books and articles that have absolutely nothing to do with personal development.

Sometimes reading fiction, fables and poetry can open your mind to new ways of seeing things.  Many fiction writers are geniuses at assessing the human condition and creating ways to transform lives.

Do yourself a favor and learn from them.

Stop Trying to Figure It Out On Your Own

It has taken me most of my 44 years to figure out how to be happy.  I tried and failed, tried again and failed again, looking for so many people, things and experiences to make me happy.  My relationships never lasted.  Everything in my life seemed temporary.

And then, finally, I got it.  I felt like someone handed me the key to the magic door.  Funny thing was, the key was sitting right in front of me all the time.  It was like I didn’t want to see it until someone pointed it out to me.

What happened this time around?

I stopped trying to figure it out on my own.  I worked with someone who had achieved much of what I wanted in life.  Most importantly, I was open to their advice and mentoring.

He looked at my past, pointed out some of my mistakes, and helped me refine my ideas for a new life. It totally changed the way I thought about my life and happiness. Without my mentor’s help, I’m don’t think I’d be the Shiny, Happy Puppy I am now, or happy at all for that matter.

The truth is that sometimes we don’t see what we’re doing wrong, and we need someone else to point it out to us. It’s usually embarrassingly obvious when we see it, but we never would have noticed, if not for an expert offering us another perspective.

Of course, not everyone can afford to hire a mentor for long periods of time. So what should you do then?

Well, I hope I don’t regret this, but let me throw out an idea.

Get on the Phone with Me for 30 Minutes for FREE

You know that whole idea of giving back? Well, I figure I haven’t done enough of that lately.  So, I came up with this idea:

Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to do 3 telephone consultations. I’ll get on the phone with you for 30 minutes, and you can tell me what’s troubling you about your life. I’ll then give you advice specific to your exact situation.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m going to do it absolutely for free?

All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your biggest frustration right now. I’ll contact you by email, have you complete a brief questionnaire, and then we’ll schedule a time to chat.

Simple enough?

Good then.  Together, we’ll have your life un-screwed up in no time.  So start writing that comment!

Congratulations to LynzM, Linda and Mary Carol for winning the free mentoring sessions! I’m really looking forward to them!


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Send me an email at Paige [at] PaigeBurkes [dot] com to enter a drawing to win a free deck!  Let me know how you think the Inquiry Cards may help you.

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105 Responses to Can’t Get Past That Stuck Place In Your Life? Here’s What to Do

    Commented:  06/15/2012 at 7:41 am

    I’m unhappily employed. I “shouldn’t” complain (I work remotely, I get paid relatively well, I have health insurance, my immediate coworkers are great.) BUT… the company overall is frustrating to be part of, and I don’t feel at all inspired by the work I’m doing, or look forward to building my skills in this field.

    I don’t feel that I’m applying my skills to directly helping anyone. Much of my time is spent either in tedium or boredom. (First world problems, right? ;) ) I’d like to move from my current job into some form of sustainable ‘employment’ (read: being able to pay the bills) doing things I enjoy and am good at, ideally including some liberal servings of helping other people, teaching, and learning, while somehow maintaining health insurance to support my chronic medical condition, and my family’s needs. I don’t know how to get from here to ‘there,’ and in fact I’m not really sure where ‘there’ is, yet…

    Also, I just wanted to say thanks for being an ongoing catalyst for positive change!

    :) Lynz

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/15/2012 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks so much Lynz! I completely understand your work situation. Generally speaking, people are unhappy with their work if they don’t feel like it contributes to someone or something or somehow makes a difference.

      Your first step is to figure out what “there” looks and feels like to you. In as much detail as possible, imagine and write out what your average day looks like. What’s your environment (home, work, play, etc.)? Who do you interact with? What are you doing? Make it as specific as possible as if you’re watching the movie of your day. I’m not a big fan of the concept of our work lives and personal lives being separate. We’re one person with one life. What we do with our time all day and night should support our top values (do you know what your top 3 values are?).

      Once what you want is very clear to you, replace your thinking of wanting to be “not here” to wanting to be “there.” As long as you think about and give energy to things you don’t like, you’ll only get more of them. Accept where you are today completely. It is what it is. What are you going to do about it starting right now?

      It’s completely possible to get everything you’re looking for. Start with knowing exactly what you’re looking for.

      Big Hugs!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome LifeMy Profile

      Lee Ann G.
      Commented:  03/14/2013 at 6:04 pm

      I feel the same way about the job I am in currently in my life. Lynz, I understand right where you are at with your feeling of working for a company you don’t really believe in anymore. That is right where I am. I took this job a few years ago, because I wanted part time work ( my husband pays for our insurance so I don’t have to) so that I could have more time to work at home on the other days creating my art that I love doing. Since I have seen so many administration changes, along with culture changes and the job is so boring.I would love to touch people in the heart by helping and encouraging them in some way. Something much more purposeful. I am 57 years old now, so it scares me to get out there and look for another job, thinking my age would hurt me in landing one. Even though my husband pays for our insurance, we still need my part time income to pay all of the bills. How in the world do you find it?

      Thank you Paige for your words of encouragement. I just found your blog site and I can’t wait to look further around at your other posts.

      Lee Ann
      Lee Ann G. recently posted..When We Get Side-Tracked In This LifeMy Profile

        Paige Burkes
        Commented:  03/16/2013 at 1:15 pm

        Hey Lee Ann!

        Something I’ve found that can help to make a dull job a bit more bearable is to see how you can “touch people in the heart” for the people you work with. Behind everyone’s work facades, there are real people with their own passions and challenges. And most people feel under-appreciated at work.

        Instead of approaching your day thinking (in a dreary tone), “Another day at the office…” switch is to, “How can I help someone today?”

        It can take a little time to get to know people better so you can find out how you can help them. When I started networking to find a new job a few years ago, I thought that the normal networking meeting where you exchange cards and tell each other what you do and what you’re looking for seemed too boring and lifeless. My one-on-one networking meetings usually started with about 5 or 10 minutes of business stuff and then I would simply ask them what they love to do. It’s amazing how much people open up fairly quickly when they can tell that you’re sincere in wanting to know. It also creates better connections with people because they know you care.

        Something that’s a little easier to do is to show people that you notice things they do and that you appreciate it. For example, I wrote my new boss a note (I’ve been there about 3 months) letting her know how much I enjoy working for her. I’ve had many bosses that anyone would struggle with and I wanted her to know that she’s making a difference. Our IT guy has been very helpful as I’m implementing lots of efficiencies. While I say “thank you” often, I copied my hand on the copier and wrote “You’re Awesome!” on it and taped it to the back of his chair when he was gone. (The idea is that the hand is a ‘pat on the back’ for them.) When he returned and thanked me for it, he said the closest thing like that he ever received was when someone copied their hand in “the bird” position (not exactly a nice gesture). I left a handwritten note thanking the woman who spent countless hours coordinating and shopping for all the little details that made our annual staff party a success.

        Sometimes people will thank you and other times you’ll never hear from them. The point isn’t to get something back from them. It’s simply to do something nice because you’re spreading a little love and joy.

        As long we carry the same attitude with us in our various jobs, we’ll usually get the same feeling from all the different jobs. I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s saying: Wherever you go, there you are. This means that, unless you change, nothing in your life will change.

        Thanks so much for being here Lee Ann!
        Paige Burkes recently posted..My Beliefs Have Hijacked My BrainMy Profile

    Mary Carol
    Commented:  06/15/2012 at 8:26 am

    Hi Paige,

    Thank you for the offer! I’d love to get your counsel, if things work out that way. My issue is with the death of others.

    In the last two weeks, I’ve manifested three death situations: a car accident involving the sister of a friend in which two people died, the euthanasia of the beloved dog of a friend, and the death of the father/husband of two friends. I connected closely with the soul of the father/husband during his days in a coma, and don’t think I have any issues with his death per se. It seems to me that my issues are about the survivors.

    I would like to work this through before I manifest any more deaths! It feels like a weight on my heart that has been there for a long time, and that I’m ready to shift, but I’m not sure how. Pieces of it keep shifting, but the big rock keeps rolling back.

    Thanks for listening! Warm hugs,

    Mary Carol
    Mary Carol recently posted..Random QuestionsMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/15/2012 at 1:36 pm

      Mary Carol,

      You said that you feel that your issues are with the survivors. And you work in an animal shelter that’s full of survivors. The first questions that come to me are: How have you been a survivor and what might be your own unresolved issues with regard to surviving? Where have you not allowed yourself to heal? Do you feel guilt for surviving something?

      It sounds like the Universe is sending you survivors, not death. Death is just the most vivid backdrop/contrast for survival.

      Hopefully this helps!
      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

        Mary Carol
        Commented:  06/15/2012 at 2:42 pm

        My gosh, Paige! That’s the perfect question! Thank you so much.

        During the eight months my Father had terminal cancer, I wished every day that I could die instead of him. And I’ve just passed the age he was when he died. And he died on June 13. It all makes sense.

        Tears of gratitude are pouring down my face (overly dramatic but true!). Thank you again,

        Mary Carol
        Mary Carol recently posted..Random QuestionsMy Profile

    Nancy Shields
    Commented:  06/15/2012 at 2:38 pm

    No frustration here but wanted to tell you what a wonderful thing you are doing for someone that may need another perspective and ear!

    Way to go,
    Nancy Shields recently posted..ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR THE LITTLE THINGS LIFE HAS TO OFFER?My Profile

    Commented:  06/15/2012 at 6:16 pm

    “just because you’re doing something different doesn’t mean you’re doing it right.” this is true! I appreciate it when someone tells me I’m doing something right but appreciate it more when I get feedback on things that I should change (i think improve is the right word). Thanks for the advice, there are major points here that I can apply in my life.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/18/2012 at 11:53 am

      While we all want to improve, sometimes it’s good to stop and give yourself credit for all the awesome things you’re doing well. It’s part of the practice of receiving. Not being able to openly receive compliments and other gifts is a sign of having issues with receiving.

      So glad I could help, Julia!

    Angela Artemis
    Commented:  06/15/2012 at 6:39 pm

    Dear Paige,
    What a great idea to give back! I love it. I know that anyone who avails themselves of this opportunity will learn a lot be so glad they spoke with you.
    Angela Artemis recently posted..Father’s Day: Sometimes You Have to Call it “Quits”My Profile

    Commented:  06/17/2012 at 4:25 pm

    hi Paige
    i would love a chance to speak with you
    having a child with mental illness is very challenging
    now at age 24 there is still no stability
    my outlook is very positive generally
    i am very thankful for many blessings, but having a very hard time with my child
    you are such a wonderful person, love your words
    thank you

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/18/2012 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you so much Linda! I can understand how incredibly challenging it must be to care for a child with mental illness.

      We attract what we need and what lessons we have yet to learn. What are you learning from this experience? How is it changing your life? How can you use this experience to impact the lives of others?

      Hope that helps. Big Hugs!!

      Commented:  06/20/2012 at 9:28 am

      hi Paige
      i have learned patience,not to judge,to reach out for help and support and to reach out to others to help and support
      to be kind to everyone
      thank you

        Paige Burkes
        Commented:  06/20/2012 at 10:22 am


        Those are some wonderful lessons! And much more than most people want to open themselves to. Your work is so important!! I’m sure you don’t realize how much you impact others with whom you come into contact.

        Many blessings!!

    Commented:  06/18/2012 at 10:01 am

    What a wonderful gift Paige. I’m pretty good at releasing frustrations, but I wanted to let you know how much I applaud your gifting. Bravo. Kindness and love in action. I feel happy for anyone who gets to experience you in person.

    Elle recently posted..How To Overcome Inertia And Everything Else That Holds You Back.My Profile

    Glori | Crazy Introvert
    Commented:  06/18/2012 at 10:20 pm

    This is so awesome of you Paige!
    As much as I would love to get free counsel, I live in the Philippines and long-distance calls are expensive. LOL. I’m happy reading your posts and learning from them.
    besides, I think I’m in a very happy place right now. I just quit my soul-devouring job and am now a full-time freelance writer. Yey!

    Just wanted to comment to thank you for being one of the first blogs on self-improvement that helped me make the decision to leap. :)
    Glori | Crazy Introvert recently posted..This Introvert’s Ideal Job… and a SecretMy Profile

    Betsy at Zen Mama
    Commented:  06/19/2012 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Paige,
    Just working on my book and having so many summer distractions is my biggest problem. I usually write when I wake up in the middle of the night…the only problem is I’m sleeping really well. :) I guess if that’s my biggest problem, life is good!! Thanks for always writing the right post that fits my problems!
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..CAUTION: You May Be In Danger Of Catching Adultitis… Read Here To Save Yourself and Others!My Profile

    Chris Edgar
    Commented:  06/19/2012 at 8:58 pm

    I can definitely relate to what you say about the need to work with another person, rather than making your personal development a one-person quest — I’ve found that I actually need to work with multiple groups, including my men’s group, my grad school cohort, and others, to create a meaningful shift in some aspect of my life. :)
    Chris Edgar recently posted..On Leadership and Pleasing All the People All the TimeMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/20/2012 at 10:24 am


      That’s awesome that you’ve found so many friends and resources to walk with you on your journey! It takes all those different perspectives, put together in your own way to get the answers you’re looking for. Stay open to the messages and they’ll always be there when you need them.

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Letting GoMy Profile

    Vidya Sury
    Commented:  06/20/2012 at 2:22 am

    Wow. That sounds so cool. Are you going to do this on Skype, Paige?

    Yes, taking stock and self-analysis is the beginning point. I think with certain areas in life where things don’t work, not doing this makes change a non-starter. (did i make sense?). Stagnation can really hurt, especially when we have dreams and goals.

    I loved the post, as always…and congratulations on the phone consult. That’s very generous of you.
    Vidya Sury recently posted..LoveMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/20/2012 at 10:26 am

      Yes, Vidya, I am doing this on Skype. I actually replaced my landline phone with Skype a couple years ago.

      If I understood you correctly: Nothing happens if you don’t start. Life and our environment can’t change if we don’t change. Very true.

      Thanks and so wonderful to have you back!!

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..What’s the Meaning of Your Life?My Profile

    Fran Sorin
    Commented:  06/20/2012 at 9:20 am

    Paige….Such a meaningful post. The one area that I sometimes forget to put to use when I get ‘stuck’ is to list on what is working and what’s not in your life. Your words are a great reminder.

    I’m a firm believer in using good therapy, coaching, or spiritual counseling to help you on your life’s journey. Your phone consult is a great idea.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/20/2012 at 11:23 am

      Thanks Fran! Writing out what’s working also helps to keep us focused on the good stuff. We get more of what we focus on.

      Our society works so hard to program us to focus on what we don’t have, haven’t achieved, haven’t accomplished. We tend to forget about all the amazing things we’ve already achieved. I sometimes surprise myself when I do this practice thinking, “Wow! I really did THAT?!?!”

      Big Hugs!!!

    Commented:  09/04/2012 at 11:53 am

    I agree ppl can point out something that you did not see, I was refered to a councilor about 5 years ago , she was great . I loved that she helped me I am always grateful for her. I recommend her to everyone who tells me they need to talk to someone. I myself wanted to take the course learn how to help ppl. I was all excited at the chance to learn all this and I got into school but the funding never went threw so I do all my learning from books and online look up some stuff
    life is about choices and I want to be able to help my children and friends with what bother’s them.
    I love to help out ppl .
    I have been alone by choice for 13 years now , now I am trying to change my mind set and be able to be with a man. I am a very stubborn person though. so it is taking me a while to change mindset
    I really appreciate everyone that I have in my life that I can talk too about my issues
    I am happy with my life , I have kids and grandkids and a job. but I am ready to balance all that with a man now
    one who is working though ( I work at social develpment, dont want a man who gets assistance )
    I wish I had the courage to do the course I want to do

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/04/2012 at 1:44 pm


      Know that you’re helping people every day, regardless of whether you took a course or not. Christy Whitman (great life coach trainer) describes how people used to talk with trusted friends and family members when we lived in large, multi-generational family groups in tight-knit communities. As our society has pulled these groups of people apart, we have lost the support that used to exist. That support now exists in the form of therapists and coaches. It doesn’t take lots of special training to open your heart and help others.

      Best wishes on your journey to find your man. Know that all successful relationships involve some form of compromise. As long as there’s mutual trust and respect, good things are sure to follow.

      Big Hugs!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Work/Life Balance Is a MythMy Profile

    Karen Sweeney
    Commented:  12/03/2012 at 12:50 am

    Hi Paige,
    Wow Where do I start? Your post said everything that has been going through my mind! I am STUCK physically, financially, and romantically. I graduated with a degree in Business Management, but I have no interest in anything that has to do with operations, finance, or economics. I am a people person who loves to talk to and help people I am very creative, good at problem-solving, have strong interpersonal communication and writing skills. How do I get from where I am Business degree, low job skills, sporadic employment history to a social, creative, people centered job that makes a difference in people’s lives?
    I have two children who are mentallly ill which has been the primary reason I have had a sporadic work history. I am approaching 50 and have no savings, no health benefits, and I am underemployed. I am so terrified. I want to change my life. I love the adivce that you gave to others, and I am excited about the direction your mentoring could lead!!!
    Thank you for your posts and for all that you do!
    With Gratitude,

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  12/04/2012 at 9:53 pm


      I know exactly how you feel. I was feeling quite stuck in many areas of my life until I did an exercise that uncovered some subconscious blocks I had been carrying around (see the post link below this comment).

      Just because you have a certain degree does NOT mean you are stuck doing the jobs that seem to fit with that degree for the rest of your life. I have an accounting degree but have many of the personality traits you described for yourself. There are always way to incorporate your passions and who you are into any position. It’s simply a matter of changing how you see it.

      What would your ideal day look like? How would you like to help people? What kinds of problems are you good at solving? What do you love to write about? How could your writing help others to solve problems?

      Knowledge and things that you take for granted as a normal part of your life are new, different, valuable and inspiring to many other people.

      With regard to your question of how to get from where you see yourself now to where you want to be – the past does NOT equal the future. You can create whatever future you want. Don’t tie yourself to what you’ve done in your past. You’re capable of anything. All you have to do is decide what you truly want and make it emotionally important enough to change. You’ll find a way.

      I’m currently listening to a very old (cassette) version of Tony Robbins’ Personal Power II. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you take his ideas to heart and really put some time, effort and thought into the exercises in that program, it can be completely transformative. I could sit here and recommend that you do specific exercises from the program, but I think you could benefit from the whole program. I know that I have. Many of the most successful people today started their success and happiness journey by listening to Tony Robbins.

      Don’t let your monkey mind drag you back to your past. Know that you can do anything if you’re emotionally driven strong enough to change.

      Decide to stop being terrified and start taking daily baby steps to change your life today. You can do this!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Tony Robbins & Me at Starbucks: How He Got Me Past My BlocksMy Profile

    Commented:  12/12/2012 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Paige
    God where do I start…I’ve overcome so much in life, the death of a parent, a granparent, a move 185 miles from home, violent relationships and now I own a house in the south west, have a job which pays the bills and I’m married. I dont have what I dont need but we never have any money, even xmas is cancelled this year. I want to change my life…all of it….I’m at an age where my hubby and I are deorating the house with what little cash we have (lots of problems with the internal aspect of the property) and even this has come to a stand still. I want to change my job and have a career in law but what with spending my life trying to get by and have money as I had no family to support me, I’ve now reached a point that I cant afford to get my qualifications to be come a family solicitor as I have responsibilities and of course in addition the body clock is not on my side (Im 31). I lack a social life as I’ve never been a particularly social person so all I do every day is work in a job I hate and feel undervalued (no career opps and my boss ignores my quest to progress) and come home and be a good wife to my hubby who works hard and loves is job and he’s doing the degree of his dreams. We’ve taken to arguing a lot and I feel taken for granted. I cant change anything. Im completely stuck with a stupid pretend smile on my face and the feeling of just wanting to end it all some days. I wont…Ive survived too much already and I love my hubby very much but I am totally fed up of this feeling of my life passing before me and me never accomplishing my dreams….

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  12/15/2012 at 4:34 pm

      When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to slip into negativity. My first suggestion would be to spend time when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night thinking about everything in your life that you’re grateful for. Given what you’ve written, I can see: a great husband, a home, a job that pays the bills, hot showers, good food, a computer, time to read blogs and your health.

      You mentioned that you “cancelled Christmas.” Is Christmas only about buying things? Does it also include slowing down to appreciate the awesome people and things in your life? There are many things you can give that don’t cost a dime. How can you help others in ways that are special to them?

      If you want to beef up your social life, you must first make it a priority. If your husband is taking the time to pursue the degree of his dreams, there’s no reason why you can’t pursue your own dreams and passions. You’ll feel less taken for granted when you stop taking yourself for granted. Start feeding your own soul. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. Go to and search for things you’re interested in/passionate about. Go to the meetings. Not only will you feed your passion and soul, you’ll meet other people doing the same (instant social life).

      Instead of getting down about not being able to pursue a particular job, think about why you want that particular job. What about it excites you? Why would it fulfill you? What are other things you can do that will give you those same feelings? Here’s an awesome post about making a career change successfully without going back to school:

      Know that you can change anything that you decide to change. Nothing in life stays the same. You’re either growing or dying and you get to choose. Don’t worry about what other people will think of your choices. Other people are too focused on themselves to care about what you do. And if they give you a hard time, know that it’s coming from their own fears. When we change, it threatens the “safe and secure” world of our friends and family. Some will support you and others will scorn you. Spend your time with the former (and the new friends you meet) and avoid the latter like the plague.

      If you want better and different, surround yourself with better and different people. They’ll support you through your next transition.

      You’ve been through so much and you’re still quite young. It’s never too late for anything. It’s all up to you. Start making different choices based on your own core values and beliefs.

        Commented:  01/07/2013 at 6:33 am

        Hi Paige
        Thanks so much for the advice, much appreciated. I’m usually a very realistic person and I suppose things really got on top of me prior to the Christmas holidays. We didnt technically cancel Christmas, what I meant was, we cancelled the materialsm of Christmas as we didnt have the money to buy gifts. Instead, we baked mince pies and put them in fancy wrapping and gave them out to the rellies! My husband made chocolate and pistacio fudge and wrapped that up too. The family were really impressed so we’ve decided that we’ll do the same next year. It was fun to do it together as a team and it totally beat shopping in the rage of hysteria which seemed to take a form of its own in the shopping centres! We spent Christmas day on our own, I still cooked a lovely dinner but it was funny how many people envied us! To be honest, we make our lives as simple or as complicated as it needs to be! I know this through my own experience!!

        Regarding direction….yes I need to review this, the true satisfaction of achieving in a specialised subject does need to be done through a specific path I’m afraid though, particularly when it comes to the law and representing peoples lives, family matters
        you really cant go into that career without qualifications! Still, I appreciated the suggestion. Why do I want to pursue this? Well, my husband has a child from a previous marriage. She’s 13 this year so he was young and inexperienced….in short my mother in law put it beautifully in the terms of the then wife being an oportunist to stay on state benefits….in other words she got what she wanted and ditched the fella afterwards leaving my hubby heartbroken because he had a small baby he couldnt see. When we got together his daughter was 7 and we had big concerns for her safety so we went to court and fought and fought and fought and sadly we still lost….social services claimed our home was too clean and we couldnt offer the child the same as her mother could….we work….we pay tax….she doesnt….any way, dont get me started, all I know is, its all wrong. I wrote to the Justice Minister and explained our own circumstances, our findings, the law and the reality. I really got my teeth stuck in to it. There’s a huge gross misjustice taking place here in Britain. Its frightening and so many families are fighting a losing battle to their cost and the childs long term detriment. Sure, we won more than we had but bnow we sit and watch her long term suffering all because technically speaking someone made an unqualified and misguided judgement! The fear of court and facing solicitors never occurred to me to be possible but there I stood able to address circumstances and be bold. Her legal team were actually supporting us more than they were their own client! Still, our residence application was denied based on evidence that was not only incorrect but completely slanderous….new battle then began to clear our muddied names….the money we put into it was horrendous! The research I had to do was nuclear! But I loved it! I absolutely loved it. This isnt knitting or areobics, this is real life changing stuff. One day I’ll get there…I’ve worked out I’m going to do the units seperately. Its £7.5k to do the whole 4 years in one so I’ll break it down and do a few units here and there to suit my budget. We have to have a new drive first as ours has sunk and with all the rain, its flooded, and now we have a severe damp issue inside the house….! Nevertheless – time will tell and we’ll get there. I love my man so much and we’re so lucky to have each other. Positive thinking. Oh and 2012 taught me to know which fights to pick!!! Sometimes its just about waiting for the waters to calm so things become clearer rather than wading in and getting stuck!!

        Thanks again Paige…Oh and Happy New Year xx

    Commented:  01/30/2013 at 10:06 pm

    Ok, so for as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with having to impress another person. It’s not necessarily just impressing people in general, but it’s directed at one specific person that I will try to be “perfect” in front of. Its usually an older female figure. I have a good relationship with my mom and dad, they are wonderful parents to me. I don’t think I’m lesbian because Im not sexually attracted to females and it’s not what I believe. I remember the issue starting as young as five years old with with a grandmother figure( & I had a wonderful loving grandma too) and I’d be fascinated with this person ( almost obsessed) for a few years( tops would be 4-5 years) obsessing over one specific person before the obsession changed to someone different. I always had to be perfect for this person( perfect looks,hair clothes, having it all together etc) I cant even eat in front of this person/ be around them without making myself physically ill. I go out of my way to be nice to this person, thinking of birthdays, Christmases etc way ahead of time, thinking of new ways to impress this individual. It almost feels like a relationship( which I’ve had one before with a guy) and any attention I get back from these older women figures feels like it feeds me. I don’t understand where it came from, nobody knows what I’m battling( everyone always looks at me like I’ve got it all together)here I am in my twenties and I can never remember a time in my life where I haven’t struggled with this…even as a child and I don’t know how to get rid of it.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  01/31/2013 at 9:53 am


      Given the limited information you’ve provided, it sounds as if there’s quite a bit of “not enough” in how you view yourself. It doesn’t really matter where it came from. You’re seeking approval and acceptance from these older women. I would suggest working heavily on loving and accepting yourself exactly as you are. Logically, you may know that it doesn’t matter what anything thinks of you (most people are too busy worrying about how they come across to other people). Our subconscious minds, unfortunately, aren’t at all logical and are what drive our behaviors.

      Whenever you find yourself thinking about or doing something that is in some way seeking approval from these people, stop and notice it. Look at the desire to do these things as a separate being and have a conversation with it. Ask it why it feels the need to do what it’s doing. This process will help you to detach your True Self from the emotion creating these desires. You are not your emotions. They come and go like the wind.

      With some time and practice you can learn to notice the desire, thank it for being there and kindly remind it that you don’t need it. With that, you can also learn to not follow the impulses to impress.

      Hope that helps!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Sailing Through Life: How Not To Crash and BurnMy Profile

        Commented:  02/01/2013 at 12:56 am

        I have a very similiar issue in the fact that I can became child like within when faced with particular members of my family. My husband noticed the change in my behaviour and described it as a quest to please and be accepted. As a child I suffered a lot of rejection from my parents and therefore growing up and lacking that natural praise from a peer tends to make you insecure around more dominant or respected members of the family. They always look down their noses at me and I have for years gone out of my way to please them and make them proud of me, right up until I met my husband who enlightened me with all of this! The moment you demonstrate your own independance and comfort within yourself is the moment someone turns the light on and you see they’re just as imperfect as you are. Dont be so hard on yourself. My husband helped me to believe in who I am which helped enormously. Good Luck x

  1. Pingback: How To Be Enough

  2. Kylie
    Commented:  03/06/2013 at 1:43 am

    Hi my biggest frustration is finding love of my life to build a happy marriage and family with though I have dated 100s and been engaged once, though think that one was a bit pushed and did not come naturally. my 2nd biggest frustration, I have taken time out of my current career to explore starting own business but struck by panic by the vacuum I have created,not realizing how much I was attached to the 9-5 paycheck, felt very insecure and with the biological clock ticking away at 40, can’t focus on a business, and will probably take a job after several month being on unemployment now while exploring and not getting anywhere with what I wanna do. and disappointed over and over at not being able to create the family life/life time relationship I want which has distracted me from all of life really….I was very driven at one point, and now can’t seem to get over failing in creating that happy family of my own, that seems to have me stuck in other areas of my life also somewhat….I am scared to be alone, unemployed and depressed now in life

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/06/2013 at 5:33 am

      First of all, know that it’s very difficult to attract things into your life when you’re feeling needy. That feeling actually pushes the things you’re needy about further away from you. Instead of focusing on a relationship and business, focus on yourself first. You’ll never be happy with these things in your life if you can be happy with you, just as you are. Nothing outside of ourselves can ever make us happy.

      Start focusing inward and find out where that empty hole is inside of you and ask your intuition/Higher Self/True Self what you need to think and feel in order to fill it. Again, people and things outside of you will never fill it in a fulfilling way. If you can’t find love from others, it’s probably because you can’t love yourself. Whatever is missing in your core is what you’re projecting onto others and that’s not a comfortable thing for others. Find ways to love yourself just as you are before you think about looking for another relationship. Believe that you and your life will be just fine if you never got into another relationship again. I know that’s not what you want but when you can be OK with that, the right kind of relationship will show up. Don’t think that just to get the relationship. You have to believe it in your core. See what your life will be like being happy on your own with a great network of supportive friends.

      Regarding the business, again, you’re coming from a place of neediness. If you don’t have sufficient income coming in from a business, my advice is for you to get a job and work on your business in every free hour you have outside of your job. Get rid of your TV. Cancel social engagements that don’t feed your soul. If you want your business badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to build it. And it will take time. Give yourself at least 18 months, if not more. There are lots of programs and coaches out there that can help you identify your passion and profit from it. Two I recommend are Paid To Exist’s Trailblazer program and Live Your Legend’s Live Off Your Passion program (see links in the sidebar here). I also recommend the Change Your Life program (link in the sidebar) Do the work because you love it, not because you need it.

      Know that you have everything you need right now. Yes, we all want to grow and get more out of life, but you don’t really need anything else to be happy.

      There’s no such thing as failure. Every experience you have is a learning experience that brings you one step closer to what you want.
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    Patrice Basso
    Commented:  03/18/2013 at 2:41 pm

    How do I get the FREE sessions? Patrice

    Commented:  04/02/2013 at 9:09 am

    feel stuck in my marriage I work at growing improving who I am but my husband stays the same I don’t think he is what I want parenting wise, socially we have known each other for a long time 18 years I feel I am stunted in my growth because we are connected i could be a better parent then i am but then feel angry because I do all the work I used to do it all then stopped because I felt way to overwhelmed and burnt out kind of let the house go cleaning laundry etc (that’s his big complaint about me ) kids education which he is barley apart of. I want different then he shows me he is wondering if I need to end my marriage it keeps bubbling up he blames it on pms like i am just over thinking things and crazy i think my filter disappears I point out or vocalize issues I am getting even more tired I now i am not at my perfect state and need to feel happy don’t want to hurt my kids if I separate from their dad . can I work on my happiness with in this marriage I think he has big problems that effect the whole family I have read marriage counseling is not always a good way to save the marriage .I feel maybe i should we should give it a try?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/29/2013 at 6:21 am


      Every situation is different and this is a complex one. Having grown up with parents who stayed together for the kids, I can tell you that’s not always the best answer. Years ago, I left my husband when I couldn’t take it anymore. The space gave us a chance to clear the air and our minds. Having little kids gave us a great reason to do the internal work on ourselves (we both needed it) in order to get ourselves in the right place to work on repairing our relationship.

      Therapy would be a good place to start, if he’s willing to go. If he won’t go, I would recommend that you go. Don’t focus on his faults. That’s victim thinking. There are things about you that attract a man like him. You’re allowing all these things to happen. Focus on yourself. Work on being happy from the inside out. No one but you can fulfill you or make you complete.

      The more you work on yourself, getting strong, confident and happy, the better role model you’ll be for your kids.

      It’s amazing how other people in your life will “magically” change after you change. If those people don’t change, they “magically” drift out of your life.

      Give yourself the time and space you need to heal yourself. I once read a book called The Marriage Sabbatical that was a series of stories of how women took breaks of varying lengths from their marriages for a variety of reasons. That book might give you some ideas.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..When It’s Time To Say NoMy Profile

    Carla Washington
    Commented:  04/25/2013 at 5:16 am

    Hi there! My name is CarlaWashington. For some time, now, I’ve struggled with inner peace! Im 33 and as I look at my past I feel I have accomplished nothing. I have no college degree. I make minimum wage. I have no kids and never been married. I’ve had a few serious relationships but I always manage to screw those up so I choose to be single. Mainly, I just feel like a failure in life and I just dont know what to do anymore!!!!!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/29/2013 at 6:28 am


      What’s your vision of your future? What would your average day look and feel like, minute by minute?

      If you have feelings of not being good enough, you’ll need to work on reversing them (see my post titled How To Be Enough). I’ve seen where working with a therapist who uses EMDR can make radical shifts for people in your situation.

      Know that you are completely responsible for your own life. If you’re a failure, then it’s because of all the little choices you make all day every day. Start to notice every little choice, even the choices of what you think and feel throughout your day.

      Think of the person you currently lives your ideal life. What kinds of thoughts, feelings and choices is that person experiencing. Decide to live exactly like that person. When you catch yourself falling back into your old ways, don’t beat yourself up. Just start anew from that moment. No judgments. Only new beginnings.

      As the saying goes: How you do one thing is how you do everything. Start to notice the similarities in how you do everything and start making little shifts and changes. Those tiny baby steps may seem inconsequential but they’ll start adding up. It will be difficult to start to shift. You’ll drift backwards a lot. That’s OK. Keep starting over and making better choices for yourself.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Experimenting with FailureMy Profile

    Commented:  05/15/2013 at 10:22 am

    Good afternoon Ma’am,

    Thank you for the positive & informative article. I just wanted some general advice & hope you may help. I am 20 years old I feel as-though my life has come to a standstill. 2 years ago I was very motivated to achieve many things in my life, but after awhile I just though what is the point & have become quite unmotivated simply, because my goals take a lot of time and effort including money-and I know you shouldn’t listen to people, however my family members have doubted me and said its really not worth it. I feel very lost in life & really me as a person I always knew what I wanted and the goals I wanted to achieve. I would state that I am highly intelligent, but have dyslexia which has let me down academically. Please may you guide me. Kind Regards, Priya

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/16/2013 at 1:10 pm

      Your life has barely begun. I would first suggest that you find a group of people who are already doing what you want to do and find ways to be around them in person or online. Ask them questions. Many probably started where you are now. Let them support you on your journey.

      Often our families and friends can drag us backwards to keep us where they want us. When we set out to accomplish new and bold things, subconsciously it reminds them of what they’re not doing with their lives. They feel uncomfortable with your changes and try to keep you where you were. Avoid these people.

      Don’t assume that things take a lot of money. It’s easier than ever to accomplish the impossible on a shoe-string these days. Again, the people you surround yourself with are one of the biggest determining factors in how much you can accomplish.

      Don’t let the dyslexia label sway your thinking. With a quick online search, you can find plenty of people with dyslexia who have achieved amazing things (google “successful people with dyslexia”). I personally have many issues with the standard educational systems (we unschool our kids) and the negative labels they hand out are one of them. Here’s a great article about some very successful people with dyslexia and other learning “disabilities”:

      Go online and google your passions. Find blogs, forums, Facebook groups and any other places where people doing what you love hang out. Join in the conversations. Be transparent. Ask for help. Make connections. Your life will begin to magically change.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Ultimate Productivity HackMy Profile

    Commented:  08/15/2013 at 3:14 am

    Hello Paige,

    I feel so lost and stuck at the monent. I am 23 and work in an office.

    I feel like I am prisoner of the rat race. I got a job in an office because I thought it was what I wanted BUT everyone is stuck up and narrow minded. I cannot stand office politics and the fact you have to brown nose people to progress. The trouble is I’m a non conformist and I am very upfront with my opinion. Now work has got so stressful and I have been signed off by my GP. Whilst I work I am in a state of denial because it’s easier but when I have time off my depression shows its ugly face.

    To top it off, I am with my BF of 3 years and he just doesn’t treat me right. He smokes weed every day… Snaps at me when he’s on a come down (everyday) and he will call me a k#!? For the most insignificant things i.e. Cooking..getting crumbs on the bed.. For not putting out. I don’t get ANY affection, any commitment and if I try and talk he says I’m moaning. I know he’s not right for me BUT I don’t have the courage to end it.

    I know I need to change and I have accepted that BUT I feel so stuck because I don’t know which path to follow. I am considering traveling, the forces, my own business or going back to study to get a non office job.

    I feel very depressed and feel like I’m on the edge. I don’t want to take pills because I don’t believe it actually resolves the problems.. It just covers them.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/16/2013 at 11:10 am


      It’s great that you know you need to change, that drugs won’t help, that your boyfriend isn’t right for you and an office job probably isn’t right for you either. Seeing all that is a huge first step.

      I would suggest taking a little time off to figure out what you do want in your life. You’ve chosen all the things in your life that you don’t want. Now it’s time to choose what you do want and act on that. Take a week (or two would be even better) and get away by yourself. Go someplace where the people and surroundings that weigh you down aren’t accessible.

      Do some journaling to better understand what you want. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, what do you want your average day to look and feel like? What are you with? What are you doing? What are you eating? Where are you? Write out everything in as much detail as possible.

      Then come up with one little thing you can do every day to bring you closer to that vision. As you’re waking up every morning, think of that one little baby step and see yourself taking it that day.

      Many times people won’t take action to change a life they hate until the pain of knowing that the rest of their life will be just like it is overcomes the fear of change. Usually the fears around change are simply fears of what others will think. To that I answer: What does it matter what the people in your life think? Usually, the people around you are part of the circumstances you can’t stand so turning those people off is probably a good thing.

      Another way to handle the fear is playing the “worst case scenario” game where you play out to the end in all kinds of detail the worst things that could happen if you make changes in your life. My philosophy is that, if the worst case doesn’t involve death, it’s not that bad. I’ve personally lived through many of my worst case scenarios and, while they weren’t exactly fun, they were incredible learning and growing experiences that have made my life infinitely better. And sharing what I learned has helped others.

      If you’re confused about which way to go, take one step in any direction. It doesn’t matter which choice you make. One step in a different direction will take you to a new place. There’s no wrong choice. There’s no failure. Everything is an experiment. Try something new. See if it works for you. If it does, keep going in that direction. If it doesn’t work for you, choose something else.

      There’s no deadline, no finish line. You don’t have to accomplish anything in any amount of time. You decide your own schedule. Take the pressure off yourself and see what happens as you make choices with wide, open eyes, always looking for something new to learn.

      If you’re thinking of traveling, take a trip now to a place you’ve always wanted to go – by yourself. Think about everything I’ve said. Think about a business you might want to start. Think about how you want your average days to look.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion PursuitMy Profile

    Rita Garrett
    Commented:  08/18/2013 at 11:52 am

    The feeling of financial lack…get pretty balanced and then sabotage. Really stuck. Help

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/19/2013 at 9:31 am

      Many times this comes from a belief of not deserving the money or how money was talked about and treated when you were growing up. The logical side creates the finances you’re looking for but core beliefs about yourself and about money create the sabotage behaviors.

      It’s time to dig deep and shine the light on those old, negative beliefs. I found T. Harv Eker’s free monthly emails to be very helpful in this area. You can sign up for them here: (I don’t get anything from this, just found them helpful a couple years back).

      How did your parents talk (or not talk) about money? Was it considered dirty? Was there never enough? Were only “bad” people rich? These practices become part of our psyche without us realizing it and end up controlling our thoughts and actions later in life.

      Until you can identify those negative beliefs and replace them with ones that you want (with belief and emotion), little can change.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Creating a New Life By ChoosingMy Profile

    Commented:  08/22/2013 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Paige

    Thank you for this opportunity to get some advice. I am feeling stuck in my life, I was married with a baby at the age of 17, I am now 49, I am still with my husband and we have two grown up girls. I enjoyed being a wife and mother, but now the girls have left home, I am being to think I wish I had done more with my life, been more places, had more intersting and exciting jobs, taken a year to just travel. I am bored in my job, but feel trapped as we have mortgages to pay, we have rental properties which are an investment for when we retire, but I want to live now. I have told my husband how I feel and we were going to take a year out and travel, but my husband got cold feet. I feel I am livng the life my husbabds wants not what I want. As others I have said though, I don’t really know what I want. I feel I want to be free, no commitments, no obligations, do what I want when I want.

    Hope you can help me.

    Thanks Erica

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/23/2013 at 11:18 am

      I know that stuck feeling all too well, Erica. As you’re probably aware, all those “things” in your life that appear to hold you back are only in your mind. Yes, there are mortgages to pay but there are always options. You just have to get creative.

      What about renting out your house to pay the mortgage? If you’re not already using one, find a good property management company to manage all of your properties. Yes, it costs a little but (from personal experience) the return is immense – knowing that they’ll chase down rent checks and handle all the maintenance and pay the related bills. They only call you when there’s something that they can’t handle (and a good property management company can handle just about anything).

      Or consider selling some or all of the properties and downsizing. Do you know that you want to stay where you are for the rest of your life? Sometimes having a house and lots of stuff can make that decision harder. By getting rid of the stuff, the number of options increases dramatically.

      If your husband’s feet remain cold, what about travelling alone or with a friend? When I was little my mother and a friend of hers traveled all over Europe for a month and had an amazing experience. About 17 years ago (I was married), I traveled all around Costa Rica with a friend. That’s an experience I’ll never forget and that has changed my view of life.

      Try shorter trips and build up to longer ones. Maybe if you went somewhere alone or with a friend for two to four weeks and your husband saw how excited and re-energized you felt, he may decide to join you on a similar or longer trip.

      The cost of travelling is up to you. Yes, you can spend boat loads of money if you want, but there are tons of people doing it on a shoe string and living quite nicely. There are many online resources that can show you how to get cheap flights and hotels and many other cheap or free perks like (see Frequent Flyer Master under Unconventional Guides and his Travel Hacking Cartel) or (he offers a detailed guide to getting free frequent flyer point for free when you sign up on his list).

      There are sites like or where you can find cheap and nice places to stay around the world.

      If you’re active on social media, post questions about places you want to visit and ask for ideas. I’ve been amazed at the information people freely offer when I’ve asked. This can also open the door to making new friends around the world (and finding great places to stay and things to do).

      You’re trapped right now because you’re choosing to be trapped. No one is holding a gun to your head and keeping you where you are. It sounds like your husband at least has an open mind to consider the traveling. Maybe he’ll warm up if you go ahead and take the first steps.

      There are so many people in every stage of life traveling the world and doing what they want. The biggest step is deciding to do something different and then taking those first few steps. Google people, places and ideas and you’ll find tons of blogs where people are writing about their experiences. Many of them started exactly where you are.

      Start researching places to go or property management companies. Take one baby step every day. Make a call. Do some research. Every step will make the impossible seem a little more possible.

      Who cares what other people think! They’re not living your life. You have to do what’s important to you – what’s in your heart. Live a life of no regrets – and stop regretting all the things you mentioned. It’s NEVER too late. The past is over and there’s nothing you can do about it.

      Today you have the opportunity for a fresh start – a new life. What’s the first step that you’re taking today?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Creating a New Life By ChoosingMy Profile

    Commented:  08/23/2013 at 4:45 pm

    you are so good with your words and advise!!
    I read smiling away :-)

    I said to my children, Your life is exactly what you make it !!

    make good choices :-)


    Commented:  08/28/2013 at 1:56 am

    Just feeling so utterly lost and sad and as if nothing is working in my life – recently changed jobs and its not working out as being as busy as I would like or taking the route that I hoped – 57 years old now and all the self help stuff seems to be for the younger generation. No one that I can really confide in – feel unworthy of friends and dont know how to change the way I am feeling . Never had much self esteem all my life have felt second best . Cant take a compliment and want to cry all the time of late. Please give me some guidance ………..

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/30/2013 at 4:05 pm

      You might want to start by changing your expectations of things in your life. I’m not saying to lower your standards but if things rarely work out the way you expect then change your expectations or drop them all together. Instead of being upset that things didn’t turn out the way you expected, be delighted that something is happening. Be grateful for what’s in your life. Change your focus and your attitude (I’ve written a number of posts on these topics).

      Reading the book, Choose Yourself (see link to my review below), and practicing the concepts there can help too.

      I’ve also written about being/feeling like enough. So much of society teaches us that we’re not enough or not worthy. Decide to see things differently. Make different choices and see what happens when you think you’re worthy.

      Find a way to get out and help someone else. Volunteer, help a friend. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to support other people. So many people need help but won’t ask for it because they feel unworthy. Prove them wrong.

      Take a walk every day. Get out and move your body in a way that works for you. Breathe deeply.

      Know that things can change when you decide that they will. The world seems to change when you change.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Choose YourselfMy Profile

    Commented:  10/01/2013 at 9:58 am

    I feel very stuck, I don’t like life and I have nothing to look forward to, I live at my parents house and pay rent and am not trusted to even have a house key its been years and I have no car I can’t save enough money I don’t wanna go to school I just wanna play music and do artwork but don’t really find the energy or motivation after working two jobs and having to dish out gas money to my mom who is very picky. And judgemental,I feel like I need an oppertunity to do right by and my job is it..I just don’t know what to do, I’m a very openminded person and very execpting to any change I just hate my life and I feel like a waste :(

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/03/2013 at 11:18 am


      If you hate the life you have, what do you want your life to look like? Where do you want to live? What do you want to do every day? Write down in as much detail as possible what you want your average day to look and feel like. Find people who are already living the life you want (online or in real life) and spend time with those people.

      While you may feel trapped, you always have choices. Living in an environment where others don’t trust you (especially parents) can lead you to not trust yourself. If others tell you that you can’t do things, over time you may begin to believe their stories. These are only stories being told by people who need you to stay the same so they can feel better about themselves.

      If you’ve got two jobs and pay your own rent and gas bill, why can’t you move out and pay a landlord rent instead of your parents? Find a group of like-minded friends to share the rent and expenses. Making this move would be a big one but wouldn’t require you saving up a ton of money. What step can you take today to move yourself in that direction (looking for a place online, find a meetup with like-minded people at, etc.).

      If you want to play music and do artwork, you need to look at these as your business, not a hobby or just something cool to do. From personal experience, I know that these professions can be challenging in terms of creating sustainable income but tons of people do it. Find some of those people and learn from them. See if you can apprentice with them. You have to learn how to market and sell your art if you want to pay the rent with it.

      Instead of wallowing in how much you hate your current life, every day think about and ACT on ideas of how you can change things. Every day, think about how you want your life to be and what you can do to get yourself there. Take action every day. It doesn’t have to be huge steps. A couple baby steps a day will create huge change over time.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Art of Helping Others (and How to Avoid Resentment)My Profile

    Commented:  11/12/2013 at 2:00 pm

    Hi Paige,

    I’m only 21 and I feel like I’m stuck in a rut and not going any where with my life! I often feel like I’m surrounded by negativity with my family’s problems. If I try to stay out of it, my family considers me selfish, but when I decide to get involved then I’m overwhelmed and depressed. It all started since I graduated high school. I’m in college now but I’m struggling, and I don’t understand why. I was always a above average student but my grades now are not my proudest at the moment. I have a set goal but it just seems like I’m falling further from it. My sisters always questions my education, my goals, and my life. They have their life put together and they’re always hovering over mine and telling me I’m doing everything wrong, which makes me question the path that I’m on. I’m trying so hard to manage all these negative emotions that swarm in but I don’t know how.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  11/14/2013 at 11:47 am

      First of all, Jennifer, the negativity coming from others is all about them and has nothing to do with you. While I realize it’s difficult, the best thing you can do is to not take any of what others say personally. When others criticize you, it’s because they can’t love and accept themselves. A person who can’t love and accept themselves can’t offer the same to anyone else. If they can’t feel good about themselves and their own choices, they often judge and criticize others in a misguided attempt to feel better. Learn to feel compassion for those negative people and the insecurities and inner turmoil they’re dealing with.

      Regarding your grades, college is much different from high school. The environment and expectations are different. That first year is a struggle for many students. Do your best because that’s the best you can do. Love and accept yourself, knowing that you’re doing your best. Check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s an awesome, eye-opening book.

      Regarding your goals, write them down in very specific terms. Break them down into daily actions that will move you closer to them in baby steps. Who can you speak with? What can you learn more about? What action can you take right now that will nudge you forward?

      Don’t judge and criticize yourself for not being further along than you are or than others would like you to be. The essence of living mindfully is to notice and accept without judgment. You are where you are right now. What are you going to do about it from this point forward? You can’t change the past. The future will take care of itself as long as you focus on what you can do to make your life what you want it to be right now.

      As much as possible, I would suggest limiting the time you spend around your family. I’ve had to do this extensively in order to live a happier life, on my own terms and outside of their judgment and criticism.

      Find people who share your goals and ambitions. Find people already doing what you want to do and spend time around them. Read about these kinds of people. There are tons of blogs where people chronicle their journeys from lives that suck to the lives they dreamed of. Live Your Legend ( is an awesome one. So are Paid To Exist (, Advanced Riskology ( and The Unlost ( This is a great article about creating a career in any area within a year, without college:

      Checkout and look for groups in your area that meet about things you love. If you don’t see any, create your own.

      The most powerful thing you can do to turn your life into what YOU want is to surround yourself with supportive people who are already doing it. Learn from them. Help them. Create value for them.

      You’re making choices all day every day. Every choice you make creates your life. Be very intentional about your choices. Take a moment to ask yourself whether or not a choice serves you. So what if it makes others angry or if they choose to judge you as selfish or anything else. They’re simply trying to control you so they can feel better about themselves but it doesn’t work.

      You’re never going to make the negative people in your life happy. Their happiness is up to them. You could sacrifice everything in your life for them and they would still find something to complain about.

      Look deep inside yourself and live from your heart. The negativity of others and in your own mind are like passing clouds. Instead of allowing them to engulf you, simply watch them pass. It’s your choice whether you take the negativity of other personally or let it roll off of you. Which choice would serve you better?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..4 Simple Questions That Can Make You Rich and HappyMy Profile

    Commented:  03/15/2014 at 5:26 pm

    I want your help I’ve tried everything to help me but it’s not working I’ve tried to get a car a job in school but nothing help my mom is not there for me she don’t help me my family don’t help me I am trying to get help and do right I want to go to school but I can’t with no car I want to have a good life but I can’t with no help so I am here to ask for help my name is heaven I am 18 going on 19

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/17/2014 at 11:58 am

      Please know that it’s no one’s job to help you. You have to help yourself. This is a tough time of transition in your life where you’re moving from being cared for by your family to stepping out on your own. You’ll trip, fall and fail and that’s part of life’s learning process that never ends. It’s how we all learn. Having a good life depends on you taking responsibility for your own life and making a great life for yourself.

      There’s more than one school you can attend, if you feel that you must go to college. Check out the link in my comment just above your comment (Four Hour Work Week site) which goes into detail about how to create a career at any age, starting from scratch, without college. There are also many online colleges, some of which are free (Google “free college” or “online college”). Some of the Ivy League schools are now offering their classes online for free.

      It’s time to go out and start living your own life and making your own choices. You’re an adult now. Everything that happens in your life is up to you. There’s no one to blame when things go wrong. It’s up to you to empower yourself and make your own choices and learn from those choices. Don’t blame your family or friends for not helping you or keeping you back. Only you can keep yourself back.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Change Your Life In The MomentMy Profile

    Commented:  04/30/2014 at 6:36 am

    Hi there!!!

    If you are still offering free guidance I would love your help!

    I am stuck not knowing what job to do at the moment.

    Take care,


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/30/2014 at 10:49 am

      Hey Sam!
      The first step is always to identify your top 3 values and ensure that whatever decision you make is in alignment with those values. Otherwise you’ll be miserable.

      If you need money sooner than later, look for jobs that include things you love. This may or may not be obvious. For example, my day job is as a finance executive but I get the opportunity to help others in a variety of ways that are similar to what I do here because of where I work – at a community behavioral health agency that promotes wellness (mentally, emotionally and physically).

      If you’re doing a job that you’re not crazy about, see if you can approach it differently. You always have the choice to see people and situations differently. See difficult people with compassion, stand in their shoes. Look at the work you’re doing and see how it helps others. Your attitude and your outlook are your choice.

      If money isn’t critical, offer to volunteer doing things you love. This can always turn into something paid.

      Most of all, know that whatever you choose isn’t permanent. You can always make changes. There is no failure, only a series of experiments. As you experiment, notice what you love and don’t like and keep making changes (either in what you’re doing or where you’re doing it) to include more of what you love and less of what you don’t like.

      Also, you’re likes and dislikes will evolve over time and that’s perfectly normal. When I was younger, I loved living in big cities. Now my heart is in the woods in the middle of nowhere.

      If you’re feeling stuck, just do something, anything. Take a step in any direction. If it’s the right direction, keep going that way. If it’s the wrong direction, choose something in a different direction. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Do what works for you and your values.

      Many blessings to you Sam!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Life OrganizerMy Profile

    Commented:  05/08/2014 at 8:18 am

    I split from my long term partner a few years ago. Gave up my life to be with him now I feel like I have nothing and am struggling to pick up the pieces. I have tried to change things, be sociable, meet new people, make friends, even online dating but it never goes anywhere. I don’t even have any reliable female friends I can turn to.
    I haven’t worked in a long time, this is making it difficult to find work, I also have underlying health issues I’m really tired most days and upset. My ex partner supports me because I can’t find anything, I can’t claim benefits because of my housing situation, he is keen to withdraw this, it’s not a huge amount he has a good job, because he has a new partner. I’m aware that it can’t go on forever. I am studying for a degree in order to pursue something for me. I’m in my late 30’s although I look younger, I am pretty and intelligent. I know I don’t have long to decide if I want children, there is no man in my life. I would like to find a reliable caring man who will take care of me. I feel like I’m going around in circles. I just wonder what I’m doing wrong?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/16/2014 at 5:12 pm


      My first bit of advice would be to stop looking for someone to take care of you. That’s no one’s responsibility but your own. I understand that you’re in a tough situation but looking for someone to take care of you is generally a big turnoff for anyone worth being in a relationship with.

      Start by loving and accepting yourself completely. You’re worth it! You have plenty of time to think about having children (I had my third when I was 42). Love yourself. Support yourself emotionally. If you allow your ex partner to stop supporting you financially, you’ll figure something out. Whenever I play out the worst scenario for myself (especially financially), I realize that I’ve already experienced the worst and it wasn’t that bad. Living my worst cases have motivated me to make something amazing happen (and it always happened because I believed in myself).

      When you stop searching for someone else to fill the voids in your life and your heart and you learn to fill those yourself, the right person will come into your life at the right time. I know from personal experience. I spent decades jumping from relationship to relationship until I felt that I had to stop the cycle. I got to a place where I was very happy with myself and felt that I could be happy being single for the rest of my life. That’s when I attracted my husband and it’s been amazing.

      Take time to heal yourself physically and emotionally (I’ll bet that your emotional issues are a strong contributor to your physical issues). Love yourself completely.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Creating a New Life By ChoosingMy Profile

    Commented:  05/17/2014 at 8:09 am

    Simply wanna tell that this is handy , Thanks for taking your
    time to write this.
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    Maureen Montanez
    Commented:  05/20/2014 at 9:47 pm

    Hi…. I have a big problem now… I am Mauie from Philippines, my boyfriend is in Jail and I am having hardtimes and cant accept the fact that my boyfriend get jailed because of drugs.. I love him so much but it effects my life so much.. i am so depressed .

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/21/2014 at 9:45 am


      You will continue to have hard times for as long as you choose not to accept your boyfriend’s life choices. You can’t change him. He has to want to change on his own.

      Accepting things as they are is the first step toward change. If you can accept that he will forever be in jail, how will you choose to have that impact you? Is that what you want and deserve for yourself? You say that you love him but it’s not true love if you can’t accept him wholly and completely as he is right now. And what kind of love would leave you depressed?

      As hard as it may be, take some time away from your boyfriend and focus on yourself. Learn to love an accept yourself completely. If you don’t do this before getting back into any relationship, you’ll end up attracting the same types of friends and boyfriends that leave you robbed of your joy.

      It’s your choice as to how you allow others to affect you. If there’s something about another person that makes you angry, anxious or otherwise not happy, there’s a reason for this. That reason is usually that you haven’t resolved that issue in yourself. Your boyfriend isn’t respecting himself by using drugs and going to jail. You aren’t respecting yourself by choosing to stay with him when it hurts you.

      You have many choices open to you right now. Visualize and feel how each choice will impact your life over the next 5, 10 and 20 years. The choice you make now isn’t forever. You can always make a new choice at any time and change your direction.

      Many blessings to you!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Creating a New Life By ChoosingMy Profile

    Commented:  05/26/2014 at 2:42 pm

    Hi, I just want to thank you for your time in helping people with there hardships! That’s very awesome. I’m in my mid twenties and have an awesome career that I worked very hard for for six years! I feel full filled in that aspect in my life. I had long term boyfriends in the past (longest 5 years) . I’m pretty fun and outgoing but I feel like I’m having hard time meeting guys now that I’m out of school and most “keepers” are married or in relationships. I’ve tried doing the bar scene, gym and meet people through others. I can’t help but feel like I’m doing something wrong! I’ve Bern using the last year and half being single and getting to “know myself” and focusing on my own interests. I thought by doing so, I would find some one who enjoy the same things I do or at least meet someone that I would have generally the same interest as I. I feel the longer this goes on….the lesser the chances of finding the one! I have a full filling career/ family and good friends but I miss having that special someone/connection. I feel like my wheels are turning and I’m not going any where. Things that i use to enjoy as a single gal are now getting depressing and I’m getting down a lot about this. I know a lot of my friends and family say I should enjoy this “freedom” but now this freedom is turning into a sad and lonely journey with know one special to share it with.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/26/2014 at 6:57 pm


      Time has nothing to do with finding the “right one” (if there is such a thing). I don’t believe that there’s one, perfect match for each person out there. I think we create relationships to learn more about ourselves and to grow and share our gifts.

      In addition to focusing on your own interests, focus on loving and accepting yourself exactly as you are. Don’t do things in order to find a partner. Expectations are what create negative feelings. Focus on your interests and join groups simply for the joy it brings you.

      If you’re feeling needy and desperate, others will pick up that vibe and go the other way. People are attracted to others who are confident and accepting of themselves, people who are interested in others for the joy of it (not to find a mate).

      This is why so often we find what we’re looking for when we stop looking and accept things as they are with gratitude.

      My mother found her ideal partner around age 65. I found mine years before I could appreciate how awesome he is (I divorced him then re-married him after I came to my senses).

      Accept things as they are. Love yourself completely and do things because they bring you joy. You never know what’s right around the corner waiting for you.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Change Your Life In The MomentMy Profile

    Todd Crouch
    Commented:  06/15/2014 at 5:48 pm

    So sorry I missed the opportunity for a private consult. There’s that old familiar feeling of defeat before I even begin. Thanks for the advice tough, will take it to heart for sure!

    Commented:  07/27/2014 at 1:47 am


    Great work I must say. Thanks for setting up a Site like this which helps People like us.
    I am stuck in a cycle, a cycle of emotions, thoughts, feelings, many negative/pessimist. I am submissive and talk little , shy by nature but can Converse Excellently One on One…it’s affecting my Personal & Professional Life. I have a very very limited Social Life and fewer Friends.

    I am very indecisive and pro-crastinate a lot , fear has itself deeply rooted in me in doing many things/tasks whether at work or in Life in General. As a result I’ve found ways to escape with un healthy means….and I am stuck there.

    Would be Grateful to You for any bit of advice/help that You can offer..once again Excellent work and Many Thanks in advance.


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/27/2014 at 3:25 pm

      I would highly recommend the book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. Given how you’ve described yourself, you seem like a big introvert (so am I). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. I think most of the population is like us and they don’t want to admit it. There’s nothing wrong with spending time by yourself and having a very small number of close connections.

      The part about being indecisive, procrastinating and having fear tells me that you’re not loving and accepting yourself. Check out an article I wrote on being enough: You’re perfect just the way you are. You, and all other humans, make mistakes. It’s part of life.

      There is no escape from your inner thoughts. The more you try to hide, the worse things will get. One of the most productive things you can do is look your fears in the eye. Speak with them as if they’re an equal with you. Ask them why they’re there and what message they have for you. While this sounds like a simple practice, it’s very powerful.

      Remember that you’re perfect just the way you are right now. You don’t have to do anything or be in relation with anyone to complete yourself.

      Loving and accepting yourself completely allows you to be confident in the world. You stop caring what anyone thinks of you (since their opinions don’t matter anyway). And that makes life an amazing adventure, whatever you choose to do.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Key to Making the Impossible PossibleMy Profile

    Commented:  09/08/2014 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Paige, I would be very grateful if i could get some advice and help. It’s been 4+ years since i graduated from college and my life has been at a stand still since then. This past years have been emotionally and financially draining for me. Nothing i do seems to work and i am beginning to feel my life has no purpose and meaning. I have been very depressed because my financial situation just keeps on getting worse. I have not been able to land a permanent job since i graduated from college, all i end up with are part-time jobs with long period layoffs. Anytime it looks like things are about to turn around for the better it gets worse.I have not been genuinely happy in years, i might smile or laugh every now and then but deep within me is sorrow and sadness because i feel like i have let everyone around me down especially my parents. My parents have been very supportive and paid for me through college and i have nothing to show for it,i feel like i disappointed them. Some days i feel like disappearing and never coming back again.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/23/2014 at 1:45 pm

      This is a tough time in life where you’re trying to find your way and there are no definitive paths to follow. Look at it as an opportunity to experiment. Drop any expectations that you may have or that you think others have of you. Unmet expectations create most negative emotions.

      While we’ve all been programmed to think that we have to use that college degree, that’s not necessarily the case. What makes your heart sing? How would you love to spend your days? The way the world works now, you can probably find a way to make money doing those things.

      Being “successful” doesn’t mean having lots of money, a “good job,” a big house or anything like that. Those are all stories that our culture perpetuates yet have been proven to be false. Success means, first and foremost, loving and accepting yourself just as you as right now. Success means loving what you do and using the gifts that you were born with to help others.

      My initial suggestion would be to stop focusing on yourself and find people who you can help. What are you good at that you take for granted? What are things that others compliment you on that you think are “no big deal.” Those are your gifts. Find a way to share them.

      Using myself as an example, some of my skills are in finances and being analytical yet I love being around creative types (who are usually not the best at finances and analytical thinking). I found an organization that matched people like me with artists who needed help managing their finances. I loved the challenge and loved using my gifts to help people.

      My next suggestion would be to find the happiness that buried inside you. Let it out. You don’t have to “pay your parents back” because they funded your education. That was their choice. Feeling like you’ve let others down is a story you’re telling yourself. It doesn’t sound like that story is working very well for you. How about making up a new story that creates more positive feelings in your heart?

      Trying to live up to others’ expectations is impossible. It’s the sure-fire path to unhappiness. You can’t make other people happy. That’s their job. Your job is to make you happy and that comes from inside. If you say, “I’ll be happy when….” then you’ll never be happy. Smile a big smile right now and hold it for at least 30 seconds, even if (especially if) you don’t feel like it. Do that a few times a day.

      Find things to be grateful for throughout your day and write them down. Carry a journal or write them in your phone somewhere. Things you can be grateful for now: You have parents who love you and can afford to pay for college; you’re able to get jobs; you’re alive and healthy; you’re free to start over and make new choices whenever you want; you have eyes with which you can see the sky, clouds, flowers and the people around you; you have plenty of food and clean water and clothes. Whenever I look at a flower or anything beautiful, I say “thank you” for the opportunity to experience that little bit of beauty.

      Moving from where you are to a better place won’t happen overnight but it won’t happen until you decide to make changes. Take baby steps each day toward how you want your life to be (do you know what you want it to be?). Some days will be better than others. Keep taking consistent baby steps and allow your happiness to grow.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Using Mindfulness To Be More ProductiveMy Profile

    DaMonique Wilkins
    Commented:  09/19/2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Paige,
    My name is DaMonique and I’m 22 years old. It seems like I can’t get on my feet. I’ve tired college,trade school,and just working a job. It seems like when I’m on the break of getting to the point where I want to be financially I lose my job and my money I tired to save. It seems like the cycle keeps repeating itself. I need some advice.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/23/2014 at 2:40 pm

      Do you feel like you’re worthy of having the job and financial stability you’re seeking? While your logical mind may answer “yes,” your subconscious (which is what controls things) may answer differently based on the societal and family programming you’ve absorbed most of your life. Do you feel that you’re [fill in the blank] enough?

      What would happen to you or how would it affect your relationships with friends and family if you exceeded your financial goals? Would those people see you as “better than” them and maybe you don’t want that to happen?

      Since this is a cycle that keeps repeating itself, sit back and objectively examine how you’re creating these situations. I don’t believe that things just happen to us. We’re making choices all day every day. Most of these choices are small and seemingly insignificant but they add up and create our lives. What choices are you making that create each part of the cycle?

      When it seems like the pattern is repeating itself, make a choice that’s different from what you normally choose. Maybe choose a different type of job or a different way to save money – something that may seem uncomfortable because it’s new. If you keep choosing things in your comfort zone (keep doing what you’ve always done), you’ll keep repeating the same patterns (keep getting what you’ve always gotten).

      It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone but you can’t change your patterns until you do. From personal experience I can tell you that life gets so much better when you scare that little voice in your head by pushing past your current comfort zone and trying new things.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..My Life Sucks – Now What Do I Do?My Profile

    E Forde
    Commented:  09/22/2014 at 3:46 pm

    I need some advice.I’m a recent grad…and I thought I had things all planned out,but now that ive graduated I’m not doing anything and its a bit depressing.For the past couple of years my life in one way or the other has been some kind ….movement motion and now that ive stopped I don’t know what to do or where to turn.If you could help me or just point me out in some direction,that would help a lot.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/23/2014 at 3:02 pm

      Check out my reply to Sefak a couple comments up. There’s no way you can have your life all planned out at this early age. We’re led to believe that this should be how things are but it’s a myth.

      When I graduated from college almost 25 years ago, I thought I had things all figured out. Until I woke up one day and thought, “Is this really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life?” The clear answer was “No!” but I had no idea what I did want. Read my About page for more of that story.

      Look at your life as an opportunity to experiment. With each new experience, learn something about yourself. Notice what you’re drawn to and what you don’t like. With your next experiment, do more of what you’re drawn to. There’s no such thing as “failure” if you’re experimenting. You’re always learning.

      If you’re not sure what to do next, just do something – anything. Action brings learning and more actions. It doesn’t matter which direction you choose. When I left my corporate job many years ago, I followed my intuition that simply said, “go west and do something with horses.” I had no idea what that meant but I started by doing something – anything – that fit that description. I tried lots of things. Some worked. Some didn’t. I learned so much about myself in the process.

      Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something that feels good for you. Don’t worry about making other people happy. It’s your job to live your own life and make yourself happy. Everyone has that same job for themselves. Don’t let anyone guilt you into something different.

      You don’t have to have anything figured out. There’s no race or finish line. We’re on this earth for a very limited time. Experiment to discover your unique gifts and find ways of sharing them with the world. That’s your only job.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Key to Making the Impossible PossibleMy Profile

    Knowle Rohrer
    Commented:  10/24/2014 at 2:18 pm

    Hi Paige,

    If you are still providing some advice I could certainly do with some! I am struggling to get a job having made a mistake to train to be a teacher. It is not suited to me at all. I have gone for interviews and been turned down time and time again and I feel completely hopeless and worthless to the point where I have been having suicidal thoughts.

    I feel like a failure in life and that nothing will ever work out for me in terms of finding a partner. My self-esteem is zero and I have no idea about how to go about solving some of my challenges.


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/31/2014 at 2:42 pm


      You didn’t make a mistake in training to be a teacher. You performed an experiment and the result is that you learned a bit more about yourself (that you don’t want to be a traditional teacher). What’s your next experiment?

      Many years ago, after dropping out of my corporate job not knowing what to do next, I felt like I wanted to be a teacher. I tried substitute teaching at a local school and learned that I don’t want to teach in a traditional classroom. After many other experiments, I’ve found that I’ve been a teacher all along. As I walk my path in life, I teach whatever I’ve learned. That could be sharing my knowledge about web sites and social media to groups that I network with or sharing life knowledge with co-workers. Or writing courses and books on topics that I’m excited about. It’s up to you to define what a title looks like and how you want to play that out in the world.

      If you don’t want to be a teacher, certainly do NOT look for teaching jobs just because that’s what you went to school for. My sense is that you’re being turned down repeatedly because your True Self knows that the jobs you’re interviewing for aren’t for you. They won’t light your fire and excite you or use your innate talents.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Let me repeat: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!

      You’ll attract a partner when you can love and accept yourself just as you are. You’re perfect just the way you are right now. You can choose to be grateful for a zillion things in your life right now. You can choose to smile, regardless of what you’re going through. You can choose to be happy, no matter what.

      Happiness is a choice. It has nothing to do with anything around you. Nothing has to happen in order for you to be happy (I’ve written many articles on this).

      Life is one big experiment. It’s a lot more fun when you choose to see it that way and get excited about what might lie around the next corner because you never know what’s waiting for you (great stuff!!).

      I recently listened to James Altucher’s podcast on 50 alternatives to college. I completely agree with him. He wrote the book called Choose Yourself that I reviewed ( and highly recommend. He talks a lot about how he turned his life around from near suicide. For some ideas of what to do next with your life, go to and get his free guide. I have the previous version (40 alternatives) and know it contains gold.

      It’s OK to not know what’s next or how to solve issues. No one has everything all figured out. Take some time alone to journal and get some ideas for things that light your fire. What do people say you’re good at? What do you love? There are ways to express these things in jobs or creating your own business. Anything is possible until you decide it’s not.

      My next article (it’s almost finished) will be all about this. In the meantime, read Choose Yourself and my review of it along with 50 Alternatives to College which applies to anyone at any time in their life.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..My Life Sucks – Now What Do I Do?My Profile

    Netty D
    Commented:  10/30/2014 at 5:48 am

    What about being stuck at a certain age? Is it possible to have an event that really left a mark on you, that you should be past but your not? You know this because you’re still making the same old mistakes? You know you need to move on and upward with your life! But don’t know how? Will this book help?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/31/2014 at 3:00 pm


      We all have traumatic events in our lives. It’s not always easy to “just get over it.” Mindfulness can be a great tool to keep you from repeating the same mistakes.

      For example, for most of my life, I had always been the person to leave the relationships I was in. When things got bad, I walked. I didn’t know how to work things out productively. About two years after my husband and I had been married, we hit some rough times. I was ready to walk. Then my True Self whispered to me, “Not this time. Stay. You can always leave later. But, for now, stay and see what you can learn.”

      It was at that moment that I realized that I was repeating my old pattern – again. I knew that, if I left, I would quickly find another guy and repeat the process all over again. I was sick of it. I didn’t know how to make things better but I could see the actions that would have me repeat what I didn’t want to repeat. So I did the opposite of my pattern and I stayed. And I’m so glad I did. I opened myself to the options that my husband offered and tried new things until we worked out our issues.

      Use mindfulness to catch yourself in the act of repeating your pattern. Pause and ask yourself if this is what you want. If it’s not, do something – anything – different. You won’t know if that “something different” is any better until you try it. If it’s not better, try something else. Experiment.

      Therapeutically, I would recommend EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) – also known as “tapping” – and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is done by a licensed therapist and has been proven to be highly effective over short periods of time (~3 months) and the results last. EMDR is very effective in treating any kind of trauma and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Both are highly effective in breaking old, negative thought patterns.

      Don’t take forever thinking about what to do and if it will work. Start experimenting. Do different things. With each experiment, notice what you’ve learned about yourself and the world around you and what you can take into the next experiment.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Release Yourself from Your PastMy Profile

    Anonymous from Central Tennessee
    Commented:  11/07/2014 at 12:02 pm

    I have begun my life the total opposite of what I wanted it to be. I’m paying for it now. I’m 20. I went to college when I was 18. I did the shittiest performance in college anyone could imagine of. I came out of a community college with a 1.8 GPA. I transferred school and I almost did not get it. I got into a university in TN, but they did not want to help me financially, because of my previous GPA. I finally appealed my financial aid and they gave me a chance to pull up my GPA with financial aid termination review. My first semester, I passed with a 3.0 GPA, but it did not bring me over a 2 in cumulative. I only brought it to a 1.94. They terminated me, but I appealed for the last time and this is the final last time they can help me. I’ve loaned $14000 this school year. If I don’t pass with a GPA higher than a 2.0, I will be removed out of school and obligated to take responsibility and pay for my loan. This semester has been very shitty. I have tried, I promise I have tried. I’ve gone to class, I’ve lost sleep trying to study. I’ve emailed all my instructors. My advisor has been guiding me. I have really tried and I’m really scared. I have one month left and I have D’s in two courses and B’s two courses. I need to make higher than a 2.5 to get above GPA. I have been keeping my cool and striving on, but it feels like no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get passed this. I feel like im stuck here forever with other problems to pack on my life. I screwed up, but I didnt realize it would affect me this much. Why me? Why do I have all of the bad luck anyone could think of? Am I a horrible person? Do I even deserve to live and steal this oxygen from someone that is more worthy for it? What am I doing with my life? Is it worth it to keep pressing on?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  11/08/2014 at 2:15 pm

      First of all, you’re only 20. Your life has barely begun. You have plenty of time to change things.

      Why are you going to college anyway? The world has changed dramatically in the past ten years. You might want to read my post about this: Feeling Lost? What to Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out

      Everything in your life right now is the way it is due to the all the daily choices you’ve made up to this point. It sounds like you made the choice to blow off your first year and now you’re dealing with the consequences of that choice. It’s no one’s job or duty to bail you out. The schools, teachers and counselors don’t have to make it easy for you or give you third or fourth chances.

      Do you have subconscious beliefs (from family, friends, society, etc.) that create self-sabotaging behaviors? Do you have internal programming that you’re not good enough to graduate college? That you would be “above” your friends and family if you did? That you don’t deserve to get good grades? While this may sound absurd, it’s very real and many people live their lives through these lenses.

      Focusing on you and only you (forget about your parents, friends or anyone else for this exercise), ask yourself what YOU want out of your life. What would make your heart sing? What do you want your average day to look and feel like. From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, walk through every minute of your perfect average day. Now write down – and start taking action on – the baby steps that will get you there.

      That plan may or may not require college. Most things in life these days don’t.

      Start from where you are. Maybe you decide that you don’t want to continue with college. You can’t change the past so you’re stuck with the student loans. Set up a payment plan, stick with that plan and forget about them and get on with your life.

      Maybe you decide that you want to graduate. How will you feel when you graduate with twice (or, more likely, much more) debt than you have now? A diploma doesn’t guarantee a job. What will those monthly payments be and how will you pay them? Will you get more out of those two years at school than you would working apprenticeships or jobs or starting your own business?

      Yes, you screwed up. That’s in the past. What are you going to do about it? Wallowing in victimhood (the last six questions of your comment) will keep you stuck exactly where you are. Change your focus to what you want your life to be. If you don’t know, make something up and start in that direction. Action breeds more action and that moves you from where you are to something closer to where you want to be.

      Look at your entire life as an experiment. There’s no failure. Maybe bad grades (the result) in college (the experiment) are an indication that your next experiment might be something besides college? What do you love to do? Find other people doing that and making money at it. Hang around those people and ask how you can help them. By helping them, you’ll learn from them. Don’t expect anything from them. Only think about what you can offer.

      After each experiment, focus on what you learned about yourself – what worked and what didn’t? In your next experiment, do more of what worked. Don’t waste time trying to fix what didn’t work.

      Keep your eyes on the future as you would like to see it while you stay in the present moment, noticing your thoughts, beliefs and actions and how those are creating your reality. If you don’t like your reality, it’s your job, and only your job, to change it.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out YetMy Profile

    Patricia Anderson
    Commented:  11/12/2014 at 8:52 am

    Hi Paige,

    This is a great site! Obviously (with all these comments), you have helped a lot! I don’t have much frustrations as I am a kind of person that doesn’t cling on the past. What I like most about your post is “The truth: no matter how successful you are, something in your life will always look wrong to you. If you allow it to distract you, you can spend your entire life chasing little, nitpicky problems, and you’ll never get to the big, hairy monstrosities that really deserve your attention.

    I totally agree, people may see us as very successful but when we have no self-belief, we can’t see that in ourselves. We always have something to complain about and have something to wish for, long-term. We forget to see what is in front of us, what we presently have. I think the key to seeing what is in store for us is, self-acceptance and self-worth. When we know what we have and enthusiastic about what we have now… we are near to or even already living our life purpose.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Patricia Anderson recently posted..Finding Your Dream Job: Diane’s StoryMy Profile

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  11/15/2014 at 12:26 pm

      I completely agree with you Patricia! When you find yourself trying to find fault in other people or your environment, it’s an indication that you’re not happy with yourself or you’re not accepting yourself as you are. Once you can see yourself as “enough,” it becomes much easier for life to be providing enough.

      Thanks so much for your comment!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Wisdom of OzMy Profile

    Commented:  11/19/2014 at 5:28 am

    Dear Page,

    Thanks for the post. I also feel a bit stuck.

    I am 23 years old, and a year ago I moved to Amsterdam to study a master’s degree. I am from Spain, so it’s not extremely far (2 hours by plane), but it was still a big step for me since I was moving out of my parent’s place, etcetera. Apart from wanting to study abroad, the real real reason for coming here was that I found love. For 3 years now, I have been having a relationship with a great person, with whom I am really happy. During two of those years we were in a long-distance relationship, although we saw each other relatively often (once a month or so).

    So now I am in Amsterdam, a wonderful city, with a wonderful man. I feel great, except with my professional life. I studied law but I am not sure it’s my passion. Finding a job is hard here, but if you have no focus, it’s even worse! I want to find something that makes me happy, or even have a little business. I am sure I can do many things but I do not know where to start….I am young, I know I have many talents, and I feel I am not giving anything to the world right now. I hope it’s a matter of time.


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  11/19/2014 at 7:15 pm


      How you’re feeling about your professional life is very common. It’s also very common to graduate with a degree only to find that it’s not your passion. That’s OK. That’s the past. The question is, “What to do now?”

      Here’s a post I wrote on the topic: Feeling Lost? What to Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out

      The key is to get out there and do something – anything. Action begets action. By starting anywhere and doing anything, you’ll start learning more about yourself and redirect bit by bit toward whatever it is you enjoy.

      Don’t limit yourself to a job title. You know that you have many talents (which is awesome!). I think that our purpose on earth is to find a way to help others using the unique gifts that we’ve been given. Ask people who know you what they think your strengths are, what you’re good at. How can you use those strengths/skills to help others? Get creative.

      If you’re wondering how to make money doing something, do some online searches to find others who are already doing something similar. Reach out to those people and ask how they started and how you can help them. You’ll learn a great deal by helping others in areas that you love.

      You have strengths, talents and passions that you’re already sharing with the world. It’s hard for you to see them because they’re just part of who you are. That’s why you need the feedback of those around you. It’s your job to harness that greatness and figure out how to monetize it.

      Yes, all this is easier said than done but it’s an exciting journey to travel. You may need to find a job to pay the bills while you develop your ideas and business but that will be short term. Envision what you want your average day to look and feel like, minute by minute. Take baby steps every day to create that life for yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be living it. I know because I’ve done this a few times in my life. It’s exciting to one day notice how far you’ve come and what you’re capable of.

      All the best to you Susan!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out YetMy Profile

    Nicole Jeffrey
    Commented:  12/11/2014 at 7:14 pm

    Hello Paige Burkes

    I am delightful that I came across your website. I have been going through hard times for the last few years. Since I graduated from college, I never felt so lost.
    I started college at 23 years of age and majored in psychology and enjoyed the hectic schedule of working full time and being a full time student. Even though I think I was satisfied with my lifestyle, someone introduced me to drugs and I began using.
    During those four years, I used seldom and I felt empty despite the fact that “I was doing something with my life” which was working and going to school. I don’t regret earning my degree but now, I am at a complete standstill and have hit a dead end.

    I don’t really keep in contact with my friends like I did before college. I had so many and the memories were countless. Once I started college. I started to drift away and they had busy lives too but it was mostly me who didn’t take the time to hang out because it would have distracted me from the studies.

    To make a long story short because I would hope to hear from you and speak with you over the phone, I am not doing much with my life, I dwell on my past childhood which was far from the greatest.. very far. My father died when I was one because of a drug overdose and my mother continuously used drugs throughout her life.
    I am drug free which I am at least happy about that but I am in a 3 tear relationship that I am not sure about, I am 28 years old and don’t have a clue on what to do with my life even though I have several interests… one being writing. I want to do it all and I can’t seem to figure out who I am, what I mostly desire and what do I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I constantly worry about what other people thing and find peace with the approval with others (which I think is normal? ) I don’t know and I feel like a loser. I want to accomplish more…. I just can’t seem to figure anything out which is making me depress.

    Please contact me
    Thank you so much

    Nicole Jeffrey
    Commented:  12/11/2014 at 7:30 pm

    Also I wanted to mention that I am living in a room with my mother which is dreadful. Since I can’t seem to figure out where I want to work, I am not that financially stable but I do have some money saved up. I don’t want to find a room and then not have the money to continue paying the rent and have to live with someone. Should I just do it just for the sake of my sanity?
    Any advice appreciated.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  12/12/2014 at 1:12 pm


      Not knowing what you want to do with your life at your young age is very common. At any age, it’s impossible to know what you’ll do for the rest of your life. As you change, your interests, passions and skills change. Change is the only constant.

      From your comment, it sounds like you’re using busyness and drugs to avoid feeling some difficult emotions. If you don’t sit with them and feel them (yes, I know this is scary), they’ll grow and fester inside you. There are a variety of meditation and mindfulness practices that can help with this. Primarily, they involve calming and centering yourself, focusing on your breath, asking the feelings what they are trying to tell you, feeling them in your body, noticing whatever comes up for you in your body and your thoughts and not judging any of it. Be the observer and notice what’s happening. Listen to the whispers of your True Self after you let the monkey mind finish all its fearful screeching.

      If you don’t know what to do, simply start somewhere with something. It really doesn’t matter what it is. Regardless of what you pick, even if you end up loving it, you most likely won’t end up doing it the rest of your life. You always have the freedom of choice. You have the right to change your mind. You mentioned that you love to write. Start writing. Find other writers through or other local groups and meet with them. Learn all you can about the type of writing that you love. Write every day. If it works for you, keep doing it, delve further. If you decide it’s not what you expected, pick something different. Stick with whatever you choose long enough to learn from it but don’t feel like you’re stuck with whatever choice you make.

      All of this can be difficult if you’re worried about what others think of you. In reality, no one really cares what you do. They’re too busy worrying about what you think of them. Ultimately, what does it really matter? By having the strength to be yourself and being bold enough to venture into new things, others will admire you. On the surface they may feel threatened by you because you’re doing what they aren’t strong enough to do. When they feel threatened, they’ll try to put you down or pull you back. That’s usually a sign that these are not the people you should be spending time with. Find new friends who will support and inspire you, regardless of what you choose to do.

      Rather than trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, think about what your perfect average day is like. When do you get up? Who do you spend time with? What do you eat? Where do you go? Visualize and feel it in as much minute-to-minute detail as you can.

      Now, what can you do now that will be a baby step toward that perfect day? Do one small thing each day that the future you lives every day.

      What kind of person do you want to be? What do you want others to say about you when you’re gone? How would that person live each day? What would they do? Who would they associate with? How would they present themselves to the world? How can you be that person right now and throughout each day?

      No one can tell you what to do. You need to figure out who you are and consciously design your own life. You make choices all day every day that have created the life you have today. What new and different choices can you make that might lead you in a different direction? Every day is a new day with new opportunities to make different choices. You’re only stuck if you decide to be stuck. There are an endless number of paths to follow. Simply start.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out YetMy Profile

    Nicole Jeffrey
    Commented:  12/13/2014 at 8:54 pm

    Paige Burkes,

    I greatly appreciate your guidance and your wisdom. Expressing myself to you has helped me immensely. Not only through words but your support and help.

    I will re evaluate my life and follow your instructions as much as possible since I do have a tendency of getting distracted which I guess happens to all of us. Thank you for not judging me and sharing your useful information on your website. It has made things more clearer.

    Commented:  02/26/2015 at 11:20 pm

    Hi, my problem is i dont feel at Home anywhere i have dragged my famile to Canada from England , before England we Where IN my partners country Denmark, now we are Here we miss Europe,we have school issues we are forced to live on Vancouver Island Where There is no snow or mountainbike which i love, i felt good IN Bath England but it had no snow for skiing ,no Water for sailing, my husband says suck it up we are Here now so tough, i believe There is a Place i can Settle somewhere but Where., help i feel so unhappy amongst these passive aggressive People.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/01/2015 at 11:49 am


      There’s a saying in mindfulness that applies here: Wherever you go, there you are. Many people move to different places in an effort to change their lives. While the environments and circumstances change, if the person hasn’t changed, the story will generally play out the same way. I’ve experienced that many times in my life.

      If you’re finding it difficult to feel at home anywhere, it may be that you’re not feeling at home with yourself. Your environment and circumstances aren’t going to make you happy. It’s up to you to decide to be happy. There may be places where you’ll feel more at home but you can decide to be happy (or, at least, content) anywhere.

      By finding something wrong with every place you’ve lived, you’re looking for things to reject instead of accepting things as they are. It sounds like you may be projecting onto your world what’s going on inside of you. What don’t you accept about yourself? Why can’t you accept yourself just as you are?

      I suggest beginning each day with a gratitude practice. I’ve written a few posts on this. Get a notebook and write out, in as much detail as possible, ten things you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for them. Each day’s list must be unique – you can’t repeat what you’re grateful for. I’ve filled many notebooks with my gratitude lists until it finally became a way of thinking. I whisper “thank you” to myself for all the little gifts that I’m constantly surrounded by. I say “thank you” to people for doing what they do and for being who they are and letting them know that I appreciate them.

      Focus on what’s right in your world. Focus on accepting others and yourself just as they are. You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. I’ve discovered the very powerful truth that, when you change, your world changes. If you expect other people and things to change, you’ll be forever frustrated.

      Check out my posts on dealing with difficult people. If you feel surrounded by passive aggressive people, can you see that trait in yourself? Does surrounding yourself with passive aggressive people help you to perpetuate your own stories about yourself?

      Focus on gratitude and what you can do to open your heart to accepting yourself. Without that, it’s unlikely you’ll find happiness anywhere.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..3 Things I Learned From Living with Monks in a JungleMy Profile


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