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

Can’t Get Past That Stuck Place In Your Life? Here’s What to Do: You feel like you've tried everything to fix certain areas of your life but nothing is working. 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.

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, nit picky 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.  You’re not the only one in your situation.  Over the millennia, humans have repeated the same life issues and authors have written about them and how to overcome those issues.

Do yourself a favor and learn from them.

Stop Trying to Figure It Out On Your Own

It has taken me most of my life 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 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?

Read many of the comments below.  See that you’re not alone in your struggles.  The same handful of issues repeat themselves in so many lives.  While the specifics may vary, the answers are often very similar.

If you feel yourself struggling with the same issues as other readers, see if you can think of ways to help them.  Comment on their comments.  Offer your support.  Then see how you can implement your advice to them to your own life.

It always amazes me that we hold the answers we seek in our own hearts.  In helping others, we help ourselves.

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

    Commented:  12/03/2017 at 9:53 am

    Hi there, Paige!

    So I am feeling very stuck in my life currently, and, well, I have most of my life actually. I am in my early twenties and living with my mother. I think more than anything else it is something emotional that is keeping me stuck here. I am a very reflective and deep person but I find it hard to even meditate or think here. There is a lot of unresolved energy. Every time I try to speak about my feelings and what I want to other people online about my needs and situation I simply get invalidated. I do not want to be with or around my mother. I actually want to break free. I am currently in the process of trying to get some mental health and some work to help me through this. I do not have anything going for me whatsoever. No job. My mother never let me grow up and always took responsbility and controlled everything as I grew up. She is very pessimistic with her husband, they always complain about how bad their lives are and how little money, although they can afford lots of smokes and drink bottles of wine nearly every night, and can afford two holidays a year. It is really not at all helpful to be around. Her negativity has definitely rubbed off on me, and how she tells me everything is impossible and even moving out. My brother recently moved out and she kept trying to plant in his head how it would not be good. She wrapped us up in cotton wool and was extremely overprotective, overbearing, intrusive and invasive, even possessive. My life has been at a standstill, very awful and stuck here with her for the last few years doing nothing. I know a lot of my own thoughts are what is probably getting in the way, but at the same time it is MORE than that, it usually is. It is emotions and past relationships and our current environment. But because of all of those things together, I find it hard to calm myself down. There is not much communication at all, my mother doesnt listen and to be honest, i do not want to communicate. I have always been deep inside a very free spirit, and independant, so I hate how controlled I have been. It has made me resentful. I wish people could stop invalidating me for not desiring my mother. I do not like clingy or needy women, I need people around me who TRULY love me uncondtionally, which means making me feel free. Love is not about ownership just because you gave birth to someone. Soul connections are much more powerful, and I have experienced those. My dream would be to move soon, possibly next year, and eventually connect with my SOUL family, perhaps live together, i am not sure every detail yet, I am not sure everything I want. Work worries me. I have always wanted to do something that makes my heart sing. Perhaps creating, also I do feel I have a power of being able to lead and guide people, of course once I have cleared all of this baggage. But I have been told and seen it for myself. I am sorry for the ramble of this post, it is so difficult for me to express myself even in text right now. I think maybe some subconscious beliefs are holding me back, my mother use to guilt trip me too. She acts nice now and sucks up to me which I hate. I just wish she was a strong independant woman, she is married but they are both the same, victim mentality and clingy. She shows no emotion though and likes to be in control. But I wish we could stop shaming people and thinking that we MUST be close to moms or parents or blood family. I am totally different to my mother, therefore not compatible or complimentary. She craves me and thinks we are the same because she is so identitfied and attached to me, she literally sees me as an extention of her in a way and as a kid. I am so frustrated about this. So right now , I desperately want to move away, far away actually because of this, to a different city, and also be free. I also want closure. I want to finish the relationship, and even though I wouldnt want to, I can keep in touch via skype video calls, which most people should be grateful for. She has done nothing exciting with her life and frowns at my desires and all. It has really effected me badly. But I cannot take living around her much longer, all of the pretending smiles and talks about TV and crap really, while feeling her neediness behind it. All I want is to break free, and put an end to it. I would love for her to just go her own way, start meeting friends, be more independant from me, and not keep feeling so attached to me. Focus on her hubby and discover who she is and have no expectations of me because I will not be taking care of her later. I am NOT hers, I am mine and I am me. I really do not want anyone to say to me again to try to change my desire (which is not bad or wrong) of not wanting her in my life. I think it should be respected, we are born to be free and have freewill. I am not like everyone else, I do not feel a needing to her, I have experienced proper soul bonding so I do not feel I need her in my life, there is no benefit here. I also dont like the guilt tripping belief and expectation that I must be responsible for her in some way. She is a grown woman and must find her own happiness and love within herself, or seek it from her own type of people who can help her in life, although she is not open like that. I want to meet my own people in my near future, I value authentic connection, everytime I am around my mom, especially because of her lack of depth, and understanding, I have to withhold so many aspects of myself, my open mind, my intensity, emotions,dreams,passions,sensuality, spirituality, artistic side, literally everything. I am lucky to have had such deep, empowering connections early on in my life from both men and women. I just don’t know how to start or how to get out of this. I feel emotionally paralysed. If you could help me with this and have any advice it would mean a lot to me right now. Thank you so much!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  12/04/2017 at 10:49 am


      There are strong societal beliefs that say we should all be close to our parents. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible. For me and most of the people I know, being close to our parents is difficult if not impossible. After leaving home (and while I was growing up), I found it difficult to spend time with my parents. I’ve been through many years of personal development and have tried many options, only to find that my parents are simply too toxic for me to be around. It’s been difficult to cut the cord and cut off most communications, but I’ve never been happier. Their presence, whether via phone, email, text or in person, would drag me back into the old family dynamics so I had to stop them.

      My parents have questioned and challenged many of the choices I’ve made in my life. My mother has frequently used the phrase, “I only want what’s best for you” which actually means, “I only want you to do what I want you to do because anything different scares me.” It’s up to you to garner the courage to leave. It’s up to you to make the choices that are best for you, not for anyone else. People will judge you because that’s what people do. We all do. Everyone has their own issues to deal with.

      Stop focusing on what you don’t like about your mother and how she should change. These are your judgments of her and won’t change anything. Stop blaming her for how your life is now. Your life is your responsibility.

      Focus on what you want. Focus on the next baby step you can take today to move your life in the direction you want. Your mother can only get in your way if you allow it. If you’re as strong and creative as you say, you’re the only one getting in your way. Fear is natural. As they say: Feel the fear and do it anyway. I’ve done this countless times in my life and it has always paid off.

      You’ll make mistakes, but there’s no such thing as failure. Life is about experiments. Try new things (yes, this will be scary sometimes) and notice the outcomes. Do more of what feels good and less of what doesn’t. Learn from all of your experiences, and apply what you learn.

      You might want to read Jewel’s autobiography, Never Broken. Her life has included lots of experimentation. She reflects on the lessons she has learned. And she severed her relationship with her toxic mother. My daughter loved the book and has learned a few things from it.

      In my late 20’s I felt trapped in a life that I knew wasn’t right for me. I didn’t know what to do but followed a hunch that simply said, “Go west.” Yes, that was scary. I didn’t have a clue where “west” was supposed to be. But I knew I couldn’t stay where I was. You can read more of my story on my About page. I didn’t know where I was headed but I packed my bags and started driving west with a knowing that something would come up along the way.

      My life is what came up along the way. My life has taken many twists and turns. I’ve learned a ton about myself, life and other people along the way. That’s why I write here – to share what I’ve learned in hopes that it can help people like you.

      Maybe your next step is to go to and find a group you can connect with. Or maybe it’s to go to and arrange for a room in another city with people you can connect with. Or maybe it’s volunteering somewhere half-way around the world. Make a choice and take a step – one step in a journey of a million miles.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck (Free Workbook!)My Profile

        Commented:  12/05/2017 at 5:31 am

        Thank you so much, Paige!

        Your response was great. To the point, grounded and practical advice. I will check out that book and also those sites you have recommended. I saw your about page too and checked out other blogs you made here and read the replies, felt myself resonating with a few and found your responses rather helpful. That is why I reached out to you, and I am glad I did! Yes, fear definitely got in the way for me and focusing on what I don’t want whilst in the middle of it. So I think instead of resisting my fear, I’ll carry it with me, and do it anyway and take the first baby step. I believe that is a much more sustainable way of living and reaching our dream life anyway! Taking a necessary action step, one that will get me out of my unhappy situation instead of dwell on it, even if it means doing something at first I do not like, like I read in one of your other replies. Because each step will take me away from where I currently am. My fear was always being trapped if I took any action, like how I feel now and in my childhood. But your responses and personal life experience have given me a lot of hope and inspiration to begin the process of changing that. I believe if I do it and carry my fear anyway, my intuition will start to speak to me. My fear for years has blocked out my intuition a lot. So I think I am going to journal, get out of my creative blocks and just do some kind of art daily to try to calm the monkey mind and bring the flow in again! Your blogs are very helpful and insightful, and I am learning a lot. Thank you again for your response, it means a lot to me right now! 🙂

    Commented:  11/27/2017 at 5:23 am

    nice one…When you get frustrated then you want a single perfect solution and I got from this one

    Commented:  06/15/2017 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Paige

    I’m a 23 years old still living with my parents and an aunt who takes care of my younger siblings who are still under 13 years of age, she also looks after the house while my parents are working because we live in a neighborhood where robbery is ongoing, so we really need her to stay within the home, but she is a very toxic person to live with, I feel like she’s the reason why my life is miserable because my life can’t seem to progress when she’s always constantly criticizing and judging me based on her religious standards.How do I get away from her

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/16/2017 at 10:56 am


      If you’re 23 and your aunt takes care the house and younger children, is there a reason you can’t get a job and move out? Do you have friends you could share an apartment with to reduce costs? As for a job, it doesn’t have to be much initially – just something that allows you to pay the bills while you either look for or create something a little better.

      A better life is built on actively taking baby steps every day. While today’s steps may not lead directly to the life you want (BTW, do you know what kind of life you want, besides “not this”?), it’s a step away from where you are. See each step as an experiment to learn more about yourself, your likes, dislikes and the direction you want to head for now. Nothing is forever. Each day you can make a new choice. There is no failure, only experiments from which you learn.

      The next step for you may be more challenging than where you are now, but that’s not permanent. It’s a step in a new direction where you can explore. It’s up to you to perceive your life as full of crap or full of blessings. The same environment can be seen as both depending on your perspective. Moving out on your own can be pretty scary, but it’s the scary because it’s new and different. It challenges your comfort zone. There’s no growth without pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. From my many years of experience, I can tell you that those scary things are exactly what you should face. When you face the challenge and push through it, you’ll feel so much better about yourself.

      You may get some flack from those at home, but this is your life and you have to make choices that support you. Your growth is up to you. Implementing the changes you want in your life is completely up to you. You can’t blame anyone for what’s happening in your life. Take responsibility for your life and take action on your vision of how you want your life to be. No one is going to do it for you. You have the ability and the power in you.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Be Happy When Unhappy Is Your NormMy Profile

      Silver dream
      Commented:  06/22/2017 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Paige

      I am enjoying reading your posts and other peoples responses, there is so many different walks of life on here. It is a comfort to know I’m not alone when going through constant sadness and difficulties like others.
      I am finding it difficult to figure out repetitive behaviours of the past that keep leading me onto one struggle after another. I want to find that magic key to life that you mentioned.

      My story in a nut shell.
      Up to as early as i can remember life has not always been kind but I am still here.often times it has crossed my mind as to why I am still here (dangerous thoughts in the past). I’ve moved countries, I’ve been to different schools, been badly bullied, witnessed domestic violance, subjected to emotional abuse, witnessed a parent with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. Both parents addicted to alcohol. By mid teens my mother passed away due to her poor health and way of life. My father kept working, we had nannies look after my younger sister and I. Luckily there was extended family that did assist with taking care of us when my father was away on business.
      My sister developed an eating disorder, went down the wrong track (seriously rebellious and developed strong liking to alcohol).

      I managed to finish school and do my final exams (when I wanted to drop out I’ve always had distractions). My sister dropped out of school. To this day my sister is the same but not as wild, so is my father (domestic violence occurs between my father and sister). Luckily I found strength to want a better life for myself and moved out by 21. I love my father and sister but find them emotionally draining and I get frustrated and I feel it is only a matter of time before I have to burry one of them and it is heartbreaking. My sister has yo-yod in and out of rehab for years.

      I recently went back to education and did a diploma .I never could have imagined myself doing anything like that as I was always told I was stupid growing up. I am thankful to day I have not got an eating disorder nor am I an alcoholic. Its all been a cruel survival game all my life. I am nearly 28 and the year 2017 has proved to be challenging too. In had a burn out from juggling three jobs, I have had financial difficulties, I split with my partner and that was a traumatic break up, my confidence is very low, I am not happy where I am living and I am finding it difficult to secure full time work. I just want life to give me a break, I’m still standing, I’m still here I’m attending counselling services and I am on medication. I am trying to help myself with keeping busy and active. As it is I have bad anxiety and it can be a challenge for Me to go to social events. After everything I have this idea of packing my bags and starting somewhere fresh. Its all I’ve done in my life is run from my problems it has worked some of the time. Facing problems in past has made me stronger but often fails too. I am rather lost, feeling hopeless, and lonely.

        Paige Burkes
        Commented:  06/23/2017 at 12:53 pm

        Silver Dream,

        Let me first send you a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for all that you’ve accomplished: recognizing your toxic home life and choosing to do something different, getting your diploma, seeing a counselor and continuing on your journey to improve your life.

        As you well know, changing your life doesn’t happen overnight. From birth, you were programmed with a variety of beliefs about yourself and your world that you’re in the process of testing and changing. That takes time. Getting physically away from toxic environments helps you to make the changes inside you. If you stay in those kinds of environments, you can start to believe that they’re normal and that you should conform.

        There’s a saying in mindfulness: Wherever you go, there you are. This means that wherever you go physically, you bring the same internal ‘you’ to that new place. Until you decide to change, you’ll recreate the same situations that you’ve been trying to escape because you carry the same thoughts and beliefs which make you take the same actions and get the same results.

        In your case, I think moving to a new place may help. Sometimes a new environment can help to change the internal you. Being around people who share the positive beliefs that you strive for can help you move along your journey a little faster.

        Rather than running from what you don’t want, take some time to figure out what you do want in your life. What do you want your average day to look like? Where do you see yourself living? Who do you spend time with? What do you do all day? What do you eat? What do you see, smell and experience each day?

        Once you’ve written out your ideal environment and life, consider what kind of person would live that life. What changes do you need to make in yourself to be that person? Get as detailed as you possibly can. Review this “ideal day” exercise on a regular basis and feel what that life would feel like for you. Make updates as you get further insights.

        After doing this exercise once, write down one small step you can take that day that will move you one little baby step closer to your vision. Take another step the next day. These steps can be researching new places or classes or groups then signing up. Or maybe it’s writing something that you’ve had difficulty expressing.

        I can tell you from my own experience that this process will change your life. I’m currently living a life that’s better than any vision I could have dreamed up over twenty years ago. When I was living with depression, I didn’t think it was possible to feel happy in my core on a daily basis. I couldn’t see it as real for me from my mid-twenties through my late thirties. But a million baby steps got me here. It definitely wasn’t always easy. Change frequently isn’t.

        Have your vision and believe in it. Think about it every day and take one small action that can nudge you along your journey. Your road will take twists and turns. Learn from each one. There is no failure, only experimentation. Learn more about yourself and what makes you happy and keep taking steps in that direction.

        I completely understand your lost, hopeless and lonely feelings. I was there when I was your age. Keep your faith and vision strong. You’re obviously an amazing person capable of so much. It’s up to you to discover the gifts you have that only you can share with the world. If you’re open, life will reveal them to you. Often, they seem too simple. That’s because they come naturally to you.

        Continue to face your fears and your problems. If you don’t, they’ll continue to haunt you. Doing so is the only way to grow and become the person in your vision.

        I know you have what it takes to create an amazing life. Take your first baby step today.
        Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Be Happy When Unhappy Is Your NormMy Profile

          Commented:  06/23/2017 at 9:25 pm

          Thank you very much Paige, your response is truly inspiring and helpful. I will do my best to take baby steps. Focus on what my ideal life is and hopefully with time and strength things will improve. Thank you for taking the time to write. God bless.

      But simmons
      Commented:  11/19/2017 at 6:56 am

      Hey Lena. I hope this advice is helpful if you read it.
      I am 27. I feel I have done and learnt alot in life. Life is always a struggle no matter where you are. Weather that be working on a paradise island on the great barrier reef or at home. I used to feel so trapped,same place same job same bills same people etc but I took action and changed my life. I saved up enough to get a one way ticket and go and travel. I was so scared to do this but I done it on my own. I ended up traveling for 3 years. Along the way I met so many types of people all with different stories and advise to give. Many peolw said I was running away. Maybyba I was.but ingot out of the bubble that most people spend their lives in. Find purpose. Find what you love doing something that you crave to do again and again and gives you butterflies. And keep doing it. Travel get lost climb a mountain go diving go and live. Sometimes it’s those we love and are he closest that hold us back not coz they want to but co they love us. But sometimes that stops us reaching our own potential. Another thing I that helped me is outdoor adventure. Sign up to some obstacle races like hellrunner or tough guy or girl and go and see what you really have inside yourself without no one ther. Never compare yourself to others. And be mind strong. We can change almost anything if we put our amazing minds to it. Trust me. Save some money go Tavel somewhere out your comfort zone for a month or 2. You learn about yourself in ways you never thought possie

    Commented:  05/02/2017 at 10:21 am

    My name is lindsay. I have been struggling for quite some time now going through the same pattern I can’t seem to get out of. I am a web design /developer. Back in 2011 I ended up with 2 herniated discs and a pretty severe neck and shoulder problems .. that have now turned into making the past 6 years of my life a living hell.

    This is my pattern.

    I get a web job, i work my job and over the next 3 months my back and neck start to really bother me. I don’t have insurance yet because it hasn’t kicked in being the new employee so I’m paying out of pocket to constantly fix my back and neck weekly. Ends up costing me sometimes $300/week.
    So now I’m not even saving any money. I’m basically making money to fix my back and neck. I can’t take time off to repair it correctly because e I’m a new employee also. It’s hard to get to my apts to help fix my problems because they are only open during business hours. So now. 3 months into my job im miserable, depressed and living in pain.
    I eventually end up quitting because of the repetitiveness of my work and just can’t get relief.

    So now I’m unemployed and really can’t get help for my body issues to I lay in bed depressed for months until i am forced to actually go get work again.
    I tell myself ” I am not working another computer job again”
    so I spend months and months on end trying to find something that isn’t computer related and more part time. (I also can’t lift heavy things) so waitress job is out of the question.
    after about 6 months of being unemployed I start applying for web jobs again and within a couple months im back at a computer in constant pain and miserable.
    I have done this cycle over and over and over now about 6 times in 6 years.
    I am not anywhere further ahead than I was 6 yrs ago. The only things that’s changed is the pain increases and I’ve become more depressed.

    I really wish I could work from home and work part time or work with caring people helping people but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out how to get those jobs with all my web dev computer skills under my belt.

    I’m absolutely miserable and I can’t even afford a therapist .. I’m spending all my money on my back and neck and therapist only seem to work while im at work.

    I really need help.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/06/2017 at 12:37 pm


      Congratulations! You’ve accomplished the first step toward making changes in your life: You’re aware of the cycle. You can’t change what you’re not aware of. At this point, experimentation is the next step. You know what doesn’t work, but you don’t yet know what works for YOU. Experimenting involves trying things that are different than what you’ve done in the past, even if they seem ridiculous. Remember: There is no failure, only experimentation. By taking action and noticing the outcomes, you’ll learn more about yourself and more about what does or doesn’t work.

      Given how your back and neck respond to your emotional state, know that they are linked. With a lifetime of back issues that I’ve dealt with myself, I can attest that no one is going to fix your back. Only you can do it and it requires ongoing effort on your part. After spending tons of time and money on various kinds of specialists on my back (traditional and non-traditional medicine), I finally found relief with yoga which works on your emotional and physical state and helps you to be more in tune with both. I would recommend working with a yoga therapist who can work with your issues. You’ll also need to make it a regular practice with and without the therapist.

      There are now many therapists available online at reasonable rates who can work with you outside of normal business hours. Just Google “text therapy” or “video therapy” or “teletherapy.”

      Have you tried finding part-time, at home work on sites like or Figure out your niche, specialty, what you’re uniquely good at. While you may advertise yourself as a web design/developer, what sets you apart in terms of how awesome you are to work with (which may have nothing to do with the design/development work)?

      Although you may list yourself on these sites, you also need to be proactive in finding work (but not a job). Can you consult with companies you’ve worked for in the past? Can you have them write recommendations for you? Create your own site that’s basically your resume. Include past work you’ve done and the recommendations you’ve received. Make sure to include a way for people to get in touch with you.

      One way that I know has helped people who develop web sites is to find a company you would like to work with and check out their site. How could you improve it? How could you make it awesome, bring them more traffic, accomplish their goals? If it’s a non-profit whose cause you support, they may not have the funds to hire a full-time web developer but would love to have you help them (paid or not). Then you’re doing what you do well while helping other caring/helping people. If this is one of your first gigs, you may do it for little or nothing to get exposure, recommendations and to grow your network.

      By the way, growing your network (virtual and in person) is critical! Check out my post on networking (it’s not as scary as you think if you find a way to make it fun). Networking isn’t cheesy. It’s all about people helping people. Either you can help someone you meet directly or connect them with someone else who can. I would recommend networking with others who do what you do (Facebook and LinkedIn groups are great). While this sounds counter-intuitive, it’s very smart. Smart business people work with their competition, not against them. If you focus on a certain area or way of delivering your work (making sure to bring out your true personality as much as possible), people connect with YOU before they look at your work. Check out and how Ash accomplishes her mission.

      Focus on creating your own business and get off the job treadmill. Stop thinking traditionally (you’re a web developer, right??) about how to get your needs met. The more you focus on creatively solving other people’s problems with your skills and abilities (and getting paid for it), instead of why your life sucks, your back will begin to “miraculously” cure itself. You’ll wonder why you limited your thinking to only jobs.

      There are tons of sites, podcasts and YouTube channels with information on how to do all this (that’s where I learned most of what I know and the learning never ends). The more you learn, the more you share via your work and via your network. Be the one that everyone comes to for answers in your niche.

      To change your life, change your thinking and start taking different actions. Experiment. If an experiment doesn’t work, focus on what you learned, and use that knowledge going forward. It’s impossible to fail as long as you’re taking informed action.

      I know you can succeed Lindsey.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Unmistakable: The Art of Being YouMy Profile

    Commented:  10/17/2016 at 11:53 am

    Dear Paige,
    I must say that your dedication to helping others is very apparent and heart felt. I found this article after googling “why is it so hard for me to get my life together” and it truly has been a gift. I read all the comments and all your replies and then went on to read more articles, comments and replies. I believe you are on this planet to do this. Your advice is wise and appropriate. You restore hope/faith to so many who have lost their way. After much consideration I’ve decided I would like to ask for some of your wisdom.
    I am like most of the people who replied on this article about being stuck in life. I know I am not alone. Yet alone is what I feel. I am 39 years old and currently residing in my parents’ living room in Georgia. I completely underestimated the toxicity of this household and how much it has taken away from my already depleted mental state. I have been stuck many times before. I see that I make the same mistakes over and over. One of those mistakes is giving up and moving back in with my parents. I realize I need to change what I am thinking, in order to change how I feel and what I am doing. I know that my core issue is one of severe low self-esteem. I don’t like the words self-hate, but I believe it is an accurate description of how I feel about myself and the destruction it causes. Not many have been able to successfully tell me how it is to begin to love and accept myself. My low self-esteem undermines anything positive and good I am able to build.
    There were times in the past 5 years, when I was working full time as a Hairstylist that I felt certain I was on the right track. That I must have made significant progress with my self-esteem. Then my self-hate rears its ugly head in ways I do not see coming. Only after I have unwittingly destroyed all the good I built. I now understand mindfulness would have helped prevent this situation. Had I been able to be more aware and mindful of my own actions, I may have been able to stop my undoing. Reading your advice to others, I feel this can only be viewed as a lesson learned. Very jagged little pill to swallow. How can I take this experience and keep the cycle from repeating? Not be afraid to move on? How does one change hate into love?
    I had to quit my job as a hairstylist in another state. I realized I was in a hole that was far deeper than I ever feared possible. I am a victim of my own ill thinking. I lost my will to pick myself up and keep going. I don’t want to start this cycle again. Yet it has already begun. I now find myself in the midst of total burnout. My career is gone from me. Burnt out of me. The skills are still there, my talent is still there. Still something inside me stops me from being able to do this for a living. I am told I am an incredibly talented makeup artist and hairstylist. I am a creative soul, I always have been. But all the creative outlets have shut down.
    I rack my brain daily trying to figure my way out of this. Literally exhausting myself and anyone who dares to listen. I am aware that I am also codependent. Most of the time I am inconsolable. Is this even still what I want to do? I feel like my time in the cosmetology industry is over for good. But what if I were to grow emotionally and perhaps pick it back up later, as you did with your corporate career? I have spent many months going in circles with these questions, to no avail. Recently I accepted a minimum wage part-time job at a local movie theatre. I thought if I would just start somewhere that things would get easier. That is what worked for me in the past. Just get myself to do something, anything. Still I am unnerved, empty and listless. Finding it hard to care about a job that feels demoralizing. And a waste of my talent. Talent I cannot seem to harness into making money.
    Like you, my heart says “go west”. It has said this for years. An idea I picked up and put down many times. Thinking “Oh no, I could never make it on my own”. I found your own personal story so inspiring. How simple you make your journey sound. Just pack a few things, throw caution to the wind and go to where it is your heart and body tell you. In my heart, I feel strongly that if I did go west I would be learning all the things I’m missing in life. Learning to rely on myself and no one else. My intuition just knows that I would learn the life lessons that I’ve somehow missed. The fear this causes is indescribable. Almost as if because I fear it I must do it.
    But how?
    Do I throw caution to the wind, quit asking how and just go? Is living at home with my parents as toxic as it feels? Or am I projecting my own toxicity? Toxic behavior that would certainly follow me to any location I reside. Do I attempt to “fix” the emotional self-esteem before adding the geographical move to this? Or is it the other way around? Will the geographical move force me to fix the long suffered self-esteem problems?
    Any insight you may offer will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/22/2016 at 11:52 am


      Lots to unravel here. I can understand the toxicity of living with your parents and would recommend you do whatever you can to change that. If your intuition says “go west” strongly enough, follow it. From reading your comment, I can tell that you’re a smart, articulate person who has figured a number of things out. Now it’s a matter of implementing what you’ve learned. It’s never too late to change your patterns, especially now that you’ve recognized their cycles.

      Rather than going through the motions of these cycles, use mindfulness to pause and assess before taking the next step. If you don’t know what to do next, do anything except what you’ve done before. Doing nothing would be something different.

      One of the more famous mindfulness quotes is: Wherever you go, there you are. Meaning that, you can go to different places physically, but the same “you” will always show up there unless you decide to change. Many people who have travelled extensively will swear that the experience changes them. I would agree but only if you open yourself up to whatever the possibilities are along the way. Don’t try to control anything. My month and a half in Costa Rica where I never made plans taught me this lesson. It was the most amazing experience.

      Berating yourself with the type of “what if’s” you’re projecting will keep you exactly where you are. Is that what you really want? How about looking at questions like: What if I find my calling out there? What if I meet the most amazing, supportive people who understand me?

      When I went west, I never thought of it as “throwing caution to the wind.” For me, it was far too dangerous and scary to stay where I was. In my mind, I didn’t have a choice to do anything but go. I couldn’t imagine the rest of my life being like it was at that time (even though, by our society’s standards, it was pretty good).

      As I read your comment, I thought of a woman who was, in many ways, in your shoes. She was a cosmetologist on a road to nowhere. Then she set up a YouTube channel and starting putting out videos with hair and makeup tips. She worked to grow her audience which grew quickly. With a big audience, she found sponsors and generated ad revenues from her videos. She also had her own blog. Using these two together, she built an email list (critical if you’re going to create an online business) and is quite successful doing what she loves.

      I would challenge you to do the same. Pull out your phone and start taking videos and upload them to YouTube. How can you use your talents to help others? What secrets do you know that others in your industry don’t seem to apply? Tell people about them. Be uniquely you – let your true personality shine. There’s no such thing as competition. Everyone selling or putting out similar information/products is doing it in their own unique way that appeals to a unique audience. It’s much more important to connect deeply with a smaller audience than try to appeal to the masses. A devoted tribe is critical for success. Create an avatar: an individual (give that person a name) who needs what you have. Whenever you put out a video, pretend that you’re showing that one person what you know. Feel how good it feels to help that one person get a little bit better each day. Understand that person’s life story and find ways to connect. Maybe that person is just like you and you’re going to show them how to turn their life around with your art.

      The more you focus on helping others, the more you’ll help yourself in the process. If you find it hard to love and accept yourself, start loving and accepting others first. Find compassion for them and their plight. Find understanding for them. Over time, this will make it easier to feel those same emotions for yourself. The loving-kindness meditation practiced daily will also help (Google it to learn the specifics).

      If you choose to create something for yourself online, I would recommend that you find a part-time job at a salon or something in your field to keep your ideas and energies higher. Creating something successful online takes hard work but can turn into something quite successful in a year if you devote enough time to it. If you don’t know how, all the information you need is online for free. Google is your friend. I knew absolutely nothing about anything online when I started. I thought I would just hire people to do it all but I didn’t have the funds. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I was determined to figure it out and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve also connected with a great group of other bloggers in the personal development realm that have been immensely helpful and supportive. You can find these kinds of groups on Facebook or simply reach other to others online who are already doing what you want to do. Find ways you can help them and offer that help.

      You have many gifts. It’s your job in this life to share your personal gifts with as many people as possible. If you don’t you’re being selfish keeping them to yourself. I think this is true for everyone.

      If moving back with your parents is your default when things go back, commit to yourself – 100% commitment that you feel deep through your heart and gut – that you can never make that choice again. You will choose homelessness over moving back with your parents (I did and ended up in friends’ spare rooms for a while and it’s not that bad). With resources like, you could spend years being homeless while traveling and making lots of new friends. The worst case scenario is never as bad as you imagine.

      If your fears are keeping you from moving forward, then it’s time to befriend them. Look your fears straight in the eye and ask them what they’re so scared of. Fears come from the monkey mind that’s always fearful and screeching because it simply hates change. Those fears are the fears of the monkey, not you. Your True Self knows better. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Courage is having fear and moving forward anyway. If you don’t change, do you want the rest of your life to be the way it is? When I left, I didn’t throw caution to the wind. I told myself that my worst case scenario was returning to the life I was leaving. With that thought, I was committed to creating something different.

      My journey involved one experiment after another as I started to put together the pieces of what worked and discarded what didn’t. That’s the way life is. There are no failures, only experiments to learn from. Pause to find the lesson and use it going forward. When I left, I didn’t know where, what or how but I knew that the answers would appear when I got out there. And they did, just not the way I expected. That’s how I learned more about myself and grew along the way. Over the years I’ve discovered my patterns and turned them around. I’ve seen how my thoughts derail my happiness and how to change that. It didn’t happen overnight. It happened with baby steps over years. I’m now infinitely happier than I thought I could be twenty years ago (some of us are slower learners).

      If you feel strongly about moving, then move. Don’t prolong things the way people prolong happiness: I’ll be happy when x, y and z happen. Your time on this planet is limited and flies by faster as each year passes. You have gifts to share with the world. If you only impact one person, you’ve done your job. Reading comments like yours is why I’m here, writing year after year. No one pays me to do and I love it. Other benefits that I couldn’t have imagined have come from what I do here. What if you put yourself online, offering your gifts? Who could you impact? How could you show them what’s possible for them? How could you change lives? You would be surprised what you’re capable of. Get out there and give it a shot. What have you got to lose?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Create a Meditation Practice When Your Mind Won’t Stop SpinningMy Profile

      Commented:  10/25/2016 at 12:48 pm

      Hi tyson, totally hear what you’re sayin, send me an email if you ‘d like to shoot some ideas back and forth

      Commented:  10/27/2016 at 9:58 pm

      Tyson, I’m in such a very similar place and have asked myself all the same questions — it’s agony b/c I can see that, like me, you put a great deal of thought into what’s causing the problem and all of the potential solutions… Please feel free to reach out to me at OMLOVELIGHT@YAHOO.COM to chat and perhaps there’s some way we can support each other in sorting through priorities/next steps. Seriously, we’re in almost exactly the same circumstances, only with different career fields and desired destinations 🙂

    Commented:  09/17/2016 at 4:18 am

    Reading some of these definitely shows that we are not alone. I’m definitely in the mode of feeling “stuck”. I a 32 year old single mom and I just can’t seem to get life right. I try my best to be a great mom but I’m always so depressed and that keeps me from moving on/up. I watch my children’s father get his dream job, his dream woman, going on vacations, bought a house and driving luxury cars including his children only every other weekend. I try not to pay attention but I get stuck thinking “how can this person who has been so selfish get everything he wants in life while I’m struggling to do well with his kids with less than the minimum help?” I have a degree but I can’t find a job that pays me what I feel I’m worth and something enjoyable. There are many people without a degree with jobs paying more than I get paid. Im in a position where it seems as though they look at me as uneducated because when I speak of other responsibilities they dismiss it. I’ve been looking for other jobs for a couple of years and only had 1 regular interview and one online (recording my answers on video) interview. I can’t start school back because My debt is out of control from debt that I’ve accumulated during my horrible almost decade long relationship and the depressed time after that which I continue to struggle with going on 5 years now. I dislike my job. I hate my financial situation. I’ve been single for about 5 years and extremely lonely but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what steps to take next. I don’t know how to stop thinking of other’s progress and comparing my life to what I think its supposed to be. I can’t continue to be this way because I have to be there for my children. I have to be a “happy” mother. I live for them. I do everything I can for them to make them happy and to keep them busy but it’s slowly killing me inside because I can’t see the fruits of my labor.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/17/2016 at 2:27 pm


      Asking “why” questions and comparing your situation to anyone else’s are instant trips to the land of unhappiness, as you’re well aware. Expecting your life to be like anyone else’s is also a road in the wrong direction.

      Being a single mom with a full-time job requires all the time and energy you have. Rather than focusing on what’s lacking, focus on the awesome things in your life now. That may seem like a stretch now but you can change this thought pattern. I’ve turned my own depressed thought patterns around with a regular gratitude practice. Get a notebook and dedicate five minutes each day to writing 10 things that you’re grateful for. Doing this in the morning can help you to start your day off in a better direction. Doing it at the end of the day before you go to bed can help you sleep and set more positive intentions for the next day. Do what works for you but make it a daily practice.

      In my practice, I don’t let myself repeat anything I’ve already written in the near future. This keeps it from being a rote exercise. It helps you to dig deeper and see all the little things that make your life better than someone else’s. Besides my family and my health, I’m grateful for coffee, hot tea, running water, hot water, beautiful skies, a warm home… When I think of my children, I’m grateful for their loving looks, hugs and kisses, how their cheeks feel against mine when I hug them, the pictures they draw for me, the funny ways they say things, the unique ways they see the world… The lists are literally endless.

      After a while, your view of your life will shift. You’ll be grateful for the things that current drag you down. You’ll find the positive and the lessons in the crappy things that have happened to you. You’ll learn to accept people and things the way they are. You’ll feel more compassion for yourself and others. It’s an evolution.

      In addition to this, you might want to work with a therapist that specializes in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). It’s been clinically proven to be highly effective in treating traumas and other deeply engrained issues. I personally found it to be very effective as have others close to me.

      Change your attitude/thoughts/beliefs, change your life. You can do this.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Best Investment You’ll Ever MakeMy Profile

      Commented:  10/25/2016 at 12:52 pm

      Stay positive, focus on things that make you happy and be kind to yourself

    Commented:  08/17/2016 at 3:35 am

    Sometimes we’re stuck in a condition that works slightly better (from rock bottom broke) but we are forced to suffer great lenghts in order to get that minimal revenue. Like leaving away from my wife and my first 2 year old daghter which i love so much and missing a lot on life’s beautiful details. (at the age of 42). especially that during my childhood at the age of 5 my mother put me in a boarding school and i suffered a great deal of emotional denial at a small age. For 6 years since i was 5 i went home for weekends once or twice a month. to live that seperation again in relation to my first child which i had great hopes to spend a fulfilling emotional time with at adulthood, is a nightmare that came back. All because of unemployment and so called financial crisis. The funny thing is that i left the country where i grew up because i had a few violent waves of distress and abuse when i grew up other than the far boarding school at 5. i strived hard and achieved a good deal of quality in my creative career and at 40 I left to another country and met my wife and decided this is where i like to spend the rest of my life in. Shortly after marriage my professional work slowed down and during the pregnancy and birth of my first child i was flat broke and things remained frozen for a year until i was forced to go back alone to where i grew up and work there to make a little difference and contribution to the welfare of my new family at the cost of re-detachement. I visit every 3 months but each time i leave the feeling of frustration is greater. Any parent can relate. it is strange when i realise how much the elements in my life insist on not letting me relax. I wasnt a believer in such universal conspiracies or plans or whatever we like to call them, but the amount of negative coincidence after a great deal of experiences with people leaves me bewildered. Every element cintributed against my happiness. Where i am now i can make more ecfort, bit how van one make more effort when he was let down many many times by negative outcomes. I remember when i was an optimist. Now im the opposite. I barely pick up myself every morning to go to work for an income which is barely enough to contribut a little income to my wife and daughter without the hope of being able to go back again and restart something that i can depend on to be able to stay with them. The work that im doing now is with my parents and brothers, some of whom are the ones that caused me extreme troubles when i was little and never mention anything about it or even deny it, the reason why it is not easy for me to cope and try to build something out of it and give more effort as the author of the article above suggests. Nothing sexual, more of the ruthless daily beatings from someone untill the age i was able to hit back and defend myself. And the boarding school at a very small age.


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/25/2016 at 6:30 am

      I can understand the difficult situation you’re in, M. From my personal experience, the best way to change your situation is to change yourself. It’s a process of finding the happier you inside. While it sounds too simple, I found that keeping a gratitude journal helped to re-wire my brain for happiness. When you think differently, you see things differently and you act differently which creates different outcomes in your life. Every day I write at least ten things I’m grateful for and I can’t repeat anything I’ve previously written. This keeps the practice from becoming a rote exercise and forces me to find the beauty and wonder where I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed it. Over time it will change you. You’ll start to see opportunity where you previously saw dead ends.

      You say that you have a creative career. There are endless opportunities on the internet to make a living doing creative things. A quick online search can show you people around the world making money doing just about anything you can imagine, either in their own businesses or on sites like, or Your opportunities are out there waiting for you to find them.

      Your past can’t be changed. It’s your choice to let it affect your present and your future – or not. Forgive your family for your own benefit. They don’t have to know about it. Forgiveness allows you to release yourself from the hurts of the past and create a more fulfilling life for yourself. You deserve that.

      How does the kind of person who already has the life you want with your family think? How does he approach life? How does he make decisions? Be that person. You have it in you. All you have to do is believe it strongly enough.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Get Focused in Your Next Job SearchMy Profile

    Commented:  08/16/2016 at 12:53 pm

    I always thought I knew what I wanted to do for a living. Ive met all 3 of my goals. As a kid I had always seen mysekf as a hands in boue collar kind of guy. Maybe thats because thats how I was raised and my dad taught us the value of hard work/working with your hands. So the 3 goals, #1) I joined the military and served my country, #2) I got to drive and operate heavy equipment, albeit was at a construction rental company but im satisfied and #3) drive a racecar. Thise were my goals before I graduated high school, by age 25 I met all of thise goals. I went back to college and got certified as a pipe welder and worked for a garbage company as a welder for almsot 5 yrs. I now have moved on from that and well ill leave what I do now for the phone call.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/25/2016 at 6:12 am

      Unfortunately, the phone call offer ended a while ago. Congratulations on meeting all your goals! Now it’s time to set some new ones. It’s amazing how much we change as our lives evolve. Our goals and priorities are always evolving as we evolve as a person. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, my goals were things that I could check off a list. As I approach 50, my goals are more ephemeral, more of how I want to feel and experience life. Twenty years ago, I couldn’t have understood that. Life has taught me many things that I’m forever grateful for.

      Find ways to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things. That’s where the real joy and adventure in life resides.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Why Expectations Are the Root of All EvilMy Profile

    Commented:  08/10/2016 at 11:53 pm

    I initially thought i knew what i wanted to study when i left high school. I also left home having to deal with adulthood and managing two jobs while still attending school. I just felt so pressured and i was not doing so well in college. I would get home tired yet i would still try to do some homework. The 1st two years of community college was if i only accomplished 1 year then i changed schools. That helped yet balancing work and school was not easy for me since i was expected so much at work yet getting paid badly. This made me feel dumb and hopeless. It wasent until i had a mental breakdown from all the stress that i was put in a psych hold for almost a month. I ended up back at moms. At this point i told myself i was dumb and useless and i would just work. I was done with school. Again after working and seeing the hortible conditions of minimum wage i entered school again this time i got my associates degree in a breeze. Yes it wasent something i had initially had in mind but i was very happy about it since i had finally at least gotten an associates on something in 1 year while before i had been trying for a degree on biology for almost 4 years. Now im trying to figure out what i did so i can continue on and finally fufill that feeling of acomplishement.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/25/2016 at 6:04 am

      Congratulations on getting your associate’s degree Ileana! That’s a huge accomplishment, especially while working. Society and, sometimes, the people around us expect so much of us without an appreciation of how it affects us. Everyone is different and can handle different levels of stress. That doesn’t make anyone better or worse, just different. I’m guessing that you might do better by taking on one thing at a time instead of three. Focused work on one thing at a time consistently can help you to achieve each of the many things you want to achieve more successfully. Being scattered doesn’t help you accomplish anything. Take baby steps and you’ll get there before you know it!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Unmistakable: The Art of Being YouMy Profile

    Shannon Willey
    Commented:  08/04/2016 at 7:56 pm

    My struggles began during my early developmental years. I was diagnosed with slow processing speed, working memory, and borderline visual processing, and a math disability at the age of seven. I was not raised in a structured home mileu. I began cognitive therapy at the age of 11. I was sent to boarding school at the age of 16 for 2 years due to impulse control issues. I was diagnosed with dysthymia at the age of thirteen and put on medication. When I transitioned back home from therapeutic boarding school I was enrolled into a private day school for students with learning disabilities. After hugh school I attended community college then transferred to a 4 year school. I worked part time throughout high school and college. I always had time management issues. I was offered a full time position as I was graduating from college. I was fired due to truancy and tardiness after making accommodations for me with my schedule, and I still could not get to work on time. I battled with this issue at multiple jobs that I ended up losing. During all of this I have been living with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I got an apartment when I was still in school working part time. This past May I lost a job in my field due to my lateness. I find difficulty in accomplishing anything and I feel anxious whenever I’m in public including jobs. I have always had some social anxiety. I was on a consistent medication regimen until I moved out of my mom’s house when I was 22. I was on medication for depression and anxiety. I am skipping around a lot, I apologize. I lost the job a few weeks later, the job I was offered in June. I lost the job due to not being able to meet the standards after recurving only less than a week of training. The department had lost 3 employees and was looking to fill the spot automatically. So they needed somebody to be able to learn the ropes quickly. My experience in this field consisted less than 3 months when I took the first full time job. This is working on claims. My major is in Human Services and I was working with youth and adolescents with disabilities. I have been having to rely on my family and boyfriend for financial help for the past few years. I had a settlement that ended this past year to supplement some of the money. I am currently working part time for a senior caregiving agency. When I was working in school I worked in retail as an associate then upgraded to a shift leader, at a gift shop. Then I began working for a non-profit agency as a support staff. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression as well as my working memory the past few years. I have withdrawn and only reach out to my family when they first reach out to me. I have 1 friend I talk to weekly when she reaches out to me. Another friend that reaches out to me sometimes. I have gotten together with another friend more than a few times within the past few years. I often feel awkward, because I can’t think of anything to say during our time together or I become anxious when we’re around others. I I have gained about 40 lbs within the past few years. I feel too anxious to go to the gym regularly. I lack routine and I feel hopeless. I am 28 and am in debt. Im seeing a psychologist but don’t feel like that is doing much.

      Shannon Willey
      Commented:  08/04/2016 at 8:08 pm

      I was given an assesment at the age of 14. The results listed that my working memory and speed of processing as well as visual processing were borderline. I was evaluated at the age of 7 and my results put me in the borderline range. I was evaluated again at the ages of 14 and the age of 17 and my full scale IQ listed me in the average range.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/06/2016 at 2:20 pm


      All the tests and assessments that you went through as a child do not dictate who or what you will be the rest of your life. Read the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. She has countless examples (including her own) of people who were labelled as “slow” or somehow “dysfunctional” who went on to become great writers, scientists, psychologists and many other professions. You can become just about anything, if you work hard enough at something you love for long enough. She also brings up the power of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to change your beliefs which will change your actions which change the results you see in the world. It’s also very effective with depression. If your current psychologist isn’t using this with you, find someone else who specializes in it.

      Given your weight gain, memory issues, depression and anxiety, I would highly recommend changing your diet to eliminate all gluten (it has powerful effects on the brain and immune system), “white” foods (white pasta, rice, sugar, potatoes), significantly reduce your sugar intake in all forms and start a daily movement practice like walking or yoga. I personally hate the gym and would never go either. Instead, I practice yoga in my home three or four days a week. As a regular practice over the years, it has dramatically changed me physically and emotionally and brought mindfulness and more happiness into my life.

      I’m also guessing that you’re an extreme introvert (like me) trying to make it in an extroverted world. That will always increase anxiety and depression. Instead of being in groups, try to focus your interpersonal interactions to one-on-one. You’ll get more out of them without all the stress.

      In order to change, you first need a big reason (that’s only important for you) to make any changes you want to make. Next, take the time to write down what your ideal day looks, feels and smells like. Where do you live? Who do you spend time with? What do you do all day? What do you eat? How do you move? What are you surrounding yourself with?

      With that vision constantly in mind each day (start each day by meditating on it for five minutes), identify one baby step you can take every day that will move you a little closer to that life. Research unique jobs that you currently don’t think exist (with a quick internet search, you’ll find someone already doing it). Research people you can contact who can give you information or other assistance on your journey. Get in touch with those people. People love to help other people. It’s always worth asking. If they don’t respond or say no, go on to the next person and don’t take it personally. Everyone is busy.

      Your past does not dictate your future. You have the power to make new choices all day every day. Every little choice you make adds up to create the life you’re now living. Where can you make new choices that will result in the life vision you have for yourself? How would someone already living your dream life decide on what to eat, who to spend time with, what kinds of jobs to pursue, how to be on time and all the other little choices that happen on an average day. You have it in you to do this. You just have to want it badly enough.

      If you don’t start changing today, what will your life be like, how will you feel, in 5, 10 or 20 years? Do you want that? Then make a new choice right now and be open to new opportunities.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Why Expectations Are the Root of All EvilMy Profile

      Matt Gray
      Commented:  08/10/2016 at 4:01 am

      Oh my god i am 28 also and understand everything youre trying to say. Extreme anxiety feels uncontrollable. Ive had it all my life and it holds me back in a lot of things. Its a real issue and not just an excuse. Loneliness especially. I developed a drinking problem bc of it. Ive quit on and off bc of withdrawals but now im deciding to quit for good. I havent drank in almost a week. Good lord quitting was one of the hardest things ive ever had to do. Maybe we can talk more about this? If not, just know youre not alone, no matter how cliche that might sound.

        Paige Burkes
        Commented:  08/10/2016 at 6:22 am


        Congratulations on being sober for a week! That’s awesome!! Keep making that choice hour by hour, day by day. You’ll be surprised where it takes you.

        To help with that process, you might consider choosing a new habit to replace it. That way, when the urge arises, you know that’s your cue to do a different, healthier habit. Maybe it’s journalling or taking a walk or calling a friend – something that can help you process the feelings in a productive way.

        No one is ever alone with how they feel. Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental health issues. For the most part, anti-depressants aren’t the answer. Lifestyle changes and belief changes can be lasting solutions – those “simple but not easy” solutions.

        All the best to you Matt!
        Paige Burkes recently posted..Unmistakable: The Art of Being YouMy Profile

        Commented:  08/17/2016 at 8:42 am

        Congratulations Matt for taking a step ahead.. keep it up mate and repeat it if u go back. Nothing better than a strong will to feel better. Small time workout at home for 10 to 15 minutes daily is very sweet to our happiness.

    Commented:  07/29/2016 at 6:18 pm

    I am stuck and live my life by doing just enough to survive. Whenever I attempt to get my life together, all I do is think negatively. Things such as job searches and intimate relationships are extremely tough. It takes an extreme amount of mental effort and it becomes exhausting. Ultimately the negative thoughts succeed, leaving me walking the same bare minimum path. At this point in my life and 32 years of age all ambitions and motivations are fading away from me.
    Could you please share your knowledge and help me get my life in order?

    Thank You

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/30/2016 at 11:15 am


      First of all, I would suggest that you read Choose Yourself by James Altucher, a man who has turned his life around coming from a place of negativity and defeatism.

      In the big picture, you’re going to have to change your beliefs about yourself and the world. I’ve written a few articles about this (type “change your beliefs” in the search box in the right sidebar here). This is something that takes time and life experiences to change, but it’s very possible for anyone who wants it badly enough.

      Getting very clear on your core values can help (I’ve written more articles on this). If you make every decision, large or small, in support of your core values, your life will shift in the right direction for you. It takes mindfulness, noticing, what’s going through your mind at every little decision you make every day. The results of all those tiny decisions and your daily habits add up to your life. It’s time to be very intentional about everything you do.

      The language you used in your comment reinforces the “I am negative” belief. Saying “all I do is think negatively” affirms to your monkey mind that you must always be negative. Try to catch yourself when you say or write these kinds of things. You’re saying to yourself and the world, “This is the way I am and there’s no changing it.”

      What if you didn’t put so much mental effort into things and simply let things go as they will. Follow your gut/heart/intuition instead of your head. See my article titled “Head vs. Heart, Which Is Smarter.”

      Don’t try to make any big leaps in terms of changes as that would only reinforce what you’re trying to get rid of. The secret to lasting change is to take baby steps every day. Some days will be better than others. Don’t get down when a bad day happens. That’s not proof that you can’t change. Because the good days are proof that you can change. Bit by bit, day by day. If you take one small action that proves to your subconscious that your old beliefs aren’t so true, over time you’ll make great progress.

      One thing that I would say is a requirement for turning around your current beliefs (and I know this from my own personal experience of dealing with depression for years) is to start a gratitude journal/practice. Again, I’ve written articles on this too. Every day write down at least 10 things you’re grateful for and don’t repeat the same thing from one day to the next. Check out: for ideas.

      It is possible to change your life but, most importantly of all, you need a compelling reason (for you) to make it happen. Why is it so important for you? What will your life be like if you make this change? What will your daily life be like? Why is that better than now? This has nothing to do with anyone but you.

      Kevin, I have faith in you. You can change your beliefs and change your life. Whether you realize it or not, who you are and how you are sends ripples out to other people. What kind of effect do you want to have on the world? It’s your choice.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Why It’s Important to Change The Way You Pursue SuccessMy Profile

      Commented:  08/17/2016 at 9:18 am

      Hi Kevin

      I am stuck as well. We live in a financially dependant civilisation which determines our happiness. When we don’t have big finances, i think the best is to enjoy the simple joys that the natural universe gives us free of financial charge. Our bodies, our creativity and our imagination. With our body we can achieve great feelings and results by becoming well fit in walking or jogging and enjoying the fresh air or working-out at home for a while daily building a well fit body and seeing it getting better by the day while listening to our favourite music. Our bodies as well in practicing any sport that we like and can afford at the park without spending. In Creativity there are numerous ways to practice and express it with minimal charge. Painting, making terracotta statues, building ceramic mosaics on old furniture etc…(and perhaps selling it). in imagination we can write stories of fiction about anything we can come up with, or poetry, whatever comes to mind. Combining those three activities in our life can be a great alternative to the dependency on rewards that require serious spending which we dont have. And combining those elements can also bring the chances of getting those social rewards free of charge because by changing our activity we will probably make an impact on others and become desirable ourselves, not with our money. The most important part of all is also free of charge and that is Routine. To do the effort in doing one or more of those activities eery single day even if we suck at it and whatever the others say.

      The good thing is that the bigger financial chances and positions may well come along in the future as well.

    Commented:  07/05/2016 at 7:23 pm


    I cannot seem to get my life together. I lost my job and then my house and had to move back in with my family as an adult to a totally different city and state then where I am originally from. I thought if I finished my degree I would be able to get a job but couldn’t find one. I decided to study programming since that seems to have many jobs in it only to find out it is incredibly difficult and I am frustrated all the time trying to learn it. I spent most of my life wanting to work in one field and when I started to get into it in the city I am in I ended up really not liking it, plus your constantly looking for work in that field. I wanted a field that was more stable so that’s why I chose programming, which I feel is a huge mistake but I don’t know what else to try to do to get out of my parents house and back on my own.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/06/2016 at 3:14 pm

      I would highly recommend that you read my recent post – How To Get Focused in Your Next Job Search. If getting out of your parents’ house is your highest priority, then it doesn’t matter so much what job you take (waiting tables or bartending at the right kind of establishment (higher tips) may be just what you need). Don’t feel like it’s “below” you because you’re a college grad. I did it for a while after seven years at a big professional firm while I was trying to figure out what to do next with my life. Working nights can give you the time during the day to focus on figuring out your next move and the money to get out of your parents’ house.

      At this point, you’ve had two experiments: doing what you thought you would like and programming. What have you learned from those experiences and, more importantly, about yourself that you can take into your next experiment? What are your core values and what kinds of businesses or customers support your values? Be open to new ideas from any source – friends, comments from strangers, things you read.

      When I took a couple years off to figure out what to do next in my life, I had no idea how long it would take or where I would end up. I just followed my intuition and looked forward to each experiment, each learning experience. I waited tables, travelled to Costa Rica (where I had two job offers), managed a dude ranch, managed a horse ranch, managed the books for a small college, trained horses and worked with a couple therapeutic horse riding centers. All that after graduating college with an accounting degree, working for a public accounting firm and having no experience with horses or ranches.

      After all that, I pooled everything that I learned about myself, my experiences and life and created a vision for what I wanted my life to be. Then I started taking the actions to put those pieces together. And an amazing life has evolved from there.

      Wendy, your possibilities are endless. What you choose next is only the next experiment and will last for as long as you choose. Nothing is forever. The most important things are: getting clear about your values and taking action. Every baby step is important, whether you bump into a wall or walk through the most amazing door. Learn from each step. You’ll never get there without taking baby steps.

      Pull out your journal and write about what you want your perfect average day to look and feel like. Who are you with? Where are you? Where do you live? What do you eat? What are your friends like? What do you do all day? Be as specific about every aspect as possible. Spend time with this each day. Take baby steps every day to turn this vision into a reality for yourself. Ask the future you who is already living this life what the next step would be. What would a person who has that life do in every situation you find yourself wondering what you should do? Live from that place and you’ll be surprised to find yourself living your future life in no time. I’ve done this a few times in my life so I know it works.

      All the best to you!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Get Focused in Your Next Job SearchMy Profile

    Commented:  05/31/2016 at 3:56 pm

    Hi, I’m 29 year old female that hasn’t had a job in a really long time, which makes it hard to find work because people are afraid to hire me. 2 months ago I went through a huge breakup after 2 years with the person, and now I am starting over from scratch on what I want to do in the future. I live in a small town with hardly any opportunity and my main goal is to leave here and hopefully have a better life and provide one for my little brother who is handicapped.

    Right now I am considering 2 things, I wanted to go to college for computer science, but found out they don’t offer it where I live. They only offer an Applied Science degree, which is basically a certificate and once you complete the course you go straight to a job. Should I just do that or should I attempt to get 2 part-time jobs and save up till I can move to a place to get a CS degree. Any advice is much appreciated!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/31/2016 at 6:03 pm

      From my own personal experience when I was your age, your situation isn’t bleak. I had a “good job” until I was about 28 and couldn’t see myself doing what I was doing for the rest of my life. I was also burned out. I had no idea what I wanted to do or should do. I ended up taking what I now call a two year sabbatical, although I had no idea how long it would last when I started it. You can read more of the details on my About Me page. After spending two years doing absolutely nothing related to my degree or previous job (accounting degree, public accounting firm experience from which I left to manage a dude ranch and train horses), I decided that I wanted a different life for myself.

      During my sabbatical, I waited tables, worked in stables and trained horses for almost minimum wage and did whatever I had to in order to simply feed myself. I never felt it was a hardship. I lived in a bunkhouse and on a mattress in the back room of a double-wide, wherever friends would let me stay. I was on a journey to learn more about myself and each step was a learning experience. I also went through a divorce during this time.

      At about the two year mark, I realized that I wanted my own ranch and horses in the woods. I knew that I would have to go back to my corporate job to pay for that, but I faced it differently. Like you, I was initially afraid that no one would hire me because I had been out of the “real” work world for so long. Instead, interviewers were intrigued that I had taken the leap that they had always wanted to. It showed that I had courage in the face of adversity. It ended up having absolutely no impact on my job search. It all comes down to how you “spin” or market all of your experiences, especially the non-job-related ones (like caring for your handicapped brother).

      So much has changed over the past 20 years and opportunities are easier to find. In your case, I would most definitely NOT waste your precious time and money going to a college for computer science training. As quickly as technologies are changing, what they teach in schools today was out of date two years ago. Get online and find free and cheap courses and certifications. There are tons of them on sites like, and tons of others. I taught myself everything I know about web sites, blogging, marketing, social media and much more all for FREE by looking things up on the internet. Google is your friend.

      You can leave your small town whenever you want. You don’t need a ton of money in the bank. Take some time to visualize the life you want to live in infinite detail. Where are you, what is your home like, who do you spend your time with, what do you eat, etc.? Pick a place or direction and go there and see what happens (I followed my intuition that simply said, “Go west.”). Take whatever job you can find to pay the bills while you refine your education (from online learning) and the type of job, business and life you want to create for yourself.

      Take a baby step of action every day. Keep your vision of your ideal life alive in you every day. Start a gratitude journal and write at least 10 new things that you’re grateful for every day. It’s an incredibly powerful practice.

      You have the power to create the life you want. Believe in yourself. You no longer have to follow the traditional rules because they’ll all lead you to unhappiness (from my and many other people’s experiences). Make your own rules and live by them. If you think your ideas are crazy, Google other people already doing them and connect with those people.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How Technology Is Rewiring Our Brains and Why We Need to UnplugMy Profile

    Commented:  05/02/2016 at 11:47 am

    I am a single mom. I am so worried. I have a mortage a car payment all utilities everything a person has. One thing i have no way to really pay for it nor a job at the moment. I made mistakes in my life and i let panic attacks from the age of 9 mess my life up with the choices i made. Now i have no education in collage made tons of attempts now have so many student loans and never finished school. My parents helped me alot and now that they have passed away and i didnt do anything with my life i am so screwed. Now i dont knw how to get out of the mess i put my self in. I want to go back to school even tho im 41 but to go back id actualy have to go. I quit a job i did have which did not pay the bills because of a man who was running around on me i was with for years and guess i got super sad about it. My oldest daughter moved out without notice. She is in collage now she talks to me but i havent heard her voice just texts since aug of last year. I have 2 other children that are so awsome. I justw ant to make something out of my self and want them to be proud of me. And i want to be proud of my self. Im so worried and never really had guidence. Well my father would always say i dont knw what u r going to do when im not here. He was always worried about us. Even before he died he said i hope yall are going to be ok. He did leave atuff stuff for me when he died but his wife took it all. And ran. I got nothing of my dads. She hated we were so close. Now im n a town with no family and to be honest i really dont have much left. I knw im 41 but i have to do something now i just dont knq how i am going to do all this. Anytime i tried and tried getting my life where it needs to be it was either panic attacks or life events stopped me from being able to. My credit is horriable die to student loans i didnt even finish the school which they were for. Yes i had so many opportunities to do something with my life but didnt and im so stupid i didnt. Because being like this and worried all the time how u r going to pay for something keeps u up at night makes u so upset when u finally see that u have to do something to better your self now. And i dont even how. Sad i knw. Pathetic yes. I dont knw why i was so stupid. And i can tell u panic attacks till i was n my late 30s from 9 year of age really messed my life up as well even tho i knew what they were . Any advise? Thank you

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/09/2016 at 9:57 am


      Don’t allow your past to limit your future. It sounds like you’ve overcome your panic attacks (which is a huge accomplishment) so you can overcome what you’re facing today. Each day and each moment is an opportunity to start over in a completely different direction.

      You also need to be prepared to take 100% responsibility for everything that is and isn’t in your life today. “Life events” may be out of your control but you’re completely in control of how you respond to them. See them as the opportunities for learning and growth that they are. Take some time to journal about what has and hasn’t worked in your life. What can you learn from each situation? How could you have acted/responded differently to create a different outcome? How can you use that knowledge moving forward in your life?

      To help you with a next step, you might consider seeking out community services in your area that help with vocational training and assistance. Also, to boost your confidence, take a job – any job – to get your mind moving in a more positive direction. While you’re making money at that job, take time to consider what you enjoy and what you’re good at, ways that you’ve helped people in the past. Use that information to focus on a job more suited for you.

      See every little action that you take as a baby step toward the life you want. Do you know what you want? Take some time to write about what you want your life to look like. Without a direction, you’ll end up wandering in circles wondering why you’re not making progress. What does progress mean to you? What can you do today and tomorrow that will take you one baby step closer to that.

      The road probably won’t be easy. Consider the growth and learning you’ll experience along the way. Think about the person you’ll be in one, five or ten years if you take baby steps each day toward what you truly want.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Be Happy While Achieving Your GoalsMy Profile

    Commented:  05/02/2016 at 6:33 am


    Im desperatly turning to you because I have been begging God to help me find someone like a mentor.

    Im 29 years old and I have a beautiful son who is 2 years old. The last couple of years I have becoming more and more depressed. I have isolated myself from everything and I feel so disabled. I almost can’t take care of myself or my kid. I am still with his dad because I am so lonley. My family don’t want to do with me because I don’t have a job, and I can’t get myself toghether. I hate myself so much, i have gone to therapy…
    I eat anti depressants…

    I don’t want to live but I am afraid of dying. I know it has alot to do with self confidence. I just can’t catch a break, im trying everything. I am thankful for what i have but I am so broken please find it in your heart to help me. I have no one… I have nothing just ruined my life and I feel so guilty aswell because I don’t know how to get well atleast so i don’t ruin my son. I don’t how to get started. I can’t get myself to change. Please don’t dismiss i don’t know how to go on.
    I live in Sweden btw.

    Kindly yours Ess

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/02/2016 at 10:53 am


      If you have a core belief that, as you say, “I can’t get myself to change,” then you won’t change and your life will continue the way it is. Nothing in your life will change until YOU change and that happens from the inside out. Most change doesn’t happen without a strong enough reason “why” that’s deeply important for you (like being an example for your son).

      There are many other people in your situation (please read many of the other comments and my responses below). It’s so common for those in their 20’s to feel like lost failures due to the lies we’ve been fed up until that time that tell us that we’re supposed to be happy and have our lives figured out by then. It doesn’t work that way. From today until the day you die, your life is an experiment. Some parts will be great and some parts will completely suck. With each step or phase, take some time to figure out what you’ve learned about life, about yourself. Use that information to make a better choice for yourself in the next step.

      You’re young and have plenty of time to change your life. I dropped out of a “good job” when I was 28 and took off for two years with no plans. It was the best two years of my life. I actually had no idea how long that phase would last. I simply took the next steps and learned an immense amount about myself along the way. I also made that learning process a part of my life that continues today. I’ve had jobs and businesses that have been great and horrible. I’ve been through two divorces. Some days are awesome and some days suck. That’s just how life is. The key is how you choose to respond to it all. You’re never being punished. Life is simply trying to get you to learn something new. Be open to that.

      Please read the comments and my responses below. Then read the books Choose Yourself by James Altucher and Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. Then go out and find ways to help other people. Every little action counts. Then end each day by FEELING how grateful you are for everything little thing in your life. Check out my other posts on gratitude.

      Your life has only begun. You are 100% responsible for what happens next. What’s your next baby step?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How Technology Is Rewiring Our Brains and Why We Need to UnplugMy Profile

    Greg Leach
    Commented:  04/20/2016 at 5:16 pm

    I’m just tired of a lot of things and feel a lot of guilt, my family and my whole life has been destined for struggle is how I really feel! My parents fought a lot when I was a kid so I was brought up in a war zone and I feel like i have ptsd from it. I’m constantly depressed over relationships, my job, my living situation, my finances, my luck! I wish I was a positive person but I feel like a beaten down dog. I work so hard and try sk hard to do the best I can and j can’t help but to think the world around me is where the flaws lat. I cant seem to change my negative outlook I feel like i was destined downtrodden no matter how hard I try not to be its ingrained in my DNA. I’m a 28 year old man and I don’t think I understand love but I seem to be best friends with hate no matter how much I don’t want it. I never asked to be put here a d I never asked for the horrible past I’ve had. No matter how much I know I’m a good person from having to go through all that b/s I can’t seem to feel happy. I just feel number and number like I’m buried alive. I see happy people and I won’t lie I get angry, I see a happy guy with his girlfriend and I get angry. I get woman I’m not interested in trying to date me and woman I’m interested in won’t even look at me. I work harder than an average man and I get less in return, I can’t afford a home I can’t afford a date. I can’t find a girl who is interested in more than what my wallet has in it or what I look like. I feel like the world is full of materialistic arrogant people. It’s like every where I look I see narcissism like it’s the new cool thing.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/23/2016 at 1:43 pm


      It sounds like your upbringing may be having a stronger impact on your present life than you give it credit for. Your depression and negativity could be coming from beliefs about how you and the world should be that you absorbed from your parents. And your PTSD comment may not be far off. I would recommend seeing a therapist that specializes in using EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) which is especially effective on PTSD.

      While my next recommendation may seem a bit “out of left field,” there’s plenty of science behind it. I would recommend changing to a gluten-free diet. For lots of background on why this is so effective in so many types of emotional issues, I highly recommend reading Grain Brain by David Permutter, a top neurologist, who has cured seemingly uncurable cases by simply having his patients go on gluten-free or grain-free diets.

      I don’t think things like “thinking positive” or similar advice is what you need. Take the time to find an EMDR specialist that you “click” with and stick with the practice and I know you’ll have dramatic results.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Defeat Depression with a Simple Daily PracticeMy Profile

    Commented:  04/12/2016 at 11:15 pm

    Where to start… I’m 24 years old, I have been in and out of my parents house since I was 18, moving at least a good 6 or 7 times. My biggest goal in life is to travel and to have a family and settle down, has been since I can remember… But I seem to keep running myself in an endless circle never getting where I want. I build myself up and just when I think it might stick I fall… every time. I’ve had my own car and lost it I’ve had my own place and lost it I’ve had multiple jobs but with all my health issues the last 5 or 6 years I can’t seem to keep it. I’m working now and staying with a friend and my parents gave me one of there old vehicals which I’m very grateful for, but I have to be out in less then 2 months my car is ready to give at any moment I don’t make enough at my current job to even attempt to pay bills let alone save, I’m scared I if I get another job in going to make my health issues worse again and end up in the er every week again. I have raised myself since I was 11 years old and struggle so hard to be independent and not rely on anyone because I’ve never been able to without it blowing up in my face is being told you wouldn’t have that or this if it wasn’t for me. I just want to be a normal 24 year old who can work as much as needed to be able to stand on my feet, pay for a reliable vehicle, and have a stable place to live that I can call my own somewhere I can start a family. But my biggest struggle has to be the fact that I’m 24 with pcos and can’t seem to concieve, with a huge chance of getting cervical cancer, and a pap that just came back with abnormal cells, with a world surrounding me full of pregnancy and people with kids (even the ones that don’t deserve them or want them). I believe in God and the question I have asked him my whole life is why…what did I do?? I am screaming for help and advice and guidance that I just can’t seem to find.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/23/2016 at 12:29 pm


      The first thing to do is stop asking why. That question will never be answered and will only keep you where you are. Instead, examine your beliefs about yourself, the way you think life should be, the way you think other people should be. Have these beliefs helped or hurt you?

      Beliefs are simply beliefs, not facts and not reality. While it may seem like reality, it’s only because your subconscious constantly looks for things that support your beliefs and ignores anything to the contrary. How have your limiting beliefs kept you from the life you seek? What kinds of beliefs would support you in achieving and living the life you want? How can you change one belief today? Look for evidence to prove your limiting beliefs wrong each day. Look for evidence to prove your new supportive beliefs correct.

      An underlying belief that you’re not enough or not worthy can cause you to unwittingly take actions that sabotage the things you want.

      Many of your comments convey the message that, “this is the way things are” which also creates the internal story that “this is the way things will always be.” That’s definitely not a given. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your life, your habits, thoughts and daily actions. It’s all of those that create your outcomes.

      No one can fix you or change your outcomes for you. It’s up to you to do the hard work on yourself. When you change how you see yourself, love and accept yourself as you are, it’s amazing how other people and your environment seem to magically change. I’ve personally experienced this a few different times in my life.

      If you want to travel, then start making plans to go somewhere. Do an online search for “travel hacking” to learn how to travel the world very inexpensively. Many people have created a whole lifestyle around this including singles, couples and even families with kids.

      It’s up to you to create the future you want. Dwelling on why things suck will only ensure that they continue to suck. Start taking actions toward the life you want and forget about whatever has happened in the past. Take three small action EVERY DAY that will move you toward your ideal future in baby steps. Your first step could be to sit down and write, in excruciating detail, what your average awesome day is like. The next step would be to figure out how to live that day in some small way and do it.

      What will be the next thing you’ll do today to bring you toward the life you want?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How Technology Is Rewiring Our Brains and Why We Need to UnplugMy Profile

    Commented:  04/11/2016 at 9:49 am

    Hi there! I am 27 with two college degrees. Sometimes I feel like finding meaningful work is too difficult, or that I am not qualified enough for it. Any consultation would help. Thanks!

    Commented:  03/22/2016 at 1:01 pm

    Hi, I’m having trouble with getting my life in order. I’m 24 and the twenties are supposed to be the age to mess up and go through a lot of failures. However, that notion just doesn’t sit well with me on the inside. Even though I have a problem with failure, I just cant seem to get out of this never ending cycle of disappointing myself or others around me. Once I mess up I end up giving up and thinking that there is no way to fix the problem. Which creates a bigger problem in the end. And even though I know this will happen the fear of disappointment in people’s faces and scares me into not rectifying the situation. I know I have the ability to do better but I just can’t seem to stop making myself my own worse enemy.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  03/28/2016 at 12:41 pm


      I wouldn’t look at your 20’s as the time to “mess up.” Quite frankly, most of us spend time throughout our lives messing up. The important thing is learning from your experiences and discovering how to act or think differently next time. The way I see life, there’s no such thing as “failure.” Everything is an experiment. Whether something is a success or failure is solely based on whether it met someone’s expectations or not. Who has the power to decide if those expectations were right, wrong, realistic or not? And what does it matter what they think?

      The concept of disappointing yourself or others comes from the core belief of not being enough, which I’ve written about in other articles. The way society treats us as we’re growing up, we’re always compared to others and told how we need to improve, which usually involves improving our weaknesses instead of our strengths. All that leads to a constant and ingrained sense of not living up to someone else’s expectations or not being enough. There’s no level of “doing” that will fix this. You have to change your thoughts and beliefs which takes time and baby steps.

      Instead of thinking of this time as the time to “mess up,” consider that this is a time of great adventures and experimentation. It’s a continuation of your education in the real world. Focus on what you’re learning about yourself, your passions, your strengths, what you can contribute to the world, what you’re great at that you take for granted that others think you’re awesome at.

      I know it’s hard, but do your best to not worry about what other people think about you. They’re so worried about what other people think of them that you shouldn’t waste your time on it. You’re got you to take care of.

      Do your best each day (which will vary). Some days are better than others. Every day won’t be amazing – unless you decide to see it that way.

      Problems, failures, disappointments are all opportunities to learn. What are you learning and what will you do with that new knowledge today?
      Paige Burkes recently posted..6 Ways to Ignite Your Passion For WorkMy Profile

    Commented:  01/31/2016 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Paige,
    I am having problems letting go of my past. Right when I turned 18 I wanted to try moving out and I found a room mate that I worked with who I didn’t know very well but we were acquaintances and he always seemed really nice and we had a lot of the same interests. I just got into a new relationship at the time so I didn’t want to move in with him yet. The only reason I moved in with this guy was because he was gay so I thought my boyfriend would be comfortable with that. I was also attending college full time and working part time in a place that was high demanding. My room mate was only working and I felt like I had been doing more to contribute than he was. But I knew he had less of an income than I did so I was okay with it. I was also trying to start an online business to make more money and I had no idea what I was doing. Soon after all of this I had two hospital visits and the bills were adding up. Then right after I had a car accident and totaled my car and I didn’t know what to do. I had no car and I had no way to get to work or college and the accident was my fault so I got no money back. I was in over my head with everything and me and my room mate were constantly arguing and me and boyfriend were also having problems. I ended up breaking the lease early and moving back in with my parents. My room mate was not happy which I expected but he tried to be understanding. He felt like I abandoned him and that I was trying to punish him. He trashed the apartment and left the mess for me to clean. I felt incredibly hurt, resentful and angry. I went on medical leave from my job and I’m trying to figure out what to do from here. The hardest thing for me to figure out is what I can learn from all of this so I can move on. I keep going over and over trying to figure out where I went wrong and I can’t figure it out. Do you have any advice? It would be appreciated. Thanks

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  02/13/2016 at 2:09 pm


      It’s great that you’re asking what you can learn from all this. Asking why it happened is a futile waste of time. Blaming yourself or other people shifts responsibility and disempowers you. Don’t do it.

      With regard to your boyfriend and roommate, you can’t control their reactions. You need to focus on taking care of yourself first. Put yourself in their shoes and look at the situation through their eyes (their attitudes, their beliefs, their backgrounds) as best you can. From that position, see if you can feel compassion for their situation. If not, that’s OK too.

      As for roommates, in the future, have a written agreement (doesn’t have to be anything formal, just written) that you both sign where you agree about what each pays for rent, utilities and anything else related to the place. Also agree on what happens if either person can’t pay the rent and utilities and what happens if either of you need to break the lease.

      Now that you’re stuck at home, this may be the time to focus on building your online business. There are tons of free resources online. Find other people who are already successful at the type of business you want to build and learn from them. It takes time (at least 18 months when you’re working on it full time) and a ton of hard work to create a successful business, on or offline. Don’t let anyone sell you something different. If you’re not willing to put in the hard work, then you may be better suited for a job where you can use your talents, skills and passions. Not everyone is cut out to have their own business.

      Going forward, I would recommend taking the time to better understand yourself and your values, talents and passions and how you can use those to make money. I highly recommend the Live Off Your Passion course over at Surrounding yourself with supportive people is also key. They talk a lot about that at Live Your Legend.

      Life is a series of experiments. No failures. Just experiments. Learn from each one and implement what you learn as you move forward.

      And enjoy the ride!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Mindfulness at Work: Managing Stress When Everything Is Hitting the FanMy Profile

      Commented:  08/17/2016 at 9:29 am


      You seem that you have done everything perfectly. Sometimes its like that, even during the beginnings for the most successful people in the world. You sound like a strong person, full of life and can take whatever knocks we get. Forget the car and move on in the (safe healthy) path that you find open. Any path even if it is very narrow at the start. Keep pushing and do some workout every day. Speak to yourself and show the world what you are capable of. It looks like u had a strong accident and you survived with your health and thats what matters. You have what it takes and the entire world is open for you. Go for it and don’t let anything negative hold you back.

    Commented:  01/06/2016 at 3:28 pm

    I hope your still doing this, but I find the biggest problems in my life are actually my relationships, and with just a partner, but with…everyone.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  01/06/2016 at 3:52 pm


      The only time there’s a “problem with everyone,” it’s a problem with how you’re viewing the situation. While you’ve given me very little to go on here, I’ll refer to the saying: When you point a finger at someone, you’re pointing three fingers back at yourself.

      I’ve written a few popular posts on “dealing with difficult people” that you might want to read to get started. Please email me if I can help you further.

      All the best to you!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Secrets to Stronger Bonds in a Committed RelationshipMy Profile

    Commented:  10/14/2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hi Paige,

    Not sure the post you posted on the 12th is to reply my post. But thank you for the wisdom words, which does work in most time. Just I feel my situation seems not be able to be solved or eased by just listening to my inner voice.

    I am 45 this year. Been married with my husband for 18 years. During the first half 9 year, we were both busy with work, life and self-growth, was a good companion to each other. But in the second half of 9 years, I started to feel the distance and unfilullfilled emotional needs piling up. Tried many times, totally lost the hope to bring each other back on the same page anymore. Now, I totally distanced and gave up, while at the same time, my husband doesn’t feel anything wrong and doesn’t think deeply of any resistance that I have shown. I even tried to discuss the option of device with him, but was dismissed by him without digging further of the reason. I tried to go away for sometime on my own to give us both some space and time to think and decide, but he wouldn’t let me leave. I want so much to leave him, but am afraid to hurt the kids (we have 2 wonderful kids) and hesitate to hurt him too. So here I am, stay in the marriage, so called for the kids, marriage and financial wise, yet feeling dead and stuck, struggled to live through everyday. That is the first thing I feel trapped and stuck, see no way out.

    The second is my career. I have been self-employed since the first child was born. I had a grocery store for 3 years, then it was out of channel ge for me, I sold the business. Then the second child came, right after he was born, I started a new business and has been running it for the past 8 years. At the year of 6th, I felt it was out of chanllenge again and then started a construction project for the past year. Though I love to get involved and manage the construction project, I do feel it is not a field that can improve me to a higher intelligent level. So at the point, I am still running my other business, but so eager to start something new that can lead me to the next level and explore myself even more, which can also distract myself from the somehow non-functional marriage. But I feel so empty on the knowledge right now and can’t find a way to start and everything seems too far and too late to reach. I feel so locked up.

    As to listen to your gut, I am somebody always do and very gutsy when coming to start or try something new. Even right now, on the career, I am not afraid at all. Just feel stuck that I can’t find a way or a direction to go. As for the marriage, the only thing pulls back is the care that I have for the kids and him( I do care for him, but I can see myself not loving him anymore). After all, I don’t want to hurt them. But how can I live the rest of my life feeling trapped and choked, always feeling like a big stone piled on my chest?

    I really need some helping hands to guide me through this. Feel so hopeless.

    Thanks, Paige!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/17/2015 at 11:29 am


      This is definitely not a simple problem to solve, especially in this online forum. It sounds like you and your husband have both grown into different people than who you were when you were younger. Maintaining a lasting relationship takes work on a daily basis by both partners. Not focusing on each other and improving the relationship while allowing a busy life to take over is a recipe for what you’re experiencing.

      At this point I would recommend seeing a qualified counselor or therapist who can work with you and your specific issues. It would also be beneficial to find a group of women with whom you can meet to discuss how you’ve worked through similar difficulties. The caveat with this would be to ensure this is a group of supportive women, not just a gossip group or a place to bash partners. That would only make your viewpoint more negative.

      Having divorced my current husband (we re-married a couple years later after we had each grown and learned more about how to maintain a positive relationship) with two small children involved, I can understand your quandary. My parents stayed together “for the kids” and it was quite obvious that they didn’t like each other. Being my only role models for how to have a relationship, it took me many years to figure out how to fully commit to my partner and how to work on and develop a fulfilling relationship.

      Staying together for the kids may or may not be a good thing. Divorce is always very difficult for kids. Your kids are learning how to have relationships by following the example that you and your husband set.

      Learning to love and accept yourself and set appropriate boundaries, in or out of a relationship, are critically important for you and your children. This should be done before working on your relationship.

      If you and your husband can work on yourselves and on your relationship to rekindle the love you once had, you can also set a great example for your children for what’s possible when you commit to something important.

      From my experience, this is not something that happens overnight and can take years to unravel. Working with a therapist can be a safe way to take those first steps.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..Secrets to Stronger Bonds in a Committed RelationshipMy Profile

        Commented:  10/19/2015 at 12:38 pm

        Thank you so much for your help, Paige! Really appreciated! Guess seeking consulting is the last option left. Been thinking about it for quite some time already, and also tried some baby moves in the past few years. But didn’t push it hard. I am kind of scared and hesitating to bring the truth up to the table and tear it open in front of him. Now, look like there is no other way to go….

        What is the purpose of life?

        Thank you, Paige!

    Commented:  10/10/2015 at 8:37 pm

    I feel stuck in my life, both in marriage and career. Feel emptiness and eager to grow both in knowledge and ability. But can’t find a clear way to go. What shall I do?

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  10/12/2015 at 10:59 am

      While it may seem simplistic, doing something – anything – different can help nudge you from the feeling of stuckness. What should you do? Listen to your True Self by sitting still in a quiet place, free of distractions. Take ten deep breaths, focusing only on your breath. Once you feel peaceful, ask your heart or your gut (both have powerful “brains”) what they feel has been lacking, what your True Self wants.

      Be open to anything that comes up. It may make sense to you as something that you know you’ve been suppressing in yourself. Or it may make no sense at all. When a message comes from your heart and not your monkey mind that screeches about what you “should” do, you’ll feel a sense of peace from its message.

      The first time I did this many years ago, I was working a competitive corporate job in downtown Boston. The message that came through at that time loud and clear was, “Go west and do something with horses.” It made no sense given where I was in my life but its call was unmistakable. I followed that call and my life changed in such magical ways that I couldn’t have imagined.

      Learning to listen to my True Self over the ensuing two years was the beginning of my journey to live the life I was meant to live. It’s an evolution and learning process that never ends. I see each new day and experience as an adventure. I wake up with excitement and curiosity many days, wondering what the Universe holds for me.

      This has had a dramatic impact on my marriages, my career and, most importantly, myself.

      My suggestion would be to take the first step that your True Self hints for you. And if you’re having difficulty hearing your inner voice (it can take some time to quiet the noise inside in order to hear your heart’s desires), just do something out of the ordinary. Before I began my journey, I took a pottery class. In that creative process, I began to see myself more clearly. Maybe for you it’s writing, painting, singing or dancing.

      By giving yourself permission to take that first step, you open the door to your own journey. Be patient and be bold. Try to quiet the “should’s” and listen to your heart. As you begin to tune into your inner voice, the next steps will gently (or not so gently, if you don’t listen to them) make themselves known to you.

      From my own experience, I know that these suggestions may seem a bit frustrating because they don’t “fix the problem.” Unfortunately, these feelings took years to build up and will take time to unwind. Be patient with yourself and the process. Begin writing in a gratitude journal daily. It’s the almost imperceptible baby steps that lead to the biggest and lasting changes.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Be Happy While Achieving Your GoalsMy Profile

    Commented:  09/25/2015 at 1:35 am

    Hello Paige

    I feel hopeless and sad. I have Master degree in biotechnology and i have worked in research and due to some personal reason i have quit that job. since from last year 2014 iam jobless and not doing anything. My dream is always to work in research related to life science and now iam taking online course for clinical research to pursue my career in life science industrial job. but my problem is i do not know where to look for a job, how to contact a people to pursue my career.i have upload my CV in every recruitment website. i am 38 years old and i have financial problem including loan. I always got rejected..sometime i feel too frustrated. I am afraid that iam not going to get any job and i do not want to depend upon my family.I am sad ,scare and hopeless and stuck.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  09/26/2015 at 4:14 pm


      My first suggestion would be to take the focus off of you and place it on others you can help. Find a place to volunteer and offer any services you can. This may have nothing to do with your career. What are you naturally good at and enjoy helping others with? You could help an organization, friend, family member or stranger in need.

      I would also suggest that you read Choose Yourself by James Altucher. He walks you through the process he went through to pull himself out of a hopeless time or two in his life. I know that his steps work.

      There are tons of online resources that can walk you through many steps of contacting employers. Do online searches for things like “how to find a job,” “how to find job opportunities” or “life science/biotech jobs/careers.”

      Posting your CV to web sites is only one of many ways to put yourself out there. How about attending seminars and conferences or meetings of trade groups in the life sciences arena? Put yourself in situations where you have to meet the kind of people you want to work with. When you’re there, speak to as many people as you can. Ask questions about what they do and what they find interesting. Ask about the projects they’re working on. Do NOT ask for a job. Find little ways you can help them on a personal or professional level. Volunteer to help them as an apprentice. This is how the most amazing opportunities are created.

      Here’s an article I wrote on how to talk to people at events like that:

      Read this article on how to create your own job opportunities:

      Life is never hopeless. There are always opportunities waiting for you. It’s up to you to get out of your comfort zone to find them.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Change Your Beliefs To Change Your LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  08/29/2015 at 8:07 pm

    Hi Paige,
    Thank you for such encouraging article and I would love some advice if you are still offering!!
    I have been feeling particularly stuck and lost recently. I have felt like this fkr a long time but always tried to brush it off and keep going instead of really reflecting. I am recently getting even more stuck but this time I want to resolve it as I feel now is the time to make a change.
    I did a masters in fine art few years ago which was really productive but since finishing I’ve made next to no artwork and have all but stopped even drawing. I was working quite a lot until recently in a hostel for homeless people- I am still in the job but I am now doing less hours and my contract finishes in 2 months time. I love my job as it is unbelievably rewarding and special but that’s not what I want to have a career in, I want to be an artist and I feel I have made too many sacrifices already! It hurts when I think I am not even remotely on the right track…
    The other thing (and I think they are both connected) is my relationship. I am living with my boyfriend and I don’t feel good about us anymore. I just feel like I have given up and I used to always try try try. I feel like I lack any energy, that he is not the one for me but then I convince myself that we can work on it. He is absolutely lovely and I don’t want to hurt him but why am I so confused?? In a world so tough, I want a teammate at home, not someone I just tolerate.. Regardless of how much I try, things are not going smooth between us, the spark is gone and I feel really lonely. We have spoken about things and he wants to wofk on things but how do you work on things if the spark is not there?
    So all these fears and anxieties completely panic me and I don’t know what to do. I have just turned 31and I guess there is the fear of having to know where my life is going at least and I have the constant feeling I really have failed. I just want to be happy with myself and satisfied but I feel I have lost so much of my self esteem, that I am pushing myself into a corner and constantly comparing myself to other ppl which is hardly to road to happiness but I can’t help it.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/30/2015 at 12:27 pm


      You’ve made a huge first step in identifying an area to work on – your self-esteem. You can’t fix what you can’t see so being able to see this is great!

      You say that you stopped creating art when you started working at the hostel. Did this bring up feelings of not being enough by seeing others struggling? Art can be quite therapeutic – especially for those facing homelessness and all of its related issues. What if you introduced art to those you’re working with? Help them to express themselves through their own unique art. For many, homelessness springs from low self-esteem. At the community behavioral health center where I work, we offer a variety of art and creative classes and have art shows where we display our clients’ works. This has been so beneficial for them.

      From my own personal experiences, I think your relationship issues are directly related to your lower self-esteem. Work on yourself before you try to work on your relationship. When you change, your relationship will change. You’ll be beating your head against the wall (and frustrating your boyfriend) if you try to work on your relationship now.

      It may also help to find a group of budding artists who are also struggling with getting their art into the world (but are making some progress). You could look up some of your classmates or go to to find local groups – or create your own. Spending time with people who understand and support you is huge. Isolating yourself will only send you further down the path you’re working to avoid.

      At 31, you’re still young. It’s crazy to think that what you decide to do now will be what you do for the rest of your life. We’re always changing and evolving and what we do should reflect that. Don’t think about what you’ll do for the rest of your life. Think about what you’ll do tomorrow and let the rest take care of itself.

      There’s no such thing as failure. Throughout life you try things, have new experiences and learn from all of it. When things don’t work out as you expected (aka “failure”), think about what you can learn from the experience and take different actions next time. Learn, grow, experiment and find ways to help others with your gifts along the way.

      You’re perfect just as you are. You’re adding value to other people’s lives with your art and your generosity and all of your other gifts that you probably can’t see. Ask your boyfriend what you do better than anyone else. These aren’t tasks necessarily but ways of being.

      You are a gift to the world. Look for ways to spread your gifts in little ways each day.

      Many blessings to you!!

    Commented:  08/10/2015 at 12:49 pm

    I have a hard time releasing old bad habits, I seem to make progress and then in one motion suddenly I’m fully immersed in them again. Struggling with worrying a great deal what people think about me (social anxiety), phobias, lack of forward movement in my life including motivation to do anything about it, feeling like I don’t belong anywhere or have any purpose and am not successful at relationships, or anything else I endeavor. I’m restless and conflicted with my life and feel extremely unfulfilled. I want to change but feel so overwhelmed I don’t even know how or where to begin.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/16/2015 at 2:00 pm

      Much of what you’ve described is a result of not accepting yourself as you are. I’m speaking from personal experience as I’ve dealt with much of the same for most of my life. Learning to love and accept yourself unconditionally is a process.

      Here’s a post I wrote about feeling like you’re “enough:”

      And one on feeling like you’re enough to improve your self-confidence:

      To push me past my social phobias (I’m a major introvert who has learned to be an extrovert when necessary, although it takes a ton of energy), I had a point in life when I had to network with lots of other people. I wrote about that experience here: It was incredibly scary for the first couple of months but, once I stopped caring about what other people might think of me, meeting people became a joy and my social phobias began to disappear.

      Like you, I’ve been unsuccessful in relationships. My current marriage has lasted as long as it has mostly because of my husband’s willingness to hang in there and work with me. I actually divorced him but we remarried a couple years later. Most of my relationship issues boiled down to not accepting myself and, as a result, needing the acceptance of others at every turn. By seeking acceptance only from outside sources, I couldn’t truly commit to anything or anyone. I felt restless and always ready to move on to the next best thing.

      Getting stuck in old habits is another symptom of not accepting yourself. The old habit keeps you in a state that you don’t want but your subconscious doesn’t think you’re fill-in-the-blank (good, smart, etc.) enough to change. When you know that you’re totally awesome just as you are right now (and you are), you can start to reprogram your subconscious because you have a reason to change.

      As long as you define yourself as the type of person who is and does all the things you don’t want anymore, it will be impossible to change. A person who says, “I’m just a large person” will never find a diet that works. They will always put on any weight that they lost because they see themselves as a large person and a large person has to weigh and feel a certain way (and it’s not thin).

      Many “find your passion” programs start with the question: If time and money weren’t an issue, what would you do every day? I’ll suggest this one for you: If it didn’t matter what anyone thought, what kind of person would you be? How would you think, feel, speak, dress, eat, etc.?

      From my own experience and from many discussions I’ve had with other people, we achieve the deepest level of acceptance from others after we fully accept ourselves and can express our uniqueness to the world. Artists, writers (and just about anyone else) will tell you that their work didn’t start to become “great” until they discovered their unique voice and got up the courage to release it into the world. For writers, their great work is the work that they’re the most scared to publish.

      Yes, it takes a lot of courage to be yourself and accept yourself for the unique person that you are but the rewards and happiness that come as a result are so worth it. You’re worth it.

      As a first step to begin your journey, go to and find a group near you who is meeting about a topic you’re passionate about or that you’re merely interested in. Don’t tell anyone else. You don’t need anyone’s approval to go. This is just for you. Go to a few of these meetings to get a feel for them. The first time (or two or three) will probably be horrible. Do NOT let that stop you. Keep going. It will be hard but it will be worth it.

      You’ve begun a new journey. Enjoy the ride because there is no final destination.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How To Change Your Beliefs To Change Your LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  08/08/2015 at 6:48 pm

    Hi main problem is money,have other problems too though too,depressed,stress, anxiety,social phobia,have two is difficult stays with nan mostly. scared to lose youngest son. have no friends no issues.;(stuck never been this bad.volunteered had bad experiences,in jobs,relationships i stand my ground.and people dont like it.hate my life.god help a damn circle. I’m 36.

    I feel dead and numb inside since,my father died 2007 and havent worked since,previous partner screwed me in head,health problems started to.come in picture want to work so many damn issues, im grateful for food,kids,etc but im no good,my youngest son is my rock but hes growing up fast i want to give him so much more.hate him seeing me like this.i never was like this but angry,bitter,annoyed,depressed to the point i want to die or feel like a zombie,i cant really work with people i want to work but something i can handle.tried studying online having problems there.everything i do goes life has made me stagnant.i stumbled across this site,glad i did, im frugal thank god and dont ask for alot. want to take my son abroad and have decent job:(

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  08/10/2015 at 12:26 pm


      My first suggestion would be to find a behavioral health specialist (therapist) to work through the issues with your father and his death. From your comment, that’s when things started to go downhill. You can find a specialist to work with through local community organizations (I work at one in my area) and it may not cost you anything.

      You’ve made many statements that convey that you have limiting beliefs about yourself. Here’s a post I wrote about identifying and changes those beliefs that don’t serve you:

      And here’s a post about turning around your anger toward life:

      I would also recommend reading Choose Yourself which I reviewed here:

      Whether it’s for work, volunteering or just to do something different, you might want to find a community garden in your area where you can help out. Working with plants and growing things can be very therapeutic and, once you learn the basics, you don’t have to be around people much. The behavioral health center where I work just converted an old house into a community garden and wellness center where they offer therapeutic services that integrate gardening. Whether you live in a rural or urban area, there are community gardens everywhere. To find a local farm or garden, check

      If you don’t want to lose your son, take some time to sit down with him and discuss what you want your life together to be like. Where would you live? What would your home be like? What would you do each hour of an average day? What would you do for money? What would you eat? Where would you go? How does all of this make you feel once it has been realized?

      Write down your vision in tons of detail. Read it daily and feel the feelings as if it’s your reality.

      Each day, think of one or two little things you can do to move you a little closer to that vision. Don’t think that you can’t get there because of where you are. Amazing things are possible when you want them badly enough. Daily baby steps are incredibly powerful. I’ve gone from jobless and homeless to having a great job and owning my own ranch in less than a year using these methods. It’s possible for you too.

      If your son is as important to you as you say, then he is your “why,” the big reason that you must push past where you are to get to where you want to be. When things get tough, look in his eyes and say, “You deserve better and I’m getting better every day for you.”
      Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  07/21/2015 at 5:08 pm

    I’m forty and have nothing. Been married 2 times and for 11 years the second time. I’m a single father of two boys. I lost it all. But I have what’s most important and that’s my kids. I have them 24/7 365 I just won’t to make a better life for them. But can’t seem to get it together. Please help me..

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  07/22/2015 at 4:14 pm

      With the little you’ve given me to go on, Shannon, I would suggest that you read Choose Yourself by James Altucher. I reviewed it here:

      It’s never too late to turn things around. In the book, James lays out a simple yet very powerful daily practice that can help you to turn your life around. He developed it himself when he was near suicidal.

      It’s great that you’re prioritizing your kids. Remember that they are always absorbing who you are and what you do. It would be a huge benefit to them to have that daily practice rub off on them.

      Remember that it’s a daily practice. Some days are better than others. There’s no straight line up. Don’t judge yourself for the days that aren’t better than the day before. Learn from them and move on. Always learn. What can you learn from your life up to now?

      If you want it to be better, what does “better” look like to you in detail? What does a great average day look, feel, sound and smell like? What do you do every hour of the day? Who are you with? What do you eat? Where do you live? Write it all down and keep that paper in a place where you’ll see it daily.

      Every morning, write down three things you’re going to do that day that will bring you a little closer to that vision. These are the baby steps. These steps can be simply making a phone call, doing some online research or visiting a store. It’s the baby steps that create lasting change. Do them every day and one day you’ll wake up and realize that you’re living that vision. I’ve done it twice in my life when I had no idea how I would get to where I wanted from where I was. Both times it was a big stretch to imagine my vision ever becoming a reality but it works. Believe in it.

      Believe in yourself to make it happen. You have what it takes.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Turn Anger and Resentment Into HappinessMy Profile

    maria mora
    Commented:  06/23/2015 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Paige,

    I know I’m probably three years late but I figured I’d give this a try.

    I am 25 years old and unemployed. I graduated college early at the age of 21 and it’s been a challenge finding steady employment. I’ve been hired and fired, gone months without working, worked for free in hopes of getting paid in the long run, worked 3 jobs at the same time and it still wasn’t enough money, worked jobs that have drained my soul, switched careers, and now I’m barely getting by with my freelancing gigs.

    I feel like I’m at a standstill. I feel like I’ve tried everything and I’m not getting what I want in life. I feel stuck and I don’t know what to do with my life right now. Help please!

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  06/24/2015 at 5:09 pm


      Your story is incredibly common these days. College doesn’t buy you much of anything so it’s up to you to create the life you want. For many people, a job won’t get you there. You’ve got to do the hard work to build something that’s uniquely yours. It sounds like you’ve started that with some freelancing.

      One of the biggest game changers in life is to surround yourself with the right people – people who are already doing what you want to do, who will support you where friends and family may not.

      The first thing you’ll need to do is to take some quiet time to listen to your True Self and find out what you want from life. What is your gift to the world? How can you help others solve their problems in your own, unique way? Ask people who know you well what you’re naturally great at. No matter what it is, do NOT think that you can’t make money doing that thing. People make money doing anything imaginable. Just do an online search on the topic and spend some time researching the people that pop up. Then send them an email saying you’re interested and ask how can you help them (offer something specific).

      Scott Dinsmore has created an amazing community of people starting exactly where you are and getting together to create all kinds of magic around the world. His web site is Life Your Legend at I’ve met Scott and his wife a couple times and they’re amazing, authentic people. One of his missions is to connect people and create supportive and inspiring communities around the world. You can find out more about these meetups here: He offers a paid program (which I recommend) called Connect With Anyone that can show you how to reach out to all those people you may think are unreachable. It’s easier than you think.

      Another resource that I highly recommend is this post about starting from scratch. This could also be a replacement for college or what to do in midlife if you’re looking at a complete career makeover. Here’s a synopsis from the post: “In this post, Michael will discuss how uber-successful people leapfrog their peers without any formal credentials. By the end of this post, you’ll have a roadmap for hacking “job requirements,” degrees, and the lot…”

      Your past doesn’t have anything to do with what you do with your present and your future (I’ve written a post or two about this). Everything you’ve done up to now has been a learning experience. There is no failure. What have you learned about yourself over the past four years. What do you love? What do you hate?

      Write out your perfect average day in as much detail as possible. What do you do each hour? Where do you live? Who are you with? What do you eat? What do you wear? What brings you joy? Look at what you’ve written every day and think of five things you can do (little things) to get you a little closer to this ideal. Then go do those things. All these baby steps will add up to a life you love. It won’t just happen one day. You’ll be living it and suddenly realize you’ve done it.

      All my best to you Maria!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to get it all done when you’re only humanMy Profile

    Commented:  06/18/2015 at 7:49 am

    i like your post

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  2. Wande
    Commented:  05/29/2015 at 12:31 am

    After I broke up with my ex in 2013, my life has literally slowed down to a stop.
    first I got traffic tickets for old tags and lost my driving rights, then I lost my job.
    I stay with my man who takes good care of me and I thank God for him everyday.
    Pros of unemployment: I’m so grateful for the standstill stage in my life. I’m home all day, with lots of free time.
    I spend more time in prayer and reading my Quran.
    I want to open a new chapter in my life, I thought of joining the military so I can have more financial independence.
    I feel like I’m not fulfilling my full purpose in life because I’m home most of the day doing very little.
    I feel like I’m not using my time well. I want to maximize use of my time to rebuild my strengths.
    I miss having my independence and income. So I became an online seller, I sold an item for $80 and felt great about that.
    I need a guide and mentor to help me channel my energy the right way so that I can start the next chapter of my life.
    Please help me rediscover my self, my talents and my purpose in life.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/29/2015 at 2:30 pm


      It sounds like you have a positive outlook on life which is huge! Spend some of your free time writing about what your average perfect day would be like. Write out every detail of what your life/day would be like. When would you wake up? Where would you be? Who would you be with? What would you eat? In precise detail, what would your home be like? What would you spend every hour of the day doing? What would you wear? This is your vision for your future. Once you’ve completed it, refer to it daily and feel the feelings that would go along with living like this.

      Do you know what your purpose is? It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose. It could be quite simple. What gifts do you innately have that can help others? What skills have you always had, that you might take for granted because they come so naturally, that others have complemented you on? Sometimes it’s difficult to see these gifts in ourselves so it might help to ask others close to you who know you well.

      I would also recommend reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. The book takes you through all the steps from getting your attitude straight, focusing on your purpose and turning that into a business. The process takes a lot of hard work but the payoff is definitely worth it.

      I would also recommend finding a way to volunteer to help others. This could be with organizations, friends, family or strangers – wherever you see a need that you can fill. Give for the sake of giving, expecting nothing in return. Your gifts to the world will be returned to you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

      If you want to stay aligned with your purpose, don’t do anything “just for the money.” That never turns out well. Do it because you feel called to it, because it makes your heart happy.

      All of this is a process that takes some time. Be patient and flexible. Learn from each step of the process.

      Many blessings to you Wande!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  05/25/2015 at 12:21 pm

    I have 2 kids, an 11 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. If it were not for my daughter I would’ve probaly killed myself a long time ago. My son is bad, fat, and annoying. My boyfriend of 10 years plays no role in the kids life. He doesn’t even talk to them. The only reason I am still with him is because I have no control over my life and need him financially. I have tried, tried, and tried to find a good job, but even with a degree I have yet to maintain good stable employment. I feel like there is a boulder in front of me and no matter what I do in life I can not get around it. My life is miserable and I have no idea what I am doing wrong. Any advice is great appreciated.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/28/2015 at 3:17 pm


      What do you want your life to look like? Are there aspects of your life that are you mirroring what you grew up with? Everything in your life is there because of choices you make all day every day.

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say that you have no control over your life. If you’re dealing with mental health issues or severe depression, I would highly recommend you seek professional help. If money is an issue, there are a variety of community mental health services available across the U.S. for free or very low cost (I work at one in Colorado).

      If you’re not working with mental health issues, then you absolutely have control over your life. If you feel that you don’t, that’s a choice you’re making. You’re choosing to give your control to others which never leads to happiness.

      If you can’t hold down a job, how about starting your own business? How can you help others? Take some time to think about what you love to do and how you can share your passions with others in ways that can help them. There are also many community resources that can help with getting and keeping a job or starting a business.

      Are there reasons why you can’t love and accept your son? Do you have a hard time loving and accepting yourself? If you do, that may play a big part in why your life is what it is.

      In addition to seeking professional help, I would also recommend books like Choose Yourself by James Altucher and Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. Both authors turned their lives around from near suicide to much happier, balanced lives.

      Change is possible. You have to want it badly enough to take the tough baby steps every day to create the changes you’re looking for. Create a vision for what you want your life to be like in infinite detail. Choose one small action that you can take that will move you in that direction.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  05/24/2015 at 9:47 am

    Dear Paige,

    Thank you for your advice. I still have few questions about what you have commented
    1, I do want to change of course and I am already working on loving myself but what can I do more about that ?
    2, what do you mean by taking full responsibility, can you explain further?
    3, I love to be free is there something wrong about that?
    4, how can we change our beliefs ?

    And please note that my problem is not wanting my husband sexually which is hurting me a lot. We are going to couple therapy now and we only improved on the level of communication not sexual.
    I ve already told you I chose to marry a good man whom I respect but not in love with hoping that I will fall for him later but I didnt, I don’t like the idea of him making love to me.
    Adding to that I am working on my self with the therapist to determine if it is that don’t want kids knowing that I was trapped all my life and now I want to live freely .
    I considered divorce but the idea scares me as I am afraid that I will regret it later knowing that he is a grest guy .

    Please may you help me more

    Thanks a lot

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/28/2015 at 4:02 pm


      Making the changes you’re working on (loving yourself, taking full responsibility, changing your beliefs) all take time. It’s different for everyone. Sometimes you’ll see changes in months and other changes occur over years. One way to move things along a little faster is learning to accept everything as it is. That’s the first step in changing things. It sounds counter-intuitive but it’s not. As long as you’re trying to be “not your old you,” the more you’ll be your old you. Accept yourself as you are today. Don’t fight or resist it. Acceptance allows you to leave your past behind and focus on what you do want, the person you want to be. Who is that?

      Taking full responsibility means that you fully understand and believe that everything in your life is there because of choices you have made. You can’t blame anyone for things being as they are. From this point forward, when you take responsibility for your life, you’re not expecting anyone to fix your life for you. When things don’t go well, you don’t point your finger at a person or situation and say it was their fault. You ask yourself what you could have done differently and learn from the situation. Then you choose to act differently next time. There’s no judging of people and situations. Everyone is on their own journey. Everything simply “is” until you put a label on it based on your personal experiences. If something is missing from your life, it’s because you haven’t done what it takes to put it in your life. If someone isn’t acting the way you want, it’s up to you to change your own actions and reactions. You can’t change the other person.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being free. But what does that really mean for you? In my own life, I avoided commitment because I thought it would tie me down and significantly limit my freedom. Once I got over that fear and learned to truly commit to myself and my family, I found that commitment actually created more freedom. My fears of being confined by commitment limited my freedom more than anything else.

      Changing your beliefs takes time and lots of repetition. The first step is noticing the beliefs you currently have that limit your ability to create the life you want. For example, it seems to be your belief that you must be married in order to be happy. Spend some time on that and ask yourself if it’s true. Can you find other unmarried, happy people? I know of many. Do you have the belief that marriage and commitment limit your freedom? Reading books like The Marriage Sabbatical might change your mind. What are your beliefs about how a husband and wife “should” be in a marriage. A marriage can be anything you want it to be. It’s up to you to write your own rules that support your happiness.

      Notice your beliefs and the ones that get you to make choices that are counter to the life you want. Ask if those beliefs are true. Make a conscious effort to find evidence to the contrary. Our subconscious is programmed to find evidence to support our beliefs and to ignore anything to the contrary so finding this evidence will take work.

      Ask if your belief is helping or hurting you. Think about where the belief originated and if it was from a source that you want in your life.

      Changing your beliefs takes daily effort and time. Your beliefs are mental habits and it takes work to change life-long habits.

      Regarding your lack of sexual desire for your husband, take your time. Don’t rush this. Working on your ability to communicate on many different levels should come first. Work on becoming best friends first. Learn to share, trust and respect each other fully as friends before taking that into a sexual relationship.

      After I divorced my husband (and removed the sexual aspect of our relationship), we found that we could actually be good friends. Without the expectations that we both had about what a marriage “should” be, our disagreements fell away. Over the course of the following year, we became best friends, talked frequently and honestly, went on trips together and other things that friends would do. Then one evening we found ourselves looking into each other’s eyes romantically. We took it slowly and rekindled the love that we had lost and got married again.

      I would recommend taking a break in the relationship and not pushing the sexual side of things. If you’re worried about losing your freedom, work with your husband to see how you can express and experience freedom as you see it in your relationship.

      All the best to you Annie!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..The Key to Making the Impossible PossibleMy Profile

    Commented:  05/24/2015 at 7:40 am

    Hi I’m really confused Paige. I hope you can give me advice. I feel like I’m stuck in my past.

    I’ll start off with my childhood. Basically I grew up thinking my Grandmother was my mum and my mum is my sister. My grandfather as my dad and my uncle and auntie as my brother and sister. I grew up with my grandmother since my mum worked abroad so she can provide for me. My grandfather and my uncle and auntie was abroad too so I have a special connection with my grandma since she raised me. I didn’t find out the truth til I was 13 when we moved from the Philippines to UK. My mum brought me here with my brother and step father. They didn’t tell me. I found everything out by myself. I saw my birth certificate. It was in a folder along with other documents. I found the folder at the bottom of a box where we store beddings and pillow cases. Out of curiosity I opened the folder because it was such a random place to put a folder in. I’ve never seen my birth certificate so I was shocked. My sister’s name was written on the mothers name section and for the father’s name section it was someone that ive never heard before. I didn’t know how to react. I kept it for a year and finally out of the blue I’ve asked my mum and stepdad who my dad is.. They were trying to cover it up but i told them that i already seen my birth certificate. My mum then explained what happened. My grandma basically planned everything because she didn’t want gossip and she thought it was the best way. My real dad wasn’t really a good guy for my mum and my real dads mum wanted to sell me that’s why my mum escaped from them and went back to my grandma and took me with her while i was still a baby. It wasn’t really a good thing back in the day to like have a child with no dad. I think this is the reason why my grandma planned it. I feel like this whole situation has scarred me for life 🙁 im 20 now and its been 7 years since i found out the truth but it still haunts me. It’s so confusing because my supposedly brother in law is actually my step dad and my sister is my mum.. lies are still carrying on up to this day. Everyone we know here in the UK thinks my stepdad is my real dad because my mum doesn’t want people to talk about us. She doesn’t want people to know about everything. I have to pretend and call my stepdad ‘dad’ when other people are around. I usually call him ‘kuya’ which means brother in our language. My grandma and grandfather now lives in Florida. She left me in the Philippines when I was 8. I was left with my uncle because he came back home from abroad. He raised me from then and 2 years later my mum got married to my stepdad. Me and my step dad don’t really get along well. We just really don’t talk to each other. He never beat me up or anything. When I found out everything about my identity my grandma made me feel like I have no rights to be angry. I remember talking to her on skype and up to this day she still says im lucky that my step dad accepted me. Little did she know my step dad also has a child back home! I found out because I read his phone once and I know it’s wrong but basically this person is calling him dad and was asking for money. So I told my mum and she begged me not to tell my grand ma about it. I respected her decision so I kept my mouth shut. I have to listen to my grand ma praising my step dad all the time and it really frustrates me. She thinks he is a saint and everytime she talks about how lucky I am that he accepted me I try to change topic and she gets pissed off. I feel like im putting up with everyones crap basically and its really draining . To be honest I have never said bad things to them when I found out. Since I felt like I didn’t have the rights to be angry.. I took it out on myself. I remember self harming for 2 years. I don’t anymore. I had troubles controlling my anger. Since then little things pisses me off and I was always grumpy. I do feel unfair for my mum because she is trying but I was pushing her away. I couldn’t help it though. I had my first boyfriend when I was 15. He made me happy but every time we argued I would be really angry and make small things a big deal. We were together for almost 4 years. On and off. He was always the one breaking up with me but I always beg him to stay. There was a time when he broke up with me back in 2012 where I tried to end my life. I ended up in hospital for a couple of days.. I just felt like if I lose him I have nothing. We got back together months after that. After being in the hospital I have realized a lot of things so I tried to make myself better. Ive stopped cutting my self and I have gotten so much better at controlling my anger. I used to smash things when im angry. Its like turning into a completely different person.
    Im now living in a different city from where my mum and step dad is. I decided to move out 7 months ago to do a course. I got a job here and stayed. Im working full time and I love my job. I forgot to mention that I also have a younger brother and he treats me as if im his full sister. This is why I love him so much because out of everyone in my family, he is the only one who hasn’t lied to me or kept anything from me. I decided to move out because living with them under one roof is so hard. Me and my mum argues most of the time, I was always grumpy, I don’t talk to my step dad. It wasn’t healthy anymore. I wanted to make my self better. Im so much better now and my relationship with my mum is much better. I open up to her more and we don’t’ argue anymore. But I feel like my whole past situation is affecting my current life .. I basically feel like I push people away who are actually trying. I don’t know why. Im trying to figure out what it is. This guy basically put me in a situation where I had to pretend I was someone else… He plays basketball and they have this manager who is gay. He basically supports them and sponsors their team. This guy lives 3 hours train ride away from me and 6 hours by coach. He was always coming to me to see me. After a month of seeing each other he asked me to come down to his area so I can watch their game. I decided to go for it to show some effort. I went there in January this year and basically this manager likes him the most and if he finds out that me and this guy are seeing each other he will stop the sponsorship for the whole team. I sat there for 8 hours and his team mates told me to pretend im someone elses girl friend and they even changed my name because the manager might look me up on facebook bla bla. So I came there to go through that and he wasn’t talking to me all day cause obviously the manager cant know. We had to pretend we don’t know each other. I was so angry.. but I didn’t know the area so I couldn’t go anywhere and my stuff was at his house. Basically he was really sorry and it was fine in the end. Ive not been back since though. Before all this happened though I can see that he really likes me. There was a time where I said hes better off with someone else and he came here the next day to say sorry. It was really sweet. He has done a lot of effort for me. He went on holiday for 3 weeks after I went to his. It was booked ages ago. Anyway when he came back we had another argument and he did the same. He came here the next day and it’s the first time weve seen each other since he went away. Hes always been nice to me even though there are times that im mean to him and push him away. Since the whole manager situation happened I cant get it off my head! It was only last month since we stopped talking as normal. I went down to see him last weekend so we can talk proper but we couldn’t since people are always around. We were at his place. When I see him I cant help but feel a bit annoyed because of that. I know I should just get over it but I can’t.. I feel like my past has a lot to this with this?I don’t really know im just confused right now trying to connect the dots… anyway me and this guy are not talking anymore because of me. I always push him away and went to the point where he is now probably tired of my crap. He waited an hour for me and I was quite horrible to him the whole day. I was always contradicting everything he says and I was just mean.  I couldn’t help it. I was only there over night so left early next morning and we were texting each other that we do need to talk still properly. 2 days later this girl I know messaged me saying ‘are u here? We should meet up!’ so I said im not why? Then she said she saw a picture of a girl with her face covered on this guys social media and thought it was me. I was obviously not happy so I messaged him.. he said believe what I want to believe and he doesn’t need to explain this one cause he don’t like the girl. I was a bit horrible to him then I realized I was wrong. I apologized to him and now hes not replying to me. Its only been 2 days but I feel like a mess. I don’t know whats wrong with me. Im sorry I know this comment is so long and thank you so much if you have read up to here. i just feel like maybe i havent accepted everything yet fully? I have never met my real dad but i found him on a social media website. I wanna meet him someday but at the moment its not a good time since hes so far and he hasnt really made an effort to see me. we dont even talk.. we only did a few times..

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/28/2015 at 4:29 pm


      It sounds like you grew up not being allowed to be who you truly are because of societal norms. While you didn’t like it (and who would?), it became part of your subconscious programming because of its pervasiveness in your early years. Now, after 20 years of subconscious “recording,” you’re playing back the recording by rejecting those who might accept you for who you are.

      Kuddos to you for taking the big step and moving out of your mum’s house. There are so many of us who have much more positive relationships with our parents after creating some distance. You need to look out for yourself first.

      If you want to let go of your past, you’ll need to forgive all of your family members for doing what they’ve done. Ultimately, they were looking out for themselves and their reputations. See if you can see the world through their eyes. What were their childhoods like? What were their parents like? If you grew up the way they did, can you have empathy, compassion and understanding for why they made the choices they did in life?

      After forgiving (which you only need to do for and with yourself – you don’t have to tell them), you’ll also need to learn to accept them and all of the past for what it is – lessons for you to learn from. The more you resist things or wish them to be different, the more they will play a negative role in your life. Accept what has happened and let it go. Learn from it and decide how you will be different.

      Decide what kind of person you want to be and find ways to express that every day.

      If you don’t want to push people away, the next time you’re angry, take a deep breath and decide to act differently. If you don’t know what to do, do nothing. That’s different. If you feel like arguing, remain silent and listen. See things from the other person’s point of view which was created through their lifetime of experiences.

      Life is what you make of it from today forward. If your past is holding you back, it’s because you’ve chosen to allow that. Make new choices. Take new actions. What would your ideal, happy you do in those situations? What would she say? How would she handle things?

      You’re young with a whole lot of awesome life ahead of you. Decide to make things different. There’s no failure, only experimentation. Keep what works and change the rest.

      All the best to you!!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to HappinessMy Profile

        Commented:  05/28/2015 at 5:17 pm

        Thank you for your response Paige! I really appreciate it. I will try my best and take action and to forgive them all.. As for this guy whos far from me.. do you think its best to leave it or carry on?


          Paige Burkes
          Commented:  05/28/2015 at 6:33 pm

          My recommendation would be to leave it. It seems that you simply attracted more of your past (people rejecting the real you). We all tend to keep attracting the same patterns in relationships until we learn the lessons. As I recently read in The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda: All relationships are here to teach us something about ourselves.

          The more courageous you are in expressing and owning (being confident about) who you truly are in your heart, the more open you’ll be to finding just the right person. At this point in your journey, I would not recommend trying to start a new relationship. Work on yourself and healing your past first. When you’re in a better place, you’ll begin attracting the right kind of people for you.

          Instead of “trying your best,” commit to the change you need to get yourself to a better place. With commitment, there’s no trying. There’s only doing until you get there. You’re the most important person that you need to think about.

          Big hugs!!
          Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  05/17/2015 at 2:51 am

    Hello Paige,

    I have grew up like so many other in a dysfunctional family with physical and emotional abuse from my parents . There is barely a relationship with my brothers and sister. I am 34 years old married woman to a great guy whom I respect a lot but not love. I was trapped with my family and I wanted to run away by getting married to good person with hopes to love and have a family with. After going for years to therapists and psychiatrists and coaches I still feel I am really stuck in two subjects that I’ll mention in a while. But first know that I had two affairs during my marriage and I really feel guilty about it. It is over now. But as I ve mentioned earlier I am stuck in two subjects. First I am not attracted to my husband sexually and I do sex with him just to please him. And second I am really scared to have a baby and make a family and can’t stand the idea of commitment and responsibility. I am working on fixing my marriage with a couple therapist but I feel burdened and don’t know what to do more. I have meditated and prayed. I mean I am so scared to get divorced and regret it later. I don’t want to take pills to heal my depression . Please help !

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  05/18/2015 at 12:22 pm


      From my own experience and what you’ve written, all of your issues boil down to your statement that you “can’t stand the idea of commitment and responsibility.” Without taking those two concepts to heart and living them every day, your life will continue as it is.

      It’s no one’s job to fix you (husband, family, friends or therapists). You MUST take responsibility for your own life and fix yourself. Other people can guide and support you, but you must do the hard work on yourself. When you take complete responsibility, there’s no blaming or complaining. Everything in your life is there because of your choices.

      If you want things to change, YOU have to change from the inside out. You’ll have to change your thoughts and beliefs (this is where mindfulness can help) and you’ll have to change your actions. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always received.

      Before working on your relationship, work on yourself. Work on loving yourself completely. Until you can do that, you can’t love anyone else completely.

      From my own experience and history with blaming and judging, I can tell you that it never leads to happiness. My husband and I hit a wall years ago and got a divorce. It wasn’t until after we made the split and I had the time and mental and emotional space to work on myself that we figured out how to work together better. We ended up getting remarried.

      I also learned to take commitment seriously at that time. I learned that commitment means 100%, not 99%. There’s no “maybe, if things go bad…” You’re either in or your out. Commit. If you’re committed, it isn’t a burden.

      At this point, I would STRONGLY advise NOT having a baby now. That will not fix anything and could make the whole situation worse. Think about this: What kind of example do you want to be for your child? How would you like her to grow up? Start being that example now.

      Focus on taking full responsibility for everything in your life. Things get much easier when you can take that step.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  04/24/2015 at 7:36 am

    I’m a married mother of 7 small kids and one on the way in just a few short weeks.I don’t know how to explain this but I grew up my entire life with no family support or friends. My life story is too long so Imma try to make it short. As a full adult with my own family and yes my husband is the father of all 8 of my kids. It seem like things are always short lived I go though so much and get so little. I’m a type of person that always give to other just to see them happy. Me and my husband always do good deeds but when the time comes for us when we need help in the time of need it’s like life and God turn it’s back on us. My current situation is I have been home bound since February cause my family van had died plus we moved to this state 4 months ago and to live in the Pocono Mountains a vehicle is a must. Now we have no vehicle my husband can’t work I can’t get to a doctor appointment and my kids are suffering just as bad. They get sick we are ass out. Plus we really have no way of getting food in the house. Things are just going from bad to worse. We have no one to go to for help never did and we don’t know what to do.

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/24/2015 at 11:58 am


      While you may be short on friends and family, there are always local organizations that are there to help. All you have to do is ask. These can be churches, community groups, neighbors, community or county agencies, food banks and the like. You can find what’s available in your area by looking in the newspaper, phone book or searching online for “community assistance program” followed by the name of your town and state. Here’s a web site I found after searching “pocono mountains community assistance” – I live in a very rural area and know of many local resources that are ready to help.

      As far as getting the family van running again, do you or your husband have services you can offer to trade for the van repairs? While this can be very difficult in urban areas, it’s much more acceptable in rural areas. All you have to do is ask.

      Have you met many of your neighbors yet? If there are any local/neighborhood get-together’s, attending these would be a great way to meet other people and ask around for available services. Instead of asking the people you meet if they can help, simply ask them if they know of places you might call for help.

      Help most likely won’t show up and knock on your front door. You’ll need to go out and look for it. Things will change when you believe in your heart that they are changing.

      Your past doesn’t create your future. Your choices and actions in the past created your present and you nave the power to change things. Your choices and actions today create your future.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..My Life Sucks – Now What Do I Do? Read on…My Profile

    Commented:  04/13/2015 at 5:12 am

    Hi , I’m 32 and have been working on cruise ships as a singer for the last 8 years . In that time I fell in love and after 3 years it ended I was heartbroken . 4 years later he came back into my life promising everything after a while I gave him a chance he failed and it actually didn’t hurt as much but was still very upsetting as it was another year I wasted on him. My voice was damaged on the ship from being over worked and stressed with a band unfit for the job Last November and I am now home living with my parents as I can not afford to live in my own place as I am unemployed and finding a big struggle to get any sort or work . I try to keep positive and read all the self help and I’m loosing hope . I’m isolated I have no money I have no job I have no voice no interaction with anyone I have a wonderfull supportive parents and nice friends who listen but there is nothing happening Around hear for me it seems I don’t know what else to do. I need a mentor but where do I find one ? I live south of Sydney in the suburbs . I can’t afford to go out or join groups . I’ve applied for so many jobs . I feel my self confidence dropping as I have nothing to be proud of now ..only the memory of who I used to be….and I have followed my passion for nothing I’m in debt and lonely
    I’m loosing the plot please help !

      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/20/2015 at 12:17 pm


      My first word of advice would be to read a couple books I reviewed: Choose Yourself by James Altucher and Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. They’re both honest stories of people who have lost it all (and didn’t have supportive family and friends to support them). They both offer concrete ideas for turning your life around when it seems that nothing is possible.

      Besides reading these books, I also recommend finding ways to volunteer and help others. What are your unique talents and skills and how can you share those with others (teach them to others)? What are you naturally good at that others admire you for? How can you teach that to others or share those skills with the world.

      Start today with one baby step – like ordering the books or finding them at the library. Every day take one baby step. Another great book is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. Take action. Your awesome life is waiting for you to uncover. It takes work but it’s definitely worth it.

      I’m wishing you all the best and an amazing life!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..10 Steps To Create Your Amazing LifeMy Profile

    Commented:  04/06/2015 at 5:50 pm

    Hmm well

    I am 47 years old, single mom, own my own business.

    My oldest son was in a horrible accident in August of last year. He needed round the clock care for almost four months. So I stayed home with him.. I have spent all my savings, college money I had saved and am still behind on bills. Not to mention he has almost a million dollars in medical bills

    My youngest goes to school 15 miles away. I do a ton of driving

    I am back to work, I love what I do. I faux finish rooms in model homes for a builder.

    I should be thrilled son is on road to recovery, and I’m back to work. I am tired or depressed or both. I can’t concentrate on anything.

    I can’t seem to pull it together.


      Paige Burkes
      Commented:  04/20/2015 at 12:04 pm


      You’ve given a ton of yourself and your life energy to support your sons. It’s completely understandable that you feel tired, depressed and unable to focus.

      While it seems that things are improving in your outer world, your inner world needs some repair. It’s time to take care of you. It’s not selfish at all. If you don’t take this time for yourself, your fatigue and depression will begin to damage the things you value in life.

      What can you do for yourself each day or week that feeds your soul? Maybe taking a relaxing bath at the end of the day or taking a class in something you’ve always been curious about. If at all possible, take a little time away just for you. Maybe a camping trip – time in outdoors can be very healing.

      This shouldn’t be a one-time event. What can you build into a regular schedule that feeds your heart and allows you to relax? Beginning a meditation practice can open other doors. This gives you a quiet time each day just for you.

      It may also be beneficial to find groups of women who have met similar challenges to the ones you’ve worked through. These kinds of support groups and relationships can also be incredibly healing. Look for these and other groups on If you don’t see one in your area, create one. It’s very likely that there are other people in your situation looking for people like you.

      You deserve as much loving care as your sons. If you don’t give yourself that gift, no one else will.

      Big hugs to you Mindy!
      Paige Burkes recently posted..How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to HappinessMy Profile

    Commented:  04/06/2015 at 5:43 pm

    Well here goes.
    My oldest son was in a horrible car accident in August. They told me he wouldn’t walk for 6-8 months. He was in hospital for three weeks, in and out of ICU. He needed constant round the clock care when he was released. I did not work for almost 4 months. Needless to say I spent all my savings, both kids college funds, and He still has almost a million dollars in hospital bills.

    He is better now I have returned to work. I love what I do. I faux finish model homes for a builder.

    I also have another son who goes to school ten miles away. I do a ton of driving….UGH

    Not sure if I am just tired, depressed, or both

    I cant seem to pull it together, can’t concentrate on anything for very long.

    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

    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.

    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:  12/11/2014 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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:  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

    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:  05/17/2014 at 8:09 am

    Simply wanna tell that this is handy , Thanks for taking your
    time to write this.
    Jacquelyn recently posted..JacquelynMy 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:  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:  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:  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:  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:  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:  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:  08/22/2013 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

    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:  08/15/2013 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

    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

    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:  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

    Patrice Basso
    Commented:  03/18/2013 at 2:41 pm

    How do I get the FREE sessions? Patrice

    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.
      Paige Burkes recently posted..My Beliefs Have Hijacked My BrainMy Profile

  3. Pingback: How To Be Enough

  4. Katy
    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

    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

    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:  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

    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!!!

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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!!

    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:  06/15/2012 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!

    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

    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

    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


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