When you think about your future, you visualize a vast gray field full of flightless, colorless birds who have lost their voices.
When you get up in the morning for work, you are filled with unspeakable dread.
When you try to breathe, fear fills your lungs instead of oxygen and you only take super shallow half-breaths.
When you remember the person you were in the past and feel disconnected from him/her.
If you cannot remember your childhood dreams.
If your goals seem like distant memories.
If your energies are being sucked into other people’s dreams and your own dreams are withering in a corner.
If you feel exhausted, powerless and hopeless.
If you're just going through the motions in life and have lost passion.
Once you have confirmed that you are indeed imprisoned inside a craptrap, you then have to identify its components. You can separate the components into things you can and cannot control. You have control over more things in your life than you realize. You decide what kind of job you have and what skills you master. You decide who are your friends. You decide how you spend your free time. If you have an addiction that you can no longer control, you decide if you get help for that addiction or not. Once you begin examining all the parts of your life that you control, the next step is to decide which parts need to be un-crapped.
The thing that makes this process very difficult is your emotions. I’ve analyzed my own mood shifts for a large part of my adult life and realize my emotions have dictated most of my actions and decisions in life. I have periods of time when I feel really good and then I experience episodes of not feeling good at all. I have a choice to make with this realization. I can either figure out how to change my moods or I can decide not to let my actions in life be determined entirely by my moods. This is my particular struggle. You may have a different struggle. You need to analyze your personality, motivations, strengths, weaknesses and abilities in order to design a strategy that dismantles your own peculiar craptrap.
Focus on the biggest issue first. And focus only on un-crapping one thing at a time. If you try to un-crap too many things at once, you will most likely fail.
Here's an example: while at my car sales job, I made plenty of money but my mind and spirit were battered by stress, micromanagement and bad people. Also the long hours were negatively impacting my daughter’s well-being. Lastly, my health was suffering because I wasn't getting enough rest and relaxation. I experienced terrible back and foot pain for nearly two years. It got to the point where the money was not worth the negative impacts. I was deep inside a self-created craptrap. I chose that job in the beginning so the time finally came for me to unchoose it.
Quitting my job became essential to my survival. I was scared of losing my good income but I was more scared of dying a premature death. I’m sure I would have developed arthritis or some other disease if I had stayed at that job long-term.
When you realize you are the only architect of your personal craptrap, you will figure out how to dismantle it, brick by brick. You may need to borrow someone else's glasses in order to see how extensive and intricate your craptrap is. This happened to me when I found the Choose Yourself community. Every time I thought about the CY (Choose Yourself) people, I began to view my self-made craptraps through their lenses. I felt embarrassed that I was disrespecting myself every day at my job. Their support, caring and advice began to shape the way I un-crapped various aspects of my life. But without a personal commitment to un-crapping my life, their supportive words would not have impacted me in a significant way. I was and still am determined to create a life that I love. I’m determined to un-crap my life.
Once you commit to un-crapping your life, the steps you need to take become clearer. You may not make great progress every day but you will grow awareness of what needs to change. You will have frustrations. You will experience temporary periods of stagnation. This is okay. Your awareness of these setbacks is what is important. Realizing that your stagnation periods are temporary is vital to your growth. Without this knowledge you might lose hope. With this knowledge you will be moving forward in an incremental fashion towards a life that is less crappy.