Do you ever find yourself making the distinction between “before” and “after” a particular time-frame, circumstance, or event? For example:

     “Before / After I moved to….”

     “Before / After I got married….”

     “Before / After I had kids….”

     “Before / After I had to care for….”

     “Before / After ???….”

Reflecting on the past can be a wonderful way to revisit great memories or learn from painful mistakes. But when you get stuck in the middle – fondly looking at the past, being frustrated in your present, and not seeing much joy in your future – life becomes emotionally draining.

Even though I am an optimist by nature, when I went through a really hard season that lasted several years there were weeks when I would think “before….” and sigh fondly – wishing I could go back in time – followed by “after….” and a deep sad sigh – wishing I could skip over the challenges I was facing.  On particularly difficult days during that season my sighing turned into crying, wondering if things would ever get better. Can you relate?

I had many opportunities during those difficult years to give up and stop believing things would improve. I could have ignored the longing for joy over and over until it was snuffed out. But I didn’t.

I refused to allow my past or my present hold my future hostage. I held onto the hope that my “After” would be better, and gathered all my inner strength along with my support network to help me do what I needed to do in order to create the future I desired.

It took a while, and cost me time and money, but as I look back I am smiling because my “After” is now better than my “Before.” Every second of energy and every dollar I spent to make it better was worth it.

I am a better spouse, friend, daughter, sister and business owner when I avoid getting stuck in the pit of resignation. Even if I can’t change my circumstances, I still have the power to change my attitude about them or find ways to be joyful despite them.

How about you?

     Are you stuck between your “Before” and “After” – wanting more, but settling for less?

     How many times have you said “I wish…” during the last 5 years and yet nothing changes?

     Are you ready to finally invest in your future to ensure your “After” is better than your “Before”?

If your answer is Yes, click here to set up a Coffee & Conversation meeting (virtual meetings are available as well). When clients work with me they generally arrive dissatisfied and leave full of joy. The journey to get there can feel like a roller-coaster, but the effort, time and financial investment is always worth it (see Testimonies) to gain more fulfillment and satisfaction in every area of your life.

**BONUS**  You usually end up performing better at work too because the rest of your life isn’t dragging you down causing stress to spill over into your workday.

Here’s a great quote to close with:  “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.”  – Vance Havner

I’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to share your comments below.

May you experience many joyful SHIFTs as you progress forward in your life! ;)