You Are Free: How to Cultivate More Freedom in Your Life
The feeling of being free is light, blissful, and wonderfully relaxing. Learning to cultivate more freedom has been hugely important for my happiness.
Is there something in your life that is constantly looming over you, bothering you, making you feel trapped, or blocking you from feeling free?
Do you want to bring more freedom into your life, too? You can start by choosing to make the effort!
This is easier said than done, right? Let’s go through the exercise below to get a better understanding of how it can be possible in your life.
1. Complete the statement, “I feel trapped, blocked, or stuck…”
- Example #1: I feel stuck in my full-time job because I have the desire to travel frequently and freely, but I do not have the ability to work remotely.
- Example #2: I feel trapped by social media, particularly Facebook, because I feel pressure to constantly check it throughout the day.
2. Identify the specifics of the things that make you feel trapped, blocked, or stuck. Why does it feel that way?
- Example #1: It feels like I’m burdening my employer whenever I ask for time off work. Plus, it just feels like travel is too expensive and complicated.
- Example #2: It makes me feel trapped because I’m doing something that I don’t particularly enjoy. It feels like an obligation. By excessively checking social media, I know I am blocking myself from making progress towards my goals. It makes me feel guilty that I am using Facebook as a distraction instead of spending my time in a more productive or enjoyable way.
3. Start troubleshooting by changing one thing at a time.
Ask, how much control do you have over the situation? Can you think of a small change you can make within your area of control?
Can you try modifying your perception of the situation by considering another person’s perspective?
Can you try re-framing the story you are telling yourself about the situation?
Can you try a new habit or change one of your current habits?
Can you change how you react in a certain situation?
- Example #1: In 2016, I made travel a priority in my life. I reframed the story I was telling myself about burdening my employer when I take time off work. I got better at planning trips, and I actually had fun in the process! I found a balance between cheap and comfortable accommodations. I went on long weekend trips where I only had to take a day or two off work. I planned trips around government holidays where I already had an extra day off. Oftentimes, I would have my car already packed and go to the airport or begin a roadtrip immediately after work. These simple changes allowed me to make the most of time off work. Because of this, I was able to fit more frequent trips into my life, which gave me a greater sense of freedom.
- Example #2: I committed to change my relationship with my phone. I found a mobile app for CSCS certification practice questions. I implemented one habit change: if I felt the urge to pick up my phone to spend time consuming Facebook posts, I would complete at least one 10-question practice quiz. When I sat down at home to study or write, I started putting my phone in another room so it could not distract me. I now find myself aimlessly checking Facebook less often, which makes me feel like I am now free from the trap I was placing upon myself.
4. Complete the statement, “I feel free when…”
Freedom is light and blissful. What makes you feel that way? Think both big and small. Make a list, print it, and put it somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder to do more of the things that make you feel free. Ask, “which of these things is missing in my life right now?” I came up with the list below:
- I feel free when I am present with nature.
- I feel free when I see mountains.
- I feel free when I hear the sound of water, wind, or birds.
- I feel free when I explore somewhere new for the first time.
- I feel free when I lift a heavy weight.
- I feel free when I sip on a cup of tea.
- I feel free when I go on a hike.
- I feel free when I am spontaneous.
- I feel free when I sing loudly in my car.
- I feel free when I go ziplining.
- I feel free when I swim.
- I feel free when I write.
- I feel free when I laugh loudly and unapologetically.
- I feel free when I listen to “You Are Free” as I drive down the highway with the windows down. 😉
No matter how hard it may seem, it is entirely possible to make changes in your life in order to feel more free.
If any of these steps felt super uncomfortable to you, I also recommend reading my post about smashing your comfort zone.
If this post didn’t have the answers you need and you still need help figuring out a specific solution to something that is making you feel trapped, blocked, or stuck, please contact me for support!
Honey, you are free
As much as you can stand to be
You are free
And it’s anything you think that means
You are free
To be who you want
What you need
Yeah, who you want
What you need
Baby, you are free
–”You Are Free” by Jimmy Eat World. Integrity Blues. Exotic Location Recordings, 2016.