9 Ways to Right the Wrongs of Your Life

There’s no getting around the reality that life–which we know is full of unpredictability and endless minutiaecan often feel overwhelming, stressful and downright hard. Sometimes it seems like all we do is move from problem to problem, burning up our mental bandwidth to troubleshoot all the different aspects of our individual worlds, a constant putting out of fires that leaves very little room for much of anything else.

With such rhythms dictating us, before we know it, days, weeks, months, years, and even decades can whiz by, and when we finally do stop and look back, the big picture of our life doesn’t always appear the way we had hoped or imagined it would. That’s usually when regret creeps in, followed by the grief of having settled, and then the despair that comes with feeling like we blew it. Then we convince ourselves that it’s too late, that we missed the boat, and that we are who we are, end of story.

It’s Never Too Late to Right the Wrongs of Your Life

When you start to see yourself and assess your life through the lens of becoming self-made, you realize that your ability to design your own experience starts with you, at any time, at any age. When you carry yourself with a self-made attitude, there is no such thing as “too late” or “too old” or “not experienced enough,” or any other excuse to which you might default. Because as you become self-made, you also become willing to do whatever it takes to reconfigure the various elements of your life that will add up to success, however you happen to define it.

Here’s a great example: even after a robust career as a television producer replete with awards, wealth and recognition, Nely Galán, SELF MADE’s author, still felt that something crucial was missing in her life. She had worked so hard in her twenties to achieve professional success that she never graduated from college. Years later, farther into her career, when the economy crashed in 2008, the TV shows she had been working on were frozen by the networks, and just like that, all her efforts and plans suddenly came to a screeching halt.

Nely chose to use that moment to go back to school. She not only finished her BA, but also spent four years earning a graduate degree in clinical psychology. Being in school compelled her to work on her emotional baggage, to clean out her internal cobwebs, and to zero in on what really mattered to her. What could have felt like a catastrophic moment of panic for her became an opportunity for growth, a chance to right what she felt had been one of the key wrongs of her life. Even though she had previously been financially self-reliant and “successful,” there was a piece that was still missing from the puzzle of her experience. “I have to humble myself and go backward in order to move forward,” she told herself. She knew she needed to take the time to prepare herself for her next stage of growth. And she was right: her decision to go back to school, to right that particular wrong, catalyzed the next chapter of her life.

Nely’s studies in psychology gave her the tools and insight to examine and understand her personal battles as an immigrant and her journey as a woman, a Latina, and a self-made entrepreneur. Just a few years later she wrote SELF MADE, to inspire all women on their own journey toward true empowerment through self-reliance…which brings us back to you.

How It’s Done

Think of your life as an ongoing series of dots that you must connect so that the unique puzzle of YOU-ness can beautifully emerge. It begins by taking personal inventory. By committing to small actions. By acknowledging what you want. By investing in yourself. Don’t waste your energy focusing on what you haven’t doneinstead focus on what you will do.

You’re not sure where to start? Fair enough. We’ll help you brainstorm. Here are 9 different ways to right the wrongs of your life:

1. Go Back to School

Learning is magical. It opens and re-opens pathways in your mind, takes you out of your comfort zone, and exposes you to new ideas. If you’re daunted by the idea of getting a degree, you can always start small. Take an online class or a dance class; or join a writing group–pretty much anything that will revive your intellectual or creative spirit and get your juices flowing.

2. Go to Therapy

There’s nothing like cleansing from the inside to really hone in on your truth. If you don’t feel comfortable with therapy, get a life coach. If you don’t feel that that’s your style, go to a spiritual teacher—a priest, a pastor, a nun, a rabbi, a mentor, whoever fills that role in your life. There’s plenty of help out there; no one should feel she has to go it alone.

3. De-Clutter Your Environment

One of Nely’s favorite books, The Life-­Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Jap­anese Art of Decluttering and Organizing—a huge bestseller by Marie Kondo, describes the spiritual practice of clearing out all the useless stuff and clutter of your life in order to open yourself energetically to the new you, inside and out.  

4. Stop Resisting Social Media

Maybe you’re embarrassed that you don’t know your way around technology or social media. You’re not alone; the digital world is moving very fast. But just like most things, it’s learnable. All you have to do is give it some time. You can even enlist your kids to help. Remind yourself that we live in a digital world, and knowing how to navigate it will ultimately bring you closer to your goals.

5. Get a Makeover

When you feel good in your skin it fosters confidence, which is the fuel you’ll need as you become self-made.

6. Start Saving

If your mistake has been overspending, start asking yourself the hard questions about how you can save: are you paying too much for your home or apartment? Can you live with a relative or share with a friend? Can you get by without a car? Do you really need that fancy gym membership? Can you cook at home instead of going out to expensive restaurants?

7. Distill Your Skills

When you’re able to hone in on you natural abilities, you’re more capable of aligning your mission (what you love) with your money (what keeps you stable).

8. Take Contrary Action

Notice if you have a patterns in your life that keep you stuckbe they personal or professionaland then do exactly the opposite!

9. Project Your Goals and Work Backward

Project way ahead, to the later years of your life, and work backward. Think of yourself and your life at eighty-five. Do you want to be financially independent? Do you want to lead by example for your family—to show them what a strong and self-sufficient woman you are? There’s something very clarifying about reckoning with your mortality; it is a motivator like no other.