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Take Charge Of Your Life--NOW!

Are you in an abusive relationship or a job you don't like? Get out of that rut and move on. Cosmo shows you how.
Ever get that feeling that you've done your best, given it your all, yet you've got little or zero results? "My motto before was 'Try and try until you die,'" reveals Anna, 27, a nurse. "And that applied to my love life." So, although her crush has been giving her that "friends lang" vibe, Anna still forged on. That is, until she found herself frustrated, resentful, and depressed.

Think if you pine for a guy hard and long enough, he'd somehow pick up the "I-dig-'ya" vibes and transmit them right back to you? Not likely. Know when to give in graciously to temporary defeat. If you've made yourself open and accessible to him, and he's not biting, we have two words for you: Move on! Here, Cosmo shows you how to stop whining and start moving when things don't pan out the way you'd want them to:

You Hate Your Job
A job is like a boyfriend in many ways. You spend major time with it and shower it with a lot of attention. To fortunate folks, it's something they love and can't wait to keep going back to. To others, it’s something to hang on to because...well, any job is better than no job, right?

Keeping yourself chained to a job you hate can be soul-deadening. Rissa, 29, who works in production for a TV network, says about her former post: "It was hard to get up in the morning, and I dreaded meetings with my boss. I wasn't inspired or motivated."

Moving On Mission: Realistically, not everyone can resign right away. If you feel "stuck" in your job for whatever reason, here's how you can move forward, slowly but surely:
  • Explore your interests. Something you do for fun just might be your ticket to job freedom...eventually. If you're into writing, try sending your work to publications, or simply put up a blog. If you're into baking, look into supplying your goodies to a small cafe in the area.
  • Look within. Review your company structure and see if there's a different gig there that would be more to your liking. Work on getting a transfer.
  • Be in the know. Learn as much as you can about your career alternatives and get whatever training is available to you. "Research thoroughly and check what qualifications or training you might need," advises Caroline Righton, author of Handbook for Life.
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: You have the power to move your career and your life forward. If a big sprint is not feasible, take small steps within your life parameters.

You Don't Like Your Looks
Jasmine, 31, says she struggled for many years with insecurities about her appearance. "I will never be model thin or have the big boobs that fill out clothes nicer or be the mestizahin standard of 'pretty,'" she says.

Moving On Mission: Many of us share Jasmine's woes; we just have different sore spots. But instead of living life worrying about things you can't change, why don't you:
  • Stop comparing. Take it from makeup maven Bobbi Brown, who admits in her book Beauty Evolution, "I realized years ago that I couldn't compete in the looks department with models, actresses, and those near-perfect friends...My philosophy is that all women have the ability to be their best."
  • Rock what you've got. Show off smooth skin with a funky tank or play up those eyes with mascara. Brown says: "Looking your best is a combination of acquiring knowledge (some great tricks and techniques) and having confidence in yourself."
  • Change your whole beauty outlook. Life is about more than just being beautiful. So while you work at being your best outwardly, keep polishing the other things about you that the born-pretty girls may not have: brains, a beautiful singing voice, or wordsmithing magic. Whatever it may be, use it to shine on!
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: Live to discover the best, not just the prettiest, you can be.

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox[nextpage]

Your Relationship Isn't Sweet Anymore
Unhealthy relationships can be like bitter pills: They're tough to swallow, but we keep taking them because they mask a multitude of pains. "It's hard to have the courage to walk away from the comfort of a relationship, even a bad one, and be alone for what may be a while," write Greg and Amiira Behrendt in It's Called a Break-up Because It's Broken.

Also, we tend to tell ourselves that nobody has a perfect relationship anyway, and forge on, hoping that love will prevail in our particular case.

Moving On Mission: The longer we stay in a relationship that doesn't make us happy, the more we make it impossible for ourselves to find one that will. Mary Beth Bonacci, author of Real Love, cites ways to figure out when it's time to pick up and go.
  • Recognize habitual dishonesty. Be on alert "if you can't even be sure that what is coming out of that person's mouth is in fact true."
  • Don't stand abuse. "If anyone hits you, shoves you or in any other way threatens your physical safety, this is no one you want to be with. The same goes for someone who consistently insults you, demeans you, or calls you names...This is a symptom of a much deeper disorder."
  • Be in control. If your relationship doesn’t allow you to make your own decisions, get out. "You are not this person's property," says Bonacci. "You are your own autonomous person."
  • Rid your life of turmoil. Bonacci advises you to ask yourself: "Is this relationship making our overall life better or worse?" If the answer is the latter do you want the rest of your life to look like this?
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: If your relationship is making you sad and leaves you feeling worse about yourself and your life more often than it makes you feel happy, there's something wrong. Pull the plug ASAP.

You Want Your Friend To Stay The Same...Forever!
It's a no-brainer: even our bestest, most loyal friend will change somewhere along the way. And sometimes, the changes may not be to our liking. Therese and May, both 30, were best friends all throughout high school and college. When May got involved with a so-called "bad boy," things started to change. May became less available to Therese and threw herself headlong into party-girl activities, which weren’t Therese's idea of a good time.

Moving On Mission: Avoid sulking or trying to change your friend back. Here's how:
  • Take a breather. "Take time out from each other," Therese shares. Don't force yourselves to be together. Sometimes, time and space--as well as acceptance and maturity--are needed for you to reconnect again.
  • Speak your truth, but don't raise the expectation stakes. If you don't like the changes in your friend, tell her. "Try to point it out constructively. If she takes it negatively, don't push it. You've done your part," says Therese.
  • Accept. Debbie Mandel, MA and author of Turn On Your Inner Light, says: "Just because you have a history with someone, doesn't mean you need to keep on repeating it. We outgrow many things during the course of a lifetime...during the course of our journey we make new friends and exchange our gifts with them."
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: Some friends stay, some friends go. Keep going your own way and living your own life, and just be open to friends both old and new who fit in your present reality.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures[nextpage]

Family Woes
Let's face it, everyone you grew up with has their own flaws and quirks. We've all got our little bones to pick with our parents or siblings.

Lia, 25, says she hates how her mom is held back by so many insecurities and self-esteem issues. She also resents how she herself is plagued with self-doubt, attributing this as a passed-on trait from her mom's attitude.

Moving On Mission: Whatever family angst we carry around, here are tactics to try so we can move past them at a certain point:
  • "Acknowledge the unique hardships of your family members," advises Richard Carlson, PhD, author of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family. You just might understand why they are the way they are, warts and all. In Lia's case, she came to understand that her mom was "a product of her upbringing” after learning about her grandfather’s very harsh parenting style. "Siguro kung sa 'kin nangyari 'yung nangyari sa kanya, I would also carry the same fears and issues."
  • Vent right. Release any negativity--write in your journal, to that person, or even to yourself. Just let the sama ng loob out.
  • There's always a bright side. Focus on gratitude, advises Carlson. "Gratitude will enable you to appreciate, rather than struggle against the differences."
  • Don't let the actions of others run your life. When all is said and done, you have to make your own way and build your own life.
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: The only person you truly have control over is you. So focus your make-better energies on you, where they will pay off the most.

You Don't Like Living In The Philippines
Whether it's the heat, the "your-business-is-mine-too" mentality, or the potholes on your street, some of us think that 'Pinas just might not be it for us.

Moving On Mission: If you feel that no changes in your lifestyle--new job, new circle of friends, or getting your own apartment--can make you happy here, maybe it's time for you to seriously consider your options abroad. But be warned. This is not for the faint-hearted. Some leads on seeking greener pastures:
  • Go to school. Not everyone may have the dough for foreign studies. Your MO? Scholarships and grants. Some good places to start: The Philippine American Education Foundation, for Fulbright Scholarships as well as other private grants. Visit your alma mater and check out bulletin board postings, your old teachers, and the university or college registrar or placement office. You can also try The Asian Development Bank and The World Bank.
  • Let the job hunt begin. Tricky, since you are applying sans foreign work experience or a foreign degree. Try your luck anyway--check out and for leads on jobs worldwide. Use your network--contact friends and relatives who live abroad and find out if they can give you leads or references. You can also submit your resume to an international headhunting firm.
  • Maximize your current sitch. If you work for a multi-national company, consult your HR department on how to work toward a regional posting. Mai, 27, relates that her HR director advised her to consider asking for a foreign cross-posting, even a temporary one, during her next evaluation in lieu of further training or a salary increase.
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Get-On-With-Your-Life Bottom-Line: If you feel this is not the place for you, be bold and explore your opportunities. It can happen if you work at it.

Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures