You know the feeling. We all do. It’s the sense that we’re off track from our path, not quite in our groove. Maybe our career isn’t right, or our friends. We know we want things to be different, but we might not see how to make that happen.
Over the next 8 weeks, we’ll explore several tools and techniques for finding our way back to our own, unique possibility and paths. Each tool is designed to stand on its own, but if practiced one-by-one over the coming weeks, you’ll find that they build on each other to create a fabulous foundational toolkit for navigating change and decisions of all kinds. Some of these tools might be familiar and some not. I suggest that you try them all and then incorporate which feel right for you.
I had a client, we’ll call her Lisa, who was convinced that good things weren’t going to happen for her. She’d given up on possibility. Although others saw a woman who was full of talent and could likely take on the world, Lisa had lined up substantial evidence to the contrary. She would recite the story of the loss of her marriage and the simultaneous loss of her job, and the new position at a company she didn’t like. What was the point in trying, she said? Things never worked out. And, besides, she didn’t know what her dreams were, anyway. Lisa had taken up residence in the corner of her life, and was staying put. The only problem was, she yearned for more.
Most of us have limiting beliefs that we hold dear. (I have my own favorites, for sure.) Although limiting beliefs are nothing more than thoughts, they feel very true and blind us to possibility. And they’re sneaky because often they’re whispers in our consciousness and barely audible, making them challenging to discern. The next time you find yourself dreaming about your future, see if any of these pop up: “that’s not for me, I can’t do that, I’m not good enough, it’s too hard, I’ll never make it, what would people say…” Whispers can be powerful.
But possibility is more powerful; it just takes practice to cultivate it. While Lisa’s brain had practiced (over and over again!) telling a bleak story, she hadn’t practiced connecting to the place within herself that knew possibility, freedom and dreams. Once she got connected, she started to shift. She began listening for limiting beliefs, questioning their voracity, and began wiggling free of their grasp. And she began to replace the old stories with new possibilities and supporting evidence. If Lisa’s story sounds like yours, if you’re a bit more stuck than you’d like to be, never fear. Possibility is there, even if you can’t see it. It lives within you.
This week, take 10 minutes a day and do nothing. Step away from the hubbub of life to something that gives you quiet, undistracted time. Uber-meditation is not required (although if you like meditation, rock it!). Just find something that connects you to your center, to that sense of stillness and calm knowing. If that doesn’t sound familiar, think of the long exhalation a dog gives before taking a nap. Peace. My clients have created a mix of their own practices: coming home at the end of a busy day and sitting in complete silence, taking the dog for a long, slow walk, sitting on the porch and listening to soft music, going for a run until there is just breath and no thought, journaling – about anything. All of these are opportunities to create a bit of space and get you connected to the dreamer within who knows and sees possibility quite clearly. Try a variety and see which feel right for you. Or create your own. The more often you practice spending time in your own center, the more you’ll be able to recognize what it feels like and you’ll be able ground yourself and see possibility, even when life and limiting beliefs swirl around you.
As it turns out, Lisa knew exactly what she wanted: to leave the cubicle job she hated and work in music, to live by a river and ride motorcycles, and to share her life with someone and fall in love again. But that came later, after she got connected, and got a mantra, changed her lens, and changed her thinking. Next week: Looking through the lens of opportunity.
Sarah Levitt is a coach and speaker who uses the best tools and techniques available to create positive change in individuals and organizations. Emphasizing strategic thinking, inspiration, and practical application, Sarah combines information and motivation to help clients cultivate possibility and create more satisfying professional and personal lives.
Described as enthusiastic, sincere, and compassionately straight talking, Sarah assists clients to shift toward change and implement their own best ideas. She uses processes designed to tap the intellectual and emotional capital of her clients to create forward motion.
Find Sarah here.