This is my theory but I’m sticking with it. For today at least.
To all of you out there who are either A) scratching your heads wondering ‘What do I do now?” or B) you’ve been making steps toward something new and great for your life but you may feel like you’re dancing in place (or banging v. sore head), consider this:
You already have most of what you need to be that person or get to that place or create that dream career.
It’s just perspective. And making tiny action steps or teeny shifts to start moving along the path.
Try this as an exercise.
Get a piece of paper and draw a scale from 1 – 10. Then think of something you want. It may be a new job or a happier attitude or starting your dream biz after getting laid off.
So take your scale, and assess where you feel you are today on a scale from 1 to 10.
1 _______________________________________ 10
Then think about where you’d like to be on this scale at the end of a given amount of time that works for you – 3 months, 6 months, a year. Your call. Change can take years but you may be willing to break down parts of it over time. Again, make this yours.
Now, start imagining yourself being one very small step up the scale. So if you start at a 3, imagine it’s a month from now and you’ve moved up to a 4. Close your eyes or stare out the window or whatever gets you relaxed and creative and just imagine, pretend, envision what you might be doing one month from now that got you one tiny step closer to your desire and what you might have done to get there (i.e., joined a social networking platform, wrote two blog entries, fluffed up your resume, started a practice of forgiveness toward everyone who’s ever pissed you off).
And keep repeating. Just keep working your way up the scale until you’re where you’d like to be in a given amount of time.
What you have is a time frame and a to-do list built inside a framework and imagination that came from you, and not someone else.
(Time for an aside here and THIS IS IMPORTANT: When listening to how others got there, or reading books, or being open to taking advice from people remember that when people put their way of doing it onto you, this isn’t always very valuable in making important life changes. Change comes from within. Just know that, so if someone else’s way doesn’t work for you, you are not a loser, you just work better with another system.)
Don’t forget that these tiny actions and shifts can be fun.
Change often means reaching out to new people and putting yourself in new streams of people. So think of ways you can make these action items steps appealing: more dinners, social gatherings, starting up a group around an activity you love.
Really watch out for “shoulds.” Everytime you hear yourself say “I really should…” think twice, and see how you can change that into “I really want …”
Think about what you can do to put yourself around Your People, the kind of folks who inspire you, motivate you and are on a similar path. Loneliness sucks!
This is about exploring but it’s also about making a commitment to yourself and your life.
And you will often, in your discoveries, keep returning home to yourself.
You may discover that getting what you want takes a combination of courage, risk, support and also realizing the gifts and resources and experience you already have.
Enjoy the adventure. Make the commitment. Commitment is freedom.
Relish in discovering you have everything you need to get to where you want to go. Wherever that is. If you really, really, really want it, it’s possible.
If you stick with it and have the right support structures and people in place you’ll get there.
Then you can help others do the same.
I don’t want to give the impression this is easy work. This is the work of courage, persistence and imagination. But as we all know by now, nothing really great comes without a trail of good effort and dedication behind us.
Happy travels and enjoy what you discover as you get there.