12 Oct New Beginnings
“Today I close the door to the past, unlock the door to the future, take a deep breath, step on through,
and start a new chapter in my life.” – Unknown Author
Over the past several weeks many of my friends, past colleagues and students have reached out to tell me they have lost their jobs. There has been a variety of reasons, continued decline in revenues, ‘right-sizing’ for a new organizational structure, etc.. What’s disheartening is I know these people as hard-working contributors to their companies. To all of you I share this quote from Lae Tzu, “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” This post is meant to help you dream about your new beginnings.
Sometimes we settle for what life gives us instead of crafting our future and creating a road map for our happiness. Other times we need a push out of our comfort zone. Then there are times when we are too afraid to give something else a try because we don’t know where to start or what to do. This ‘push’ gives us THE opportunity to take time to dream a little. It helps us recognize what prevents us from moving forward. It also helps us recognize the fear we wear like a comfortable sweater.
The Itchy Sweater
Now it’s time for you to change your sweater and put on the itchy sweater which makes your skin crawl! Can you feel it starting to itch? If it isn’t making you itch, go put on a different sweater. It’s time to make yourself comfortable being uncomfortable. These first steps can help in any situation you face. The key is to give yourself permission to spend time to visualize and create your future.
- Give yourself a day off. Take a break from thinking about everything. This gives your brain time to process what has happened and allows you to do something for yourself which you probably haven’t done in years. This time for reflection helps to clear your mind, gives you room to breathe, and allows space for new ideas and to dream.
- Dream a little. Allow yourself time to dream. What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to do? Where you would live? What would you do with your time? Who would you share your dreams with, if anyone? Most importantly what would make YOU happy?
- Visualize it. Writing down your aspirations helps the mind visualize, record, and remember what you have defined as important to you. Draw a picture, use sticky notes, use LEGO bricks to build it, or use clay to mold it, this allows you to touch it, feel it, see it, and believe it! Use whatever materials will help you create and visualize your future. By using different learning styles you build your story, create a road map and visualize your future.
- Plan for alternate routes. The fearful mind intrudes on dreaming, by tossing doubts into your thinking. Did you hear the doubting mind as you were reading steps one, two and three? Could you hear it say, “But I do have bills, responsibilities and limits.” “But I don’t have time or money to take a day for myself I have to get started on …” “But…….” It’s important to recognize potential stumbling blocks, however most of them can be planned for or mitigated. However, you’ll need to be clear with yourself about what you want and what you are willing to do to make you happy. Only YOU have the power to craft your journey.
- Create your short-term and long-term journey. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Only you know what will make you happy and what you’re willing to do to get there. As humans we are wired to skip to solutions, before we have thought through the problem and what success would look like once we solve for it. We need to give ourselves the time to identify what is important and what will make us happy. Then we need to take steps to understand the short-term wins which help us get to the long-term outcomes – Our happiness. Take the time to record what is important to you, what will help you get where you want to go. When you are ready, share your plan with others and ask for their help. Be humble and be kind to yourself and continue to dream and visualize the outcomes as they will help you move towards your dreams.
Dreams are free, the journey will cost you, so be prepared. Many of us need to work to cover our expenses, but we didn’t always have what we have now. Were we less happy? Things are just things. These five steps will help you identify what is important to you going forward. You are in charge. You are the boss, and you are the only one who can make YOU happy.
For some, it is helpful to have a sparring partner as you work through and navigate your future. A sparring partner can help challenge you, push you outside of your comfort zone, and support you through this transformation. If you are one of these people, please give Leading to Unlock a call. We have individual and group models which can help you build these capabilities within yourself.
Remember – “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lae Tzu