While this is important in relationships, it can also be important in other scenarios, such as taking a new job. It might be necessary for you to stop going to the lunchtime restaurants or the after-work gathering places that you and your former colleagues went to.
Take a communication break
Stop thinking about and regularly communicating with people from your old circumstances. This will make it much easier to focus on your new situation.
Establish a new support system and communication network
This one may take a little time to establish, but be patient.
Let yourself grieve
There will be times in your new life that might be difficult and you may have wistful thoughts of your past circumstances. Be gentle with yourself during these times and let yourself grieve for what once was. It’s normal and natural to miss things from your past, but also don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t second-guess your decision to make a break and move on.
Give yourself whole-heartedly to your new situation. Get involved with it. Meet new people, see new places, find interesting and fun things about your new circumstances.
We all know that there are cycles or phases of nature: when seeds are planted; when they are growing into grain, vegetables, fruits, and the like; then harvesting at the peak of ripeness; and the final cycle or phase is storing for the future and resting.
We can take a lesson from this. Sometimes we get mixed up about the phase we’re in. We have a fantastic idea–seed time–and we work a little bit–we plant the seed of the idea by working with it. But then we get impatient and think we ought to jump right to the harvest and reap big juicy rewards…and we’re surprised when that doesn’t happen.
Or we may have great ideas but then we go right to the resting phase, somehow thinking the ideas will magically manifest themselves.
It doesn’t work like this.
Each phase of bringing our dreams into reality is important and can’t be skipped or rushed through. Like the planting cycles, each phase is essential. If a farmer skips the seed phase, there won’t be a crop to harvest no matter how diligent and careful the farmer was during the growing phase.
Same with our ideas. If we don’t think them through until we have something fresh and new to present to the marketplace, they’ll be the same old ideas that have been done before and they’ll fall flat.
If the farmer rushes through the growing phase, there won’t be a mature, ripe crop to harvest. And if the farmer decides to rest instead of tending the crops during the growing phase or if the farmer rests instead of harvesting, the results will be disastrous.
Even if we’re diligent during the seed phase of making our dreams come true, if we rush through the growing phase where we nurture our ideas and prepare them properly for the marketplace, our results could be disastrous as well.
The farmer knows that different plants have different growing times. Radishes are ready for harvesting in 25 to 30 days where pumpkins take 3 to 4 months to mature. Same with our ideas. Some of them are quickly manifesting little things and our more complex ideas may take months or years of growth before we see results. A farmer doesn’t rush the crops and we shouldn’t rush our ideas!
If you find yourself hitting a rough patch, stop and analyze what’s going on. You may find that you’ve rushed through a phase, or got them out of order, or completely skipped a phase!
Bad choices, mistakes, and plain old stupidity. Nobody wants to acknowledge these, much less talk about them. People want to hear success stories, find the keys to success, and learn the 3 steps or 7 steps or 12 steps–or however many steps are in vogue at this moment–to success. The media and our culture glorify it, making us feel envious and less-than, which Madison Avenue loves because then they can sell us something to “solve” it.
However, failure is one of the most important things you can do, as long as you don’t let it defeat you and as long as you don’t quit!
In spite of how discouraged–or ridiculous or stupid–you may feel and no matter how hard it is, take the next step!
Moving forward, even if it’s only by an infinitesimally small increment, is the only way to get through (around, under, or over) what seems like failure and defeat. In reality, it’s a stepping-stone to a breakthrough for you.
So, in the words of Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Here are a few other quotes that might inspire and motivate you:
Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
– Truman Capote
Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.
– Marilyn vos Savant,
Fall down seven times, get up eight.
-Â Japanese Proverb
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan
Jot down any of the quotes that resonated with you and keep them handy so you can refer to them often. I’m so proud of you for not giving in, for finding the steel and the fire within, and for moving forward.
Your life begins at the end of your comfort zone. ~Neale Donald Walsch
Even though we’ve turned out the lights and locked the door on 2016, we still remember some of the ways in which we were ineffective and we don’t want to repeat that in 2017. Understandably, we want this year to be different so we think we need to “hit the ground running”. We think this means we have to immediately make big changes, take leaps and bounds, and relentlessly move forward.
Some people can do this but I think most of us need to ease our way into the New Year, especially if we want to make some substantive changes and have them stick. We know that making these changes means stepping outside of our routines into the unknown, establishing new routines and habits that are more conducive to getting us to our dreams.
It’s nerve-wracking to think of moving into the unknown. Sure, we can all do it for a while but very soon we want the comfort of the old familiar patterns. We’re not convinced that we can sustain our nerve of being in the unknown until the new patterns become familiar and comfortable. We’re already a little disappointed in just thinking about this because we’re afraid we can’t do it; afraid this year’ll be a repeat of the worst parts of 2016.
That I know of, there’s only one sure-fire way to step out of your comfort zone, to make meaningful changes, and to have them stick: baby steps.
Like today’s quote tells us, the life of our dreams begins at the end of our comfort zone. But we don’t have to jump in with both feet all at once. We can take baby steps to get there. Sometimes we can take big steps—leaps, even—but most of the time they’re going to be little steps. We’ll probably go through phases from time-to-time were the little steps will have to be broken down into itsy bitsy teensy tiny little fragments of steps.
The fantastic news is that these count; they add up! It’s true that no effort is ever wasted! Our littlest microscopic piece of a step WILL get us to our dreams as surely as if we made an Olympic caliber vault into our dream life.
So when we think of getting 2017 off to a good start and we think of the changes we want to make, think in terms of baby steps. Identify the little bits that we can do now, and a little bit more that we can do tomorrow, and the other bits we can do in the following days. We’ll be pleased to see that our little efforts add up!
~Be honest with yourself that you’re feeling low–don’t sugar coat it or ignore it;
~Get rid of the self-judgment and self-punishment–give yourself permission to be glum;
~Give yourself the space you need feel this way–to understand and process your feelings;
~Be kind and tender with yourself–gently ask yourself why you’re feeling this way (what were the causes) and, even more gently, ask yourself what you might be able to do about it.
The important things are to be honest and gentle with yourself.
Let me know in the comments below how this technique worked out for you. Thanks!
Here are a few quotes that I hope will help you when you’re feeling uncertain or afraid.
Do not let your fears choose your destiny. ~Unknown
Fear is a liar. Your fears make you feel that you don’t have what it takes, you can’t achieve your dreams, it’s too hard, you aren’t good enough. If you listen to your fears then you’ll aim at and settle for a much smaller life than what you could have had. We are capable of far more than we think we are and we each have a Destiny that’s richer, deeper, wider, juicier than what we can imagine right now.
Fear is never a reason for quitting; it’s only an excuse. ~Norman Vincent Peale
Some fears are legitimate and you are correct in pausing and thinking them through. For instance when you’re preparing to parachute out of an airplane, the butterflies in your stomach (a form of fear) are a great reminder to double-check your equipment as well as to go through in your mind the proper procedure for parachuting out of a plane.
Once you’ve done your safety check on the equipment as well as reviewing the proper parachuting procedures, you don’t let your butterflies stop you–you still jump out of the plane!
It’s the same when you’re working toward your dreams. There will be times when you’ll be worried, anxious, and fearful. Pause a moment to assess them and, if needed, take steps to correct or alter what needs it, and then proceed forward. Also, when you’re feeling worried, anxious, and fearful, it’s helpful to remember that it’s okay to go as slowly and as carefully as you need to–you don’t have to barrel ahead with a full head of steam!
Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. ~W. Clement Stone
It’s one thing to assess your fear in order to understand what’s driving it. It’s usually a weakness and once you identify that, you can take appropriate steps to strengthen it.
It’s a whole different story if your thinking turns into brooding and fretting and worrying over your fear. That kind of thinking will stop you dead in your tracks. It does not lead to taking positive, constructive action toward your dreams. Instead, keep your focus on what you can do–actions you can take–to help yourself through the fear.
Traditional achievements, such as getting a better job or going on a special vacation, lend themselves to techniques that goal-setting books and gurus teach.
But what about states of being–your desire to live a happy life, as an example? They aren’t really goals, are they–at least that’s what the books and gurus say, right?
First of all, striving for a state of being is a goal, even though it seems to defy all the parameters of goal setting.
Secondly, the way you’ll go about achieving your chosen state of being is going to look totally different than the way someone else might strive for it. Don’t be surprised and don’t second-guess yourself when this happens!
To illustrate how to go about achieving a state of being, let’s use ‘being happy” as the goal.
Give yourself plenty of time to answer the following questions–it’s okay to take several sessions spread over several days in order to get to your True Answers:
What YOU mean by “be happy”?
To you, does “happy” mean that you’re laughing and frequently doing a happy dance or does “happy” mean that you have a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and contentment? Why do you want to be happy?
Is it because you’re tired of, and fed up with, being glum? Is it because you want to do your part in counteract and fighting negativity in the world and living a happy life is the best way you know how to do this? Is it that you’ve noticed people who are happy seem to have an easier time of living life?
When are you happy?
Do you feel happy during quiet moments or when you’re with other people? Are you happiest when you’re challenging yourself intellectually, or physically pushing yourself to your limits, or debating the spiritual and philosophical questions that have interested humans for millennia? Are you happy with an active, fast-paced lifestyle or are you happier with a slower pace–one that gives you plenty of time to savor each moment?
Take the time to answer these questions. Let them inspire other questions–or other shadings of these same questions–so that you can pinpoint your unique definition and personal meaning of “being happy”.
As you answer these questions, jot down the memories you have of the times when you were happy.
Remember: don’t be surprised or feel awkward that your definition is nothing like anyone else’s. It’s supposed to be that way!! You won’t be happy following someone else’s idea of happiness. You want your happiness to be tailor-made to YOU!
On Monday we’ll take the next step in goal setting for intangible goals. In the meantime, if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks!
We were agreeing that this is so true: you don’t know how the dots will connect in your life. And you won’t know until you have the perspective of time, meaning that you’ll see in retrospect that the dots have, or are in the process of, connecting up.
Sometimes that perspective of time is a long, long time. It isn’t a matter of days, weeks, or months. And sometimes you can’t see the dots connecting after a year or even five years. Sometimes it takes living nearly your whole life–40 or more years–before you start to see dots connecting and how events in your life have fit together to get you to where you are and to make you who you are.
So, don’t lose hope if it seems like in spite of all your hard work and dedication that you seem off track and that things aren’t coming together. Keep going because in time you’ll see how it all fits together–how the dots connect.
Bookmark Steven Job’s speech and refer to it often–especially when you need a reminder about connecting the dots in your life.