As a coach I have many conversations with people about the next direction for their life, their business or career. For some it involves subtle shifts, dialing in what has already been created, often for a greater sense of fulfillment, peace and happiness.For others, a bigger shift is wanted; perhaps a new job, a new relationship, or some other change that will have a big impact on the form and experience of their lives. In either case what one must realize is that the status quo of how things are today, will likely be resistant to change.
The status quo likes things to remain the same.
You can think of this as a comfort zone, although ironically it is often not comfortable at all. At best it is a familiar zone.
So what does it take to affect a real change in your personal or professional life?
Such change will likely be initiated from one of two possible directions. Either you will finally acknowledge the stirring and willingly engage in the change process, or the world around you will do it for you. If the world around you does it for you it is often extremely jarring though not necessarily surprising.
Most people will say that they, “saw it coming.” The range of such events could be anything from the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a job, or the onset of illness where early signs were being ignored or pushed away.
On the other side of the coin, it could also be getting promoted into a scary cool job, or falling in love, or coming into a fortune of some other kind. Either way, the familiar zone has been disrupted and you are now being called to engage consciously.
Ultimately change is usually for the best, it is just that the catalyst can be alarming. Once people choose to engage and open to all the possibilities that lay ahead, the experience becomes quite empowering.
If you are stirring with some hints of change that are wanted in your life, then it would be good to engage sooner rather then later, allowing you to navigate the river consciously.
What to notice:
- The mind – Often when deep down inside change is wanted the mind becomes critical, picking away at every opportunity. Left unchecked this could manifest as resentment towards someone or something, resignation that this is just the way it is and that you can’t do anything about it, or it may spin stories of fear and doubt about what is going on with regards to your ability to create the change you really hope for.
- The heart and emotions – Emotions of discouragement, anger, frustration, doubt, or fear often signal that you need to pay attention to something in your life. If you find yourself leaking such emotions through outbursts or directing them inwards through self-destructive behaviors, then your subconscious may be asking you to notice and engage.
- The body – The body will often want to get your attention through aches and pains, sore backs, or pulled muscles. Left unaddressed such symptoms could eventually escalate into more significant issues that could have been avoided.
Yes, it does take courage.
Yes, it can shake up your otherwise familiar life.
Yes, it will eventually get to a point where needed change will be activated with or without you choosing the timing of it, and it will almost always be inconvenient.
It is far better for everyone involved (especially yourself) if you engage sooner rather then later.
What is needed to create a change?
An infusion of energy.
Imagine that your familiar zone runs along on, asking very little of you.
The familiar zone likes it when you are distracted, busy, lazy, afraid, etc.
To break free of the familiar you need to infuse new energy into your life.
That energy could be created by channeling the anger, frustration, or fear into a resourceful energy of courage, letting go, and sooner if not later, action.
It takes energy and engagement to break out of the familiar consciously!
What can you do?
- Open up a conversation either with someone involved or with someone who can just listen openly, allowing you to express what is going on. You may be amazed at how clear things can look after talking it through.
- Engage with a professional coach. Virtually every successful athlete, and business leader has tapped into the resources of people around him or her as sounding boards.
- Don’t over plan; it will unfold as it must. Over planning is another distraction to avoid getting on with change.Plan just enough to be responsible to yourself and the people involved, and then get going.
- Step away from the familiar. Attend a retreat, a vision quest, go for a walkabout, a sabbatical.
You can’t really see the big picture from inside the frame.
I have continually seen the people who have come to our vision quests, get the clarity, courage and direction for what is needed in each of their lives to achieve their goals and dreams.
This precious life is so full of wonder and opportunity.
What life asks of you is to engage courageously.
Patrick J. Ryan is an author, life and executive coach, clinical hypnotherapist, and retreat and vision quest guide. He practices from his two favorite places on the planet, Mill Valley, California and Vancouver, Canada; and by skype or telephone.
You may reach Patrick by email at info@AwakenedWisdom.com
Vision Quest with AWE!