Uncertainty happens. Fear happens. Stuck-ness happens. Facts.
Also facts: Movement happens. Change happens. Good things usually follow.
In that fear space, it’s not really the circumstances (a relationship, a business, etc.) that make us scared, anxious, and overwhelmed. What we’re really afraid of is our own powerlessness, our lack of control over some aspect of our lives (or ourselves). So what do we do? We cling. Tightly. We dig our heels in and try to weather the storm around us. We basically hold on for dear life and hope we’re still in one piece when it’s all over.
I’d like to suggest an alternative approach.
Your ability to choose is a fucking privilege. Use it.
Here are 12 +1 decisions you can make today, tomorrow, in a week or in a year–they’re all different, but they all get the same result. Change, on your terms. That’s a wonderfully refreshing sense of power, isn’t it?
1. If it doesn’t feel good, I’m not going to do it. Your body bears the brunt of your mind & soul’s heavy lifting. Gut feelings are there to be heard. If hanging out with a certain “friend” always sends you home with a headache, don’t. do. it.
2. I really admire her bravery/selflessness/ability to knit/sense of style. I’m going to ask her how she got it. Look for what you admire in others, and ask them how they got it. Everyone has a story, and moreover, everyone loves telling it.
3. I’m choosing a tribe of 5. That old saying that “we are the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with.” is, well, true. Surround yourself with greatness, and you really will become great.
4. I’m going to allow for delight, wonder, and pleasure. Why do we always need to be reminded of this? I watch this video when I need to reignite my delight. Which is usually at least once a week.
5. I’m going to make room. Change requires movement, movement requires space. Clear it–literally, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually.
6. I’m willing to white-knuckle the reins, and then completely let them go. Surrender is a life lesson worth learning.
7. I’m gonna get dirty.
8. I see myself in the mirror of my relationship(s). All of our relationships reflect us at our best and our worst. What are yours saying about you?
9. I’m going to cut away the dead weight. This is not the same as making room. Here, you recognize the people, attitudes, and situations that don’t improve your life anymore, or worse, hurt it. It’s your decision to not spend your time and energy on them anymore.
10. I see my own power. God, that is so New-Agey. Forgive me. But it can be so difficult to see all the amazing things that make you “you.” It’s hard to see your strongest qualities because they come so naturally to you. Listen when you receive compliments. Ask important people in your life to describe you. If someone comes to you with a problem, notice what they’re really looking for from you–is it compassion? Empathy? A practical solution? Just a sounding board? This is your power. Own it.
11. I’m going to find something to practice. This sounds weird, but go with me. As someone who’s been in the midst of change for the better part of 3 years now, I know a thing or two. The thing about change is that it constantly makes you feel unsure of your footing, as if the rug could be pulled out any time. Also, all that leaning out over your edge stuff can be pretty damn uncomfortable. Finding something to practice (Paper-making? French? the violin? Tennis?) not only gives you a bit of an anchor (and, thereby some comfort) but it gives you something to constantly improve upon—hello, momentum!
12. Take a day. My nan always said that you get one day to be miserable/cry/throw things/hate life when your personal shit hits the fan. Tomorrow, you pick yourself up.
*13. I’m going to just have fun. When was the last time you had no expectation of anything other than to just enjoy it?
*although 13 is probably a bad list number, I just thought of that last one and had to include it.
A final thought:
Everyone and everything that “happens to you” is really just a piece of your puzzle. All you need to do is figure out how the pieces fit together. But they always do.