No matter who you are or where you come from, there will most likely come a time in your life when you are feeling called to make a big, scary change. This might be ending a relationship, changing professions, or in the case of our family, downsizing our house and taking a chance on a life with more freedom. While many of us will feel called to make these changes, the truth is, not all of us will answer the call. The reason is that big change, well, it’s scary and it’s risky. I saw a movie once that referenced the devil and that he wouldn’t openly lead us to a tortuous life that was painful and awful. Instead the temptation would be in a cushy, comfortable life that we are too afraid to leave. When we can stay comfortable where we are, we don’t risk failure, but we just might be risking living a life disconnected from our purpose. So, if you’re feeling called to change, if you’re ready to course correct your life, or if you’re still tiptoeing on the fence, this message is for you!
When I was a new driver, I was absolutely terrible at it. I drove around (and I suppose just lived my day to day life) in a constant state of tension and anxiety — although I didn’t realize this at the time.
This caused me to make a lot of mistakes on the road…it was like I was living in a state of panic at all times. I’m not sure about you, but if you’ve ever been in a state of panic I think it’s safe to say, we don’t make very good decisions.
It’s like when you’re late to work and in your rush to get out the door you stub your toe, spill your coffee and seem to hit every red light only to get into work and be late for your first meeting. When we are in a state of hurry and hustle, we are quite literally incapable of successfully making it through our days let alone our life.
Now, here’s the kicker, we are currently living in a society that not only promotes, but glorifies the hustle. We have all been duped into believing hustle is what creates winners.
Knowing this, I want you to think about how you drive when you are in a state of hustle and panic. As you’re speeding down the road, you’re fidgeting with the radio, your thoughts are racing with your to-do list, you still have one shoe off and are trying to scarf down your breakfast with one hand off the wheel.
Then, BOOM you see your turn! You weren’t even paying attention. You throw down your breakfast sandwich, jerk the wheel cutting off 2 other cars and risking about 80 different potential accidents.
This is how MOST of us attempt to course correct our lives.
Maybe we get to that point that we have worked so hard, done so much and given our all for so long that we jerk the wheel in an attempt to change directions.
This might show up in the form of cheating in a marriage we’ve been unhappy in. You’ve give yourself a nice excuse to course correct, but you’ve royally f-ed up other lives in the process.
It could be just giving your spouse whatever they want because you are so done arguing — and in doing so you leave yourself with nothing to start over with.
Your boss says something to you in a meeting and you act out the grand quitting scene that you’ve been playing over and over in your head for years only to realize you have nothing to fall back on, but you’re definitely not going to beg for your job back.
These, my friend, are examples of jerking the wheel in an attempt to course correct your life.
These are the things I don’t want you to do.
As someone who has been there, and desperately wanted to jerk the wheel, please hear my words as I know they can help slow you down just a smidge and allow you to start gently shifting your life in the direction you want it to go without leaving a ton of collateral damage.
The first thing I want to share with you that took me far too long to realize myself is that there is a big difference between what our hearts will tell us and what our heads will tell us and knowing how to differentiate between them is absolute hell. That’s why I’ve got the cheat code right here.
Are you ready for it?
When your head and your heart are in disagreement, your heart is always right.
I read this recently in the book The Power of Now — this is the June Book Club book we are reading in the Unstuffed Inner Circle.
I don’t have the direct quote in front of me, but the gist of it was exactly that: When your mind and your emotions are battling it out, trust your emotions. They know what’s up.
Our minds will lock us into rational thinking so much so that we can barely find an escape from the hell they create in hardened reality.
While logic is a great thing and it should most definitely be accessed, sometimes it tries to talk us out of the calling we have on our heart simply because it’s trying to keep us safe in that cushy comfort zone where the devil is the head manager. Haha. I don’t mean to use the devil as a reference. Maybe you don’t believe in that kind of thing.
Think of it this way…your comfort zone, that little devilish voice…it is trying to keep you safe but in staying safe you are missing so much.
I tell my kids all the time that quite literally nothing is safe. If nothing is safe, there’s hardly any point in fearing anything.
I think of this time when I walked passed a kid climbing on a rock that was maybe 3 feet off the ground. The mother quickly said, “Be careful! Get down. Remember, your cousin broke his arm that way.”
My annoyance meter kicks in so hard for things like this. Sure, maybe the cousin broke his arm climbing a rock. But most kids…let’s say 99.99% just climb the rock, use their body, feel proud, capable on top of the world and get down completely unharmed.
Whenever my kids are fearful of something in the world, I remind them that we can spend our whole lives hiding away from potential threats, only to find them in the places we hide. You want to stay inside to avoid bugs, scrapes, bruises fine, but you could still slip on the floor, bonk your head, you could spend your life over-eating on the couch watching movies about other people living and die of a clogged artery at 40.
I’m not saying any certain lifestyle is wrong, I’m just saying, we can choose to be fearful of everything or be fearful of nothing.
What about real-life actual dangers?
Yes, there are real dangers in life that we need to use caution with, correct?
For example, most of us learn fire can burn us. Does this mean I’m going to panic and sprint anytime there is a campfire nearby? No way, man. I love campfires. However, it also means that I’m going to keep a safe distance knowing that if I touch the fire I will be burned.
We can apply our rational mind without letting fear run rampant. AKA that devilish voice of rationality in our heads.
So, full disclosure, to get to the other side of fear, you need to begin tapping into and fully accessing that dreamer side of your brain. The rational side will never get you there, he just comes along as a side kick.
If your life isn’t great right now, it’s time to start dreaming about what might be…but only the good stuff. Don’t try to pre-guess all future mishaps or things that could go wrong and pretend that you are just being smart. You’re procrastinating and stopping yourself from ever taking action. That’s what you’re doing.
Focus on the dream. Imagine the possibilities and remember that if you stay put, there are no additional possibilities. Sure, you could play it like a damsel in distress waiting for a prince to come but bitch what if that prince is a lazy, gross misogynist? Ick.
Start dreaming and allowing yourself to do it unimpeded. Have you ever noticed how we stop ourselves from even IMAGINING a better life?
“Oh, I would love to travel to Italy!”
“But I could never. It’s so expensive. I don’t speak the language. No one will go with me.”
Most of us won’t even let ourselves be happy even in our minds?! WHY? Because we KNOW (on a deep, spiritual level I imagine) that if we can see it in our minds we can achieve it in our lives and if we allow ourselves to dream it, we just might take the steps to make it happen.
So we shut ‘er down. We shut down even the fantasy of big living.
I’m going to need you to just knock that off. Come on, what’s the worst that could happen?
I dare you.
Just start allowing yourself to dream and whenever that little voice of reason kicks in tell it to shut up…you are just daydreaming…what’s it so worried about? Pipe down.
As you get more and more at home in your dreams, start to see what bubbles up as real desires. Chances are you’ve already recognized certain dream patterns that try to squeeze their way into your consciousness.
“I would love to travel more.”
“It would be so cool to start my own business.”
“Man I really want to jump the bones of that single dude in HR.” –PS Don’t actually just pounce on him, please. But recognize this as a sign that you super duper want to ask him out for coffee. Pounce with permission at all times.
You KNOW, my friend, YOU KNOW the big things you want in your life. I know it. And after allowing yourself to dream them to completion, you just might convince yourself of it too.
Once you have locked in on what you know you want, hold it in your sites as a desire, not a want.
“I want ice cream,” is a much different statement than, “I am going to have ice cream.” Better yet, “I’ve got ice cream.”
Wanting something will only leave you in a state of want. Desiring requires activation of your heart, mind, and that inner determination that will do anything to get there.
Another mistake so many people make in a swift desire to change their lives is that they take BIG action. Massive action.
Someone who has never worked out, joins the gym, buys a whole new wardrobe, cuts their calories in half and goes hard at the gym every day for 7 days and then quits, burns out, never goes again and calls themself a failure.
Big, giant action doesn’t work, especially if you have spent an entire lifetime doubting what you are capable of.
What it really requires is massive internal shifts and tiny external steps.
Unfortunately, when our family downsized and worked toward debt payoff, I kept trying to take massive leaps forward and in doing so found myself getting knocked down time and time again.
I would sell stuff and take leaps of faith with our money trying to put $1,000 toward our debt every month in a noble pursuit of trying to get out of debt. What this left me with was no money when a minor mishap would come up, having to dig into our emergency fund, and then re-build it the next month.
Better game plan?
$500 to debt
$250 cushion in our budget
$250 into the emergency fund
My debt would have paid itself off in a steady manor and I would have saved myself a lot of added grief. But remember, grief and hustle is hared wired into most of us. I needed to make the internal shifts along with tiny external steps.
So what does that look like for you, my friend?
Does that mean having a small, hard conversation with your soon-to-be-ex.
Does that mean building a savings fund now so you can more comfortably leave your marriage securely?
Maybe it means tackling specific projects in your job that will look really good on your resume in 3 months when you apply to the places you really want to work.
If it’s travel, it might look like getting your passport and setting a 1 year savings goal so you can finally go to Italy.
We do these things with our hearts permanently connected to the bigger prize.
Allow your desired reality to come into existence in your life right now. Stop shutting it down. Act as if it is already done and if you want more guidance, come join my Do Less. Live More. Masterclass where I’ll teach you how less effort can actually equal bigger changes in your life!