“It’s our job to rise up to our own dreams!” I declared with vehemence and confidence. My friend looked at me with a friendly smirk and said: “Right. How do I do that by next week?”! I laughed and told him what my coach always says: “A goal is not a place to get to; It’s a place to come from.”
When we want to create a dream, we need to show up in the world with the attitude of one ready to make it happen. And in order to do that, we need to be prepared to change who we are, how we show up and what we project to the world.
The next morning, in my inbox: “Podcast Interview Opportunity”. I suddenly I had to put my money where my mouth is! I was given a chance to get in front of an audience that might just be the door to getting closer to my dream of living by a beach where I can surf, and travel to speak and coach.
I needed to step up. I needed to rise to the occasion, and I needed to shine. Challenge accepted, I was ready.
And though I love to say that I was born ready because it sounds awesome, the truth is that I have been getting ready for this for years. It didn’t just happen! I want to take you through what it looks like to get ready to rise up to your dreams. Let’s take a step back.
After a period of feeling lost and disorientated, of dismantling all the layers that made up our old identity, we’ve taken the time to go within and explore who we want to be in our next chapter. Finally, we feel the energy rising to make moves and become that person. We feel optimistic and alive because land is in sight after paddling on a raft on the ocean for weeks or even months. We’re full of hope and ready to conquer the world to make shift happen.
Except… We don’t know where we’re going! The anxiety of facing an unknown future starts to show and we’re not sure what to tell the world. We’ve changed. From research and interviews I conducted with high performers in transition, a three step process has emerged that will help you rise: explore, define, embody.
Mariangela Walker, CEO of Guarantee Happiness LLC explains: “As soon as I moved to North Carolina, my spirit was very sparkly again and each day was exhilarating as I was exploring and developing new connections and exploring possibilities for jobs and enjoying the many new places to meet people and experience new joys.”
Columba Quigley, an Editor-in-Chief who changed her career and moved to a new country revealed that what helped her during that time was “The belief that I was on the road somewhere – no idea where at the time (and I would never have predicted ending up where I am now), but it felt right, despite many doubts.”
The concept of exploration is 100% counterintuitive for most high performers. They are driven by achievement and where there is exploration, there is nothing to achieve. Remember – this is about a deep internal revolution that calls for us to act differently. Wanting to find the ONE path is the old behavioral pattern.
In this step, we need to gather the pieces of the jigsaw that will form our big picture when we’re ready. Neuroscientist David Eagleman in his documentary “The Creative Brain” explains that in order to truly enhance our creativity, we must find inspiration and stimulation in as many sources as possible. It helps us disrupt our existing neural pathways and create new ones.
PLAY. EXPLORE. LAUGH. TRAVEL. BE CURIOUS. DISCOVER. INQUIRE.
Steve Jobs said ““You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
It’s time to look back and start connecting the dots. We take a little bit from here and a little bit from there. We start seeing how our exploration leads us to the right people, ideas, insights and knowledge to help us step into our next chapter.
For me, this meant bringing together certain aspects of my yoga teacher training (Yoga Nidra, meditation), my previous experience in education, working with high achieving students, coaching and my brain-based training with the NeuroLeadership Institute. It also meant combining my “failures”, my insights from working with coaches, learning to run a business and, and, and… I could go on!
It takes self-inquiry, reflection and commitment to get through this defining stage because it’s not a linear process. Remember to make notes as you move through the exploration stage of what calls your soul: What creates moments of flow? When and where do you feel fulfilled? I like to think that this is like creating a detective map, with thread connecting all the important clues!
SELF-QUESTION. JOURNAL. SYNTHESIZE. CONNECT. HARMONIZE. REFLECT.
In the previous steps, we have acted with courage to create the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will allow us to embody our new identity. While we probably still think that we don’t have enough experience or that we’re not as good as so and so, Richard Petty, psychology professor at Ohio State University reminds us that: “Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.”
It’s time to rise and shine. It’s time to affirm to the world that you are the new you. Some might mock you, some might think you’re arrogant – after all, who are you to reinvent yourself? You are the person who sat in discomfort, going through an incredible transformation so you could have impact on the world by being a fully aligned part of it. That’s who!
Create your tagline and use it every time you can. Introduce yourself to new circles as the embodiment of your new identity because you’ve done the work in steps 1 and 2 and you’re continuing to do the work. You’ve changed. Now let the world know.
EXPRESS. SHOW UP. LEARN. LEARN MORE. EVOLVE. BE.
New beginnings are a process, the result of a deep transformation. They are not a single outcome. If we want to do our job and rise up to our dreams, we cannot cheat the process of transformation: there is no prescribed time for each step. It depends on each individual. Can you open yourself up to the challenge of adopting new behaviors? Are you willing to get uncomfortable? This is how we start to rewire our brain and this is how we can truly rise and shine. I can’t wait to see where it takes you!
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