So you’ve worked out that something needs to change.
Or perhaps change has been foisted on you and it’s something you have no choice in.
You need to slow down and/or do something different but you’re not sure what it means or how you can even make it happen.
For me this first occurred, as it would do for many, several years down the track in my career when I started asking ‘what’s next’ and ‘what do I really want out of life?’.
I decided owning my own business was the way forward for me and started down this road with some gusto only to find my health forced me to have to adjust the way I did that. I remember feeling such disappointment — I had long had a dream to run my own business and, here I was, hit with something that was going to impact it. It really caught me from left field.
I felt completely lost, I didn’t know what my health condition would mean for me and needed someone’s help to guide me. I was also pretty sick and spent months trying to recover and to understand what my new normal was. There were too many unknowns — I didn’t fully know what end state I was moving towards. Someone batting on your side while you’re going through that helping you determine what those next steps are and how you can transition to it is a must. So I got myself some help.
A worthy coach will ask you great questions designed to help you envision where it is you want to be and what it looks like. In my case, it was more like how does everything need to change to accommodate what my body needs and can cope with. They’ll provide loads of encouragement along the way as you navigate your way through the challenges. They will also keep you true to the path whenever old tendencies (or a mind that hasn’t switched gear yet) slip back in. A key outcome for me, and many of you, will be simplifying your life in some way — not easy when your mind has grown accustomed to running hard most of your life.
Taking a step back and looking at how you redefine your success is a real challenge — there’s lots of hard-wiring from old beliefs and habits in place and it takes some effort and time to create something new. You’ll find yourself often being drawn to the place your mind finds most easy (the old wiring — it was after all something you did for years) so doing something that goes against that is inherently uncomfortable and takes many brave steps.
You will also have constant reminders from others who are still doing what they’ve always done, who you’ll constantly compare yourself to or who quite unintentionally keep reinforcing the old vision of you (because that’s what they’re used to).
It will take some inner strength to carve out the new you and stay true to your course.
Depending on your reason for change you may feel disheartened and down beaten as you navigate your way to the new and you will hanker often for the old you. It’s akin to undergoing a huge detox and is hard yakker.
However, generating a new, simpler existence where you have space to breath and just ‘be’ is invigorating and, for me, was a benefit I hadn’t envisaged at all at the start. All I could see initially was me becoming a shadow of my former self. How wrong I was.
I’m not there yet. But I have had enough of a taste to know, despite my health challenges, where I am heading will mean a calmer place for me. For me, it allows me to focus on my health as the prime focus with work now taking a second place. Slowing down my pace has also given me so much more time with my family — the sad thing is I didn’t even know before all this happened what I was actually missing out on. I had jettisoned much in favour of just working my bottom off!
How can you expect to truly enjoy life when you’ve jam packed your brain and body within an inch of its life with just too much stuff?
So try to find your way to taking a load off, create a new you where you can revel in the sanctuary of space, the ability to just breathe and to create a new existence for you and those around you. Your body will thank you for it — really!
Originally published at medium.com