Let’s say you’ve always wanted to live in the country. You fancy a few chickens and home-cooked meals with a loving family. Currently, you live in a big city working two jobs to make ends meet. You sometimes wonder if being single is like a severe rash, apparent to everyone. Your only exposure to chickens is on Wednesday nights when you swing by the local Whole Foods for the reduced price rotisserie version.
Let me break this to you gently; You Can’t Get There From Here.
Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying you can’t have your sweet dream of country life. What I’m saying is that to make a leap from a life you are unhappy with to a happy-ever-after life may be too ambitious to make all at once. The good news is you can enjoy the dream now, stay with me!
Part One of Three – You are keeping yourself feeling stuck if – your focus is on what you don’t have
- You’ve written about your country life in your journal, but reading it you feel sad, uncertain that you’ll ever get there.
- You’re afraid that you’re kidding yourself. Daily life looms large and “real” while your dream pales, in comparison, you may even feel a bit foolish
- Your vision for the future is more disheartening than inspiring
You already have the wisdom and the know-how to create your dream. What you need is the discipline to direct and focus your attention toward the positive and enjoy the dream now. If imagining yourself in a country life feels inspiring, expansive and energizing, then you’re on the right track! But don’t share it yet; others may try and tell you your head is in the clouds. Let this be your secret “happy place.” You don’t need specifics, keep it general. The key is your positive feelings. The more you become accustomed to choosing a more pleasant feeling, the better your everyday life becomes and the closer you get to realizing your dream.
Keep yourself moving forward with small incremental steps
Instead of complaining, commiserating with others, and feeling stuck in an unhappy situation, you must empower yourself to make small incremental changes. When you notice you are doing any of the above, STOP, and choose to find a more positive thought or activity. When your mind wanders back into the negative zone, gently bring yourself back to what feels better, it doesn’t need to be great, just a little better, great will come later once you gain some momentum.
For example, you’re in a conversation with a co-worker talking trash about the job when you suddenly realize what you’re doing. Bring the conversation to a graceful conclusion. Go back to your desk and write down five things you like about your job, your boss, or both.
Join me next week for Part Two, Feeling stuck in a narrow focus. In the meantime here are some suggestions for practice.
1. Notice the negative statements that you make to others, or in emails, or in your head when thinking about or describing some particular circumstance in your life. How does that feel?
2. Refrain from joining others in discussing how bad everything is at work, in a relationship, or the world in general.
3. Make a list of things you enjoy, keep adding to it and reading it over every day.
Leave a comment, I’ll see you next week!