HOW TO OVERCOME CHALLENGING PERIODS IN LIFE
Are you in a challenging phase of life right now?
It is February 2014. I am taking some time off to rest, restore, and reflect. I spent the past year and a half speaking, running a video show, and hosting Dream Circles as part of growing The Potentialists community.
Lately, I have been feeling a little drained, tired, and unsettled. I wasn’t sure whether the things I was doing were making me happy anymore and knew it was time to make adjustments.
Everyone always tells you that getting to where you want to go involves set backs and adjustments, but we’re not taught how to navigate these periods of our lives.
Thinking back to my holistic Life Coach training I did in 2012, I remembered an activity that we did and applied it to my situation.
First, I wrote out my Pain.
I wrote out all the things that were bothering me in all facets of my life, health, business, and relationships. I wrote how my body felt weak; I had become out of shape, and was struggling with maintaining good energy levels. I wrote how with speaking I didn’t like all the marketing involved, that my message needed to be clearer, and my website needs to be improved. For my relationships, I wrote that I longed for more depth in my friendships, I feel isolated at times, and lonely when people assume I’m “busy” or only up to “big things”.
Next, I wrote out my Dreams.
I took time to think about how I wanted to feel in these areas of my life, and where I saw myself 5 years from now. I see myself as active in sports, spiritual with regular yoga and meditation practices, and conscious about the food I cook and eat. I see myself as a traveling speaker and writer, leading a collaborative personal development community. I see myself in a loving relationship with a partner that inspires me daily, family and friends near and dear to my heart, and shared experiences that create lasting memories.
I then wrote out my Obstacles.
The obstacles I am facing for my health are consistently doing what I need to do. I realize that I am best when I put things into my schedule. For my work, I realized that obstacles included getting clear on my vision, taking time to re-evaluate it given what I learned the past year and a half, and having the support of a small team to help shape and support this. For my relationships, I realize that my obstacle is often my own judgments and expectations of how I think things should be; that people should include me in plans or call me more often than just the odd check in once every few months. Instead, I know I am a good organizer and should practice giving more than I receive, giving without expectation, and actively choosing to nourish friendships and family bonds that help me grow.
All of these led me to take Action.
For my health, I learned to integrate daily practices of exercise, cooking, yoga, meditation, and fun into my schedule, and have found that making time for things that fill me and make me feel good is not only possible but also positively benefits how I show up in other areas of my day. For my work, I realize that instead of continuously doing what I have been doing and getting the same results, taking time to make adjustments and create a new vision are now my priority, and I’ve also reached out to people for support. For my relationships, I stop myself whenever I think I am feeling isolated, and instead think about what I can do about it; I reach out to a friend, make plans to do something, or organize a social gathering with people I love.
All worry is futile if it is just worry. So often we let our minds get wrapped up in the cycle of our Pain and negative thoughts that we can’t see a way out. Going through this process made me become aware of different approaches to my problems that I hadn’t previously considered. It reminded me that beneath our pain, there is an opportunity to gain awareness into our dreams and obstacles, so that we can make choices to take action towards who we want to be and the life we want to lead.