It takes some experimenting
to find your own “just right.”
When reaching a “breakthrough moment” in creating positive changes in their lives, many of my clients say things like,
“I just wish I’d figured this all out sooner.”
“If only I hadn’t wasted that time in my 20s, I’d have it all together by now.”
“Why did it take me so long to see this?”
When you’ve hit upon a discovery and/or finally taken action that makes you much happier than you’ve ever been, it’s only natural to wish that you could have made that discovery or taken that action in the first place!
We often feel guilty for mourning our own challenges and losses when they seem to pale in comparison to those of others.
As frustrating as small setbacks are, and as painful as larger challenges such as a breakup or a job loss can be, they can suddenly seem like not such a big deal in the light of tragedies such as natural disasters and horrific acts of violence, or a major adversity that another individual is facing.
Many people respond to the insight of perspective by throwing a bunch of guilt and shame on top of their pain—saying to themselves, “There are people with real problems in the world, and I shouldn’t be complaining about this—or even feeling bad about it.”
Then, being only human, they go on feeling bad, and feel even worse for feeling that way!
This approach is taking something with great helping and healing potential (perspective) and transforming it into something destructive (guilt and shame).
Guilt is not a helping emotion. Neither is shame.
Both emotions feed negative energy and keep you stuck—and do nothing to help those “people with real problems,” either.
No doubt about it—the winter holidays can be particularly poignant when you’re in transition.
This time of year is a common “taking-stock” time. As you go to festive parties or head home for the holidays, you can’t help but think about what your life was like this time last year, and the year before, and the year before.
If things were better last year—you had a job you loved, or you were in a great relationship, or you were happily single instead of dealing with the fresh heartbreak upon you now—the comparison can feel really sad, frustrating, or overwhelming.
On the other hand, holidays can be a time of deep awareness of what hasn’t changed.
If last year you vowed that this would be the year you finally (fill in the blank), the realization that it wasn’t can hit hard.
If you were stuck last year, and you’re still stuck now, still feeling in transition, you can get sucked into a defeatist mentality. “I’ll never figure it out.” “I haven’t made any progress.” “I guess I’m just the messed up sister.”
“I thought I would do things that made me happy, but I never once imagined any of them making me any money.”
Rae and I discuss her career journey from “slinging coffee” to being a non-profit fundraiser, and how she ended up finding her passion in a job she landed in—a path she describes as “random, to say the very least.”
You’ll hear about:
- the importance of champions and mentors
- identifying and packaging your transferable skills
- how to make yourself happy (she’s talking to you!)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
Resolving to be more present or take better care of your mental/spiritual/emotional self in the new year?
If you would like to maintain a mindfulness practice or incorporate meditation into your life, but you “don’t have time,” The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo could be a great resource for you.