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When you are up against the wall and facing real challenges like finding the money to pay your rent or mortgage you can lose heart and be tempted to abandon your desire to create change. Even though you are paying attention and looking for inspiration, you may find yourself in a place where you start to think to yourself that this might not work. Doubt starts to undermine your drive until you find yourself thinking that whatever you did before was probably better than this.
In that moment you must catch yourself and recognize that your brain is trying to revert back to old patterns. While you do control your perceptions of the universe, your level of consciousness is limited (or expanded) by your beliefs. What happens when hard work doesn’t immediately show results you hoped for? Instead of being patient and having faith, it’s easy to start judging and telling yourself what you should or shouldn’t have done. You enter the old familiar, well-worn groove of responding in the exact ways that shaped your past. And, for some unknown reason, you will probably also embark on a marathon of negative self-talk, reassuring yourself that “This feels familiar, I’m comfortable here, I think I’ll just stay here instead of...” Suddenly you start to lose steam until you just stop. Sound familiar? This back slide may continue for hours, days, sometimes even years, until hopefully, some event rekindles your desire for change.
No matter how much time you’ve lost you can still re-engage with your drive and begin to move forward again. In almost every workshop I have led, when people get in touch with their dreams, someone will inevitably approach me and ask in a whisper, “Is it too late?”
My answer is always the same – Never! it’s never too late.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed or frustrated by the pace at which change is or isn’t happening, I reboot my focus by reaching for a notebook (or scrap of paper) and I draw a picture of what I am envisioning. This simple act helps me see beyond the current situation and reconnects me with what I know is possible. In a recent study conducted by Professor Hal Hershfield at UCLA and funded by the Consumer Protection Bureau they measured the effectiveness of having people draw your future to help individuals connect with their future self. The study was created because almost 60% of the population isn’t saving for their retirement. Hershfields’ previous work identified that this was due to individuals not being able to imagine their future self. By connecting with that imaginary self in the future, it created a better desire to save for that person.
We all have our own personal demons that stand between us and where we’d like to be in life. When we encounter them, we need to do something to direct our consciousness away from the voices that tell us we don’t deserve whatever we are striving for. This is the perfect time to practice shifting your perspective. Start by acknowledging what is going on. Then do some intentional deep breathing – use the four part breathing I described in a previous blog (in for four counts, hold four counts, out for four counts, hold for four counts, etc.).
You can sit down and do a few minutes of meditation, take yourself on a walk or even do a few quick push-ups. Set boundaries to keep your badass self-critic from sabotaging you. You might even need to set boundaries with anyone who doubts your ability to do things differently.
Refocusing takes as little as 10 seconds. You don’t even have to close your eyes, simply see yourself in your mind’s eye doing the thing you want to do. Here’s what’s happening… in the absence of belief, your fear has stepped in and started to drag you down memory lane. Find a way to open your heart. Think of something you love or bring to mind someone who believes in you. Then, when you feel your heart open, ask for a simple next step and wait to feel your inner hard drive reboot.
Let that drive help you pick up the phone and call the friend who has the job you want and ask if there are any other openings. Go out and replace that front flower bed because your ultimate goal is to sell your little house and get a smaller condo downtown. Knock on their door to convince your landlord face to face that they should deduct your efforts from your rent on a regular basis, so it frees up some cash for your dream. Stay with friends in town and Airbnb your home. Every moment is an opportunity to choose between distraction and taking action on your dream.
At the end of every day, make a list of all you are grateful for. And get enough sleep to be able to bring enough energy to your project. Remember you can change and modify your energy. Huffington Post contributor, Stephenie Zamora, suggests three simple ways to shift your energy:
Change your environment;
Change your location;
Change your mindset.
Something as simple as changing the wallpaper on your phone or computer or sitting in a different chair can reset your energy.
This week, your mission should you choose to accept it, is to practice rewiring yourself and your doubt.
1. Track your trigger to see what is setting it off.
2. Reroute your pattern by trying one of the things I suggest – breathing, meditating, walking, exercise.
3. Take one small action to reboot your hard drive.
Remember to be grateful for everything big or small, it is helping you expand Creative Genius You! Can’t wait to see you next week!