“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have
courage to lose sight of the shore.”
William Faulkner, 1897-1962 – American Writer
I recently wrote a blog post about an easy way to overcome overwhelm.
It was about a client who arrived at my Thrive Experience retreat only to tell me he wasn’t going to stay because he had “too much on”, and what happened next. (You can read it here.)
What’s hard to see when you’re in that state, is that it’s never about how much you have on – it’s really about how much you have bouncing around your mind. And in particular, what your self-talk is. And they can be managed.
The same thing often arises when you ‘feel’ like you want to change something significant. (Your business, your team, your job, your relationship, your direction in life)
If we’re not careful we can over-think the pros and cons to the extent that our minds become overwhelmed – and so we create a mental fog that blocks the clarity we’re seeking.
I remember being an executive in the corporate world and feeling an urge to do something different i.e. leave my job.
But my mind got overwhelmed with the ‘what if this’ and ‘what if that’.
So I ended up procrastinating.
And then I took some time out to do a retreat of sorts – but it was really in training around how to use my mind. Central to it was to learn the skill of relaxation – not physical but mental.
Half-way through the retreat I was having dinner with a few people and someone asked me what I did for a living. I answered with what I was doing at the time but I added this without thinking:
“But I’m handing in my notice when I get back because I know I want to do new things.”
That only came out of my mouth because my mind was very relaxed. It came from a different part of me – let’s call it deep intuition.
And once I’d said it I couldn’t take it back.
I had to follow through. Which I did.
I handed in my notice on return and in reference to the quote above, left the shore and began swimming in a new direction – without fully seeing the next shoreline.
Being honest, this was very scary at times, especially because you begin to realise, how attached you are to the shore you’re on. (And that could be attachment to the people around you, your life situation, or even to old habits.)
And it was tempting at times to turn around and swim back – very tempting – but I’m glad I didn’t.
There’s not a week goes by in my work that I don’t meet someone who is considering leaving their existing shore for a new horizon of some sorts.
Courage is important to help you start swimming.
But what’s more important is to learn the value of allowing your mind to relax to get clarity – not just every now and then but as a part of your daily work and life approach. That provides the right environment for clarity.
Those moments of clarity or insight that are often referred to as Eureka moments. Often you know they’re right because the come from a different part of you i.e. it’s just a knowing and is beyond rational thought.
Being rational is a useful skill in business and life. But using it too much can block our deeper intuition.
Where is your intuition or gut talking to you at the moment?
Maybe it’s time to start swimming…?
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