Your friends are getting married and having babies. Some are moving to the burbs. Others are advancing in their careers making beaucoup bucks. Status, love, money, and recognition abound for everybody else. But what about you?
You’re feeling lost. Your head swirls with uncertainty and doubt. You wonder if you’ll ever get what you want or feel satisfied with your life. You hear the clock ticking as the abyss between you and accomplishment widens. You wonder if you’ll ever catch up to those who seem to have it all.
What happened? And where do you begin?
- Start with stopping. Just “drop in” to yourself and the moment. When your mind is racing and your heart is breaking, you’re probably spending too much time focusing on others. Bring your attention back to you. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
- Take a breath. When you’re upset, your breath becomes shallow. It’s preparing your body for the fight/flight response because of a perceived threat. Consciously slow and deepen your breath with an emphasis on a long exhale.
- Tune inward. Do a body scan from feet to head. Notice any areas of tension. Be mindful of your posture. Try to embody the physical position of openness, confidence, and strength. Adjust how you’re sitting or standing. Feeling happy is incongruent with slumped shoulders.
- Silence the mind chatter. Let go of judgements, “shoulds”, & self criticism. Notice your thoughts without getting pulled into them. Label them as “thinking” watch them float away. “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale.
- Observe. What thoughts, actions, or habits feel out of alignment with who you are and what you want to achieve? Choose one thing to do differently today.
- Envision your life as you want it. The body experiences imagined life similarly to real life. When you awfulize or catastrophize life in your mind, your body responds through stress, inflammation, and illness. When you focus instead on your hopes and dreams your body generates calming and energizing hormones to keep you motivated.
- Practice gratitude. What would you miss if you didn’t already have it? Gratitude is the antidote to worry and discontent. It has a positive physiological and energetic effect on your being. Make a checklist and spend a few moments each day contemplating them.
Once you’re feeling a bit more grounded, you can develop an action plan. Worry and discontent mean that something is out of alignment. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It means that your choices, behaviors, or focus are not aligning with your end goals.
Go inside. Check in with yourself. Let go of the comparisons and criticism. Just be. Include loved ones in the conversation. Hire a coach or therapist. Develop a mindfulness practice and follow the flow of energy. Sometimes, you’re a square peg in a round hole. That’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t. Be flexible with yourself. Make adjustments as necessary. Trust the process. You’ll find your tribe, purpose, and truest core self. And that’s when you’ll begin to fly.