Now that we’re starting to get our bearings in this crazy “new normal” we’re all experiencing, I thought I’d check in. What opportunities are you starting to see in all of this?
If you’re not there yet, don’t beat yourself up. Fear is enough of an oppressive emotion, without heaping on the pressure of self judgment.
But if you are there, if you are seeing opportunities all around you in the midst of this new reality...there is a reason. This is your divine wisdom and intuition guiding you. Now, more than ever before, How do you listen more closely to those little ideas popping into your head? How can you take some action, no matter how tiny, towards these ideas?
I call these “Universal shoulder taps,” and we experience them all the time. But we’ve gotten really good at ignoring them, pushing them aside, or tabling for when the time feels right.
But when we do that, the inspiration goes away. We lose passion for the idea. We tell ourselves it wasn’t meant to be, but sit in our discontent because we know we’re not really living our purpose or fulfilling our dreams.
You're seeing these opportunists popping up every day - recognizing and seizing the opportunities this pandemic is bringing in such creative and exciting ways. The ones who are emerging as leaders in their respective spaces are the ones who have been quick to take action.
OK...no pressure, right? (And we all laugh, a little nervously.) But maybe we can break that down in a way that doesn’t feel quite so heavy. Here’s a 3-part roadmap that helped me and has helped many of my clients take hold of the opportunities in front of them.
Resist the Voice of Fear
You may have an idea brewing, and could be telling yourself, “But, my business is this other thing,” or “But I have a full-time job,” or “But that doesn’t make any sense,” or my favorite: “But how will I earn a living doing that?”
All of those thoughts are just distractions. It’s the brain’s way of keeping you safe by stopping you from venturing into the unknown. To your primitive brain, you’re safe where you are right now because you’re alive and in no immediate danger. Your primitive brain views moving toward a new and risky idea the same way it would stepping outside the cave where dangerous animals would eat you.
But you’re not going to get eaten. So you’ve got to resist the voice in your head saying, “This is insane! What are you thinking?? Don’t do it!”
Easier said than done; I know from experience. This is fear talking, and fear is a powerful emotion. When you hear this voice of fear rising up, the most important thing to remember is that it needs to be heard. So take out a piece of paper, open a journal, and start writing down every fearful thought that comes to mind. Every reason this idea is impossible or ridiculous. Everything that could go wrong. Give it a voice.
Then, the next step is to challenge those thoughts. How real and true are they? Are they just stories you’re telling yourself? And if they are true, are they a big enough reason to keep you from fulfilling your mission or realizing a dream?
Then, make a commitment to yourself to move through the fear, and JFDI (just f*cking do it).
This is hard work, people. If you need a partner to walk beside you on this journey, that’s why I’m here.
Take Baby Steps
A lot of times, you think of a brilliant and energizing idea, but then you get bogged down in all the steps to realize it. You see an end goal, but you feel the need to figure out all of these steps before you can begin the work. And it doesn’t take long before the passion behind the idea fades, or you get overwhelmed and give up entirely.
I love the quote from MLK that says “You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step.” This need to see it all mapped out keeps us paralyzed, and the next thing you know, someone else has brought your little idea to life.
Truth is, this happens to me a lot. It happens to all of us a lot.
The way to keep an idea alive is to suppress the urge to get wrapped up in all the “how.” I call this the “Insight: Act” method. When a flash of inspiration hits, take some kind of immediate action - any action - in the direction of this idea.
It doesn’t have to be a big step. It could simply be to journal about it. Or call up a friend to brainstorm around it. Something small that keeps up the momentum.
When you take baby steps in the direction of these divine downloads, the Universe conspires to support your vision. I always say the “how” is none of your business. Keep noticing the shoulder taps. Just keep taking the steps.
Be Loosely Disciplined
Once you’ve taken a few of these immediate baby steps, you’re starting to create a clearer path to achieving the idea. Now is the perfect time to create some structure and hold yourself accountable for taking the big actions.
Again, it’s important not to get too wrapped up in worry over making a bad decision or taking the “wrong” approach. Remember your internal GPS. Keeping your intention loose enough to change course or experience trial and error is going to be critical in getting to your ultimate goal. You may even find along the way that the vision changes. This is all normal and a part of the creative process.
You can still create a structure that keeps you focused and moving in the direction of the dream. I have a great process that I call AIM-SMART that helps with this. We’ve all heard of SMART goals…this process helps to better pinpoint the goals so you’re more likely to actually achieve them. If you’d like to try this tool, message me and I’ll send it to you for free.
Right now, the world feels shaky. There's a lot of worry, and there's a lot of opportunity. very coin has two sides. If you’re a business owner, your business could look completely different a year from now…perhaps even sooner. If you’re gainfully employed, that can change in an instant. Those who will weather this storm are the ones who recognize and seize opportunities. They tap into their unlimited personal power and potential, resist the voice of fear, take baby steps and hold themselves accountable for the outcome through discipline.
I believe in you. You're more creative and powerful than you think. If you’d like a partner to walk beside you through this terrifying and exhilarating process, that’s my specialty. I’m here for you.