I took a chance last year at quitting the work I had been doing for 20 years. I had come to a place in my life that no matter how I tried to spin it in my own head, what I did for a living gave me no joy. I would get up early, pray, meditate and try to psyche myself up to just get through the day but by lunchtime I wanted to bolt. My shoulders were becoming frozen in a hunched position and my back and neck hurt from sitting in a chair all day long. I kept several chiropractors busy over the years, ended up with dry eye syndrome from staring at the computer screen all day and my jaws ached from gritting my teeth.
My body and mind were screaming at me loud enough to finally listen.
I have been journaling, seeing counselors, doing workshops and reading self-help books for years. I make gratitude lists and vision boards and have done all kinds of work around self-discovery. I knew what I enjoyed doing do but kept telling myself that I didn’t have the skills, the education, or I was just too old to start over in the kind of career I thought I would enjoy. In other words, I kept sabotaging my own dream by the way I spoke to myself. My focus was on all the things that kept me from having what I wanted and kept hidden all the things that would help me live my dream. A quote that I came across was a lightning bolt to my awareness “Do not let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can”. Wow…I got it.
So I began the journey to change my thinking from I can’t, to I can.
I began to ask myself “how CAN I do this?” My journal became a unfailing record of how I talked to myself and I began to recognize that I blamed my circumstances and other people for the quality of my own life. I wasn’t trying to change at all, I had only been bitching about what was wrong. This perspective only fueled my self-doubt and undermined anything new I attempted.
So I prayed for a different perspective.
Several amazing books “showed up” in the coming weeks. The common thread in these was the law of attraction and how the energy of our thoughts draw to us things that match that energy. If I focus on having a bad day the moment I open my eyes – well chances are that is exactly what I will end up with. When I focus on things that carry a higher energy signature, such as love, gratitude, service to others – I feel better because the energy is lighter, brighter and more positive. Negative energy such as berating myself for a mistake, judging others, and expecting a rotten day is heavy and constricting like a vice. It squeezes out any space I have for what lifts me up and gives me hope. I noticed how much better I felt when I would catch myself in the negative and made a concerted effort to turn my thinking around. My focus became more on the present and what was going on inside me and seemed to propel me into a better future.
The difference it made in life was so astounding that my life completely transformed. I went back to school at 57 to learn a new trade. I said yes to a lot of things that I thought I would never do. I started my own coaching practice. My relationships improved all around, and I was sincere and true to myself and my dreams in everything I did. My quality of life improved in ways I had only dreamed of. All from changing my thinking.
The coaches I have had were marvelous in catching me when I slipped into my old gremlin of self-doubt and helped upright me and set me back on track. Just having someone to check in with each week was what helped me change careers, get through school, and start my own practice. Today I coach others who are walking through so many of the challenges that I have overcome. That is my gift – the ability to let them know that happiness and fulfillment in life is attainable…no matter what.
If you think you can – you can.
Every blog I share comes from the heart and has a challenge or a question within it to help others explore new ways of thinking. I hope that as you read the blogs you would consider starting conversation by commenting. We can learn so much together!