What To Do
When You Don’t Know What To Do
It’s been a big week in the USA, following the presidential elections. Enough said there. That is what led to the focus of this post, because it framed what each of my clients brought to our coaching sessions this week.
My very first call on the morning after the election was 8am, and consequently, despite absolutely loving the work I do – and especially because I love my clients so much – I quite frankly wondered about my capacity to coach and support them. Here’s how the week unfolded:
Start by remembering who you are.
We are human beings, not human doings. Much of what we work on is just that – becoming clear on the unique brilliance with which you have been endowed. There is no other DNA like yours on the planet, and even if there were, it did not grow and develop in the environment, under the circumstances and with the experiences yours did. You have a reason for being here: to use as much of that brilliance to shine your gifts and talents in ways that bring you the most joy.
It is not about sacrifice and struggle, but about personal expression in ways that add the most value to the whole – this universe we live in or some preferred portion of it. To do that, you have to (1) serve in the unique way you can so others can “win” at whatever need you help them fill; and (2) do it in a way that feels best to you, so you “win,” too. Win-Win action has the highest and best energy and purpose, without diminishing anyone or anything.
The combination of recognizing uniqueness, and the activities and involvements that bring you the most joy, allows you to take a step, then another, then another, in the right direction. And now you are doing! That doing follows from activating your true sense of being (who you truly are). Then you can get to, or get back to, exhilaration (i.e., being gladly enlivened).
That’s how you can do the most good and feel the most alive.
Practice gratitude and appreciation.
This is one of the best things to do when you don’t know where to begin, even if all you can start with is “I am grateful I have enough air to breathe.” Because that means you are alive, and it gets the ball rolling. Notice the next thing you are grateful for, and the next, and the next. It unfolds from there. I love the saying “what you appreciate appreciates.” It’s like planting a seed for what you want more of, and seeing it grow into a whole tree of that.
Seek to accept what is.
This reminds me of the question frequently asked in the 1960’s: “what is reality?” “What is” is a matter of perception, and in the eye of the beholder. Whatever is going on that you may find troubling or disconcerting or worrying, etc., is the matter to be accepted, so you can move past it. It may be shared by a lot of other people (for different reasons) like post-election matters, and it might only be going on for you. Moving past? Ha. Easier said than done, right?
Well, a helpful construct is the triad of “Awareness, Acceptance and Action.” This, is best summed up by recognizing the “reality” as you define it, acknowledging that it exists, and doing the next right thing that occurs to you – after remembering who you are and practicing some gratitude and appreciation to inform that action. It is the action that allows you to accept that the reality may exist, but doesn’t have to paralyze you. At some point that acceptance will allow you to change the reality or your perception of the reality, but at any rate, you will have already started moving on, and can (at least) view it from a new perspective.
Change is a process.
Whatever happened to stun you – stop your progress and make you wonder what to do (which is where we started) – likely has something to do with some sort of perceived change. It’s a wrinkle in the space-time continuity, a snag in the fabric of your life, the veritable monkey wrench thrown into the works (or spanner if you’re British, or obstacle, hindrance) – something you “are going to have to deal with” somehow… when the “how” is not particularly clear. That change is typically perceived as an outside event.
But here’s the rub. Change is an event, external to us – something old that has stopped or new has started. It can even impact you as a result of other people’s’ changes – work, friends, family, community, even world events. (There can also be internal change that results from a decision we make as a result of an insight, idea or other awareness that has come to mind.) The rub? We respond and adapt to such things through a transition – which isn’t an event, it is a process. It doesn’t happen all at once.
You have choices as to how that process will play out in your life.
As to making those choices – start at the top by remembering who you are, go for joy, and move through the article again… that’s what my clients and I did this week.
If you would like to consider all this in a more holistic way – for your whole life – and learn how to put together a plan to make the changes for what you most prefer, move in a new direction, create a second act, design more exhilaration into your involvements, activities and relationships… join me for a complimentary webinar presentation:
Beyond Career Success:
Design an Inspired New Path for Life, Leadership & Legacy
Check it out here: www.dollygarlo.com/webinar