It’s very natural to avoid making difficult decisions and life changes. Change is hard. We can feel attached to lots of simple things, like our favourite coffee mug or the usual route home. So the decision to leave a well-paying job, end a significant relationship, or move across the country can be heartwrenching. Unfortunately, we often make it harder by defining ourselves in narrow terms, “I am a stock broker,” or “I am a parent”, or saying things like, “that’s just the way I am.” The truth is, our lives are always changing, and so are we. We can, like a good organic gardener, begin the process of composting, and when the time is right, plant new seeds.
All things, come to an end. This is a natural process. We can turn over the soil, and allow life to begin again. By letting go of old beliefs, we can nurture new growth in our lives!
When Making Making Difficult Decisions, remember these 3 Secrets:
#1) You are more than your circumstances.
Circumstances are always changing. Think about how different the world is from the eyes of a 10 year old, as it is for a 25 or 50 year old. A major hurdle, like getting our drivers license, seems like a speed bump after writing a university exam. Our experience builds our capacity to face new challenges or make life changes. Whatever your current circumstances, whatever struggle, there will come a time when the pain of the situation will have passed. You will see the problem and circumstances with greater clarity and wisdom.
Sometimes we lose sight of the larger context of our lives. We forget that we are not alone. Dealing with difficult decisions is a very human experience. It is important not to get caught believing our current circumstances will last forever. All storms, pass. We may feel like a sailboat being blown about in an ocean storm, but when we look deeper, we have the strength and the wisdom to find stability and peace to outlast the storm.
Our human nature is to adapt, and grow and learn, and we will still be there long after our circumstances have changed.
#2) You are more than your emotions.
There is more to us than our feelings. We often come to see our feelings as real. But isn’t it true that we are more than our feelings and emotions? What about the times we overcame our anxiety? Kept our cool in the heat of the conflict? Didn’t avoid or escape our pain? When we nurture the full story we see a clearer picture of ourselves, and invite new opportunities into our lives.
Emotions, however powerful, are temporary, and they do pass. When you find yourself caught in a storm of strong emotions, your mind is probably caught in an endless loop of thoughts. We think that thinking might help us find a way out of our problem. We ask ourselves “why” we are feeling this way. The result is more thinking. However, our breath can be a reminder that aside from our thoughts, something deeper, something more stable and reliable is happening in our bodies, something we don’t have to fix, or work on, or control.
Simply returning our focus to our breath, can help us “peacefully abide” until our feelings pass. The breath was there long before the feelings, and will be there long after they are gone. While you breath, imagine your emotions passing like clouds moving across the sky. Just as a violent storm with dark clouds and heavy rain may come and inhabit the sky for a time, we can find peace by focusing on our breath, even when the strongest of emotions try to sweep us away.
#3) You are more than your results!
How many attempts does it take before a baby learns to walk? How many mistakes does a piano player make, before she perfects the song? Yet we often define ourselves by our setbacks and failures. We fear that we are people who can’t build a lasting relationship, who can’t lose weight or can’t overcome depression.
Learning to change any habit or develop a new pattern, takes time, patience, and self-compassion. The most successful athletes and musicians train in detaching from discouraging short-term outcomes, and by developing long-term thinking. They measure success on effort and celebrate the small wins while keeping their long-term goals in sight.
We might not be training for elite competition, but we can learn to detach from the pain that comes from short-term difficulties. Just because this job, or this relationship didn’t work, or because we didn’t succeed this time, does not mean we are doomed to endless failure.
We can learn, and grow and change. We can develop a new game plan. We can work smarter. Love deeper. We can let go and begin again.
Invest in Your Wellbeing!
Do you get caught up believing you are stuck due to your current circumstances? Are emotions immobilizing you? Are the results you have achieved (or not achieved) in the past holding you back from moving on?
Consider the bigger picture. When have you NOT let circumstances, emotions or achievements define you? When have you done and achieved things in spite of you circumstances, feelings or current skills and abilities?
Don’t let yourself be defined by these things. Breathe. Pause. Allow the thoughts and emotions to pass, then take the necessary next step toward the decision or life change necessary for you.
Did you like this Blog?
If you did, please share it with your community using the buttons below! Also, be sure to sign up to receive information, resources and inspiration to help you become more mindful of all your wellbeing needs!