Last week, I shared how to survive if you fall the the ice (or face any major crisis). My post generated a few emails from concerned friends. I am so thankful for this circle of support. 2018 in general has been a year of many significant ups and downs. It would be so easy to say, “I’ll be thankful when this year is over and I can move on.” But the reality is that each difficulty has revealed a multitude of blessings. I would not give those up just to not experience that pain that came, too.
I wanted to share my journey and experience because our personal lives are not separate from our work lives. We just have ‘life’. When I am focused on all that is not going well, I miss the lessons and the blessings. I find that working and thinking to be impossible. To put it bluntly, my productivity diminishes.
So last night, I purchased a pack of thank you note cards with the intent to thank each of the challenges I have experienced recently. One of the major challenges was in acquiring a service dog for my son.
Here is the note I wrote to this challenge:
Thank you so much for the tremendous blessing you have given us. Two weeks ago we sent you a payment, you accepted that payment and sent us a notice on that same day to let us know that your facility would be closing. A week later we received notice of your bankruptcy. I couldn’t have imagined in that moment the blessings that would come from your actions. Actions that seemed negligent and extremely hurtful, even criminal.
Two weeks later though, the gifts are coming in more quickly than the pain and shock of that email.
In two short weeks, this is what we have received that is even better than what we could have imagined:
From just one challenge, we received no less than seven major blessings. What challenges are you facing today, that are blessings in disguise? I encourage you to thank each one of them.
Share in the comments how this exercise affected you.
I’ve recently had a series of unfortunate events. As I was sharing with my mentor and friend all that was going on, I told her that life was just feeling hard, that I feel like I have been hit by a Mac truck (or a few). Her question back, “What could make it softer?” got me thinking because I don't tend to be the kind of a person to blame the world for my frustrations. I usually feel like you find a lesson in every single thing, that there is a silver lining, something to be gained even when things aren't going right (aka the way you expected them to go).
But this time, the onslaught was just too much and I was completely overwhelmed.
Then a video popped up on my Facebook Feed:
I stopped scrolling through and watched it and was immediately struck by this video and my own situation. I was being given the exact formula for getting myself unstuck and back on solid ground.
Here are the steps:
1 – Don’t Panic
Your lungs could fill with ice cold water and you will drown. You have to allow yourself to feel that shock of the cold water.
2 – Breathe and Relax
Take a deep breath and relax. Do the things that will calm you down from your sense of fear and overwhelm. Take care of yourself.
3 – Give yourself space
You need room to think. Give yourself space to think and plan the next step. Even if it is a small step. Break the ice around you (use your feet). Do not let the ice trap you.
4 – Kick your legs to break the ice behind you
Continue to break the ice behind you. Crush all of that that is holding you in place here and by doing so, you will start moving, getting your energy and warmth up.
5- Use this energy/movement to start propelling yourself forward (slowly)
You are not going to put your hands on the ice and push yourself up. Doing so would sink you. Kicking out behind you allows you to slowly propel yourself forward horizontally onto the ice, little by little.
6 – Go all in and be vulnerable
Spread your entire self, arms and legs wide onto the ice. You are fully vulnerable on this thin ice and fully committed but you have also cast yourself wide exploring and receiving all the support that is coming to you. Allow this. You are out of the cold water but not off of the ice yet.
7 – Continue to move forward until the ground is beneath you
You cannot stay partially in the situation. You must keep moving forward until you have solid ground beneath you BEFORE you stand up. Continue to wiggle forward in small motions until you are ready to slowly stand up.
I am in the kicking forward stage at the moment. I am not even yet out of the ice water, but I'm getting there.
It’s a hard place to be when fall through the ice. It may seem to come out of nowhere. Allow the shock to wash over you and breathe through it.
I would love to hear how you are receiving this message today. Share with me by replying or commenting online.
Are you over complicating this? Are you making this harder than it needs to be? If you’re anything like me and I’m guessing you are, there are times when you get stuck in your own head and need a way around. I want to share with you an experience that I had recently.
I often will sign up for new programs. I would so much rather rely on the expertise of people who have gone before than to reinvent the wheel. If somebody has and offering and it sounds like it can solve my problem, I am 100 percent willing to invest in that program to make the path easier for myself. But, I experienced a conundrum. I was excited about the beginning of the program, all that I was learning, the mindset shifts I was experiencing when, at the three-week mark, I hit a wall.
The Kolbe Assessment, an evaluation I took in 2016 came to mind. One of the levels it evaluates is Quick Start. People who are high on Quick Start are fast to take action with new ideas. They may not necessarily get around to implementing everything, but they do start a lot of different stuff. I am higher than the median on Quick Start. I do finish a good amount of the projects that I start but I also have a lot of ideas. What if, I was stuck in Quick Start mode but would never finish??
I began a new program and I wanted the results that others had. I knew there was a path from A to B, right? That’s why I brought the program, to explain how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be. I knew that it was possible, but everything was feeling complicated. The enthusiasm and energy from the beginning of the program had started to wear off, it just seemed confusing. Like everything was kind of jumbled up in my mind. Has this happened to you? I would love for you to write to me and let me know. Have you gotten to the point where you could not see the path forward?
The demons appeared
I decided to take the next step on the path outlined by the instructor, trusting they would not lead me astray. And everything began to open up. I had to push the demons aside and just move forward in faith.
Why I got stuck
I lost track of myself and what I was already great at in trying to implement just like the instructor. You can use others’ information as a framework but it should never replace your specific magic.
I confused something uncomfortable for failing. Because I couldn’t see each next step I worried that the path would disappear, but it didn’t. The right path is always available.
The 4-Step Process for Moving Forward
1 — Remember Your Strengths
2 — List Your Successes (things that were once hard but are now easy)
3 — Recall Your Vision
4 — Take the Next Small Step.
When I did this four-step process, the noise and nonsense fell away and my desired outcome became clear again. In this case, what became clear was that I had six pages of notes of exactly what my ideal clients needed from me to improve their situation. And as luck would have it, I was able to whittle this down to 52 specific questions. I am thrilled to be able to answer these questions on my podcast anchor.fm/momentumaccountability and here.
You will only ever know the next few steps ahead. Trust yourself, your strengths and your past successes to know that you will figure out the next best step to take. And when you become frazzled, follow the four-step process to come back to clarity.
Scrap it and Start Over
There are times when you may need to scrap it and start over. If you are working and working at something and not making progress, start with a fresh page and try again. Apply all that you have learned in the first round that was not successful. You will make progress faster and in better alignment with your vision.
I’d love to hear from you. Where are you overcomplicating things?
Hi! I'm Nettie Owens, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and Productivity Consultant.