DTD Episode 106 Show Notes
I Dare You To Move!
I don’t know about you but there have certainly been a few times in my life when I have felt stuck……and I mean really stuck! …….knowing my current circumstance was not the right fit but unable to make the next necessary step.
Even when the choice is right It can be hard to walk from the known to the unknown…..particularly when that move is huge!
It’s been almost 15 years but I still remember the feeling I had while waiting on ME to start the process of getting out of an abusive marriage…………..
It was such a journey to get to the point of KNOWING that I could not be who I was made to be….make my unique impact in this world…….in that marriage…..and there I sat……
I was beaten down from walking on eggshells for years….had physical reactions to fear that ignited whenever I was yelled at……..had been told I was a failure and a sham……screamed at for having to have surgery that required time for recovery……No matter how hard I tried to avoid the wrath there was always something I hadn’t done or something I hadn’t done right….it didn’t even need to make sense……If the spew had to happen he could always find a why……like the time he walked into the kitchen to scream at me for never doing the dishes while my hands were dripping with water over the sink as I DID the dishes.
Over years the abuse had morphed me……. Applying normal relationship strategies to what was not normal didn’t make a dent….I thought I was negotiating or accommodating like a normal couple would without realizing I was the only one making any change….. the slow, methodical metamorphosis I made to make a marriage that wasn’t working work…..I was the proverbial frog in the water and couldn’t feel the heat.
I had spent years trying to make the marriage right……doing all I knew to do to fix it…trying what was in my control..…….I still remember exactly where I was when I had that final ah ha moment….. ….My “punishments” never fit my “crimes.” AND…..This relationship is what it is and I can NOT do anything to make it better…..I need to put the full focus of my creativity and energy towards getting out.
Soon after that epiphany moment I launched my coaching business….an important step that could provide both the money to support myself and two young boys and the flexibility I’d need to help all of us heal……And I’d be able to use my unique gifts – I could be who I was made to be!
Thankfully, my business took off quickly……and yet, there I sat… My boys were suffering, I could not be all of me……..And I was STILL unable to take that last final step………to file the paperwork that would distinguish the flame of hope and cement the end of that marriage.
It’s where I first used the term Limbo Land. It’s such an uncomfortable place. You know that you aren’t in the right place but feel uncertain about where to go next …..Or….know the direction but fear the unknowns that accompany the big step.
I felt paralyzed. The visual I had for the moment was standing at the edge of a forest with an expansive, open field in front of me. To leave the comfort of the known I just had to take that first step into the big, open unknown where the possibility of making my impact lived.
One my boys’ counselors’ knew what I needed to do…..and knew that I was stuck…. He suggested I listen to the song….Dare You To Move by Switchfoot.
Just a couple of the lines…..
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be………I Dare You to Move
That song became my anthem! I listened to it over and over.
And happily, was soon able to make that important big step away from what I knew wasn’t working towards a life that could.
Since my big step almost 15 years ago I’ve had the privilege of walking beside others taking their professional or personal big steps….whether it was big career moves, having tough conversations, transforming relationships or transitioning away, working towards health.
Here are 3 strategies that have helped ease the tension of transition for me and many others
1. Focus on the First Step
- Take it all one step at a time. You don’t have to decide your entire future to take the first step. I often ask clients to put secondary decisions on hold. By tabling them for now you can focus on just that next small step rather than being overwhelmed by many. And guessing at a future you aren’t certain of isn’t best use of your time anyway.I still remember a client who negotiated me into her severance package. It was a scary time for her but also exciting as she created a future aligned with her dreams. She was exploring the idea of moving from the for-profit world to non-profit. Her first inclination was to figure out where she wanted to work while she still struggled with the initial idea. Through coaching I had her back off from that future choice to focus first on that next step….Was non-profit for her? We did some exploration and when that decision came back with a yes we moved forward to determining what ignited her passion more specifically. By taking it one step at a time she was able to avoid a lot of the fear and overwhelm that can come with a big move.
2. The Decision isn’t Final
- If things work out horribly or aren’t what they seem –just tweak your choice……The path this one decision takes you on is not the end all be all and perfection should not be the goal. The truth is, sometimes you can’t know more about the outcomes until you just start.A few years ago I was part of a small team that launched a ministry for single moms. We had done the basic work of designing our initial service offerings and some felt we should ponder and do more research before we launched.My immediate response, “Research cannot give us more facts about reality. Only experience can do that. The truth is, there will probably be even more trip-ups than what we anticipate from here. We’ll never be perfectly ready. With action we’ll get answers to questions we haven’t even thought of yet. Let’s just launch to see what we learn and tweak from there.” And that’s what we did!We launched, we learned and we made changes from there.
Remember – you don’t have to define ANYTHING as a failure! Every misstep, every snafu, is a chance to learn, grow and redirect.
Ultimately the change you experience creates a moment in time. There will be opportunities to make more choices along the way
3. Get Real About Your Fear:
- Often we sit with a generalized fear of the unknown. Making the fear of the future concrete can help. I like to take my clients through a little exercise called, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Get specific!While you may assume that asking this question would drive us down an anxiety-inducing path, that actually has never been the case. As a matter of fact, we almost always end up with plenty of laughter. When we define the fears there is either a ridiculously low probability they would actually happen OR…. are easily overcome. At times the “what if” scenarios are actually better than the current circumstance. So, yes….we laugh!What we find is that The generalized fear is almost always worse than the individual things you identify if you make it specific. And, you soon realize that most of what you imagine won’t happen and, that if it did, you’d actually be fine. There would be options, you’ve made it through worse already…