UNDERSTANDING YOUR INERTIA:
Tips to get out of stagnation and out of your own way so you can move forward and onto a more productive path — to bring you ultimately into the life you desire.
This coaching blog points out the pitfalls we ALL experience from time to time in life — plus how to deal with each obstacle as you come across it. This will help you get unstuck and help you move forward as the Architect of Your OWN Destiny. I have so been there...
I'm allergic to stagnation.
I'm serious! My body starts to revolt into a sea of aches and pains when I become stagnant. We all do it. Life is cyclical like that. I get burned out or sick or overwhelmed and I rest a little too long...and boom. My body lets me know I rested too long through aches and pains or gained weight or lost range of motion — basically whatever makes me feel the manifestation of my stagnation.
Think of a time when you took a break for a while. Did you not bounce back with more energy? I do it every Saturday. I rest. If my rest period spills over into Sunday, then I realize maybe I pushed it too hard that week. Maybe I was burned out. Maybe this is where I stagnate...sure to be followed by my body’s ever-predictable revolt.
But this is how I operate and how I’ve come to know myself.
For some, stagnation becomes a way of life. Many ignore the aches and pains. Or they ignore whatever signals their stagnation. Eventually, their stagnation turns into inertia. Weeks turn into months and then years. When too much time passes, a person becomes afraid of trying to get unstuck. Is this you? Have you become trapped in a cycle of inertia and fear?
Do you make NO moves because you're afraid of making ANY move?
Do you constantly seek advice from others? Feedback? Recommendations?
Seeking advice is a problem. Unless you're paying an expert to give it, you're going to get bad advice.
(I wrote a blog about this once called, “I need someone to tell me what to do!” Spoiler alert: you do NOT need someone telling you what to do).
At some point as adults, we have to learn to trust ourselves, to validate ourselves.
We know it all and are self-assured at 18, once life kicks us around, we run to what we know, maybe the familiarity of family and friends. But I think there's this weird thing in society now where we are afraid to fail. Call it a product of generational coddling if you want, but we fear discomfort. We've grown — maybe due to social media — to value only perfectionism and finished product, not the process that it took to get there. So we fear making a move that could result in failure or disappointment - when really neither of those things exist, it's only learning that we do.
Do you need validation?
No one is going to come along and tell you that you’re ready and you know enough. No one is going to buy your ticket. No one is coming to save you.
Are you caught in the trap of “researching” or studying to death — and without making any progress, let alone a single step?
Maybe you’ve been acting like just a dreamer, not a doer. But we are ALL doers. We have to be. Maybe the fantasy is fun and gives you a sense of control. But as soon as it comes to doing the work in real life, you can’t stand the thought of it. Stop dreaming, start DOING.
Any action will always been inaction, even if it’s the “wrong” one or a “mistake.”
We can simple try not to assign these meanings to the action. It’s not “wrong” or “right” or a “mistake” or “failure” anymore. It’s merely “learning.” When we choose to see it this way, we progress. We change our perspective from “perfection” to “improvement through learning or trial and error.” Once we see it differently, it changes shape into something we can flow with not be stopped by as though it’s an obstacle.
Also worth noting: mentors come along to help those why TRY and not those who merely DREAM.
Trying and screwing up will always result in getting more help come your way. I will 100% always mentor someone who cares and wants to get better as long as I see them trying. If all I see is a dreamer who wants to just research for the perfect way to do something, I won’t waste my time. That person is in love with research. They want to be told HOW or given a recipe for success. This isn’t how life works. The old saying is, “Fortune favors the brave.” Success favors the risk takers. Put your ass on the line and the Universe will conspire to cover your behind....
Do you refuse to try new things or follow guidance when given it?
Newsflash— if you ask for advice or a recommendation and get it, but then don't put your ass on the line and take it, people will stop dealing with you. We give our knowledge to friends in hopes they take it and don't waste this tiny little piece of us. It’s the same when you’re networking with colleagues.
For example, say you ask me how I got into marathon running. Then I answer and tell you for half an hour over coffee how I did it. Then the next week, you've given up before trying or have started chasing another friend for recommendations on where to buy skates for roller derby...
Guess what my friend? You have what we call...
SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME!
You can't make a commitment because of fear. You can't make a commitment because you will do anything to resist even the slightest failure. You can't commit because you don't even know what you really want. You don't know yourself. Behaving in this way not only ruins your credibility with those who could help you move forward, it makes you look flighty to everyone. Acting like this only hurts you — and it pushes others away.
So how to fix this?
STOP LOOKING OUTSIDE YOURSELF!
You have to learn to sit with yourself, alone, and listen to yourself. It's a practice of being present for oneself where we learn to seek inner guidance instead of guidance from others. If you have a religious or spiritual belief system, then you learn to look beyond the self. You learn to pray for guidance or meditate for it.
Risk taking is a scary prospect for some people. But we don't grow without it. Sitting alone with oneself can be hard, lonely work. I know, I've done it all year due to the pandemic. All kinds of emotional pain will come up. But that's no reason not to do the work.
It is work. To stay in the flow so you can be content in your life and grow as a person is work. But it's good work. It's the kind that will make you happier in the long run. There are days it's frustrating. But I always learn and grow. I gain the kind of knowledge that is earned this way — not given. The work is always worth it.
Stop wanting to read a book on how to do it or talk to that one person who will give you all the shortcuts. Stop wanting to be given the knowledge or the way when, actually, it is earned. Stop trying to cheat; you are only cheating yourself.
So how do you do it?
How do you go from treading water in the land of fear and inertia — to become a heart-centered and productive person who lives in the flow instead of constantly working against it? Because when you're going against the flow of life you are working against yourself. You're in your own way!
There will always be waves, the key is to learn to ride them.
If you're one of the mistake-fearing, over-researching types, you have to start small so your don't terrify yourself. Somewhere in your history, you took a big leap and fell flat on your face. You let it get it you. You've let it hold you back all this time. So you need to allow yourself to have small successes.
Here’s a simple exercise that will free you
Buy a new shirt. Make it a color or style that isn't typically you, something that feels like a risk. This way, it's something you physically have to do and you also have to put money behind it. You are committing to it. Wear it, feel awkward in it, see if anyone even notices or compliments you on it. But careful you don't wander into the land of validation where you trash the shirt if you receive no compliments. Maybe you wear the shirt once and hate it. The point is, you tried it. You wore the shirt for yourself and no one else. You formed an opinion that was either neutral or, “Wow, I hate this/need to buy more like this!”
But you moved the needle.
The key thing to learn here is to own your own choices and their consequences. Once you can do this, you can move forward. You can take risks. Once you realize YOU are the architect of your own destiny, you realize this means YOU are also the architect of your own consequences — good or bad. You don’t need to rely on others once you learn to accept the products of your own actions. Living your life isn’t up to them, it’s up to you. The consequences are always your own.
Yes, this means that if you are currently unhappy with your life, you have only yourself to blame. This means when you make changes that do result in a happier, more content life, you also have yourself to blame. Learning this will free you. It will empower you.
Look within, not without. Asking other people what you need to change or how you need to do it takes your power away from you — and you are the one stealing your own power!
Learn to listen to what you really want and dissect your own motivation. In yoga, we call it svadhyaya, or knowledge of self. You can get it through yoga, relationships, journaling, hobbies...exercise. We all earn our self knowledge in different ways.
Try “The Artist’s Way” course
It's a book and a path and a course all rolled into one. It's time consuming and generally done in groups. There’s also a cost to doing it this way, but you learn more in the group setting, I think. (I’ve done it both ways). TAW is a book for creative recovery, but you don't have to view yourself as an artist to benefit from the experience.
It will give you self knowledge and tons of ways to regrow your trust in yourself. It will force you to stretch out of your comfort zone. I know it sounds like a fortune cookie cliche but — everything you want truly is on the other side of fear.
If you’re interested and ready to do the work, sign up for one-on-one coaching with me below. This price is only good through 12-31-2020 and then it’s gone for good!