“How did I get here?”
Have you ever said that to yourself? I know I have – mostly when I’m lost in Green Hills – but I’m speaking more existentially here. Whether pertaining to a relationship or to a career (if you’re in your twenties, let’s be serious – it’s probably both), this question makes you feel like a spectator in your own life. Somehow removed from reality but stuck in the stagnancy.
And much like an unfinished painting, pieces of life can feel misplaced, misunderstood, and simply altogether missing.
You know you were meant for more, so how do you step out of your daily habits and move into a more empowered state? Let’s begin to answer this question by peeking behind this curtain of complacency and naming a few, potential, mindset obstacles in our way. Because who doesn’t love starting a journey by identifying our less than ideal qualities and thought patterns?! Don’t worry, we’ll finish on your high note. You got this, friend.
Lack of Urgency/Timeline
For most, we grew up with the next step of life laid out. Elementary school, high school, college graduation, etc. We turned in papers and studied for tests because, well, we had to. There was a deadline. But there is no ‘deadline’ on when to leave that job or end that relationship – so the cycle simply continues. And therefore, we may become complacent with our environment without necessarily even realizing it. Sometimes we say yes, simply by not saying no. This is life procrastination at its finest.
What’s it Worth?!
Something I find myself wrapped up in quite often is not being aware of my own capability or worth; while simultaneously, questioning the worth of a change. It’s a deadly combination.
‘Will XYZ be worth it? Is the value of the known better than my current reality? Someone else holds much more talent than me. Is right now even the right time? I’ll just stay here for now – very logical of me.’ Sound familiar?! You mask the fear-based lack of decision with virtuous loyalty. This endless question game keeps your residency in Indecisive Town. And it feels like a Population of One.
Contentment vs Complacent
Then there is the guilt complex. “I should just be grateful for what I have rather than dreaming bigger.” Self-sabotage, anyone?! This is our minds keeping us into our comfort zone by saying ‘we are ungrateful if we dream for more.’ What a lie to keep us playing small! Being grateful for your current situation is not mutually exclusive of having a dream.
So now what?
Okay, phew. We made it through the depths of obstacle despair.
So, with a whole lot of fear, a few lies masked as truth, and lack of an urgent timeline, how do we know when it’s time to make a change and how to step out of this cycle?
So glad you asked. Grab your introspective side, faith even the size of a mustard seed, and probably a piece of chocolate. We get a bit life coachy here, so if that’s not your thing, skip down to the end (it’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel up in here).
1. Step back and observe. Begin to create a space between your decisions and your default programming. By stepping into those well paved, default thought patterns, we are reacting to a situation, rather than creating an opportunity. Like previously stated, we can say yes to an action, simply by not saying no- and do you really want to say ‘yes’ to what is in front of you? Stop and cultivate a new path by being observant to the full menu of options before you.
Question: Are most of your actions giving you energy, or draining it? Are your commitments serving you and moving you forward to your goals?
2. Let go. Let go of the ideas and beliefs that are simply not true and are no longer serving you. Identify any lies that are running in the background. Recognize any fear that was attempting to keep you ‘safe’ until this point. Now, graciously, yet ferociously, let go as you realize this mindset is not taking you to where you desire to go.
Question: What lie are you believing about yourself? Perhaps that you are not enough? Or maybe you’re TOO much? What is stalling you from making a decision?
3. Say Yes. Say yes to TRUTH. Now that we have released lies, we have opened space to replace them with truth. For me, this looks like saying yes to God’s Truth about me. I dive into Scripture to read His Truth and to do life WITH God, rather than FOR God. I am chosen, I am fully known, I am fully loved.
Question: What truth are you saying yes to today? What does this mindset now look like to you? What does God say about you? What moves you in that direction?
4. Take Empowered Action. Start to be aware of where your attention lives when making a decision. This awareness is the difference between default decision and empowered action. Perhaps you are seeking affirmation from others when taking an action. Or maybe you are choosing the least risky route. Step into the fullness of what you can achieve from an empowered state.
Question: Who are you being when you take an action?
5. Set up Accountability. How can you set yourself up so that ‘success’ is inevitable? Do you need to chat with a friend? Schedule your week? Clean your room? (Okay, okay -that last one was for me). One of my favorite questions (and sometimes most dreaded) is ‘I know you said XYZ is important to you! Is that still a priority for you?” A question without judgment but full of curiosity and inspiration.
Question: How can you honor where you currently are, while also holding a higher vision for yourself and those around you?
As promised, if you aren’t a life coachy type of human, here is how I would boil it down to one question. ‘What is my Assignment?” I was once told, “If you know your assignment, you’ll never stay too long or leave too early.” Let me explain. When I am certain in MY identity and MY assignments, I’m released from fear, comparison, striving, and failure. It’s MY assignment to steward well. My assignment is not yours; yours is not mine. Comparison? Eradicated. Capability? Already present. Purpose? Living it out.
For me, this mindset has forced me to dig deeper with Jesus. To discover my Kingdom/Life assignments, I’ve asked for spiritual gifts to be revealed, life circumstances to be placed in my path, and a sharpened ear to hear clearly. By asking, “What is my Kingdom/Life assignment?”, “Who is my assignment today?”, and “What is the location of this season’s assignment?” – my stagnant and near-sighted perspective shifts to a purpose-filled vision. The day to day, detail decisions flow from an abundant and passionate lens.
“How did I get here?” has turned into “I’m bursting with anticipation and authority within my assignment.” You are empowered. You are capable. You are unique. Let’s break the cycle of default mediocrity and step into fullness of an empowered and passion filled life.
Elizabeth is a Business Analyst, a millennial, and an Enneagram Five. She loves to discover where creativity meets strategy, drink red wine, and you’ll most likely find her at the Herban Market. She can also do the worm. You can follow her on Instagram at @Lizevs11
*Photo by Christy Dux