I sit in front of my computer screen feeling lifeless. I’m trying to will myself to work but I feel tired and heavy. My shoulders slump forward, my brow furrows. “Work!” I think but nothing happens…
Finally I close my laptop, lean back on the couch, close my eyes and take a breath. I turn my head and look out the window.
I’d been working on a Sacred Career Design workbook for months. I had launched the free version of the online course a week before and there wasn’t much interest in it and so was having trouble motivating myself to work on the more comprehensive version. Why keep working when no one seems to want the free version??
I get out of the house and go for a walk in the woods. As I walk I realize I had put a mountain of work between myself and what I really want. What I want is to do one on one career coaching but had decided that I needed to publish a full workbook and video series before I could start. So I was hustling – creating the exercises, talking to publishers and book printers, looking up registering ISBNs, recording videos, working with graphic designers.
I thought in order to legitimize what I really wanted, I had to do all this other stuff I don’t like doing first.
I was getting in my own way, and it was time to get out of it. Here’s how you can get out of your own way:
- Notice When You Feel Heavy or Tight The absolute best way to notice if you’re getting in your own way is through your body. If you feel heavy, lifeless, tight or disgusted these are all signs that what you are doing is blocking what you are meant to do.
- Take a Break
First thing to do when you notice your body slumping or tightening is to take a break. Even if your at work or with your kids, you can do something small like lock yourself in the bathroom and take a few deep breaths. You could:
- Do a 10 minute yoga class from Youtube
- Put on your fav song and dance
- Go for a walk
- Make yourself a cup of tea
- Call a loved one
- Walk to the window and look at the sky
- Make a Shift
After taking a break and getting out of that heavy or tight place, it’s time to look at making a shift. Life Coach Martha Beck recommends using the three Bs to make that shift:
Stop doing the activity completely, at least for now. This one’s easy but, of course, there are lots of things you can’t stop doing which brings me to the second: BARTER
If you can’t stop doing the activity, see if you can barter it. See if your partner or roommate will do it. Or hire someone else to do it.
- Hate admin? Hire a Virtual Assistant
- Hate driving? Ask someone to drive or taxi.
- Hate doing dishes? Buy a dishwasher
If you absolutely have to do it, make it better:
- Wait on hold with your phone company as you walk in the woods
- Listen to a podcast while you drive your mom to her appointment
- Make yourself a fancy coffee when you sit down to do your taxes
To finish my story, I’ve put the workbook and video series on pause. I learned a lot from working on them. I learned about book publishing and created a series of career coaching exercises that have built my confidence as a coach. I may return at some point but for now I’m focusing on the thing that really makes me feel alive, walking with people and helping them figure out their career.
So with that, I’m excited to announce the Courage Compass’s newest service:
Career Coaching in the Forest
– Get out of your own way
– Look at what makes you feel alive and gives you purpose
– Relax while walking in the forest
– Take steps towards the career and life of your dreams