Choosing your path is often overwhelming, isn`t it? And especially if you`re dealing with a life changing event. Something big has happened – a change in career, a significant health or mental health diagnosis, the ending of a relationship, someone you were caring for has died.
Now, you`re supposed to `choose,` as in choose your next `path.` Sounds difficult, big and overwhelming. And so you get stuck. But you know intuitively that you want to move on.What’s around the next curve?
So how do you choose a path? You don’t. Not yet.
You choose, with the best of your abilities at the time, a step. Just one.
Getting yourself to the point of making a move, of getting unstuck, of taking that first step might sound so difficult, right now.
You want to move ahead, but …
How do we engage our brains and emotions to take that first step? We go with your strengths. And answer the question: What`s one tiny step I could take to move me forward?” Keep making the step smaller until you say `Oh, that`s easy. I can do that.`
Practical suggestions getting started.
Are you a highly verbal person? Love to talk? Enjoy language, books, socializing? Use that strength. Talk with friends, talk to yourself, a voice recorder, write in your journal or gain insights with a coach; talk it through, getting your thoughts out of your head. Clarity comes for the verbal person when she lets the thoughts out in the air and out of her head.
Highly visual? Draw it out. Map it out. Use a whiteboard. Create a Post-it note with one small step on each note. What do you see as a next step? What`s the picture of where you want to get to? What do the steps in between here and there look like?
Kinesthetics enjoy movement and speak with words that reflect energy. Where do you feel the most energy? What next step would stoke the fires? Rev up the car? Cause you to do dance with great energy? Move you along the path most easily and fluidly?
Cognitive strength? Do you typically read about something before starting a new project? You`re going to want to do some research for your first step: read a book by someone who has been through this before, or a blog, or website first. After some amount of research, you’ll want to ask yourself: What one next piece of information would move you forward? What do you need to know first? Just to take the next step. And then what else and what else?
Highly intuitive? You may need to grab some quiet time to think and reflect. It’ll come to you but you may not be able to rush it. You’ll know it when you see it, that next step. Try on different ideas of next steps or visions of your next path and see what resonates.
We all have a mixture of strengths and ways we process what`s going on around us. Use your natural strengths to get yourself unstuck so that you can take a step which gets you closer to your new path and your new chapter.
All of this makes choosing a path easier `not effortless ` but easier, one step at a time. Each step helps to draw down the overwhelm and get it back into perspective.
And after this time of change you`ve been going through, isn`t it about time something got a little easier and clearer?
My class – At a Crossroads in Life: What`s Your Next Chapter? is going to start at the end of February. Host: North Shore Community College, Beverly, Massachusetts.
You`re wondering: What`s next? Take some focused time to move forward. Changes in life often cause us to look at our purpose and life`s meaning a bit differently. You may be recently widowed or divorced, considering semi-or full retirement, have adult children moving back home, a business change, or a medical issue. We will cover: Where to start, how to choose a goal among many, working out steps, identifying obstacles you may put in your own way and some solutions, and then following through to make it happen. A $20 fee for required workbook is payable to instructor at first class.
Info/link: http://bit.ly/crossroadsspring Student survey marks: 4.55/5 with 5 as the highest mark available. `Instructor was compassionate, knowledgeable and encouraged participants to actively speak up and express themselves. Extremely helpful in planning future goals.`
Processing Modalities Guide: Identify and Use Specific Strengths for Better Functioning … for Organizers, Coaches ` and Those Who Want to Live with More Ease and Effectiveness ` and Less Frustration, 2010. Denslow Brown. Organizer Coach. Approximately 100 pages. $20.00 (plus shipping and handling)
Character Strengths Profile: The VIA Institute on Character proudly offers the free VIA Survey and VIA Youth Survey, scientifically-validated strength assessments for adults and youth. These assessments help you identify what is best in you. Detailed reports are available to provide information and strategies on how to use your strengths at work, at school and in relationships.