F ear in Sylvia’s life is not so obvious. You wouldn’t notice that she is afraid of taking actions. She does many things, travel, give courses, write books. But, deep inside Sylvia is skipping the things that she wants. She doesn’t put 100-percent energy into things, just 30 percent. What she does on the current basis is good, probably good enough. But, it’s not fulfilling her. She doesn’t get enough joy and satisfaction from what she does, because Sylvia knows that she could do more things that she really wants to do. Or, do things differently if she would put more energy and focus on that.
Life is happening every moment, but what is happening is not completely her project. It’s a mix of circumstances, good luck, and a bit of effort and personal charm, plus a good intuition about people and the right timing for things to start and to end. It’s really good enough, and she could go on like this all her life but… She really wants to live according to her dreams and create her life instead of just making it happen.
I think that Sylvia is not alone. Many people who are in the right place — their job is fine, place to live is fine, family and friends are okay — still feel that there is something missing. What is missing? The deeper sense of their lives is missing. They don’t want to try harder, because they are already busy with what they do, but what they do is not exactly what they really want. It’s close but not exactly what they really want. It’s not feeding their soul. The food is good but it’s not something they would really kill for. They wouldn’t mind to eat something else, something better. We are generally under a lot of pressure with what we already do and the multi-tasking that is an essential part of our professional lives doesn’t leave too much space to wonder or to change things. We wake up on auto-pilot and continue doing the best that we know. So how do we break through from the average living? How do you start really steering your life?
It’s a personal decision to take courage.
Instead of doing the things you do
start doing it differently.
It’s not definitely about trying harder, because we already try hard and we are exhausted looking for rest. On the other hand it’s not about rest and doing nothing. This could help for a while, but it’s not helping to be in the place where we want to be. It’s about doing things differently, breaking the pattern of being yourself and overcoming the old patterns of doing things, experiencing things, thinking things. The only way people become millionaires or invent something new is to break the old way of thinking, feeling, and doing things. Why do only a few break though from the average? Because of fear. And this is the fear in Sylvia’s life that is stopping her from taking the wave and jump deep into the water. The fear of the unknown. The fear of living behind what was safe and good for something new that we don’t know the outcome. The known is comfortable, because we know how to navigate through the map of our habitual action modes. The unknown will bring something that we cannot predict, cannot prepare for. It will bring change that might not be so cosy and nice. It will bring the responsibility for what we created, for what has changed. And we might be lost in the whole new world of possibilities…
That’s why we prefer an average life.
Let’s talk about costs of living on average. It’s this feeling of not being completely satisfied from our lives. It’s like eating a dish for 50 years without the key ingredients that give a good taste. It tastes ok, but there is no jingle in there. Many people do their job, sometimes with excellence, but there is no sparkle in their eyes. The jingle in their food is missing, the essence of who they are is not completed…
It’s a personal decision to take courage. Instead of doing the things you do, start doing it differently. Say “no” and say “yes” for different experiences and go with what your gut feeling is telling you, even if you don’t know why…
What I promise you is whatever the outcome is from the change, it will be exciting and you will feel that you are living more fully. You just need to continue in the new direction and don’t look back. And, after a while you will become a creator of your life…
I found 10 strategies that help me to opt for more and have more fun with my life when I get stuck in the average and put my head under the carpet like my cat when he is afraid:
1. Start a diary and write every day about your dreams and deep wishes and how you would change your work, your family relationships, or other things when you would dare. This is just a creativity task to start rewiring your brain a bit into the directions that are feeding your soul more. So you can write whatever you want without making it realistic.
2. Before you go to sleep, imagine how you would like your life to look with as many details as possible.
3. On Mondays think about three small things that you could change in your life. Write it down and make it happen. It can be something simple such as, a better taste of jam for your toast or a good quality tea, taking a walk instead of driving every where or taking a bath with music and candles or smiling when you answer your husband’s phone call.
4. Say “yes” to three things per week that you would normally skip, because you are tired, old, or other excuses.
5. Say “no” to three things per week that you would normally agree to, but you don’t like doing it.
6. Have fun every day — have a real pleasure for at least 20 minutes per day.
7. Do nothing for 20 minutes per day — completely nothing and just completely relax. Don’t meditate or do any kind of guided relaxation because it’s still a kind of effort or a way to fulfill your time. I want you to relax completely like a cat laying in the sun or a tiger under the tree. Don’t look for excuses that you need to do something. This is your “nothing” time, just to be with you, however you want.
8. Go to a park or be in nature at least twice a week. It helps to come back to yourself and hear your true voice.
9. Take courage to do one new thing per week.
10. When your visions about where you want to go or who you want to become crystalize, make a plan allowing yourself to start with very small steps. The best is if you could make a plan every Saturday or every Sunday, even if you will be still changing the details.
Good luck with your journey!