Hope your new year is off to a smooth start…..
With so many influencers, thought leaders, and folks reveling in the practice of reliving the past 365 – gaining deep insight, learning lessons from mistakes made in May, to documenting habits that led to successes in September, it’s vital to know many of us begin this new year without the hoopla of resolutions, massive goal setting, and tight lifestyle pivots.
We start this new year by simply treading water. And that is just fine.
Treading, not in a panicked gulping-for-air manner, but with the calm realization that the successes and missteps of the past year stem from a part of a psycho-emotional DNA that continues enveloping us as we slide into the waters of this new year, dictate a different approach.
For me, this means I simply tread water. Here’s what that looks like:
Observe my current state and situation.
Contemplate how I feel about being here, blessings, successes, screw-ups – everything – that delivered me to this juncture, as well as what I want and need, now and from this point on.
Strategize, with a personally unprecedented realism my life currently demands, the next steps to realize those wants and needs.
Then, before the arms tire and legs give out from staying afloat, I am better able to act with intention, clarity, and purpose-driven commitment.
My own observations and contemplation led to a deeper understanding of the personal pathos delivering me to a particularly gnarly life juncture that just happened to coincide with the new year.
Fear. Fear of speaking my truth. Fear of confronting those whom I perceived to have power over me. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of what others might think. That’s just the tip of my fear-iceberg.
I’ve been stuck on that rock for many, many decades now and like a functioning alcoholic or a deeply depressed comedian, created a fabulous façade so stunning – it managed to distract from the malady lurking beyond.
Then it dawned on me – Feeling fearful is not a sin. Heck, fear helped humans survive from the beginning of time. However, allowing fear to paralyze us, stagnate our progress, is the real tragedy.
Say hello to my M.O.
I spent so much time being fearful of insurmountable (and completely fictional in most cases, by the way) issues, the universe apparently got sick of this rerun, and stepped in offering something really scary. Suddenly, that which I feared previously seems insignificant, or at least nothing I can’t handle.
This year, at our own individual paces, let us move past fear and into action.
Avoid confusing this with taking reckless action or ditching one’s humanity for the sake of movement in any particular direction.
Rather, allowing thoughtful consideration (mindfulness, anyone?) to lead me to a decision (The Power of Decision by Raymond Barker offers a potent jumpstart in this area) followed by action to benefit my highest good, my authentic Self, my own north star.
In the words of Benjamin Disraeli:
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
A recent example:
Last summer I teased about sharing my ABC’s for dealing with the overwhelm of fear, anger, sadness the stuff that stagnates our best selves.
But who am I to offer anything even resembling life advice to anyone? I’d bought into a certain storyline – generated by Self as well as society – about my unworthiness. Even though several trusted friends, respected peers & associates applauded the creative exercise I created, my subconscious fear managed to paralyze what could have been a very simple creative process, over which I had total control, by the way.
Then I heard Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) recite the ABC’s of his party’s core values. Simple, yet inspiring and my initial thought was “dang, my idea got tired of waiting for my ass to take action and moved on to someone who would share it with the world.” Once the caterers and the band packed up at the end of my pity party, I allowed myself to, wait for it….tread water.
Ditching the false narrative taking root even before I heard Rep. Jeffries speech, I instead took a beat – several beats actually – to observe, contemplate, and plan.
So, as I progress from treading water to slowly moving toward my new direction, it’s my absolute pleasure to share my little creation in what is – unexpectedly – part two of the return of T-Notes.