You’ve heard the adage: The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results.
Yet that’s what most of us do.
We get up, eat the same breakfast.
Go to work, do the same jobs.
Get home, eat the same dinners, over and over again.
We keep going to the same clubs, throwing the same parties, experiencing the same things.
Why do you think vacation clubs are so popular – we can continue going to the same places, without the fear of the unknown.
We’re creatures of habit. We don’t like change.
So we keep doing the same things over and over again, until we get stuck.
There we sit for years sometimes. Until one day we recognize it. We start asking, “Is this all there is?”
Until we go on a quest to get “unstuck”.
I’ve been there. I’ve sat, wanting more, wishing I’d find the “perfect” me. Yet the more I wished for “her”, the more frustrated I became.
Mindset – You gotta change it
Mindset is everything. You’ve probably heard that so many times you block it out. Yet deep down, you know it’s true. That’s why you continue to read articles, attend classes, and listen to podcasts. It’s all in the hope of finding something “magical” that will set you on a new path.
When I joined my first mastermind years ago, my goal was to create my first nonfiction book. It was a dream I’d carried for months. Yet I’d taken little action. I didn’t know where to begin.
My coach worked us through a plan where we could start to “see” the results even before we completed the steps.
He had us go to the bookstore and purchase a book about the size we hoped ours would be. Once at home, our tasks were to cover it with a design of how we wanted our final projects to look. The more details, the better.
I spent hours in Photoshop designing my “cover”. It wasn’t perfect. But the idea was there. I printed it off and attached it to my “mock” book.
Then I set it by my computer, to stare up at me every time I sat down at my desk.
Having a real, physical book became my new norm. I could see myself as an author; I could pick it up and hold it.
More importantly, it worked.
In my old life, I dreamed of authoring a book. But once I had my “mock” next to me, being an author became more believable. It was the new me.
That simple practice helped me see all the things necessary to make it so. I no longer wished for a book; I saw it. And it helped me believe I could do it.
I saw the new me, and I was acting as if she was real. Every action I took was with that new knowledge in mind. Of course, I could do it. I’d already done it.
Now I’m not saying I didn’t have bad days right alongside the good ones. I’m not saying every day was easy. But the more I could see myself as the new me, the more work I got done.
Create Your New Normal
This is where you have to focus on who you want to be.
Do you want a new career? A new spouse? A new place to live? More money in the bank? To write your first novel?
The only way to make it so is to define it clearly. That’s also where most of us get lost.
Did you find yourself saying: I want all of it. Yep, especially in midlife, we see ourselves reaching a point where we have a lot behind us. We want everything we haven’t gotten, and we want it now.
But just like when you were in your twenties, you can’t have it all “right now”.
You have to define what you truly want, one thing at a time, and put all of your attention on that.
What Do You Believe?
To be an author, I had to write. Every single day of the week. I had to push away other tasks and make room for what was most important. I had to have tunnel vision, and spend all of my time believing in what it would take to create that new me.
This is where all of those hidden beliefs come into play.
- I’m not good enough.
- Why do I think I could ever do that?
- I don’t have the right talent/degree/experience.
In most cases, none of that is true. As humans, we’ve been led to believe we have to reach a little bit further for what we truly desire.
If you want to be a brain surgeon, you’ll have to head back to school. But in many circumstances, you have years and years of experience behind you. There’s always a way to turn your dreams into reality.
- What if you are good enough?
- What if you could do that?
- What if you do have the right experience to share your unique talents with the world?
What would you look like if that were the case?
That’s who you need to become. That’s what you need to put into place in order to get the life you want.
Start Living It
Visioning isn’t enough. Living it is the only way to do.
I attended a weekend summit with my first coach. The first night, he had us dress the part of who we wanted to be. We had to come in, network, and introduce ourselves as if our dreams were already in place.
And it’s an amazing feeling to say what you really want to do.
“Hi, I’m an author.” Those few words held magic for me.
I wasn’t’ there yet. Saying it, it brought my spirits up. It held my attention. It triggered emotion. Suddenly it didn’t seem so far-fetched. In fact, it seemed real.
If you don’t embody your beliefs, who will? You can’t create a new reality if you don’t believe it yourself.
A funny thing happens now when I feel myself getting stuck. I have simple tasks that help me get unstuck.
I start with my mindset. What do I truly believe? What do I need to believe to move closer to my new desires?
Then it’s time to create my new normal. If I want it, how can I make it so … today? Can I pull one thing from my future to give me hope today?
Beliefs will always show their ugly heads and try and hold me back. When I find myself saying “I can’t”, I ask myself what that belief is. Then I change it upside down.
And I start living as the new me. “Fake it til you make it.” “Say it until you make it so.”
It works. I’ve proven it time and again. Way back when, it took months to put my very first book together. As of this week, I’ve just released my fourteenth nonfiction book, The Successful Woman in Midlife. It’s a work of love that I know you’re going to enjoy if you’re trying to find what’s next in your life.