Don’t you sometimes, like me, want to change life? There are a lot of things about my body, my relationships, my finances, and my environment over which I would like to wave a magic wand, and transform. Yet this power-to-change-the-world (megalomaniacal?) perspective has only brought me disappointment.
And so I learned a second perspective: to “settle for second best”, since I didn’t have the magic (or courage or will) up my sleeve to create a new world. For example, way back when, I knew I couldn’t afford to go to college and live on campus (or maybe I was too insecure to leave the nest?), so I spent four years commuting 12 miles to and from university each day (for 8 AM classes and labs!) and wasted lots of time on buses and subways.
I have since come to realize how ineffective both these perspectives have been. Through being coached I’ve learned a third perspective that I call the “reality shift”. I now try to make changes from within myself instead of transforming the world or accepting it with resignation. This “reality shift” has to do with my inner eye…it’s like putting eyeglasses on for the first time…suddenly everything is clear.
This new perspective enables me to live fully, to dare to step off the deep end and face the scariest of challenges, and come out the other end transformed. I had made this kind of jump before: when I entered the seminary, when I left formal church ministry, and again when I became a life coach. But intertwined in these big decisions was a myriad of saboteurs that kept telling me to expect disappointment because the world is not perfect. I needed to expect to be disappointed.
Living fully is not the same as living perfectly. Living fully means moving into and through temporary mistakes and disappointments to find the treasure. It means refusing to think the world is going to conform to my expectations and instead tailor my goals and dreams to transcend even my greatest expectations. Living fully means addressing firmly the inner voices of fear and insecurity, of self-loathing and limitation, and putting them in their place…far away from me.
We can muster our inner wisdom and listen to the guidance we can trust, that emerges from learning from our experiences, from honoring our deeply-held values, and from stepping off the edge, even in small, daily decisions, to take the risk to live life with intention.
Contact the Man’s Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org