The opposite of movement, is stationary. Over the last few years I’ve coached with multiple people who expressed the classic signs of an inner stirring. They would acknowledge that they were beginning to question things, they were beginning to see something they hadn’t seen before. Many times this stirring was related to a crisis of some type in their life. Something wasn’t working the way they thought it would or they were growing discontent with something they had believed at some point had been the direction for their life. I’ve learned to never ignore these moments because most of the time we’re living our days working, eating, relating and life goes on auto pilot. So when one of these crisis creates a stirring I think it’s our clue to listen up….that even though we’ve been on auto-pilot something’s not right.
This is usually where I come in. They’re heard me speak, seen a video or read something that I’ve written and it’s connected with their hearts. They can’t always articulate what they’re wrestling with but they sense that I can help them and so we start the process. For some this is a life changing process (not so much me but the whole life pivot process) and the stirring leads to a new chapter in their lives. I’ve also noticed another trend though. The conversation goes well, we’re making headway towards them launching into something new: a new job, new degree program, new city, new philosophies or thoughts and then it happens….radio silence. They don’t respond to emails, don’t return phone calls and then I see on social media that they’ve seemingly abandoned their journey of the stirring and have dug in (usually deeper) into where they were before.
In thinking through these I think there are three things that keep us stuck and prevent us from moving into the stirring that we have been experiencing.
- Fear. This nasty “f” word wreaks more havoc in our lives than most things we run up against in life. We find safety in our narrative and we build up protective and supportive walls for this narrative. Most often moving forward means leaving one of these narratives behind, which means leaving the safety of what we know for the uncertainty of what we don’t.
- Environment. We’re still tribal people. We’ve progressed a lot and we live with so much technology and advancements but the truth is that we still live in tribes. Whether it’s built around family, faith, hobbies, professions or politics we all belong to tribes. We talk alike, use the same expressions, get our info/news from the same places, listen to the same music, have the same superstars, dress alike and our ideas and ideals are formed and upheld in this group. I’ve watched many people be ready to launch into something new only to feel the pull, sense the disapproval of the tribe and sadly they prefer belonging over becoming.
- Comfort. The truth is that comfort is nice. We have our degree, we have our Linked in set up, we’re known for something, we have an established narrative, with a supporting community and we belong. We start to see something new, to ask questions, to wonder….but movement requires action and action is rarely comfortable. So we often chose to ignore the stirrings, the silence the questions. We can bury the underlying struggles easier than we can change what needs to happen in order to pursue the ideas and stirrings so we do….we chose comfort.
We’re all weak when it comes to these three forces of resistance. At times we all give into these and what “could be” turns into what “could have been.” What is keeping you stuck?
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