Interesting experience last week – I was interviewed about turning work and life goals into reality. Given the personal nature of some of the callers’ questions, I ended up divulging a lot more of my own personal journey than I usually do (the interviewer, Cathy Goodwin, was a colleague/friend of mine and such a comfy atmosphere was created I just let it all out … its still available on mp3 here, if you’d like to listen).
Here are a few pointers on the journey of creating an authentic, creative, aligned life – based off of what Cathy’s callers wanted to know most.
It’s OK to Follow Your Bliss:
Chances are, you already at least somewhat know what you like and want in your profession and personal life. If so, let me emphasis that it is ok for you to follow your own bliss. It’s ok to be into things that others around you perhaps don’t understand or get (at least not yet). We are each wired with our own likes and preferences. So, start following the things that YOU like most — the things, ideas, experiences that bring you joy and pleasure (even if you have NO CLUE about ‘how to make money’ with them).
You’ll Eventually Shape a Vision:
From following your bliss, you’ll naturally form what I term a ‘personal vision’. This means that you’ll begin to imagine and fantasize about your ‘desired future’. About the things you want to be doing and the kind of person you want to start being. Ideas will start to form. You’ll get that mixed excited and scared feeling – when you encounter possibilities that hit the spot. You’ll start to dream, ponder and hope for the new things that you want to create.
You’ll Need to Do Your ‘Trouble at the Border’ Work:
Fast on the heels of creating a Vision, is all the resistance that usually emerges as a reaction to your new thoughts and focus. I call this ‘Trouble at the Border’ … the psychological border between who you are and who you want to become.
This resistance comes in two forms: internal and external – and you will need to deal with both in order to successfully manifest your vision.
The internal resistance is all of your OWN contradictory inner thoughts and feelings about your Vision. Creating a new reality for yourself is really an ‘inside game’. You must ‘get good with you’. You must learn to better soothe, reframe and support yourself in new ways, so you can emerge as you’d like to.
The external resistance is the contradictory and less than supportive thoughts and feelings that your Vision provokes from others (the peanut gallery if you will). This will change and soften as you do your own inner alignment (either the people around you will ‘come around’ or you will start attracting new people). But to begin with, you will need to learn to deal more constructively and less personally with unsupportive and ‘killjoy’ colleagues, friends, partners, relatives, etc. Sometimes this requires some significant ‘house cleaning’ as was my case which I shared on the call.
Longer Segues Are Sometimes Necessary:
If you are like my clients, you aren’t starting your SHIFT to a more creative-based lifestyle right from scratch (even if it sometimes feels like it!). You have a past and history – a platform that you are building off from. How much time will it take for you to make your SHIFT? That depends on you as each situation (and each person), is so unique.
Where you are starting from … what you want to create … and how internally and externally aligned you are, are the big factors. Unless you have financial reserves or a strong stomach for fiscal ambiguity, its probably going to take some time and involve making a slow but steady segue. Like me, you may need to continue your ‘old existence’ to some extent, until your ‘new existence’ supports you – especially if you have a certain level of income that you must maintain.
In my own case, I was single and needed to support myself. I had to build my passion work on the side for five years before it could sustain me. And invested any disposable income in my new venture to help grow it (I still drive a crappy car that I get teased about because my investment priorities are on my business). Early on, my income was a third of what it was prior. But bit-by-bit it rebounded, so now I make more than I ever did (and I work less and have much more fun!).
Take Consistent Actions and Calculated Risks:
The other thing that both Cathy and I talked about in our call is the need to take consistent action and calculated risks. In order to shift your own work and life for the better – you are going to have to take A LOT of little and not-so-little steps. Nobody will create it for you. And it doesn’t pop out of thin air without your input (even if you apply Law of Attraction techniques like I do).
Feel like you don’t have your whole plan worked out? Don’t worry, nobody who is entrepreneurial ever does. With an inspiring vision guiding us and a belief in our idea and ourselves, we just know the broad strokes and the first batch of steps and hunches that must be followed. More steps unfold as we take action and get feedback (both internal and external feedback). We course correct as we go. Sometimes there are mistakes and missteps. But we don’t beat ourselves up about them and chalk them up to learning.
Don’t wait until you’ve got it all figured out – you’ll be waiting forever. The figuring out happens in the process, it unfolds. Rather, take some action (to the highest level of risk that you can still function and feel ok in) and let the ‘universe’ (or whatever you want to call it) guide you with its input and feedback. Trust that it’ll reveal what you need to do next and trust yourself that you are capable of handling what comes your way. Your relationship with yourself and your relationship with life is key!
© 2008 Christina L. Merkley
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it:
Christina Merkley, “The SHIFT-IT Coach” and creator of the SHIFT-IT Method® is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Graphic Facilitation and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and groups in defining and getting what they really, really want. For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com
[tags]SHIFT-IT Coach, Christina Merkley, creative-based lifestyle, lifestyle, Law of Attraction[/tags]