\ Slowing Down, Part Deux | Christina Brandt

Slowing Down, Part Deux

Cropped Lion

Last month, I decided it was time to slow down and just take things as they come, using the blank space in my calendar to recharge, etc. You know that saying about the best laid plans? I’m here to tell you that, once again, I’m living proof that when you stop worrying and just allow things to unfold, life is even better than any plan you could have dreamed up. Here’s what happened:

  • I had more client sessions than the previous month.
  • I started working with two new corporate clients on long-term    engagements.
  • I read books I’d been meaning to get to.
  • I got the opportunity to be certified in a new 360 degree feedback instrument.
  • I swam four days a week.
  • I caught up with friends I haven’t seen in a while.
  • I worked with a designer to revamp my web site and added a blog.
  • I got an opportunity to go back to Londolozi, the game preserve in South Africa that I visited last year, with Martha Beck.

It wasn’t long before the empty August calendar was filled with business and personal opportunities. I’m convinced that when I stopped pushing so hard to know the outcome, plans unfolded exactly as they were meant to.

As a coach, I spend a lot of time talking to people about goals. While it’s important to have plans and goals, I think it’s even more important to be ready to abandon them in the face of what’s presenting itself in any given moment. What I’ve seen over and over again, both in my own life and the lives of my clients, is that trusting yourself to become comfortable with the abandonment of a plan is critical to creating a life you love.

If you’re frustrated by the lack of progress toward your goals, ask yourself the following:

  • Where are you trying too hard to make something work?
  • What do you think will happen if you change your mind or abandon a plan?
  • What’s got you worried? Are you sure that the dismal fate you’re imagining is really going to happen? Really?
  • What thoughts do you have around “should” or “can’t” or “shouldn’t”? Chances are, if those words are creeping into your thinking, you’re telling yourself a story that’s simply not true.
  • How good would it feel to just stop being in control for even a little while?

I’ve found myself using this metaphor quite often: “I can only see as far as the headlights shine on the road ahead of me at night, but as long as I keep my foot gently on the gas pedal, I always have enough information to get me where I’m meant to go.”

Try it. And let me know about the magical events that transpire in your life after you do!

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