Under the Spotlight
If you’ve ever had to walk past a line of people to take care of any type of business, while you’ve been acutely aware that your hem is falling down on your trousers, you’ve struggled with the Spotlight Effect. You know when they all turn around to look at you at once, and you’re embarrassed and trying to hide? That’s it. You’re under the spotlight. In fact, all the lights around you have been switched off, and there’s this single beam, trained down on you. Come out, come out with your hands up.
Are you stuck and sad? Are you in a rut and wondering how on earth you’re going to get out of it? Are you still feeling the past is holding you back? If this sounds like you, and you need to change your life, then this post is definitely for you.
We can find our way out of situations by separating our feelings and our thoughts. We can’t think and feel at the same time; so if you are feeling hopeless or helpless, it’s no wonder you can’t find a way forward or a way out.
So, here’s what you need. A cup of coffee (or your favourite drink), a notepad and a pen. Find a quiet space to sit and think; don’t worry about how you feel for now; this is an intellectual exercise rather than an emotional one.
Ask yourself the following three questions, and learn how to change your life today.
What’s my current situation?
Thinking about this with a clear head is key to working out what you want to change and how; and without fully understanding and being aware of your current situation, you won’t know what to do or where to start.
When you know that there’s a problem, it’s a powerful situation to be in, because you have acknowledged it and opened yourself up to change. So, for example, rather than feeling and experiencing this problem, you have acknowledged it by thinking about it. Thinking allows you to remain calm and analytical; if you are feeling this process, then your emotions can rise and make you feel helpless again. So let’s just think it though so that you can work out how you can change.
If you are stuck, then thinking about the elements of “stuckness” that you’re experiencing will allow you to untie all the threads of thoughts that are keeping you tied up. You will then be able to see a clear picture of where you are, right now. You will see your current reality for what it is, and stop any black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking.
Where do I want to be?
For you to change anything in your life you have to know where you want to go and where you want to be. Without direction and a goal in mind, how will you know when you’ve got there? How will you know when you’re happy?
Unless you have a great sense of adventure, this is counter-productive, and it leaves most of us floundering and directionless. This leads to us just cruising, and then waking up ten years down the line, thinking “how did I get here?”
I know people who do this; they just live from day to day without any ambitions or plans, and are deeply dissatisfied. They are a seething mass of unrealised potential who think the world is out to get them; in fact, that used to be me. And then I realised I couldn’t continue like this, with only a vague idea of what I might want. I had to go out there and find it, and to do that I had to work out what I wanted. Where did I want to be? It wasn’t easy, but I went through that intellectual process I mentioned earlier. I also knew what I didn’t want, and I knew that I couldn’t just concentrate on that; it had to be definite and positive. So, that’s the mind-set that I chose, and I’ve never looked back.
So, where do you want to be?
How am I going to get there?
This is the part of the process that needs lots of thought, a load of sticky notes, and coloured pens. Planning your journey is a dream for some people. HOWEVER! If you’re not one of them, then you only need to know what your first step is. Sometimes, just getting out there and doing it is enough.
Whatever motivates you, whatever causes the muse to strike, make the most of it. I’m a whirlwind of planning, writing and doing today, and for some of it; well, I only know the first steps. I just know that I want to make changes and I’m doing it.
So, just start. Pick a point and start writing, or pick up the phone, or send an email. Speak to me. Whatever you choose that feels right to you. Don’t get too bogged down, and don’t start saying, “What if?” Just get started.
If you’re stuck, then contact me for your complimentary consultation.