The first situation, too many paths to choose from, might look something like a career change or choice. If you’ve been in a job for a long time and it is no longer fulfilling or challenging, you know you need to make a change. If you’re in college selecting a major, you need to make a choice. In both of these instances, the paths seem to take your life in as many directions as octopi have arms. The choices immobilize you because what if you’re wrong.
The second situation, which feels like there are no paths to change your life, you feel stuck. This might look like a long-time friendship that no longer serves you, but you continue spending time with that no-longer-friend out of a sense of loyalty. It feels like you have no choice. Feeling stuck, like there are no paths out, might also look like staying in a living situation that just doesn’t feel good because maybe you don’t believe you can change your life. What if you fail?
Neither of these situations feels good. And that’s just the point. They don’t feel good, and trying to think yourself out of either of these boxes when you don’t feel good doesn’t work. If it did, you would already be on the path to the next stage of your life. Thinking yourself out of the box is like a little gray mouse on a wheel that spins to nowhere. You keep thinking the same thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts are great, but you don’t act on them. Usually the reason you can’t change starts with the word because, or the phrase What if… ?
To change your path, you have to change your day-to-day feelings about your life, no matter your circumstances. There is a lot of talk about visualizing the things that you want, and there is a lot of very useful talk about feeling your way through to a new way of being. But sometimes we don’t know what the heck to visualize, we only know we want change! We don’t know what a new job would feel like, so we can’t go there. We don’t know what a new life would look like, so we can’t go there.
When you’re stuck, let go of any outcomes. Release trying to figure out the next step. Let go of trying to think your way onto another path or solution. Let go of trying to figure out what a new path would look like. Instead, do whatever it takes to feel better now. When you’re feeling good, feeling clear, feeling happy, the new ideas come to you because you’ve created new pathways that are accompanied by new thoughts.
Think back to the new thoughts you had as a child. Did you ever build a fort when you were a kid? I built snow forts in the winter. In the summer I dug holes in the ground and put boards over them to make secret forts that looked like Kivas. Usually when I built a fort, it was with a feeling of excitement and a sense of adventure. It was the coolest thing on the planet, and I was totally absorbed in the task. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, there was zero stress, worry, “becauses” or “What ifs” involved. I never thought a fort would crash, and it didn’t. (Maybe I should have been an architect. Hmmm.)
We need to get back to that, back to feeling good so that we can make choices that bring out our sense of excitement and adventure. When you feel good, you meet new people because you’re literally vibrating at a different level. Those new people might lead to a new job, new friendships, or new relationships. When you feel good, you become more receptive. When you’re not stressed, change doesn’t loom ahead like a giant Worry Monster that haunts every waking moment.
Let go. Choose one new thing that makes you feel good, and do that so that you begin to feel good. The perfect next step will come when you’re least expecting it! When you feel good, there are no wrong answers or failures. When you feel good, you’ll know what to do!
(Please note: This is not for extreme life situations. Get help immediately if you are in a dangerous or manipulative situation. Take action now, no matter how you’re feeling about it or how it will affect those around you.)