In casual conversation - Risk and Change are sometimes used interchangeably. Where I primarily see their difference though is that Change is something you can't always control, and Risk is something that you typically choose.
I actually don't like either. <--- It's true . . . in addition to being a change-o-phobe, I have spent the majority of my life avoiding anything I perceived as even remotely risky. I’ve given some thought to my fear of change, and general risk-adverse personality – and wondered if I was born that way? Or did my quirky 1970’s upbringing (small-ish town, no TV, and highly academic parents) foster that in me?
One of my favorite risky stories of all time involves a friend I met in Los Angeles in the late 90's. She is British – and as the story goes she found herself in Berlin on December 30th one year, and decided to answer an ad for a DJ at a club for New Year’s Eve. She went for the interview and got the job. The clincher was that she had ZERO experience as a DJ – she just told them that their equipment was different than what she was used to, so she’d have to come in several hours early to get the hang of it. And guess what? She ROCKED the HOUSE all night long – and the only complaint she got was that they wanted her to announce more songs in German. She went on to work for that company for five years, several of which she spent in Hong Kong as a DJ in a club there. Holy Cow!
And this is where I say "Wait - she lied at the interview! You can't DO THAT!" <--- calm down, calm down . . . it all worked out!
While I have never fibbed at a job interview, I have . . .
All of which were (albeit calculated) risks where I was unsure to varying degrees of what the outcome would be. Thankfully I love my nose-ring (!), and have lived to tell about the other experiences. I'm still not sure why I dislike Risk so much (nurture vs. nature?), but I have learned that like many other things it is a muscle that once exercised on a regular basis, gets stronger & easier over time. In other words, Risk is Friend, Not Foe! (Sorry - bad "Finding Nemo" analogy . . .)
Are you a fan of trying crazy things? Or more prone to keeping things safe & status-quo? Are there areas in your life where you might benefit from branching out and doing something different? Next week we'll be talking about how Change and Risk actually work hand-in-hand - you won't want to miss it!
Love and Light,
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Three months ago I dropped my older son off at a Junior College in a VERY small town in Northeastern Colorado (let's just call it Nebraska!) . . . a place that could not be less like Seattle. Landlocked, no trees to speak of, no mountains, no large bodies of water, and lots & lots of COWS. (& Cow Poop!) Throw into that mix that it's a pretty red part of a blue-ish state - it really was like landing on a different planet . . . one we weren't able to visit in advance, so the culture shock was immense. There were lots of tears (from both of us!) and trips to Wal-Mart in the three days I was there. It was b-r-u-t-a-l.
You may be asking yourself why he chose that particular school, and the answer is because they offered him a place to play college baseball - which has been his lifelong goal. And regardless of what a kooky place it is - the school has an amazing baseball program and my kid is living his dream. <--- You can't beat THAT!
What's been really cool as a Mom though is how much I've seen him grow up in such a short period of time. I like to joke that I could not have waved a magic wand and found a more perfect place for him to land to instill a better sense of Gratitude in him - for his family, his friends, good food, Starbucks (no joke - there is no Starbucks in Sterling, Colorado!), and his LIFE. It is really nothing short of a miracle.
Part of the reason this has been such a crazy time for me is that I've been a lifelong Change-o-Phobe. No matter how many times I've been told that "Change is Good!", and how many times I've said the same to my friends - the truth is that until about five years ago I really didn't believe it. It has taken a long drawn-out divorce, massive career change(s), and repeated heartache + heartbreak to realize that all of these things bring their own gifts and I could come out the other side not only surviving, but thriving!
To be totally transparent? Watching my son go through big Change on this journey to college has brought back some of my own Change-resistant feelings! However, last night at dinner he was recounting his day, and how he had run into some old friends who are still living at home. He said, "Mom - it's like they're still in high-school. They're stuck!". It was truly insightful for someone who has only been away for a few months. Is my kid going to a four-year, Division 1 school? NO. Is he getting perfect grades? Nope! But he is following his passion and embracing the Change like a champ - and I couldn't be more proud.
Is fear of Change keeping you in a career, relationship or life situation that feels "Shackles On"? Do you feel like you have to know what the outcome will be before you can make that first big step toward something new? Grab your journal and take a few minutes to reflect on what's keeping you where you are - and then share your thoughts in the comments!
Love and Light,
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Growing up my Mom always used to take us with her to vote, so the importance of exercising that right was instilled in me at an early age - I'm a voter!
One thing I've battled with living away from my family over the years though is that I feel like I don't have anyone to talk to about the candidates and initiatives if they aren't clear to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm a lifelong democrat and believe with my whole heart that we should help those less fortunate than ourselves, and fix the roads rather than just fix my car (if you will), etc. etc. But sometimes issues just aren't that cut and dry!
My sister lives next door to my parents, and they have a system set up where they can sit down with the voter's guide and discuss all the people and measures that are on the ballot TOGETHER - and sometimes I feel sad that I'm missing out on that.
<insert voting pity party here>
Well this year I decided to create my own fun voting party, and my boyfriend and I voted together! We pulled up the cheat-sheet from a local, uber-liberal paper, and then took turns reading the initiatives out loud - and then used the papers' voters guide as a back-up if the descriptions weren't clear. It was SO great, and SO funny (click those links if you want to take a peek!), and I felt like instead of boo-hoo-ing about my lonely voting process, I had just created a new tradition with my partner. Awesome!
The truth is, it's pretty common for me to encounter this same "woe-is-me!" mindset in my coaching clients about a whole host of things - women who make excuses to not do things for one reason or another - because they don't feel supported. And my answer to that is that you don't have to do it ALONE!
Is going to the gym feeling overwhelming? Find a workout partner!
Feeling isolated in a creative endeavor? Ask friends if they'd like to meet up every couple of weeks to create together, and share feedback.
Housework getting you down? Many hands make light work . . . delegate that shit!
You get the idea - when any one thing feels daunting - doing it together always makes it better.
Need some help getting out of an "I'm all by myself!" rut? Leave a comment or send me a note - we can schedule a 30 minute free consult to get you on track!
Love and Light,
P.S. Speaking of voting, it has been a rough week for those of us who value diversity, kindness, basic human rights, and the environment. (Just to name a few things.)
If you're looking for ways you can help the world be a better place, volunteering on a local level in your community is a great place to start. Some ideas might be . . .
If we all do our part, collectively our actions will impact great change. Of that I am certain.
How you do one thing in life, is how you do everything. ~ Martha Beck
One of the tools I learned in Martha Beck's Life Coach Training program is called "The Living Home". The premise of the exercise is to have your client tell you about the least favorite place in their home, describing it in detail, and also WHY they don't like it. Because without fail, it will represent something else in their life that just isn't working! To take it one step further: Fix the house issue? Fix the life issue! :)
I love the concept of this exercise, but it's taken a while to master, so over the last six months I decided to practice it on myself. (Which can be complicated because working through my own stuff doesn't always feel good - why would I want to do that?? But I digress . . .)
The part of my house that makes me crazy (like all the time), is a storage area under my stairs - which I refer to lovingly as the "Harry Potter Closet". That closet and its' contents, along with the cluttered access path to the door is pretty much the bane of my existence. Which is why when I asked myself the Living Home question it was a no brainer answer. I immediately thought, "I hate that closet because I can never get to it. It's BLOCKED."
Oh. My. God. It's Blocked. I'm Blocked. Indeed.
So then I did nothing about it for several months. Ha!
Last weekend, my boyfriend was having a costume party at his place, so I bravely decided to unblock the way to the closet, and forage my way through everything in it to find my Pink Wig. <--- I've had the Pink Wig for years, but it's been MIA for the last two Halloween's so I've gone without a costume. But I really wanted to wear it, so I set the timer for 30 minutes (oh yes I did!), and got to work removing everything in the way of the closet door, and a lot of stuff inside it. I unearthed the wig in about 15 minutes, and then had to take a break before dealing with all the CRAP I'd shifted to get to it. At which point my boyfriend looked at me and said, "Don't put it back." Wait Whaaaaattt?
But I knew immediately that he had a point. It was time for phase two of the closet clean-out (which started - and stopped! - almost two years ago) - and there's no time like the present. Also see that bit about being BLOCKED above? Yah - I'm ready to push through whatever it is that's been keeping me stuck, and I think this is going to be a giant step in the right direction. I'm doing a little bit each day, and I'm already feeling lighter. Phew!
Do you have a place in your home that makes you cringe when you think about it? That guest room or office that has turned into a dumping ground for things you can't deal with "right now"? Perhaps it's your own version of the Zoboomafoo closet? I'd love to hear about those dark corners of your home that might be reflecting some dark corners of your life . . . And if you're interested in doing "The Living Home" coaching exercise together, just send me a note!
Love and Light,
Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.
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