The Real Trick to Changing Your Life
I met a woman –call her “L” — in January. First-time client. This woman’s back story was pretty amazing: horrible childhood, husband dies on their 7th anniversary leaving two little boys to raise alone. So she was training to be an electrician in a decidedly macho business; in fact, she was just promoted to an especially challenging specialty. On top of that, she just wrote a book about her experience stepping into that world.
Total badass, right? But her weak spot was the guy who was living with her. We’ll call him “R.” This guy was a cheater and a slob; he spent most of his waking hours putting her down, calling her names. That was when he wasn’t eating Cheetos on the couch (and wiping his hands on the cushions, probably). He took her money. He ran around. The guy was a walking old-timey blues song and you would wonder why anyone would put up with his sorry ass. But she did. It happens.
No surprise that “L” was frustrated and mad with herself. She knew he was a bonehead. She knew she had put up with this for too long, but she worried about making it financially if he were out of the picture. She wondered if she’d ever find anyone else. You’ve heard this story before.
Cut to this afternoon, a few months after our first meeting. “R” is still in the picture — but not for long. “L” has been quietly making some plans. She rented a storage unit to stash her precious items (in case he decided to mess with her — ’cause that’s the kind of tool he is). She secretly opened up her own credit cards and took a loan against her 401K to give her a cushion. And, on her way to my office, had hit the Home Depot for a new set of locks. Bah-ZING!
The funny thing is, “R” seems to know something’s up. And he’s trying to be all nice again — because clearly, his usual m.o. of being a jerk is not having the expected effect of putting her in line. “L” is still a little freaked out over the change that’s coming — but she keeps moving forward. No wonder THIS card came up for her:
The Moon is about being spooked by uncertainty. The Moon’s light is deceptive; even on the brightest night, you can’t be quite sure what that is in front of you. Vicious dogs are a-barkin’, creepy things are crawling out of the mud, ready to slime you. You just want to curl up with the blanket over your head. It’s a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, where you feel around in the dark, not knowing what you’re about to bump up against. Frustrating. Terrifying.
However, moving forward is what we must do. And even the smallest effort counts. It’s the fact that you’re trying in the face of uncertainty that’s the point of this card. That’s where greatness starts; its Edison’s final push for the light bulb, the last record company visited by the Beatles. And you won’t BELIEVE how fast the successes and “whoa, where’d THAT come from?”s start piling up on the back of those little moves.
I was so proud of “L”s eensy steps towards a life free from the janky vibe of “R.” She’s scared, no doubt. But she’s walking through the uncertain light of the Moon. She may be crawling on her hands and knees sometimes – but she’s moving. Before she knows it, the sun will rise, showing that she’s farther down the road than ever expected.
That’s your word of the day, children: “try.” And here’s your assignment: think of something in your life that just ain’t working. You’re putting up with a job you no longer like, a person you no longer love, the 15 extra pounds, anything you know you need to change but just can’t.
Now, take a few deep breaths and sit quietly with a pen and pad. What are the three smallest things you can do to start to change that situation today? No big moves to overwhelm you, just little baby steps.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your job is played out. You’re just grinding it out, day by day, knowing that you want something else, but it’s just too damn hard to consider leaving it. If this were me (and it was, at one point), here are my three baby steps:
1) Google a few job sites and just poke around for 15 minutes.
2) Write down three people to talk to about possible opportunities (notice, I’m just writing them down, not actually contacting them at this point)
3) Pull up the resume’ and give it a quick once-over. Again, we’re not making any actual changes to it. just initiating some energy.
I think you’ll find that the act of doing something, anything builds momentum towards change. You take another tiny step…and another…and another. So have at it, and let the light of the Moon lead you forward into your dream life!
Tell me how you’re gonna do it in the comments below. (And if you like what you read, share it!)