Why do we let go of what sustains us?
It’s interesting to me how so many people know what they need to be confident and content but as they build their lives, business and relationships somehow it doesn't get prioritized.
Somehow they/we end up being so focused on getting somewhere else, achieving something new that we let go of what truly sustains us. Sometimes in an effort to make more time for the new and other times, more often though I think it is because doing what works for us doesn't feel important enough. That the elusive promise of better, has us holding our breaths, doing more, being less and chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
"How we do one thing, we do everything" when we trade the gold we posses (the confidence, the self-care, the balance, the prioritizing of what sustains us, our indivdualism) we trade it all, in hope to get more. We look at the rainbow that is job opportunities, businesses, relationships and more stuff and we follow the rainbow so far away from where we are; that actually works leaving behind our own gold because compared to this shiny new pot of gold we think ours looks average.
When we start devaluing what sustains us, in the hopes to achieve something we set ourselves up for burn out, imbalance and inability to relax into and be with what we have spent so long earning. We go into avoidant or controlling ways of managing.
I meet many clients who have had high successes, business that are far bigger than the one man show they started with or lifestyles their parents could never achieve and still when they sit with me,its because they do not know how to relax into it now and step back from the chasing and doing. They don't know because they have become so accustomed to the imbalance, even when the situation allows them to relax, they don't know how to trust in it and often create situations to affirm they can't.
This shows up as business that become ineffective, relationships out of balance, friends their is no longer a connection with, anxiety, depression, buying more stuff, getting into more debt, falling out with employees, clients, employers and no space to be creative, have hobbies, play with the kids/grand-kids or take healthy risk.
Alone these things are just a slight shift away from a healthy change usually however more than one of these and it suggests a whole imbalance is occurring.
In my coaching experience I have noticed how imbalance will seek out balance until it finds it. This is usually painful and the very thing we try to prevent such as bad decision making, burnout, lose of people in our lives and worst, a feeling like we have lost touch with who we are and how we want to be, we become shells of who we are, robots around what we need to do and life becomes hard, with task after task and often we don't even know how we got here.
When the means to have a good life becomes more important than having one, the balance we need to maintain momentum in all areas of our life gets thrown off and we become busy doing, often doing anything that we think is helpful and without the bigger perspective we can't see the most effective solutions to our situations, we just keep picking the most familiar.
We do what we think we should, ignoring what we actually need to do and the cycle continues. By the time people get into my office we have already decided together if working together is what is needed and how we will approach it, at this point people more often than not are ready to look at what is and isn't working and make changes that are fitting, rather than familiar.
The confidence that comes from taking a bigger perspective and opening up new ways to manage is immense and often far simpler than the hundred self help books or hours of advice received to that point. I believe its simpler because during our work we start asking the right questions, listening to the answers that come from a persons real needs and we act accordingly in our coaching sessions and in their lives, businesses and relationships.
I keep mentioning all three because as much as they are different areas, we are the common denominator and as long as we are doing the familiar, rather than effective we reduce our capacity for happiness and contentment in all these areas.
Life doesn't often happen in a straight line and there are times where we lose touch with the core of who we are or the clarity around what we are doing but there is always a way forward, a reset, a chance to move from throwing everything away to chase the pot of gold to learning how to collect pieces of gold as we go. To pursue the new, while respecting the present.