One of my greatest travel experiences was to Patagonia in far south Chile and Argentina. With the support of guides we hiked through the cave of the giant sloth, got up close and personal with icebergs, saw guanaco, rhea and condors and watched giant sheets of ice calve of glaciers the size of city building blocks. Like other travellers, we relied on experienced, helpful and generous guides who knew the terrain and the best way to experience it.
In finding your way in unknown territory, how do you know which support and advice to trust?
We all have our own unique paths and journeys in life. It is the foundation of Albany Lane and the basis of my coaching work with clients. I believe that we therefore all have an innate ability to create and lead change in our lives.
Sometimes the path is not clear. You may feel stuck, uncertain, afraid of making the wrong decision or worse ending up where you started and having to go through it all again.
For those of us who are great ‘doers’ and achievers, the sense of not moving forward can bring up frustration, fear and even anger. These emotions can be draining on your energy, productivity and relationships. The more you focus on the feeling of ‘stuck-ness’ the greater the emotional pull and triggers will be.
In the grip of this emotional whirlpool the last thing you need is someone to tell you to “pause”, “trust your instincts” or “relax and let the universe be your guide”. When you are out of touch with who you believe yourself to be, it is nearly impossible to access your intuition and inner guide.
Yet it is your inner guide that got you to this point of ‘stuck-ness’ whether you know it or not, as it is also the point of breakthrough to a greater sense of inner knowing and confidence.
To allow you to gain some perspective on where you are, you need to give your ‘achiever’ self something to do. This is a great time to explore potential road maps and guides for the way ahead. You may try out different courses, read new books, go to conferences, try out different practices. These can be great ‘scaffolding’ to get you started on developing a new awareness or way of seeing the world, which will allow you to see a new path.
It might take a bit of trial and error to see what fits best for you. For me it was mindfulness meditation. For others it might be a new exercise routine, a course of study, or joining a new discussion group or club.
However in trying out these new practices ask yourself if it is just distracting you from your uneasiness or is it opening up some new ways of inquiry and insights? Be careful of anything that says it is “the answer” and only way to happiness and fulfilment. At best it should be a guide to your path, not the path itself.
In testing these road maps and guides you will be practicing developing your intuition and inner guide. Step back and look at the landscape and options around you. Use your senses to see what seems like a good fit. Not the perfect fit or the one and only way.
Give yourself a break for constantly questioning if you are on the right path. Experiment with a few options to see what might be a next step. Find something that will move you out of your ‘stuck-ness’ and self-doubt. Your confidence will increase, and with it your self-esteem. It will be on this basis that the next step on your unique journey will emerge.