Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
Knock… knock… knock. Do you hear the future struggling to crack open your heart? It’s the yearning you can’t quite touch. You long to encounter its promised sweetness but have given up on it ever coming to pass.
You’re confident regarding your mastery at checking items off your “to-do list.” You’d happily stack your production up against anyone’s, but time-and-again frustrating breakdowns occur in your efforts to cause outside-of-the-box experiences.
Stop flaying yourself. Begin creating one new habit at a time, but keep in mind the old maxim: What got you where you are today won’t get you where you want to go tomorrow.
The reality is that in many ways women have replicated a more male-like pathway for obtaining results, but in so doing, have unintentionally closed down their strength, the one that provides satisfaction to the experience—your femininity.
Woman, pushing harder with the same thinking and the same processes men tap into to create ongoing successes for themselves isn’t the energy you should exercise to design, and then, live your unique, feminine, outside-of-the-box dreams.
Let’s talk about a self-generative expedition that will lead you, a woman, to the land of your hoped-for, but as yet unrealized future.
Okay, I know that sentence makes it sound way easier then perhaps the doing will be, but every illustrious journey begins with one small step. Are you ready to discover your yellow brick road?
Shed Some Skin:Willpower may be sufficient to be an outcome-driven producer not so good for dream-building. Such a rigid, get-it-done, stay-on-track no matter what muscle often slams shut the doors to your future. So, stop trying. Stop doing. And instead open to:
Your Pulse: It’s your life-power drawing you to your passions and excitement.
Your Dreams: Are where the hidden hopes of your heart dwell.
Your Joys: Are the secret puzzle pieces leading to a fulfilling life.
Your Strengths: Are the innate tools you’ve been given to both uncover and delight in the life you long to realize.
Charles Duhigg discusses in his book, “The Power of Habits: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business,” habits, rather than conscious decision-making, can shape as many as 45 percent of the choices we make every day, according to a study by Duke University. We don’t want any of these “automatic choices” to produce static which plays havoc to uncovering your “heart choices.” So, eliminate, as though shedding skin, anything which is not pertinent to your inner journey.
Contemplate Your Navel: Action is the enemy of your future right now so stop trying and start feeling. Develop a tranquil environment to explore mental mini-journeys of discovery that may inspire a future you’ve never contemplated before. This space is the complete opposite of the strategic, process-driven surroundings you typically employ. Instead, relax, get comfortable, and unlock your senses for reflection.
Begin by lowering the lights to create a comfortable setting with soft, airy music playing and burning fragrant candles in the background. Place a large piece of brightly, colored construction paper and pens close at hand. And then, let your mind gently run adrift moving seamlessly over the four areas of exploration already discussed.
Does your heart quicken, when your mind touches a possibility? Then, make a note of it. Remember, you’re traveling the road of feeling rather than thinking, so you’re merely recording not making decisions or judgments along the way.
Continue this exercise on and off over the next several weeks, and only when your brain takes a deep sigh of completion are you done. Review all you’ve written. Then, just like the grand finale of a magic show, see what this right-brain exercise has revealed and brought to life.
It’s Not A Matter of Motivation: It’s about leaning into “being.” Choosing to celebrate and embrace and savor the joyous moments you have each day, but often miss experiencing simply through giving in to busy-ness. It’s not a “rah-rah” march forward to a well-oiled plan. Rather, it’s a stroll through all the nooks and crannies emerging along the winding road of your life. It is rewiring your brain to find value in the pauses of everyday living to sink into you for inspiration that opens the door to authenticity.
Have you touched something inside yourself that has sparked a new idea or direction? Step into it. Start honoring yourself and the adventures that make up your life. An entirely new world will open—one filled with work and fun; inspiration and strategy, journeys and processes.