If you want to grow and move on to better things, you have to give up the things that hold you back.
Last night, Marc and I received a new thank you email from a longtime reader and coaching client named Kevin (we’re writing about him today with his consent). He said our book and life coaching sessions helped him and his wife Laura maintain a positive, intentional mindset as they struggled and grew through one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Certain sections of his email nearly moved me to tears:
“As you know, after injuring my back, losing my job because of it, being evicted from our apartment, moving in with Laura’s parents, nursing my five-year-old through a nearly fatal bout of strep throat, I was stuck in a tragic rut for far too long. And I was sitting on the front porch of my in-law’s house feeling sorry for myself, yet again, when my old college buddy called me crying and said, ‘Mel-Mel-Melissa, my baby girl, just died in a car wreck.’ And suddenly I felt like the lucky one.”
Kevin then went on to say, “It was the shock of my friend’s tragic loss that motivated me to review four pages of notes I had previously taken from both your book and our most recent coaching sessions. And this time your wisdom sunk in! Suddenly a light bulb illuminated in my mind – and it literally changed my entire outlook from negative to positive. I suddenly realized there were people who needed me to get back up, and infinite reasons and ways to do my very best with what I had. So I started giving up all the negative things I was thinking and doing that had been holding me back; and then I took a bold step forward, and another, and another. And it’s been almost a year now, and I’m happy to say you were right!”
If you can relate to Kevin’s situation in any way, and you’re ready to move forward, I want to remind you that TODAY is the first day of the rest of your life. The road ahead is wide open. You CAN get yourself back on track!
But first, you have to…
Give up pretending that you have to be who you used to be.
When times get tough, our worst battle is often between what we remember and what we presently feel. Thus, one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is when to stay put and struggle harder or when to take your memories and move on. Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you are capable of being, and the person you truly are today.
Give up berating yourself for everything you aren’t.
Being kind to yourself in thoughts, words and actions is as important as being kind to others. Extend yourself this courtesy. Love yourself – your real self. Work through your fears (dive deep), your insecurities (speak honestly and loudly), and your anger (scream into the pillow – not into the mirror, nor the people you care about; they don’t deserve it.) Instead of hurting yourself by hiding from your problems, help yourself grow beyond them. That’s what self-care is all about. It’s about facing the inner issues that make you believe that you are less than you are. It’s learning to see that you are already beautiful. Not because you’re blind to your shortcomings, but because you know they have to be there to balance out your strengths.
Give up regretting, and holding on to, what happened in the past.
When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have. Not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realize they do, perfectly. So thank the things that didn’t work out, because they just made room for the things that will. And thank the ones who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t. As they say, every new beginning comes from another beginning’s end.