As I write this, I’m in New York City, sitting in my cozy apartment and soaking up the buzz and excitement that I can hear from the streets below. This time last year, all of the neighborhood stores that I had known for so long were shut down and boarded up. Now, I walk around and so much is new: creative use of space, provocative and thought-provoking art, new businesses emerging, restaurants bustling. It’s exciting.
We are emerging from a collective moment of tremendous change — one that has fundamentally shifted the way we live, work, and communicate. The pandemic fostered vulnerability; we had to face uncomfortable human feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, and breakdown. While challenging, this vulnerability has led to new levels of intimacy and a deeper level of human connection. We opened up our homes and worlds; the masks, barriers, boundaries, walls started to dissolve. The snakeskin of our egos began to shed, we became raw and exposed, and now we have the opportunity to regenerate something new.
As the end of the year approaches, our inclination is to think about, reflect on, and learn from the past twelve months. What if we just let it go instead? The pandemic has been a blur and a time warp — two years of our lives — it’s time to move forward. We’ve reflected, processed, sunk into the experience (we had no choice) but now it’s time to imagine the future.
If you’re feeling exhausted, burnt out or stuck — you have a million reasons for it. This exhaustion is a result of every big or small win you had throughout this year. It’s there because you stepped up, advocated, supported, carried the weight, and took on the burden for yourself and those around you. You’ve earned your exhaustion. Celebrate it.
In my work and in my life, I’m noticing a strange yet hopeful dichotomy: my clients, family, friends, colleagues are definitely exhausted — but equally excited. We are wildly tired and wildly energized at the same time. There is an electric current, an energy despite it all, just waiting to be tapped into.
The backdrop of the pandemic, climate change, polarized politics, and devastating global news isn’t going anywhere. As a human race, we’re acknowledging the persistence of these ongoing threats to everyday life but we are saying, “Look, we know you’re still there, but we’re not going to stop.” Our resilience and awakening is creating an intolerance for anything that is not serving our highest selves. People are no longer as willing to stay in jobs, relationships, or situations that are not serving them anymore.
There is momentum towards the discovery of true fulfillment (i.e., a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to the Labor Department, and a recent survey found that half of all U.S. workers said they plan to look for a new job in the coming year). I’ve seen couples getting divorced after years of ignoring issues, business executives leaving their careers after decades of high stress, retirees discovering new passions after a time of feeling stuck or stagnant. We are seeing courage standing down stagnation; we are seeing confidence outsmarting mediocrity; we are seeing resignation to what is being snuffed out by people taking up the dreams that have been waiting in the wings.
If you are not feeling fulfilled right now in your work or personal life — you are not alone. And, there is no moment like the present to push ourselves. We are all already out of our comfort zones, so what do we have to lose? Throw yourself into this collective motion and discover your place in it. How can you leverage this chaos to discern your vision for the day, the week, the next step, or the next dream?
It’s time to look forward. Let’s spend this last month of the year tapping into the excitement and dreaming about what’s possible. When we feel excited, we’re thinking about what’s coming and who we are becoming. Let’s keep the momentum going and build our drive. This exercise isn’t just about finding a new job or hobby or relationship or volunteer opportunity. It doesn’t have to be result-oriented or have a goal surrounding it. It’s about engaging in excitement as a concept, dreaming, and gaining momentum. How can you infuse excitement into how you live now?
None of us knows what the future holds, but we know what to do today and can reflect on who we are becoming. The rest will fall into place. It’s about finding an inner knowing and the courage to take a risk, make a change, start something, tear it down, build it up again, and enjoy that ride.
1. Who are you becoming?
Consider who you want to become in the future. Grab a pen and paper, and write down who you are becoming in these four dimensions: 1.) Physically, 2.) Mentally, 3.) Emotionally, and 4.) Spiritually.
Then, use present tense words to describe it. When you visualize who you will become, your neural pathways will begin to align. For example, if you want to be healthy and vibrant in 10 years, tell yourself that you are healthy and vibrant today.
For more information on this technique, contact Coach Ray at www.mycoachray.com. Coach Ray specializes in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and is amazing.
2. What feels exciting for you right now?
Ask yourself if there’s an opportunity for you to pursue a positive change in an area of your life that feels stagnant. What gives you hope and fills you with possibilities? Consider the opportunities that make you feel excited, inspired, motivated, or driven to pursue.
Kristine Steinberg is the CEO of Kismet. She believes that your life should be deeply fulfilling — not tolerated. Partner with Kismet to dismantle fear, define your path, and lead with courage. Start your transformation today: www.thisiskismet.com.