I've had more than one client lately who has experienced some major self-doubt or made quite a change in direction in their lives. I can't speculate on what happened for them but I do know when they came to me, they were very focused on their project, very keen to move it along as quickly as possible. But then, before getting through it, they are pulling the plug or questioning their direction.
Life is for Changing Tack
Where would we all be if we only ever traveled in one direction? Learning new things, meeting new people, mastering new skills - only a few of the things that can shift our priorities, our interests and our motivations.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
I believe that it's always important to question your direction. Not in a self-doubt sense, but more in an affirmation sense. Check in, take stock, think, reflect! If it's the right direction you need to know that as much as if it's the wrong direction.
Only you will know what is right for you. Other people love to tell you what they think is right but you know yourself best.
When you start getting icky feelings about something you're doing, that's a good sign that it's time to reflect on it. Perhaps it's not that you need to stop it completely but you might need to approach it differently or make another change elsewhere to make space for it.
Adaptability and Resilience
I wouldn't look at changing tack as a negative thing. I think adaptability is a great skill that will contribute to your successes. Being able to put on the brakes and say, "Actually, this isn't what I want," can be as courageous as pushing forward on a big project, a big decision, a big relationship or big change.
Goals that start out feeling positive have a way of moving you forward. And sometimes they take you barreling forward with a brick on the gas pedal. You're moving towards this thing that you wanted - at least at some point - and now it all feels a bit much and you really aren't sure. But you've been making headway and it all feels quite exciting - even scary - so you think it may just be a bit of nerves and push on. But then the next week you feel it again, then the next day and all of a sudden you can't sleep, you keep wondering if you should keep heading in this direction.
Sometimes the answer is a clear no. But that doesn't fit with what we're told about success. Success is saying "Yes!" and achieving milestones and sticking to a plan. Well, not for everyone.
So how can you decide in these situations? Well, it helps to have some internal compass points to reference. My compass points are my core desired feelings - the ways that I want to feel in my life. Free. Strong. Curious. (Now, the meaning behind those words for me is deeper than the words themselves. These represent all of the feelings I want - trust in myself, confidence, faith, love, abundance, energy.) If I am struggling to make a decision, I put it through the test:
Does this make me feel free?
Does this make me feel strong?
Does this make me feel curious?
If I can't answer yes to at least one of those, well it's time for a serious talk with myself. Before I had this in my tool belt, I often could tell when something was wrong but might not know why. I might let external factors play a bigger role in the decision than I should. And I may have ended up more astray than when I began. It can take a long time to get back from that.
So how do you handle moments of doubt? What are your internal signs that something needs to change? If you want a chance to identify your core desired feelings, check out my Desire Map Workshops. In person this Saturday in New Plymouth, or virtually/one-on-one at your pace.
Because there's no reason you shouldn't feel good in your life. We all deserve to feel good. So if it's time to quit something, change something or do something different - DO IT!