The Time is Now – Avoid the Tomorrow-Trap: Focus on the Potential Within You Today.
Part One: Tomorrow
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do them now.” Paulo Coelho
I caught myself saying, “Just as soon as…” this morning, gave myself a mental forehead slap and sat straight down to write this blog post.
Because the time really is now and the dangers of getting unintentionally and blindly caught up in the past or future bind and gag us to our full potential and what could be. We may as well have turned to stone like the poor victims in so many stories.
Does that sound a bit drastic?
Okay, I’m not talking about sentences that go something like, “As soon as the laundry is finished, I will hang it out in the sunshine” or “As soon as the meal is ready, I will call you to the table” here. I am certainly not talking about, “Just as soon as I am qualified as a brain surgeon I will be able to operate without supervision.” Or “Just as soon as I am a qualified police officer I can arrest people.”
No, I’m talking about the sneaky, procrastinating sentences that begin with some (usually shortened version, although I know plenty of people who can embellish their sentence starters for hours…) version of, “Oh, I know exactly what I want. I have amazing goals and know exactly how to go about achieving them. I’ve done my research and know what my desired outcome is, how far it can take me and how amazing that will be for me.” The ‘I’m telling you (and especially myself) how great it’s going to be and how active I already am, without actually doing anything’ kind of sentence starter. The deadly, ‘It’s going to be so great and I’m going to make my first, all important power move, just as soon as…’ sentence starter.
…just as soon as _________________________________________________ (Fill in the gap).
How do you find yourself filling in the gap? Mine is usually something like, “Just as soon as the kids are a bit more self-sufficient.” Or “just as soon as my (business-travelling) husband is around to help more.”
Perhaps your sentence starter goes more along the lines of:
“I can’t wait for…*”
“I only have to survive this until…*”
“Of course that’s only possible when…*”
“It’ll all be fine when…*”
*The time is right for something to happen that means you’ll be happier, freer, richer, thinner, older, fitter, more focused, more qualified, more supported, more stable, more loved (the list goes on and I’m sure you can think of many more!)
Are you telling yourself that you’re actively moving forward today whilst actually waiting for tomorrow?
Are you waiting for tomorrow in the hope that it has to be better and easier or simpler than today?
What is your own personal narrative that supports putting things on hold (outside of in your own head)?
What do you tell yourself that’s convinced you it’s best to wait and how convinced are you really on a scale of 1 – 10?
How often does it involve someone or something else?
Let’s pretend you are the character in a story:
What does this character look like? What environment are they ‘stuck’ in?
What are their character traits? What is their role? (hero, victim, baddy, slave, comedian)
What are their taglines? What do they habitually think but not say out loud?
What are their triggers? How do they react to them?
What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
What’s your character’s secret? (Desire, fear, shame, side, past, plan)
What other characters are in the story? How does your character change for each of them?
What genre is the main storyline? Horror, comedy, adventure, satire, science fiction, tragedy, art house, cartoon etc.)
What ‘story loops’ does your character find themselves in? What initiates these?
Who decides what happens to your character? How come?
What has to happen for your character to be happy? What does happy mean for them?
Try and imagine your storyline in as much detail as you can. What would a typical ‘story ‘loop’ look like on a picture storyboard if you divided it into eight segments?
How does it feel to see your storyboard panning out like this? Observe how you feel as you notice the actions and behaviors in each frame. What do you notice in your body as you think about your current story? Any sensations? Spend a few moments observing your whole body; No judging, fixing, suppressing or holding on; just observing. Let thoughts come if they want to and then let them go again. What happens with time? Whatever you notice is absolutely fine, normal and nothing but data.
If you are able to get this far and allow those feelings and thoughts to just be there and accept them as nothing more than data, what could they be trying to tell you? What is behind them? If there is a need or value not being met, what could that be? What is missing for you?
Let’s pretend that the story continues exactly along ‘today’s reality’ narrative lines you defined and that tomorrow’s promises, actions, changes remain right there; in the future. You do nothing and nothing changes to role identities, environments, behaviours and storylines. What does the ending look like?
The question now is, ‘Is my story reality the one and only possibility? If not, which reality do I actively choose to create?’
What if you did have control of how your story went from this moment forward? Not from tomorrow forward, but from this moment forward? What if your character discovered that today was the perfect, one and only time to act; that acting today would set off a positive chain of results that transformed their dream into a reality?
So, what is your story asking you to edit?
What do you need right now in order to take a first step in starting those edits?
If you want to find out more about your old story, it’s limiting beliefs and how to break free of the character that no longer serves you, you don’t have to do it alone.
If you knew that you couldn’t fail and that a coach would guide, support and motivate you on your journey in exactly the way you’d want it in order to make the new ending happen, what would you do right now?
Guess what..? Your time is now!
Book a free, no obligation appointment now to discover how Inside-Out Coaching can support all your ‘Happy-Ever-Afters’.