This week, in a session with my coach, we were talking about navigating change (a regular topic for me lately!) and how I had shifted my thoughts in this recent change. The recent change includes a new job, a new city and a new living situation, so it can feel like a lot at times, and even push toward feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.
As we were talking, she asked me what had changed to cause the shift in my thinking, and I shared that I felt like I was in a place of really trusting myself and that things were happening exactly as they were supposed to be. In the moment, it did not feel like a revolutionary statement and yet as we explored the thought more and more, I realized that I had taken a thought that was rooted in my circumstance and created the result of things being exactly as they are supposed to be.
It was this moment of realization that by letting go of my need to control outcomes, and to truly trust myself, I created exactly what I needed. And the interesting part of the whole exchange was that until we started to explore the idea of how I got comfortable with the thought that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, even with all the change and uncertainty and unknowns, I did not even recognize that I was the barrier in my own ability to trust myself. The need to control was the ultimate form of distrust.
Once I recognized that I could trust myself, it opened up space for me to embrace what is and my own evolution in this change. Trust gave me to ability to be in uncertainty, to allow ALL the feelings (yep, even the hard ones like loneliness, self-doubt and fear) without judgment or thinking that I was broken or that something was wrong with me.
It also helped me realize another powerful thought:
"I am not a fixed thing and I am not a thing to be fixed."
I literally got out my phone and texted that sentence to myself. We joked that I should stitch that on a pillow and sell it because how many women did we know who felt like they were a constant project, or that they had reached their "end point"? Reminding myself that I am not a project, and that my evolution is not finite was so incredibly powerful.
I also shared that this discovery did not mean it was rainbows and unicorns every day - there are still plenty of days that I think "did I make the right choice?" or feel like I might not have it in me to do all the things. Yet, trusting myself means that I know I can make a different choice if I need to, it means that having hard days or tough interactions does not mean that I do not belong where I am and, more than anything, trusting myself gives me the confidence to operate from a place of curiosity and exploration.
I wish I could say that there is a magic formula for shifting our thinking but in reality, it is about doing the work and allowing space to explore ideas and thoughts, without the fear of judgment. I am grateful that I have that space with my coach, and with my trusted circle of advisors, and I know that the discoveries I had this week are a direct result of me doing the work, being willing to shift my mindset and be open to possibilities, even when I don't know exactly what they are.
Breaking free from distrust and a mindset that was rooted in misery has been a powerful journey - one that has strengthened me, my relationships, my leadership and my thinking. How will you break free from the mindset that is holding you back?