My amazing and beautiful niece turned 19 last month. Among the many birthday posts on her Facebook wall was this one (the bolds are mine):
I can’t believe we’re both turning 19!! When did we get so old?
It was basically yesterday that we went to the American girl fashion show, had the crazy whipped cream fight (we would totally still do that today), quit soccer in 3rd grade because we didn’t like bugs … and all of our other hilarious memories. Through elementary and middle school, cross country, going to Maryland together, and every single other thing we have done together in our lives, you have always made everything so ridiculously hilarious and fun.
I cracked up when I read, “When did we get so old?”
And then I got pensive. The truth is this won’t be the last time she asks how she got that old. She’ll wonder again at 21, 29, 30, 40, 50, and all the other significant birthdays that happen in between and after.
We all ask the same question: how did we get so old?
Yet what we’re really asking is, “How the heck has time passed so quickly?”
Life goes by so fast … it’s WAY too short to spend it stuck.
Whether you’re as young as 19, 35, 50, or 65, these ten stuck-busters will help you live unstuck:
- Be authentic. Be you.There’s nothing more exhausting than pretending to be someone you’re not. It might be scary in the short term to be yourself, but over time it’s a much easier and more unstuck way to live. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “everyone else is already taken.” Embrace who you are and let your gifts shine through.
- Don’t make stuff up. Have you ever wasted energy feeling mad, hurt, or worked into a snit only to discover that you’d misinterpreted the situation? I certainly have. Notice your assumptions. Then you can then decide if it’s important enough to learn the facts. If not, move on. Or choose to make up a good story so your day can keep flowing smoothly!
- Focus on what matters. Ask yourself, “How much will I care about this in one year, five years, ten years?” If what’s causing you stress or keeping you stuck isn’t going to matter down the road, take a deep breath and let it go.
- Fail forward. Failure is not a four letter word. Every experience is filled with learning and opportunity, and you can’t know how the story ends until it’s done playing out. Success and failure are simply a matter of where you draw the timeline.
- Practice awareness. Life flows more smoothly when the choices you make align with who you are and what’s most important. But it doesn’t happen magically. (Darn!) The only way to choose consciously is to be aware that you’re making choices. And awareness is difficult if you’re running a million miles an hour, so …
- Slow. It. Down. Take a few minutes (or even seconds) to transition between tasks, activities, and meetings. Breathe. Move just a little more slowly. Just a few small pauses, an ever-so-small shift in your speed of movement, creates space for awareness.
- Invest time and energy in self-care. You’re worth it. And you’ll get your investment back in multiples of increased productivity, energy, and creativity, as well as less stress. (If self-care was a financial investment, everyone would want to own it ;-).)
- Be on purpose. Even if you’re still searching for your calling, you get to live on purpose every day. It’s all in the way you show up and how you do everything you do.
- Give your heart an equal seat at the table. Your heart brings as much wisdom and value as your mind.
It’s not flaky or woo-woo to give as much credence to your heart (intuition, gut, or whatever word you prefer) as you give to your intellect. Just the opposite. It’s a really smart thing to do.
- Have more whipped-cream fights :-). Find the fun and joy in life.
There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them. ~ Unknown