A Practice to Take Into the New Year
A Resource to Wrap Up the Year
In the past few weeks, I have written about obstacles to success and ways to overcome them. What stops you from achieving your goals? What helps you accomplish a breakthrough? Thanks to all of you who brainstormed on these topics and shared moments of profound frustration and proud achievement.
I want to wrap up the year by sharing a simple, yet powerful process for breaking through obstacles. Try this when you are feeling stuck and need a creative leap forward. Try this when you are feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure which step to take next. Try this when things feel overly complicated, and you’re not sure where to begin to unravel the puzzle.
Notice your “Internal State”
It’s no use working to solve a complex or significant problem when your mind is in disarray, or you are overwhelmed by tension and worry. Creativity is stifled by fear, anxiety, and cluttered thinking. When you notice your internal state has been taken over by apprehension, concern, confusion, or frustration, it’s time to change the dynamic.
Find Your Best Internal State
Think back to a time when you were “in the zone.” In other words, recall a time when you were doing your best work. Clear your mind and in a quiet, uninterrupted space, remember everything you can about that time.
Now notice: How you were feeling? In that moment, you were likely focused, yet calm, confident, yet open and inquisitive.
What else can you recall? Do you associate a sound or color with this internal state? Do you recall any physical sensations, such as warmth in your belly, or a sudden clear-headed focus? Tap into those feelings, sounds, colors, and sensations now.
The idea is to replicate as much of your best internal state as possible before proceeding to the next step.
One Inspired Action
Once you have recalled your best internal state, ask yourself a question. What one inspired action can I take today?
What One Inspired Action Can I Take Today?
The answer may surprise, and will often delight you. By inspired action, I mean take a simple step, one taken with ease and minimal effort. It could be finally making a phone call to ask for help. It could be taking the first action on a long-delayed plan. It could be signing up for a class that could open new doors for you.
I have tapped into this process on numerous occasions. As a direct result, I have taken a quantum leap forward in many instances. Often, an idea will occur that would never have arisen through linear thinking. The idea is to free yourself of preconceived notions and limited thinking, and allow your creative self to unleash momentum.
Learning this process was a gift. It still fills me with gratitude when I think of the coach who first taught it to me years ago. I hope you find it as helpful and meaningful as I have, and that you use it to create tremendous success in 2018.