I'm SO excited! I'm on a bus to NYC for the week, so I'll make this quick. I was feeling stuck recently and asked myself 3 critical questions that have have seriously skyrocketed my feeling of empowerment and joy! Researcher David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University says that when we want a different answer, we have to ask a different question.
Why I was stuck… When I married Josh I gave up my dream of living in New York. My compromise was to live in Philly until his son graduated high school, under one condition – we would never move to the suburbs. It's not that I have anything against the suburbs; they just don't feed my soul like a city does. I need lots of diverse people, art, noise, and lights to feed my creative fire.
But then the city public schools became worse. Then his son's mom had some personal issues. And everyone agreed that the suburban school was the right place for him.
So off to the suburbs I went. We bought a beautiful house and I tried to have a good attitude, but with every passing day, I've felt more stuck. And the more stuck I feel, the more resentful I become of Josh. It's been super hard – especially since I'm always telling you that you must follow your heart's desires and soul's dreams no matter what!
But this is how it goes for all of us. You know what you want or you have an idea, but you make a compromise for someone you love, or you become afraid because someone said it was silly or selfish. So you back away from your idea and then feel small, caged, stuck, and even resentful or angry.
So I used my 3 favorite happiness + success questions and found a perfect solution that I'm SOOO excited about!!
1. How Can I? For two years, I've told myself “I can't live in New York City.” I convinced myself that I was stuck, and as a free spirit, that kind of cage was just making me more miserable and resentful. So recently, I used my favorite question, “How can I?” to see what else was possible. That's when my coach suggested that I live in NYC 3 days a week – that I commute, like so many do. It was so simple. So easy. Like, “duh!” Why didn't I think of that? To be honest, I had, and Josh had, but I had been scared. I didn't want him to resent me. I thought I was selfish for wanting it. I projected that it would be too expensive and it just wasn't feasible. I'm sure you get this. I'm sure you have all sorts of things you want to do that you tell yourself are impossible. You make up stories that people will be upset with you. You project what will go wrong. We all do this – and there go our dreams and our happiness.
So every time you hear yourself say, “I can't do that… it's too expensive… it's too risky… it's not practical” (etc, etc), ask, “How Can I?” and watch how this empowered stance instantly makes you feel happier and stronger!
2. Who Can Help? So when you have an idea but you have no idea how to do it, this is your next happiness + success question. When my coach suggested this 3-days-in-NY idea, I had no idea how to find an apartment for just a few days and I didn't want to spend $2000/month on one. So I asked my brain, “Who can help?” Instantly, I thought of 2 people who have back apartments out of use. One is a woman that I just met, but who recently offered for me to stay during an impending snowstorm. I didn't end up needing it then, but how awesome that she had JUST offered this! So, I emailed her and though I can't stay here regularly, she's letting me stay this week to see how I like the 3-days idea!! And here's how amazing the Universe (and this woman) is – she lives ON CENTRAL PARK. I have a huge beautiful space with a private bathroom and entrance…. It's heaven.
So get some help – even if it's scary or you don't like asking, or you feel guilty. People want to help. Ask friends if they know someone who can help, go through your mental roladex, or reach out to a coach for guidance and support.
3. What is the NEXT step I can take? Sometimes, we become paralyzed because an idea is too big or it seems too much of a long-shot, so we just give up. This is when we must narrow down to one step. The first step of this NY idea was to talk to Josh. I was nervous and scared! This is where a lot of us chicken out, but I took a deep breath and told him my idea. He gave me a hug. He said he understood, and though it isn't his first choice for our marriage, he knows it will make me happy, and therefore, probably make our marriage better. (Great guy, right?!)
Then came the next step – email people (see above). Then the next one, to try it out once, and here I am, on this bus. Renting a whole apartment felt too big right now, so I just needed to do it once and see. Then if I like it, do it once more. And then once more. And then in time, if it's the right solution for my own success and happiness, then we'll rent more permanent space.
So boil it down to one small step. Then another small step. Just one. If you want to write a book, take out a pen. If you want to become a Vice President, download a book on leadership. One step and watch how taking action leads to more action!
friend, I've used these 3 questions to do everything in life – from pursuing my purpose to moving across the country to creating my first retreat in Paris. It always works!
So what have you been wanting to do that would make you happier and/or more successful? Ask for a promotion? Learn a new skill? Start a business? Pursue a creative purpose?
Ask yourself these 3 questions and watch yourself take flight! And again, if you need help, reach out. Email me here! I have space for 2 new coaching clients and I'd be happy to host a free 30 minute consultation with you to discover how you can achieve your goals and to see if coaching is for you.
With so much love!