I was talking to a friend recently who is facing redundancy at work. He was adamant that he does not want to find another job in the corporate world. He proceeded to go through a list of all the things he did not want, until eventually I asked him what it was that he actually did. At first he said he did not know. Yes, we are not used to spending much time thinking about that, are we? It can feel a little weird at first, almost as if we have this deeply ingrained belief that we shouldn’t, that it would be selfish to focus on our own needs and desires…
But then after a little more probing he said, “Well, in fact I do know. If I could, all I would do all day long is paint and draw.” And then he went on to tell me all the reasons why he could not do that, of course! Mainly those were a list of worries: “I won’t make enough money” was one, which after a bit more discussion quickly turned into, “Actually, potentially I could make more.” So… what’s the problem? That’s when he grabbed a pen, forgot I was there, and started making a list of actions he could take to make it happen. Now that is my kind of coaching!
The world is all upside down, have you noticed? How many of us out there have made the conscious decision that we would ignore our dreams and passions in order to fit the rules, make a living, pay the rent, survive… perhaps it even happened before we could decide for ourselves. I grew up being told that my hobbies could never become my life. I was told to forget every single one of them, to tuck them away until the weekend, until after school, until after my 60-hour week in the corporate world, until after... what?
You’ve probably heard that famous Osho quote: “The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.”
Maybe we are just waiting for something ‘better’ to happen. For the longest time, I was in that category. I knew I was not happy, and yet I did not know how to change it. When I discovered NLP, I learned two things: number one, that it was possible. And number two, that I could. Then I proceeded to learn the techniques that would help me let go of what stood in the way: the belief that I was not good enough was one. I was scared, too! So I did Time Line Therapy™, and I let go of fear. The weirdest thing happened then: every time I became aware of feeling fear, it morphed into excitement! All of a sudden I started to feel happy outside of my comfort zone. I started to challenge myself. I started to grow.
Now my friend is still working his way through his options. One thing he has started doing though is paint and draw, in the evenings, at weekends, whenever he can fit it in. He feels a lot happier as a result. And he is starting to get noticed too, and to get a few more opportunities in his preferred field; not enough to make a living... Well, not yet anyway! Because now he understands the secret too: start small if that’s where you are with it right now. Just do more of what makes you feel good, as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t expect anything in return! Just do what you love, follow your passion… I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the results you will bring into your life then.
“You can have anything you want – if you give up the belief that you can’t have it.” Bashar