The Wonderfully Non-Linear Path of Life & Biz
by Sarah Beth Jones, the NoBS Biz Coach
From our earliest days, we’re giving the impression that our journey from fertilized egg to daisy food will be linear, predictable in the big picture. As I understood it, it looked a little something like:
I don’t know about you but that’s not at all how it’s turning out for me. So far, I’m more like:
Tucked into each arrow has been self-doubt, all sorts of backtracking, and more than a few hours with therapists and coaches.
There have also been tons of opportunities – many of which I’ve taken – to berate myself for my non-linear path, as though I could have known that I would find working with troubled teens absolutely overwhelming before I had met eyes with the first kid. As though I could have predicted that cooking would be one of those passions best left at home before I felt that first moment of dread when prepping for a client cook day. As though I could have known when I started college in 1997 that my path would be in coaching, a profession I wouldn’t hear about until 2005 or be drawn to until 2012.
What unpredictable outcome have you berated yourself for?
This kind of self-punishment is crazy-making. Our energy would just as well be spent nailing all of our shoes to the floor or a nice long afternoon of remembering all of the terrible things people have said and done to us over the years.
Not real helpful, right?
That life isn’t predictable just is. That we can never know all the possible points for consideration when making a decision – even the most critical decisions – just is.
The problem is that we expect it to be otherwise. And then we get nervous and angry when things go differently than the way our incomplete info had suggested. And that’s when we get mad at ourselves for not being able to predict all the twists and turns ahead.
There go the shoes, nailed to the floor again.
Next time you feel the churn of disappointment that life did its unpredictable thing, remember this: when you chose your current direction, you made the best decision you possibly could with the information you had at that moment. It looked something like this:
Nice path, soft under the feet, pretty trees to walk through.
It wasn’t until you got into the trees that you saw there was a fork in the path, a shift in direction that might just be even more perfect for you:
You had to head in that original direction to find that fork, though. Which makes that shift in direction not a diversion or wishy-washiness but rather you being open to your best path, your best life, your best you.
And if you didn’t make the best decision you could with the info you had? Then you have yourself a great jumping off point to look at what swayed you away from what felt right, and to be more mindful to resist its pull in the future. But be patient with you – self-growth is a cha-cha, too!
p.s. I made the drawing during a coaching session with a client. That little halo is her bun. Conversations so often happen in cycles, though, and I found that drawing relevant to at least four other conversations throughout that one week. I love when that happens.
Sarah Beth Jones is the NoBS Biz Coach, helping creative folks dig take big steps toward their Best Life. To learn more about her – or to schedule a free sample coaching session – contact her at www.naryordinary.com, or find on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @NaryOrdinary.