Avoid Losing Your True North: 7 Steps To Limitless Thinking
Life is crowded with naysayers — littered with people who insist I should expect less.
And yesterday, a client of mine confessed to me that the popular “expect less” mentality is slowly ossifying her soul.
Expecting less, or shrinking, is a result of frantically busy lives riddled with “have to” lists. We find ourselves barely managing: suppressing, repressing, even sublimating our happiness instead of pursuing how we want to live.
Re-routing from a “have to” list in life to a “want to” life exists in all of us. Getting there involves a collision course of challenging changes. With accountability and brio, anyone can shift into breakthrough living and limitless thinking.
Avoiding challenging life changes is a default behavior, because addressing the challenge involves big do-overs. Career. Travel. Relationships. Family. Financial fallout. Health issues.
My friends affectionately call me the Do-Over Dojo. I’ve weathered several complex life re-routes. I thrive on limitless thinking.
Cultivating limitless thinking will take gall, sass, or push-back against the incarcerating norm you have created: your inner narrative replaying old scripts how you should live. Old rules you tell yourself. Your reduced capabilities. Your well rehearsed “fear story.”
Take the stance of acceptance. Admit you already wish to recharge and restart. Re-routing a new life, career, or a new relationship with yourself — or others — is a big step. Falling out of step with ourselves means compromise: forgetting where we came from, who we are, and what matters beyond money and prestige. Personally, I am no different and chalked up 6 different careers, an uncountable amount of cross-country moves, and relationship fallout rivaling any docu-drama on Netflix.
I chased a camouflaged version of FOMO before acceptance struck. My choices did not serve me. I moved from East to West Coast, and finally landed in the Midwest, where I sacrificed my carefree self to the career gods that govern on high. Could the Game of Life be to blame for my loss of purposeful direction?
Change arrived often for me, but always with a big cost. Others I know pointed the blame finger at fate — the Other Forces That Be maneuvered my every move. Or was I accountable? Ambivalent to the unstable foundation I set? Either way, my True North became the casualty — trampled underfoot as my unreasonable ego charged ahead.
I began unmasking the culprit connected to these multiple life “Do-Overs.” Might Do-Over mentality be related to losing sight of one’s True North?
For some, myself included, making those high stake decisions feels empowering. But if your connection to True North — the intrinsic values that make you tick — are not connected to your “Do-Over” the outcome is an unfulfilling choice without a foundation. Effort and time invested devolves into another re-do crashing on an island of overwhelm.
Even when you display high commitment for your job, relationship or activity, if your values (True North) are not lined up with the task, your basic energy only can take you so far before TBC — The Big Crash.
It’s unlikely you’ll generate enough energy and commitment to complete the Do-Over back to True North as elegantly as you’d desire–and if you do complete it, the force you exert performing your Do-Over will eventually deplete you. This energy drop takes a toll on you, your career, and your relationships. Energy is the missing puzzle piece.
Remember Einstein was always right: E=mc 2. Everything is energy. Just follow his equation. Rate yourself on a scale of 1–10 how upbeat or stressed you feel in the moment. Your physical stress response determines how you will cope with your day. According to Bruce D. Schneider’s Energy Leadership tenets, your max potential for achievement is determined by your inward energy, basic satisfaction, and individual perception of the world.
This is a choice you can change.
The Do-Over dilemma is reversible. Yes, losing sight of your purpose costs big time. Strike back by taking stock of your energy and bring awareness to it. Understanding your relationship to your personal energy is akin to encountering your internal gremlin — those inner fears or inadequacy reminders that you believe. This type of thinking is suffocating; choking out your chances for a fully expressed life. I’ve been there.
Fear, aka gremlins, is an internal controlling mechanism that limits and controls possibilities. By releasing (in micro-movements or micro-releases) inner gremlins our interior hard drive can re-set. Clearing out gremlins and stale energy around fears re-routes focus. Focus creates mental space for clarity. This means your mental bandwidth expands. With new available energy, you’ll find head space to accommodate passionate projects of any variety. Before I re-set to True North, I practice slaying my gremlins with awareness.
This means exposing myself — the real version — of who I am without the mask and perfected identity. For years I actively displayed a perfect version of myself that was “professional grade.” In my previous life Before Perfection (BP) — I operated my own True North aligned to my innate skills — hooked up to that dazzling authenticity. How? I unleashed myself unapologetically. I was immersed in art I encountered in studios, the streets, museums, or stages. Personal expression was my religion.
When basic awareness waned, my relentless traveling and career hopping turned against me. I gradually lost my inner voice. Especially when I began teaching — ironically as I was hired on to my dream job in academia, teaching college Communications. I threw out my cherished True North compass. I knew I was no longer aligned as my work load and disillusionment increased. Intuition alerted me.
When faced with limitations, your inner knowing, intuition, or gut instinct will kick in.
After facing my limitations and re-applying basic awareness, I saw how I was inflicting a lesser version of living on myself. Intuitive gut kicks served as reminders until I accepted the limitless way of thinking. I was willing to make the jump.
Warning: results may be magical.
Armed with a growing conviction that I could dodge the odds, I began walking away from dull professional invitations. I edited out people in my life who warned I should be settling. GPS’ing my way back to True North invited me to re-route on my own terms.
Precise awareness directs how I feel, which affects what I do, and how I lead.
Following intuition means raising my awareness to what I want and deserve — one choice at a time.
You can connect to limitless living, too. Here’s how:
1.Begin visualizing what it would cost you in the present and future when you are limiting yourself. Until you begin creating an image, a feeling, and awareness of what you are missing, or what you risk losing, you cannot grasp the gravity of what’s at stake. Applying this concept is the first act you can commit toward fighting your perceived limitations— or anything preventing you from limitless living and thinking.
2. Ask yourself (and respond in earnest) how could you stretch what you are doing now — regardless of your situation— to inject positive habits inching you toward your desires? Dare to be emotionally invested in personal and professional goals. If not, find emotionally-geared high investments for you. Be honest. If it feels “high stakes” you’ve arrived.
Once I got clear on how I could stretch and test myself, I began to honestly assess directions best suited for me. This time period lent me grace, so I could value my intuitive goals without distraction. Easing into patient anticipation is a crucible. Patience is key. Survive this and you’ll likely survive the end of the world. Or cancer. (Yes, I’ve been there, done that.)
3. If you are waiting for your limitless life, know that it is already arriving. If you can withstand waiting, you are proving your own dedication. You are invested. Waiting will not kill you. Hardcore passion enthusiasts, inventors, and grizzled life-learners never stop even when others are not validating or supporting their endeavors. Just keep going. Never pause.
4. Everyone goes through dry spells and desert periods in life — don’t buy the limiting belief that it’s permanent. It’s not. Dry spells are temporary unless you trick yourself into believing otherwise. For example, I fell into one disorienting “desert” experience with my creativity that lasted ten years. I moved to Los Angeles, messed around in the art world, stopped creating to follow beautiful people who were hollow. This was not only creative suicide, but also a way of interrupting my original passion that would have eventually led to a career in education, communications, and transition coaching — my True North trajectory. Desert periods do not point to failure. Don’t believe your own sabotaging hype. This is a limiting belief.
5. When you’re ready to explore which limiting behaviors are holding you back, now you can step forward. How does it feel overcoming those thoughts? Which limiting beliefs push back at you, and why?
When I became a California expat, I was miles away from my creativity, my real voice, and carefree self. Moving out of state helped me painfully awaken my barren creativity — an ugly topography worse than the drought I’d seen in the Santa Monica mountains. Admitting I’d abandoned myself — the best parts of myself that mattered most — helped me get unstuck.
6. Admit where you are limiting yourself or avoiding what you need the most. Now that you’re clearing away what you do not want, feel the gradual stirrings. Notice if you feel moody, soulful, aggravated, or inspired. How you feel about the transition is up to you. This is a “proof” moment you’re re-aligning toward what is meaningful for you. Don’t worry about how fast it will happen. Stay focused on limitlessness.
Avoid reactionary Do-Over plans based on what might predictably come to you. Choose what will change you based on your desires. Take a minute to clarify your vision. How would your life look one year from now? Five years from now? Trust that doing the work right now leads to actions that anchor your True North and limitless perspective. You may be wondering how might unlimited perspective rise when you don’t know what to feel? Take a breath. Read on.
7. Limitless perspective is already inside you. You will know it precisely when you feel an inward spark. You will feel jangled — a peculiar resonance that is right — which is your intuitive guide to limitlessness. Cultivating this feeling takes time. Tap into those inner promptings because they are real. You are already fitted with the innate ability.
Now ask yourself: How can I transition in micro steps? Simply make small movements toward what you want every day. Choose where you want to change.
If you are reading this, it’s likely that innovation, creativity, and overcoming adversity are all important to you. Where will you incorporate limitless thinking into your life, and how much?
What is it costing you to hold off another day by rejecting the fully expressed life you want?
If you liked this article and found it useful, please click the heart button below. Have burning questions/topics about surviving transition in the 21st century? Contact me for advice. I may write about it for you, or help you find your own True North.