Guest Blogger Kim Gomez shares:
Surprises have rained down on us from the beginning of 2020 and every day since then. These surprises have a tendency to box us in. It’s not healthy to be stuck in a box and in today’s changing culture, it feels like we are 330 million little boxes, floating around in a sea of offense and confusion.
I don’t want to be put in a box so I’ve broken out of my box. I’ve stood on the box, burned the box, momentarily gone back into the box, I’ve looked at the box from all perspectives and I’ve learned a lot about myself. The best thing is, I don’t care about the box anymore – it’s not there so nobody can put me back in it.
What started this realization for me was a surprise situation in November 2020. My husband and I sold our house, all the furniture, the boat, kids had grown up and moved out, dog had to go live with my niece and everything else went into storage. This all happened in less than a month. We moved into a small rental. When the shock wore off, life was simpler and I liked it.
We all have a story and most of our stories are full of change. To be prepared, it’s helpful to have a strategy.
As I adapted to the changes, I found that these 10 strategic tools were very helpful to my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. They applied to both my personal and professional life. The process has been challenging and full of growth. What I thought I wouldn’t like – I ended up loving.
So, here you go. May this be helpful to you as you boldly walk through change and eliminate any boxes you find yourself in!
1. Nobody wants to be a body-builder with skinny legs. Make sure your foundation is strong.
2. Come back around to yourself - Daily life, year after year can become so routine that we drift away from ourselves. Right now is the time to come back around to yourself, literally start today. Create space to grow, take time, be quiet, ask for clarity, revisit your personal strengths, write some things down on paper, explore your passions, recall the most impactful moments of your life. Take a minute to reacquaint yourself with yourself.
3. Move your body = move your emotions. If you’re stuck in an emotion that’s not healthy, move your body. Moving your body moves your emotions. Get moving for 20 minutes: stretch, breathe, walk, run, swim, dance, yoga, look around, go outside, just MOVE. It works!
4. Resilience - Do you ever feel like your day is full of 1,000 little cuts coming at you from every direction? That’s legitimate and if you feel that, you’re not alone. Being resilient means having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulty. Resilience is a hot topic right now and there’s a lot of research available. Build up your resilience because you’re going to need it.
5. Position yourself - Most of who we are is due to the people in our life, our inner circle. Maybe your parents said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”, there’s a grain of truth to that! Position yourself with people that you respect, people that might have different views but similar values, learn from people that come from other cultures, be kind, be unoffendable, seek mental strength and if you’re stuck in a bad position - find a way to move! Ask for help if you need help. Be bold, the time is now, it might not feel like it but there are a lot of opportunities out there, things are shifting so position yourself well and be ready.
6. Empty your pockets - What do you have to work with? Look at your assets, make a list, identify what you have. Be creative! Is your organization stalled? Are you personally stalled? Look at your list of assets and realize there’s more than one way to maximize them. Ask how these assets be used in a different way to move you forward. Let the sun shine on them from different angles and get a new perspective. For added insight, ask someone you trust to take a look at what you have in your pockets, they might have some ideas!
7. Clean your closet - Marie Kondo style, If it does not bring you JOY, get rid of it. Another take on this particular strategy is called “Simplify” or “Minimalism” there’s freedom in this movement even if it hurts at first. Metaphorically clean your closet = clean your life.
8. Disrupt the peace disruptors - Name the things that steal your peace, write them down so you’re clear on exactly what you’re working to eliminate. Put them in order from “easy” to eliminate to “harder” to eliminate. Make another column next to this column and write down the thing that neutralizes that peace disruptor. The neutralizer might be a person, place, a word or mindset, but once you’ve got it in writing you have a place to start and the beginning of a strategy.
9. Listen to wise voices - Find someone to mentor you, reach out to that person you look up to, take a class, join a group, read a solid book, eliminate the idiotic voices that so often come through our “smart” phones, seek God, find a counselor, call your mom, listen to your gut.
10. Write your Manifesto - Seriously, this is a powerful move. Once you’ve thought through and written your personal manifesto, it becomes your statement and your declaration of who you are and how you do it. It’s a reminder, when things get sideways you’ve got this handle on what you believe. It’s your true north, created and written by you - about you - and for you.
Founder – Four Square Mentoring