I miss travel. Like REALLY miss travel - so, forgive my indulgence of this transportation themed post about how to get yourself back in the pilot’s seat when life doesn’t quite work out as you planned. Because – let’s be honest, there is a lot of that going around at the moment.
1. First things first – how is your navigation?
It only becomes obvious that you have gone off course if you know where you were going in the first place. For me, values, vision and intentions are my guiding lights and they are the ones that let me know if things are on course or not.
For you, it may be a five-year plan or a specific goal in mind. Whatever it is, having that compass and checking back in with it is going to be the first sign that things have gone of course.
If you don’t know where you are going; how you are getting there or even why it’s important then it becomes very easy just to stay where you are. And that’s fine if you love where you are, but if you don’t – then maybe it's time to pack a bag and get exploring.
Not sure where you are going? Check out my post on how I discovered my purpose as a life coach for women looking for their purpose and fulfilment.
2. Accept that bumpy weather, steep hills and sharp corners are all part of the journey.
A bit like taking a corner at speed, you have to lean into an experience to get a smoother ride sometimes because resisting or trying to slam on the brakes is going to spin you out; make you swerve and actually feel more out of control.
So how do you lean in to a difficult situation? What we resist persists so as uncomfortable as it may feel, sometimes you need to go all in to give yourself the momentum to keep on going. It can be fun too! That wild ride of risk and reward often pays off and if you can learn to trust yourself to make the turn, you will be busting out of your comfort zone and loving it in no time.
3. Get a tune up.
Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, protect your boundaries and ask for help. Every trip, airplanes get an overhaul to make sure there are no bits falling off and likewise our cars get regular MOTs – when was the last time you afforded yourself the same foundational safety and performance checks?
Our core needs – sleep, hydration, connection – are often the first to get swept aside in a crisis situation as we focus only on what is directly in front of us. And that’s the road to burnout (I know because I have been there and it’s not a fun place to visit.)
Burnout sucks but it is also avoidable. If you struggle to identify and prioritise your needs then it’s time to get back in touch with your body so you can hear and listen to its signals.
Know what it feels like to be tired and allow yourself rest. Honour your body’s need for water and nourishment and prioritise time to have nutritional meals over easy grab and go fill ups. Set strong boundaries so you can protect your energy from being drained and depleted.
It’s the equivalent of checking your oil and tires before a big road trip – look after your body’s foundational needs and it will look after you.
4. Remember your co-pilots.
Many things in life feel like they need to be solo trips but really, we are all in this together.
Check in with your friends and family, find ways to connect and stay in contact - ask for directions, navigate the bends together.
Something that has been really powerful for me this last year or so is finding and keeping connected with other women who are like me. We may be in different parts of the country, even different parts of the world but we have much in common and we are there to cheerlead for each other through the good bits and the tough bits.
Find your co-pilots and cherish them. Connection is a fundamental building block of what makes us human and in a time that has, for many, made face to face connection impossible, it’s even more important to find other ways to connect. I have been running monthly sister circles since August 2020 and they are a beautiful space for women to connect with each other and themselves.
5. Keep your head up, plan ahead, check your speed and direction.
Like keeping your eyes up and looking ahead when driving, you’ll be able to course correct and react quicker than if your head is down busy doing all the stuff. Remember that navigating bit? Well, it’s not a one-off thing – you need to keep checking in with where you are; where you want to go and how you are getting there.
And that goes for the small stuff in life, not just the big plans. Book in virtual coffee dates with friends next week; visualise yourself coming through the sharp bend and out the other side with a smile on your face; plan in time to be outdoors in nature and top up on some fresh air; make time to meal plan so you have nourishing options instead of another packet of super noodles for lunch (raises hand in guilty fashion).
When you make plans for the small stuff and act with intention and purpose, the big stuff starts to happen as if by MAGIC.
I know it feels like we are all on a wild ride at times, but there are ways to feel back in control of your situation and either navigate your way out of it, or lean into the experience of life taking you on a different path to somewhere different.
Remember, there are no wrong roads.
If you would like a navigator on your journey, you can book in a discovery call with me here