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One of my favorite things about January is that I always get a few extra update emails from previous clients who have been doing some New Years’ reflecting on their past year and want to share it with me.
After reading a few of those, I can’t help thinking about how freaking much can happen in the span of just one year.
A lot has happened for me personally, of course, but I’m especially amazed by some of my clients’ stories about this past year. For many of them, their lives are nearly unrecognizable from this time last year!
And yet, it’s equally possible for a year to float by without much changing at all. I know plenty of people who can hardly distinguish one year from another because they all tend to blend together in a blur of sameness.
While it can be comforting to have a predictable, stable, consistent year, it’s also … well, frankly, it’s boring! As uncomfortable as we often feel about change and the unknown, I know for certain that what we’re all most terrified of is stagnation.
We’re all secretly worrying, “Is this it? Is this as good as it gets?”
We want change. We crave evolution. We’re all seeking upward momentum. Bigger, better, deeper, grander, wiser, more connected, more successful, more spacious, more, more, more.
It’s what all of us want, and there’s not a thing in the world wrong with it. You couldn’t switch off that part of your human nature if you tried.
We are meant to evolve.
Given the choice between a year full of evolution, growth, change, and expansion and a year of sameness and stagnation … you’re bound to choose evolution.
So what’s the difference between people who stagnate and people who experience forward momentum?
THE QUESTION THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING
I’ve coached hundreds of people over the years, and I can tell you what all of my clients who experienced massive change and growth (usually in a very short time) had in common:
They are questioners.
They’re willing to take an honest look at everything in their lives and ask the hard questions. They don’t roll over and accept things as they are. They are curious, inquisitive, and a touch rebellious. They naturally question the arbitrary rules about “how things are” that many of us accept by default.
People like this — people on a path of evolution and growth — don’t inherently believe the “truths” in life that everyone else accepts without question.
“Truths” like …
“There are no good jobs in this economy.”
“You won’t make good money with a liberal arts degree.”
“You have to push, strive, and work your ass off to become successful.”
“Entrepreneurship is too risky.”
“You need a college degree to get a ‘real’ job.”
There’s one question in particular that people with a growth mindset ask when faced with these kinds of limiting “truths” … and it’s the question I want you to start asking yourself for the rest of 2020:
“What if that’s not true? What if it could be different for me?”
PEOPLE DON’T JUST DO THAT
This past year was hugely transformational for my client Julia. What I love about Julia is that, even when she’s been skeptical and scared, she’s stayed open-minded and brave enough to keep asking herself this question over and over again for nearly a year.
And let me tell you … it has paid off.
When I first started working with Julia, she was in a prestigious consulting job, making good money, and on her way to promotions, raises, and leadership positions. She was traveling to cool countries, staying in luxury hotels (on her company’s dime), and steadily climbing the ladder.
Living’ the life, right? Not exactly. Julia came to me feeling burnt out, unfulfilled, and bored. This was a lot of people’s dream for her, but it wasn’t her dream.
In fact, it took Julia several weeks to share what she called her “fantasy dream job” with me because it was so “absurd.” Julia daydreams about leaving the corporate world, settling on a big piece of land in the country, and running a horse ranch.
As soon as she told me about this vision, she quickly dismissed it. “That’s a crazy dream, though. People don’t just do that.”
Most people would have stopped right there. They would’ve simply accepted the truth that “people don’t just do that,” and that would have been the end of their dream … forever.
Thankfully, Julia was willing to play along when I asked her, “What if that’s not true? What if it could be different for you?”
WHAT A YEAR OF QUESTIONING CAN LOOK LIKE
Since then, Julia has been asking herself this question every time she hits up against a limitation.
“Nobody quits a job after just two months,” she said … but she did it anyway and got offered two weeks of paid leave from her very understanding boss.
“People who live in cities can’t own horses,” she told me … and as of this week, she’s living in a big city with her horse boarded close enough that she’ll be able to visit multiple days a week.
“I can’t ask for that much money and flexibility at my new job — that’s crazy! They’ll turn me down,” she insisted … but she asked anyway, and a few days later they offered her the job with the exact compensation plan she’d requested.
Julia is no different from the rest of us except that she’s learned to question limitations instead of accept them at face value.
So where is Julia now? I’ll let her tell you in her own words:
“My life finally has a direction. While I’m still years away from my goal of having a horse ranch, I’ve taken the first steps to get there. I’m taking classes to get the horse training education I will need, and I got a different job that gives me more free time to actually be able to work toward my goal. I have a much more positive outlook on life because I now know that I am actually going somewhere, somewhere meaningful to me, not just ‘having a career.’
The strongest revelation I had was that, if I don’t at least try to have a ranch where I can share my love of horses and their wisdom with other people, I’ll feel like I missed the purpose of my life.”
Remember less than a year ago? When she was hardly willing to speak her vision out loud?
And now, just by asking, “What if it’s NOT crazy to quit the corporate world and have my own horse ranch? What if things could be different for me?” … she’s set her life on a totally new course.
WHAT “TRUTHS” ARE LIMITING YOU?
If you’re willing to get curious (and a little rebellious) by questioning the limitations that other people take as “truths,” I guarantee 2020 will be anything BUT stagnant for you.
So tell me, are you ready for this to be a year of massive change and evolution for you? Are there any “truths” that you hear over and over again that you want to question? What limitations do you hope to disprove? Leave me a comment to let me know!
Kristen (& Rachel)
THE PPVE IS BACK FOR THE LAST TIME … ENROLLMENT ENDS TOMORROW!
Our online group coaching program, the Passion Plan Virtual Experience, is open for enrollment for the last time EVER through Tomorrow, January 29th.
- It’s a 6-week course that helps you figure out what to do with your life. Think of it as the “AP Life” class you should have taken in high school, but never got the chance!
- The content is a mix of videos, workbook assignments, and interaction with us and the rest of the group in a private forum.
- You’ll have forever access to the content, even though this is the last time we’re running the course.
- Nearly 500 people have gone through this program, so its track record is pretty stellar.
- The content requires about 3-4 hours of time per week. It’s challenging in a good way, but totally manageable.
- It’s meant for people who not only want to find their passion, but who want to get more meaning and purpose out of their entire life.
- If you’ve been spinning your wheels for a long time and want some expert guidance getting un-stuck, this is very likely the right place for you.
The PPVE content is the same process we take all of our 1-on-1 coaching clients through, which means there’s never going to be a more affordable way to get access to deep, transformative coaching than this!