Invitations are everywhere. The first time I realized this I had just survived another commute home on a port authority bus to my parents house in suburban New York. I was contemplating my reflection in the gargantuan bus window wondering how a girl with such success at college could feel so lost just a few months after graduation.
Then an invitation arrived. It wasn't embossed on 200 lb. cardstock, nor did it arrive in my email inbox (there was no email then). Instead, it came by chance on a weekend walk with an acquaintance in Chelsea. She asked if I would help run a new theater program she was asked to administer at my alma mater in upstate New York.
Long story short, I said YES, but not before convincing my parents that quitting a job at a law firm to run a theater program at the college had I left just 8 months prior was a good idea.
In many ways, that was the beginning of the career I have now. But there have been many other invitations along the way that captured my attention and opened my eyes to new possibilities.
It's a pretty common experience - being stuck. "I have no choice," "I don't know what I want,” "It's impossible." "I suck,” "I have nothing to wear,” are thoughts we’ve all encountered in that head space.
Those thoughts manifest in our behavior as confusion, ambivalence, procrastination, perfectionism, anxiety - basically as ARMOR that BLINDS US to the possible paths we can take.
I see this in spades when clients come to me. Somewhere they got an INVITATION to explore coaching. Maybe directly from me, maybe from a friend or through social media - and this invitation has likely sat around unopened for a while.
Then some synergy occurs and they set up a call where they beautifully express their desire to create something new in their lives. And at the same time they tell me WHY THEY SHOULDN'T or CAN'T. Sometimes these thoughts and their underlying beliefs keep them from committing to a "yes."
It's not anyone's fault, it is HOW WE ARE WIRED. What we don’t know or can’t imagine, we fear. So by staying stuck we get to not be afraid, but we also don’t get to experience or feel anything either. The hard stuff OR the joyful stuff.
We can't predict how things will turn out if we register for a course, submit work, engage a coach, shift careers or sign on for some other opportunity.
There is no guarantee that saying "yes" to something will change your life. But it won't do nothing. That I can promise you.