Last spring my husband and I bought an apartment. We fell in love with it right away but we decided it needed some renovation. Thinking it would take just a couple of months, we decided to stay in my parent’s house, as they have a little apartment we can stay in. However, our expectations about how long it would take to renovate were completely wrong. The paperwork to renovate old houses is extensive, the demand for skilled labor is much higher than supply, and because of global market conditions, some materials are just slow to arrive. So our imagined move-in date went from September 2021, to December 2021, then February 2022, and now we are hoping to move sometime in summer 2022.
As you can imagine, we have been quite frustrated about this. And many times I have found myself feeling really impatient and wishing for things to be finished already.
Of course, I can’t help myself but relate this to my coaching work and find the lesson in this experience. 🙂
The more I let myself wish that things were different, the more my mind starts to look for other things that I wish were different… if only we could move in faster, if only the baby would finally sleep through the night, if only covid was finally over, if only it would finally rain again because we have a drought at the moment… the tune of my day can very easily turn into an impatient and dissatisfied mess. In my mind, the day of our move becomes a magical moment when all of our challenges are finally solved and we will only experience happiness and relief.
The problem is that from this place I prevent myself from even looking for things to be happy about today. I prevent myself from seeing what I can do to improve my day right now. I am not honest about things that I can change that have nothing to do with moving. Basically, I allow myself no happiness until that magical moment. I put my life on pause. I wish time went by faster.
We often do this when we set a goal, and then look at our life and feel dissatisfied by current circumstances. We do it when things don’t go as planned, or when we are facing a challenging time.
So here is how I direct my mind more productively.
I project myself into my desired future. What do I imagine feeling then? How would I imagine myself in that situation? How will I show up differently? And often I find that the feeling I am craving is already available to me right now. I can already become the version of me that lives in the new place. I can experience the joy of that moment ahead of time.
And from that feeling, I see the present moment with a different lens. I find more energy. I stop waiting for a magical moment to improve what I can in my life right now. I stop preventing myself from finding what is good already and experiencing all the joy that is available right now. It becomes easy to love where I am today.
Can you relate to this? How do you feel when things don’t go as planned?