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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Do You Have Big Feet?

Are you trying to fit your big feet into small shoes?

Have you ever observed a young child trying to put on a shoe she or he has outgrown? The child tries his best to force his foot into the shoe. The foot is propped up in the shoe unable to go in completely. Something isn’t working right.

You hear shoes banging on the floor, and cries of frustration ring out. She brings the shoes over to you, the parent, and says, “On.” You try to explain, “It’s too small,” but she doesn’t understand, and gets even more frustrated because mom or dad isn’t helping.

So you give her an interesting toy or point to a squirrel frolicking in the backyard in hopes that she’ll forget about her problem, and you use the opportunity to hide the shoe.

All is well again - out of sight, out of mind. You regain your composure. The child is unaware that the size of her feet has changed. All she knows is that the shoe belongs to her, she’s worn it before, and now, well, there is a problem - it doesn’t work anymore. Why not? The child does not yet understand that she’s grown and needs new shoes.

Now, you may ask, what’s that got to do with anything? Well, that behaviour may continue way into adulthood even though the scenario has changed.

Are you trying to remain in situations - job, career, relationships, lifestyle that just doesn’t “fit” anymore? Though they once “fit” and made you happy, you now find yourself frustrated and miserable. Newsflash! You’ve grown. What worked before that made you happy and joyful, now ‘sucks’. It’s time to move on to ‘shoes’ that fit and are comfortable.

You may be in a job situation that you really dislike. When you first started, you may have enjoyed it, you were having fun and it was the perfect ‘fit’. But you’ve acquired new skills, new mindset. Perhaps you’ve added new experiences, and over time had not realized that you, too, had grown – yes, become miserable, and can’t understand why this job you once enjoyed has become frustrating.

What about relationships – your spouse, friends, your kids. Many people go through life staying in relationships and adverse situations for many years, without making a change, even though they’re unhappy.

It’s time to look for new shoes – a bigger size. It may not be necessary to change relationships, but change the way you’ve been handling them. In some cases, it may require leaving the comfort zone of familiar territory.

Finding a new job elsewhere that you can continue to grow and expand and not be ‘squeezed’ may be necessary. In other cases, it may be transferring to another department. Obtaining a new promotion with new challenges, or maybe, starting a new business.

Whatever the case, it’s time to go shopping for some ‘new shoes’.

So mom or dad goes out and purchases a larger size pair of shoes, the child puts them on, with ease, and is happy once again. At least until she’s outgrown those ones as well.

In the process of shoe shopping, you just don’t pick up or purchase a shoe just because it was cheap or on sale. You’ve got to check to ensure it’s the right size for you. The right style for you.

Choosing to take a risk and creating a change.

How does this process work?

1) You first need to take an analysis of your reality. What situation are you currently in that you’re unhappy about?

2) Recognize where you are, and what you’re feeling in the situation. Identify the strong emotions that go with that. Many experts advise that you write these down as a visual marker of where you are. Face your situation ‘square in the face’.

· For example, if you are in a job situation, ask yourself, “Do I love what I do?” If the answer comes back, “No”, you need to reexamine yourself, and move to the next step.

· For a relationship – “Is this relationship adding joy to my life? What would I like this situation to be?” Imagine yourself in that place you want to be. Allow yourself to feel the longing, the joy.

· For example, “What job would I love to do that would replace and/or surpass the income that I currently have?” Be specific and detailed.

· For a relationship: start by identifying what you expect out of the relationship—both from yourself and the other party.

3) What can I do now to move me closer to that goal? Write down steps to take to meet those objectives. You may add to this list as the need arises. Some research may be necessary depending on what your goals are.

You may need to assess the responsibility you have in the success of the relationship you want to improve.

Every step takes you closer to your goal. It is better to take baby steps than no steps at all. You’ll feel much better and alive as you are working towards achieving what you set out to do. This is called the shopping process, and once you’ve reached your goals, you’ve got new shoes. Your joy and self confidence will soar.

Written by Alicia Isaacs

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