The age-old question of– “If you could go back in time what would you do differently?” has been asked by so many people. I’ve asked myself this question many times and others have asked me more times than I can remember. I have replied that, if given the chance, I would definitely change many things. But why did I say this? Why would I want to go back and change anything? This response says to others and myself, “Boy, I really screwed that up” or “I’m so embarrassed that I keep making the same mistakes over and over” or “What the hell is wrong with me?”
These thoughts and feelings have plagued me the majority of my life. It’s amazing how our mind comes up with a need to defend why we did or didn’t do something. When we feel compelled to justify something, maybe it’s a decision to stay in an unhealthy relationship, that very need to justify the decision is the body’s way of letting us know it time to release it from our life. To start anew. How free would it feel if we could just accept what we’ve “screwed up” in our past? Or not knowing how something will go or what our next step will be and saying, “I love that!”. In this instance, freedom comes from knowing we always have that choice.
We have two voices that can tell us the next step…the first comes from the body. Your body says to make a change and release what you’re holding onto, but the mind starts to freak out. It goes to what we will be giving up or losing because it can’t see what we’ll be gaining. The mind can only see one step ahead and it wants to keep us safe. So, the body says, “I want to explore Arizona to live.” “I really want to start my own business.” “I want to leave this relationship.” Whatever the inspired feeling is, it is a preview, but the feeling can’t tell you why you should go or what that journey will look like because you haven’t done it. Learn to love and trust the space of the unknown. Instead, what if you were to say, “I want to explore Arizona to live and grow my business, and I have no clue what that looks like…and I love that!!” or “I can’t take the abuse in this marriage anymore. I really don’t know where I’m going to live or how I’m going to make it on my own…and I love that!!” There’s something in our body calling us to do this – it’s our first voice, our true voice. But we’ve been conditioned to ignore this voice and listen to the voice in our head, which then causes us to lower ourselves to the mind’s understanding. Every time I listen to my mind I feel confused, disconnected, and overwhelmed. We are not designed to make decisions from our minds because that comes from a limited capacity. Our true potential and capacity lie within the body, and the body never lies.
Being okay with where we really are creates a new story. The real story. We have to see and know that we are enough or we’ll always be coming from a place that is lacking. In this place, we may believe we need to be fixed or try to fix everyone or everything around us. In my life, I felt like I wasn’t enough. I felt guilty and embarrassed for the choices I had made. In my heart I can understand at a true level why I did, but what caused my pain was wanting those around me to understand why. We are taught that happiness, love, and approval comes from outside ourselves, and so the journey of constantly chasing our tails in hopes of finding the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect blah-blah-blah becomes our false reality. It’s really hard to have clarity when we’re always looking through a distorted lens. Living from a limited perspective creates hidden blockers. No wonder we’re always wishing we could go back in time for a do-over.
Could you be telling a different story? Are you carrying your past with you and making decisions from that past instead of from the here and now? How have you viewed yourself, and are you afraid of what you’ll be losing? Making decisions that you think are in the here and now but are really based on how you view yourself will show up in how things are flowing in your life. Do you feel alive and performing at your highest level or do feel overwhelmed and frustrated? If you’re feeling the latter that is an indication you’re living and making decisions from your head.
Be open to being you and creating something new. Loving the space of the unknown is where the magic happens, and that’s where the byproduct of you living in your highest self resides. In remembering the body never lies you’ll listen and trust it. Living life beyond the blocks you will perform, excel, achieve, and actualize the life of your dreams. So, would I ever go back in time and change anything? Absolutely not, because now is all I have. To go back would be creating a false story attached to some illusionary expectations that were never real to begin with. I’m right where I want to be and I’m right on time.
Oh, one more thing…I’m totally free to screw anything and everything up, AND I LOVE THAT!!
Chris works with entrepreneurs, business leaders, athletes, and high performers to improve their performance in all areas of their life by getting beyond any mental or physical blocks that may be holding them back.
Chris can be reached at (419) 651-7753 or by email at email@example.com.
I got into a bad habit of waking up at 3:30 in the morning to check my phone. This breaks every tech rule, but it seriously became a compulsion. I had to see the photos of my child.
Let me back up a little so you all understand.
I said NO to the mission trip
And then, as kids will do, she went to her dad. That was just fine, because I was totally confident: my husband would never say yes to this mission trip.
He said yes, but she had to raise half of the funds needed, which was a daunting number for a thirteen-year-old.
Still, thinking we were safe, time passed and life was cruising along, all the while my daughter was baking and selling cookies, sending letters, and quietly amassing the funds for nearly the entire trip!
Uh Oh! Instantly, I am at the edge of my comfort zone
And soon enough, I was compulsively checking my phone at 3:30 in the morning when the leaders would post photos at about 9:30 in the morning in Greece and Sicily.
One morning I saw my child climbing Mount Etna, an ACTIVE volcano. Hello?! Did they realize this same volcano had erupted six weeks prior?
Any parent knows that our children drag us, kicking and screaming oftentimes, to the edge of both reason and our comfort zone. Am I right? (I see you nodding your head!) Well, the ability to drive humans to the edge is not limited to one’s children. Not only that, the edge of our comfort zone can take on many forms and appearances.
I survived my daughter’s trip
…and the volcano did not erupt while she was on it. (Actually, it just erupted again!)
Thinking about this reminds me: sometimes it does take an eruption to cause us to make a change.
All of a sudden, we are hit with a major thing, like a job issue, or an illness. We are never ready for this type of eruption, we are uncomfortable, and yet we must adapt.
We need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable
The eruption may not be fiery, loud, and causing everyone to leave their homes to escape flowing molten lava. Maybe it is just a small eruption, with some sparks flying, like being assigned the project that you don’t want, or a new, super-eager boss who has you on edge.
If you are anything like me, you hang out in a comfortable space for quite a while before shifting outside it, and generally, that shift takes some encouragement or force. I kind of enjoy having people around me who encourage me to grow and change.
Some of you probably know that I am a resource on Mind Body Align’s creative team. I am working with Annamarie on a journal that will eventually be a tool for each of you. My career took some twists over its now 25 years, but one consistent theme has been the written word.
I started off as a lawyer, but soon discovered that sparring in a board room over contract terms was horrifying to me. I made a shift, to a law practice where I was interacting with people, but I was in the middle, a judge, and my decisions were written. It was perfect.
Until it wasn’t.
Isn’t that how it always happens?
I had to make a change; a major shift
Suddenly, I was at home with my son, trying to remember which day of the week it was and what it was like to go to the bathroom by myself. Eventually, at a mom’s group, I encountered the owner of an antiquing journal and public relations firm, who asked me to write and edit for her. Being free and open to this opportunity allowed a totally new career to emerge.
I was chatting with my family about this, and how making a major life change qualifies as “at the edge of my comfort zone.”
We all agreed: where it gets more interesting is in the smaller changes, and even in the way one handles being at the edge when facing both large and small matters. My husband is a former Marine, and he told me that Marine recruits and Navy Seal trainees are both taught the same basic principle:
“You are capable of much more than you believe.”
If we all adopt this, we are all capable of more than we believe. Our capabilities are greater than we can know or even imagine.
Not only that, we need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you think about it, one’s comfort zone can be a pretty big zone, and have varying degrees of comfort. You may be only slightly comfortable with starting something new, like a couch to 5K running program, but you can still embrace the small bit of comfort and continue in a positive way.
There are times when what you hear in your mind is screaming.
“This is a disaster!”
“I cannot figure this out.”
It is not actually a disaster, and YES, you can. We can all adopt my husband’s favorite mantra, “I think I am going to be amazed at how this will work out.” Hearing this immediately helps me be open.
Open to the amazing
The mind opens, my eyes begin to see things differently, my ears are listening and hear words that are positive. It is all about your posture, your openness, and just looking for the amazing.
Why wait for the eruption of the volcano? We can also start new good things all on our own.
Most mornings I listen to Sirius XM Morning Mash Up on the way to work. On the first day of each new month, they recommend their listeners start something new. Also, check out this great, quick, three-minute Ted Talk by Matt Cutts on why we should start something new every thirty days.
On the edge of your comfort zone every thirty days? Yikes!
What should we do first?
Terise Ryan teeters on the edge of her comfort zone daily as the new-ish Vice President of Sales and Government Relations for National Patent Analytical Systems, Inc. (NPAS), a defense contractor who manufactures airplane relays and alcohol breath test equipment in Mansfield. When NPAS purchased a Chicago area company in the same line of business, they unknowingly inherited some tricky issues, and after a few years of struggling to navigate them, brought in Terise for new strategies and relationships.
A graduate of Villanova University, Terise has a degree in English, the Honor’s Program, and a minor in business, Terise also earned her law degree from Capital University Law School and was a published Notes Editor on the law review. Terise wrote for the United States Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Tenth District Court of Appeals, and the Industrial Commission of Ohio. She worked in the private practice of law in New Albany and led continuing legal education seminars for the Columbus Bar Association for many years.
Terise pursues her love of writing by publishing a blog and is an independent editorial resource for a multi-state public relations firm and Mind Body Align.
Her successful projects include OXYWater, a consumable beverage startup, which, due to one well-crafted article about its health benefits, allowed for expansion into every Kroger store on the eastern seaboard. Other projects include Economic and Community Development Institute, a business incubator and micro-lender in Cleveland and Columbus, Sleep Outfitters, The Ohio Country Register, The New Albany Children’s Ballet Theatre, and other central Ohio businesses. Terise has written grant applications which have been funded by The Ohio Arts Council for six consecutive fiscal years. Terise is a writer of nonfiction and was published in YourTeen magazine.
Terise is both a small business owner and a teacher. She comes from a legacy of both. Born in Mansfield, Ohio, she is the daughter of a former dry cleaner who built an international, and yet still small, manufacturing company.
In her spare time, Terise enjoys sharing her passion for the language arts, government, and all areas of education by teaching. She is married to TJ, who works in the supply chain management software industry, and has three vibrant children.