When does a good idea become a chain around your ankles?

Have you ever taken a job you thought would be the answer to all your problems  which turned out to be a living nightmare?

Have you fallen for someone that made you feel like a million dollars only to find they are a completely different version of themselves when you marry/move in with or make a commitment to them? 

Do you have a friend or a colleague, a family member or a relative that used to be great fun and now tends to drive you demented by using more of your time, space  or resources than you are willing or able to give?

I firmly believe that as a nation, we tend to be more polite than honest. Which is fine. Except when it’s not.

When a situation that started out as positive turns out to be negative, whether by the passage of time, the change in the economy, a change in our selves or our circumstances, we can often find ourselves well and truly trapped.  It can feel like we are drowning in a sea of worry, fear, insecurity, helplessness or debt. A way out can often be very hard to contemplate, not to mention figure out and put in place.

It can seem like a lot of courage is needed to put your hand up and say “this is not what I thought it was going to be”.

It can also seem like a lot of people will be disappointed by your actions if you make a change.

It can feel like the price you would pay for getting out of a situation is way too expensive in terms of money, security or respect from your family or peers.

Two truths  I know to be self evident; 

1 No one really cares if you make a change.

2 No one really cares if you don’t.

But if you can manage to find a way out of a situation that is making you miserable, unwell, unhappy, insecure, I also know that someone, somewhere will look at you and take courage to look at how they can make their own lives better.

Inspiring others is not your primary reason for doing things in a way that is healthier for you, but inspiring yourself, your children, your friends, your family by being honest and authentic is more powerful than you can imagine.

No one will say “Thanks for staying in that crappy situation. Thanks for  staying with that person who made you miserable. Thanks for taking on that job that made you ill,”  least of all yourself. 

But what if you did sit down and find out what you COULD do?

What if you set out a practical, logical series of steps to take you forward in a way that is safe and with the minimal risk possible?

What if you just explored the possibilities of life without that toxic situation without guilt, worry or feeling like you were betraying your  friends/family/workplace?

When I worked in an emergency hostel for victims of domestic violence, I found it hard to understand at first that women went back into situations that were harmful to them and their children. The ethos of the hostel was “support not judgment”.  Not judging someone in that situation is easier said than done.

Over time I began to see that some women did, in fact, not go back. 

But it didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen without a lot of thought, a lot of planning and most importantly it happened WHEN THE TIME WAS RIGHT FOR THEM!

You will get plenty of advice dressed up as “feedback” or “suggestions”, and some even more direct  people will say “what you should do is this..”

But if you find yourself trapped in any kind of situation this week, this month or this year, try to find a space to think about how things could be different, without wasting time on “how stupid I was not to see this happen” or “everyone will be disappointed if I leave/stay/change” or the most wasteful of all thinking patterns “If I change things I will feel a failure” 

Try to sit and without any of the above emotions and without judgment, and make a list of how things might be different. 

What would it feel like? look like? sound like?

What would you be doing differently? 

Sometimes its enough to make a baby step and imagine how it could be different, before you jump head first off a cliff and end up in a heap among the sea weed.

And if you really want to see how things could be different for you, join us on 4th November in the Marine Hotel Sutton  for a one day workshop “How to build your own life raft”, a day to create your own plan to get out of shark infested waters and onto safer ground.
Saturday, November 4th, 2017. 10am – 4pm
The Marine Hotel, Sutton, Dublin 13.
Cost: €65 (inc. light refreshments). Payable in advance.
To book your place or for further information please contact
Anne McDonald at creativelythinking9@gmail.com / Tel: 089 232 9373




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