On Sunday night I was thrilled to award scholarships to the 7 graduating mentors from my Non-Profit, In beTWEEN Girls. I also had the honor of speaking about each of them and announcing where they are heading this fall. I couldn't help but to become super emotional saying goodbye to these girls. I cannot describe the love and gratitude that I hold in my heart for each of them. I have proudly watched them evolve and transform before my very eyes. There is an odd combination of excitement and sadness that co-exists when watching the people you love get ready to fly. I couldn't shake that feeling all night - elation, yet loss.
I remember that same combination of feelings at my own high school graduation 24 years ago. The feeling that something unknown was about to begin, at the same time that something I knew so well was ending...
I flashed back to picking up my friend Megan in my red Ford Festiva. It was the night of our graduation, and the students had to be there early. I was excited to pick my friends up in my new (used) car and it was my first time driving it. (If you don't know what this car looks like, google 1988 Ford Festiva so you can get a good mental picture ;) It was raining so we had the windows up, but the car did not have air conditioning. Plus the covers on the radio speakers were missing, so every time you rolled down the window manually you risked cutting your knuckles on the metal that was left exposed. I still have scars!
My car was a stick shift and although my Dad and sisters showed me the basics, I didn't know how to drive manually very well yet. I got to a stop sign and waited to make a left turn to pick up our friend Jill. It was my turn to go, and I couldn't do it. I could not shift from neutral to first gear to pull out. I felt like we were sitting in the car forever with me just grinding the gears so loudly. The more I sat there, the louder the voice inside my head was saying "you can't do this". I looked in the rearview mirror and there was a line of cars building behind me. The hot car was suddenly foggy and dense. I begged Megan to help me (she knew how to drive stick shift). She saw the panic in my face and said , "Just DO IT"! I took a breath and didn't think about it. I gunned it into first gear pealing out onto the road. It wasn't pretty, but that was how I learned.
I think this is a metaphor for life. Excited, but scared. Proud, but insecure. Prepared, but not ready. Keys in the ignition, but grinding your gears. Staying safe in neutral, or going for it (even if it isn't pretty or perfect at first!
I recently taught a client about the 5 second rule. This is a book written by Mel Robbins. In her book she provides the details and scientific reasons why within 5 seconds before you do anything, there is a hesitation where worry, fear or anxiety can hijack your mind. I know from my own studies and research that our brain is designed to stop us from change. It perceives doing anything new, or uncertain as a threat. This is why you may be prone to overthinking any decisions you have to make. Your brain kicks into fight or flight mode telling you all the reasons that change is scary and will hurt you. It tries to convince you that staying the same, or "being stuck in neutral grinding your gears", is the safest place to be.
24 years ago, when I sat at that stop sign and stopped thinking and "Just did it" I used this 5 second rule without knowing it. This activation energy actually disrupted my pattern of thinking and put me into action mode. Action towards success. Action towards forward movement.
As I sat there this past Sunday night and wanted to hold on to each of those girls a little longer, I realized that I was once again overthinking. I was up in my head trying to stay stuck in neutral, and I could hear the gears grinding loudly. What I really want for these girls is their own success and forward motion too. That mixed bag of emotions was only a signal asking which way did I want to proceed. Towards sadness, or elation? Moving closer to worry or pride? In the direction of sameness or freedom? I made the choice to do what Mel Robins teaches and has been so effective for my clients...5-4-3-2-1 GO!!!!
I said goodbye, and my sweet Mentors are off to change the world. I would encourage you to do the same. Next time your brain gets hijacked to convince you to stay in neutral, simply count down from 5 and take action!
If you need help taking action on your dreams I am here for you. E-mail me today to set up a free discovery session. firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget that I have also opened enrollment for my ANXIOUS to AMBITIOUS ACADMEY. This is a 6 week virtual group coaching program designed to move you from neutral to cruising down your personal path for only $197! Five spots are already filled, and I will only be accepting 10-15 ladies. If you want to know more about this group program, or to see if you are a good fit, please schedule a call with me today. Don't wait (use the 5 second rule) and take action towards your own personal transformation NOW! https://calendly.com/michelle-46/anxious-to-amitio...