What Do You Have To Lose?

By: Helaine Iris

What Have You Got To Lose?
Helaine Iris
? 2002

“You gotta dance like nobody's watching, dream like you will live forever, live like you’re going to die tomorrow and love like it's never going to hurt." —Meme Grifsters

The summer I turned 40 was a summer I’ll never forget. As I reflect, it was when I truly started living my life.

It all started the week before my birthday. I was driving home from the airport with my husband. We had just dropped our youngest child off for a month long bicycle expedition, and I was looking forward to a glorious, leisurely month of time together. I had a full agenda of projects I was excited to complete. I was ready to play.

As we were driving down the highway this seemingly innocent thought popped into my mind.

" You are about to turn 40. How will it be when you get to the end of your life and you look back? How will you feel about the life you lived?"

The thought passed. I was distracted by the next moment and I continued on. That night I woke up in a cold sweat, with my heart pounding and my mind racing with crazy thoughts. Could this panic attack have been triggered by the simple thought I had in the car that afternoon?

You bet it was. Over the next several months I proceeded to spiral into waves of anxiety and depression so powerful that I almost lost the ability to function. Not only was I in a state of internal panic but also I was also confused because my life had felt so good. I was happy, had a successful marriage, two wonderful kids, and a job I reasonably enjoyed. What was my problem?

My problem was I was hitting my head against my own “glass ceiling" and not realizing it. I was poised on a precipice of knowing there was more and not knowing how to break through and access it.

What’s more, I had let my “practical" and fear-based side convince me that my passion and dreams had died.

In retrospect the whole painful experience was a profound wake up call.

I did wake up. Today, five years later my life looks similar on the outside but on the inside has profoundly changed.

These are my top ten shifts in perspective that helped me move my life to the next level. I invite you to consider them to assist you in breaking through your own glass ceiling to create the life you really want.

1. Give yourself permission to dream. You probably had no problem dreaming as a kid. Where is that now? What happened to your ability to imagine and dream about what you want and who you want to be? When was the last time you caught yourself daydreaming and appreciated it?

2. Stop looking outside yourself for happiness. Look inside. Increase your self-awareness. Get curious about who you are at the core. Cultivate and nurture a relationship with yourself.

3. Cover the basics. Take the time to address your personal needs. How can you focus on thriving in your life if you are in survival mode? Set up that meeting with a financial advisor, get your space organized, clean up the details that are sapping your energy.

4. Embrace your past and move on. Shift from “why it happened" to what I want to do about it now. Asking “why" is not a very empowering question. Asking what or how I want to proceed can be much more powerful and produce forward movement.

5. You’re not alone. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with life. Seek support. It’s amazing to realize that most of us are struggling with similar challenges. “Hold hands and stick together", wrote Robert Fulgham in his popular bestseller, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten".

6. Remember gratitude. Count your blessings. What IS working well in you life? Make a list. Set aside a bit of time everyday to acknowledge what or who you are grateful for. The more you practice gratitude, the more you attract into your life things to be grateful for.

7. Court your passion. Yes, you have passion even though it’s been a while since you may have felt it flow. When are you the most alive and joyful in your life? If time and money weren’t a factor what would you do, who would you be? Who do you most admire and what do they inspire in you?

8. Take action. Take a risk. What’s the one small thing you could do right now that could super charge your inspiration? All the inspiration in the world won’t move your life to the next level. It takes inspired ACTION to do that.

9. Keep breathing. You probably forget to take deep full breaths. We have all learned to constrict our breathing in response to stress. According to many experts we not only need oxygen to stay alive, we need oxygen to give us energy and keep us healthy. Right now take 5 deep, full breaths.

10. Have fun. When was the last time you played? Call a friend, take a bubble bath, take yourself to an art museum or schedule a whole day out in nature. Put on some great music and dance till you drop.

How will you feel when you get to the end of your life and look back? There is so much opportunity and support out there to live your life with passion and purpose. You can do itPsychology Articles, I did.

What have you got to lose?

It’s your life…imagine the possibilities!

Motivation
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