today, this blog is about new paths in life. Maybe you know the feeling – you are walking through life and sometimes you just feel insecure. Insecurities appear to be particularly present on new paths. They show up in unexpected, even unwelcome moments like a meeting, when you know what to say but not when to do so. Or when you talk to someone you consider important for your journey, but somehow doubt yourself and thus cannot find the right words.
“I am not alone” is what I tell myself in moments of doubt, insecurity and feelings of insignificance. During the past weeks, it actually amazed me how much power this feeling of smallness held over me. I doubted my chosen life path, my energy, my power to create and achieve, and my right to be successful. Eventually, the image I had of myself was that of a little girl with eyes filled with sadness, loneliness and uncertainty.
No worries. I won’t ask you for your pity now. I just want to show that we all arrive at points in our lives, where we doubt, question and wonder about our choices. I think, these question marks get bigger once we enter life paths for which there are no frames and templates. When we come to crossings in life, where one path leads into exactly this direction of no templates, we can only trust our intuition. We can only trust these feelings of happiness and excitement that arise when we look into the unknown will be right. But maybe there are signs for new life paths?
Entering the unknown
So far, my blogs have been about purpose, fulfilment and going your own way. Pretty much that basic human stuff, right? Now let’s look at what describes your own, new path. What do you think? Have you taken a route before of which you didn’t know what to expect? I am curious what it felt like for you! Feel free to share.
For myself, going this new path initially brought a lot of amazing adventures. Do you know the book The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho? The author emphasizes that every new path is paved by the magic of new beginnings. I can very much confirm that.
So there I was walking that new and unknown path. I was walking it full of joy, but also slightly impatient. I wanted to write, create, develop new technologies and at the same time, I wanted to meditate, do yoga and have time for my beloved ones.
You see where this is going. Sometimes, the ones, who promote mindfulness the most, are the ones who tend to mostly neglect themselves; especially when the magic of beginnings seems to magically carry you on its hands.
Sometimes, the ones, who promote mindfulness the most, are the ones who tend to mostly neglect themselves; especially when the magic of beginnings seems to magically carry you on its hands.
Tip 1: Be mindful with your energy
When you enter new paths, try to walk them step by step. Give yourself time for breaks, be aware of what is going on with you first and celebrate the small successes on the way. Celebrate them in your mind and try to store the energy that arises from this celebration. Allow yourself days during which you dedicate yourself to slowing down and focusing on just the moment as it is now.
This is vital since new life paths also bear challenges, which can also be used as identification factors for new paths.
1. People are questioning increasingly what you are doing.
After I had made my decision to quit my job, I was often asked, what it exactly was that I am doing now. Over time, the questions did not stop, but actually got more. The deeper my co-founder and myself dove into our topics of interest, i.e., leadership, new work, mindfulness, and innovation, the more clarity we hoped to get. But looking back, this was not really the case. We got distracted – well distracted I must say. Because we talked about the guiding values and the purpose of our company. We clarified how we wanted to work together and we looked at different markets, companies similar to us – well, and a lot more. At some point, we got really deep into our core topics and derived first services and products. However, those offers were pretty abstract and based mostly on theoretical thinking. Thus, the people asking what we were doing simply did not get it. But since we were so deeply into the topics, we in turn could not understand why they would not understand us.
With the time that has passed, I can smile about that. We just needed the time to get from the abstract to the real stuff. We needed time to understand ourselves and every critical question and raised eyebrow helped on the path of exploring useful tools that we can really offer to the market. At the same time, I am noticing now that there were not many frames for what we do out there. We were not working on a copy cat company, but on our very own products and services. I think, realizing that what you are developing and building is radically different from what is already out there, is another point of reference for being on your own and novel life path. This is when you start building your own frames, schemes and measures.
From chaos comes radical novelty.
Tipp 2: Be brave enough to build your own frames and measures
You can do that by writing down what is really important to you, which objectives arise from that and how you think you can get there in very tiny steps. The objectives don’t have to be big. Neither do the steps. Just try to think, how you can easily start integrating these small steps into your current life. You can build this path to your new future day by day.
2. Allow yourself some unclarity
It might happen that as you are desingin your new offerings, you meet possible clients and they realize that they actually need you. But they just don’t know how to integrate your services in their companies’ daily routines.
After this phase of deep thinking, designing, and testing, I went out into the world. On events and conferences I repeatedly noticed that the market is ready for our offering around conscious and mindful leadership and innovation. I talked to innovation managers, who are clueless as how to deal with the new challenges of new technologies and digitalization. I talked to the right hands of CEOs, who did not know how to make change and transformation something to look forward to within their workforce. I also talked to startup entrepreneurs, who were very curious about designing a purpose for their company, yet, had long ago stopped thinking about their own. Above all was the question of how we can bring mindfulness and awareness to the companies without them neglecting it as something spiritual, which has to be separated from the human at work.
In sum, I got a lot of confirmation for what we were doing. At the same time, it felt like losing people whenever I wanted to talk about solutions to their problems. Maybe they were not ready for our offering. It does imply that everyone working with this solution actually has to start working with themselves. Not everyone is ready for that and many feel awareness, consciousness and being present is just another task on their to do list. Finally, I have learned that getting from theory to practice is also a matter of finding the right words for the right problems and standing up to them with confidence and persuasion. Such a level of self-confidence arises over time – at least for me, it is growing over time. In other words, when do not yet fully find the right clarity and words for describing what you do, this might be an indicator that you are on a new path. Give yourself time to grow into it.
Tip 3: Give yourself time to grow
Change comes over time and with doing every step full of awareness. If you have the feeling that there is loads of beauty, happiness and light waiting for you, you know you are doing exactly the right thing. Enjoy!
3. You doubt yourself and the path you are going.
Uncertainties are part of the game. The question is, how you are dealing with them and how much space you give them. In the past weeks, I have worked a lot and not given myself much time to rest. I have once more learned something, I actually knew already. Even being fulfilled in what you do costs energy. If you start your days fully fulfilled, you are focused and feel good about what you do. But sometimes, like in my case of starting a company, there are just loads of tasks to be taken care of. They all appear to pop up at the same time, and once you have accomplished one, there are five to follow up on. Often it feels like there is not enough time. And there is not. So you have to live with not getting everything done and leaving it till tomorrow. At the same time, there is a constant challenge of balancing the focused work, which takes a lot of time, and the pressure to get a lot done quickly. Somewhere in between, you also want to find time for being you, a friend, a partner, a human.
Doubts are part of the game of going a new life path.
I guess, not only founders make these experiences. In fact, they appear to be part of many peoples’ lives. No matter if we love what we do or have the feeling our work is a compromise, there are phases in life during which our tasks manage us.
Although I have been meditating a lot during this phase and pursued to follow my values and purpose, I felt as if something else was taking over. I would know call this something a mixture of being tired, negative energy and low self-esteem. This mixture gave way for things, that were not exactly good. On the one hand, there was a person who hurt me repeatedly, which made me doubt myself even more. On the other hand, I experienced some cancellations, which made me occassionaly doubt our business’s offer. Looking back, I would like to tell myself: Uncertainties are normal. But if you give them too much space, they mutually enforce each other. So, don’t forget yourself, especially not in times of stress. Take time to tell yourself, you are great. I love you. Just walk your path – step by step.
We see, uncertainties are also an indicator for new paths. Yet, we shouldn’t give them too much space. Talking about what is going on can help a lot to gain new perspective.
Tip 4: Focus your energy on what makes you shine.
When you enter your new path, there will be people, who do not understand. There will be people, who envy your light and fulfilment. They might want to just have the same, but they do not yet know, how to get there. Do not allow them to hold you back. Focus on your path instead of giving them your energy. Remind yourself of the phrase:
Where the focus goes, energy flows.
Tip 5: Face your uncertainties together with friends.
Look at your uncertainties and ask yourself consciously: How much space am I willing to give them? How much do they affect my actions? Are any of these uncertainties helping me move forward?
Talk about these questions with a friend and give yourself the chance to gain a new perspective.
Talk with your friends to gain new perspectives on what is really going on.
Life is about balance
Such conversations help me a lot to change my focus. Sometimes I even ask the universe to send me an honest and kind person to talk to, who can help me to take the next step. Those angels come in most unexpected moments and always give me the gift of their precious thoughts. Often we are not even aware that those angels are here or we do not hear their messages. The more we learn to listen, the more we learn about ourselves.
Two of these angels showed up during the past weeks in my life. The first one mirrored me as a person with her very personal view of who I am to her. She hinted me towards traits of myself, which I had never seen before. This way, she helped me to see myself with more loving eyes. It was wonderful and I am deeply grateful.
Then came another angel, who reflected me in a way I have never experienced before. He showed me that the basic to mindfulness is balance – a balance of yin and yang, of softness and assertiveness. He mentioned that love always starts with self-love. This tender love comes from an open heart, which also creates space for understanding and compassion. Besides softness, however, we can also employ assertiveness in a loving way. He related this to my feeling of smallness and insignificance, and explained that it is up to us to feel small or great. It is nothing we leave up to the outside. Greatness comes from within. You are the designer of your greatness. You design your path. You walk it. You also decide how much space you want to give people, who are just not good for you, who make you sad and suffer. For a while now, I had bowed to what was flowing towards me from the outside, but in this instance, I decided to no longer allow myself to be a victim. I have the right to say NO. After all, we are all designers of our own lives, right?
Greatness comes from within!
Tip 6: You should be your strongest lover and believer
Sometimes, our hearts are wide open and we are not even aware of it. In those moments, every energy and emotion around directly enters our hearts. We do not filter. When you notice that strange emotions from the outside are taking over, allow yourself to retreat into your heart. Focus on yourself. Give yourself a big hug, cuddle yourself in a cosy blanket and tell yourself: I love you. Forever. You are bound to be great. Your success in inevitable.
You are bound to be great. Your success in inevitable.
If you want to deepen this kind of self-love even further, you can start a morning ritual. In the morning, stand in front oft he mirror, smile at yourself or just make a stupid face that makes you smile. Then look yourself deeply in the eye and repeat 3 times: I love you. Forever. You are bound to be great. Your success in inevitable.
Feel the feeling that flows through your body afterwards. Feel it in your head, heart, torso, legs and toes. Let this feeling guide and protect you during the day.
I thank you with all my heart for having been here today. No matter where you are at in your life, you are exactly where you are supposed to be and you are on your path. Never stop telling yourself how brave, great and lovable you are. You have everything it takes to move beyond the uncertainties and to be great.
Let us quickly summarize what we talked about today:
If you are on a new path, you might sometimes have the feelings that uncertainties take over. That is normal. Just stay focused on your feelings and inner wisdom and give yourself pauses to regain perspective.
New perspectives can come from talking to friends. Listen and allow the angels on your path to guide you.
Walk your path step by step. Give it some patience.
Love starts with self-love. Give yourself moments just with yourself and all of your beautiful qualities.
Thanks so much for being who you are.
I wish you a wonderful and magic day of laughing, living and loving.
Love and light***