July 16, 2018
Sometimes you just need a nudge.
Well, sometimes you need a figurative brick over the head, but other times you just need a nudge to push you in a certain direction. I intentionally avoid talking about “the universe” on this blog, partly because that sort of thing puts some people off and partly because I don’t even know where I stand on it. Intention, collective consciousness, The Secret …. I don’t know for sure.
But I do know that sometimes you need a nudge.
And a lot of the time when you need one, you get one.
I could use a nudge right now. I’m looking at decisions about my future and where my attention should be focused musically. Or whether it should be focused musically at all or on writing. Or coaching. Or some combination of the three. Or none of them. Everyone reaches these points in their lives when choices need to be made. Sometimes the answer is obvious and other times it’s not. Sometimes you need to let something go to make room for something else. Sometimes you need to hold on tighter and be a bit patient.
What to do?
Some people would say to take the emotion out of it and make a rational decision. I would suggest going the alternate route and paying attention to what your emotions tell you. I’ve written about this sort of thing before and it's hard to do. Emotions can be volatile, and what you’re feeling – fear, guilt, self-doubt – might have nothing to do with your situation and everything to do with something else you need to resolve. Situations where you can’t make decisions can shine a hard light on those things, which is actually a blessing if you have the courage to work through the emotional blocks.
For example, if you’re afraid to make the jump into a dream, where does that come from? Are you afraid to fail? To succeed? To hurt someone? To face the lingering limp that is your lack of self-belief? Do you actually know the way forward and it's not what you thought? Or is it that you don’t really want that dream at all and the decision is forcing you to realize it? And if so, then what? What’s the underlying belief or limitation that’s pulling you back? How is it serving you?
This is about nudges.
I want to believe that life leaves clues if you look for them. Again, sometimes you get a brick over the head. A DUI is a pretty heavy brick. So is a bad break-up. Sometimes life delivers a two-handed underdoggie in the form of a golden opportunity. All of those are easy signs to read, but what about the more subtle clues? Those you may have to dig a bit deeper to find. An unexpected note of encouragement on your sketching. A book standing at eye level on the shelf at Chapters. A chance meeting. Some quiet thing that seems to whisper, “Hey, look over here. Explore this.”
It happens, you know. I’ve heard many stories about people finding the wisdom or the knowledge or the insight they needed from random places. I have one faithful reader who was unhappy at work and not sure what to do until an unfair HR decision tipped her. She quit her job and started her own business. I have another friend who lost a job that wasn't working for her, which was the catalyst for launching her own very successful agency. She's never looked back.
Nudges have happened to me too in the form of intuitions. It’s probably happened to you as well if you think about it. If some odd thing happens that you can't seem to get out of your mind, maybe it's a nudge. If you’re struggling with direction – as I am – try paying attention to the nudges that come along. See if something resonates with you and sparks some excitement or energy or even a negative reaction. See if it helps you make a decision.
Then do me a favour and tell me about it. I want to know!