When Looking forward doesn’t work….
A particular thought got my attention this week in separate client calls.
I just need something to look forward to!!!
Oh, don’t we?
I think it is pretty normal to want something to look forward to……
But why? What is going on in the present that we NEED something to look forward to.
It seems pretty obvious but what really is going on for you and I here?
Let’s pay some attention to this shall we?
When are the moments that you NEED something to look forward to? What is the situation in your life that causes you to NOT want to be right where you are and want to ‘look forward’ to something in the future instead?
And why is this even important? Because I believe there is SO MUCH for us in the here and now and we don’t miss it.
AND because I think sometimes we are actually the ones creating the situation that we want to run from? And we can solve that
So let’s get back to those moments when we find ourselves saying things like, I just need something to look forward to, I can’t wait for the weekend, I just need a break, etc.
- Are you bored?
- Are you frustrated?
- Are you tired?
- Are you just sick of working?
Remember these are all feelings……….that are created by your thinking in the present moment. What You’re thinking now creates your present emotion.
So, when you say we need something to look forward to, all that is happening is you don’t want to feel what you’re feeling right now.
And that is the best news ever because you can shift how you’re thinking right now, so you don’t want to escape from your own life.
There is NOTHING wrong with looking forward to an event in the future. But I love when a client innocently shares a thought about their day and it becomes a teaching moment for us all.
When you find yourself giving a lot of mental energy to future events, wishing, hoping, wanting something in the future………it’s a sign that you do not like how you’re feeling right now in this present moment.
You can choose what to think about work, the repetitive task, the people you’re with etc.
Here are some examples I want to offer:
Even though the work is repetitive, can you feel proud for digging in and getting it done. Even though it’s a little boring. You can resist it and be frustrated or let the emotion of boredom grow by thinking over and over to yourself how boring this is.
Even though you just got sidetracked and are a little frustrated with how your day is going can you stop and cut yourself a break, get present and get back to where your attention is required.
Even though you had a really long day yesterday, how do you want to feel about it? Are you proud of your work? Are you going to give yourself some rest so you can keep moving forward?
Let the moment of wanting to be OUT OF WHERE you are to guide you, get your attention…..to help you to make decisions that serve you, to think of yourself in a way that feels great ………
Instead of wanting to escape……….what if you could drop into the present moment…….take a breath and feel connected, relieved, calm etc. and bring your attention to right now.
Our present moments are SO much more enjoyable, more productive, more calm when we just stay in them. Our concentration is better, we can enjoy our work more and the people that we are hanging with. Wishing we were somewhere else is simply creating a disconnection with ourselves.
There’s another thing, most times the reason you want to be somewhere else is you are working in a rhythm that does not serve you. When these discussions come up in coaching, it’s a great opportunity to ask another question.
So if you are in the grind of it, wishing the week were over, or only thinking of ‘something to look forward to’….it can give you an opportunity to see what you might need…
Start asking these questions when you are feeling the desire to escape and be somewhere else:
What do I need right now?
Bored? Do you need to give your brain a rest break? Need some fresh air or a different activity instead of feeling like you’re slogging through the mud…. Do it!
Frustrated? Get curious why? Is this frustration requiring some more thought? Do you need to solve for it? Do you need to delegate, protect your work time?
Drained? Are you working at a time you aren’t alert? Are you putting in too long of a day? Do you need to give yourself more time off AND at the same time work more effectively, more in the present like I mentioned above. Honor your work when you are working and honor your time off when you are off?
We have been taught that we have to get all of our work done before………any pleasure.
THAT is not working. We are putting off time with our family, rest, workouts, cooking fresh amazing food, reading etc. We are putting off all of the things that support our humanness and support the hard working business owner that you are. and acting like we’re dang machines.
These are the classic moments that we Just Need SOMETHING to look forward to.
Let these moments of exasperation get your attention?
- Is there a mental shift, a new way you can be thinking of where you are right now?
- Can you take a deep breath and be in the present so your concentration is higher, so you can really think through what you’re working on right now.
- Last but not least. Have you created a situation you want to get out of. Is your work routine, work day not working FOR you like it should? Add some intentional breaks, days off, ways you are working that support you.
I have 2 resources that might help you here.
- I learned so much about living in the present moment from Thomas Sterner in his book The Practicing Mind. I highly recommend it. It’s a quick read that you can apply instantly. This book changed my life, for real. I have a very distractable ADD brain and I needed to understand how to drop into the present.
- Give yourself some permission slips. If you are a natural over working type individual. Raising my hand here. Give yourself literal sticky note, permission slips reminding yourself that you need to take a walk, eat a delicious lunch, call a friend. Interrupt your day with activities that FUEL YOU so you can meet the tasks at hand.
I am looking forward to so much right now, it’s a natural way I think about life. I’m always looking ahead. But now I’m onto myself more than ever that my present moment can be missed if I indulge in thinking this way too long.
What are you looking forward to? AND what is amazing right now?
I’m in the business of helping overworking, stressed out business owners to continue to GROW their revenue, their impact without it costing the precious parts of their lives, health, relationships and their own mental well being. If you’d like to learn more, let’s hop on the phone. firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember you are doing a really great job!