What can I say, I love a good timeline! As women and attorneys we are often living within one timeline or another.
Timelines to get married, timelines to have kids, timelines to make partner, timelines to build that book of business, timelines to remain marketable and find another job…..
These never ending timelines not only often conflict with one another but can make it nearly impossible to truly enjoy this journey through time. Recently, I have been inundated with clients overwhelmed with the idea that they are “running out of time” for one thing or another. While I fully understand the importance of setting goals and having something to work for, what does it mean when we say that we are running out of time? Does that fear drive us to soar even higher or are the results more nefarious?
As a coach, I’m a firm believer in setting goals and having something to work toward but unfortunately the side effect of having too many trophies on the horizon is that, if left unchecked, it can diminish our current experience. When we are constantly casting our gaze off into the horizon, we overlook everything around us. Suddenly everything we are currently experiencing and the life that is currently happening to us and around us pales in comparison to that ultimate goal and whatever it is we are trying to achieve before we run out of time. We are driven by some notion that once we accomplish everything on our list, life will finally make sense and our existence will matter.
Sound familiar? You are not alone. Schedule a free consult and let go of this notion of “running out of time” for good.
While we think that this push to action and achievement is benefiting us what effect does it have on the remainder of our lives? If that goal itself comprises something in the distance, a mere fraction of our lifetime, that means that the remaining 99% of our lives are spent with that singular focus — the majority of our lives are spent disconnected from our current, lesser, existence and focusing on something we believe is bigger and brighter in the future.
Whenever I allow myself to think I’m running out of time, I feel this tightness in my chest and anxiety rising within my body. As if something bad is going to happen if I don’t get to work and start executing on some lofty goal. It’s this idea that I’m wasting my life that I should be doing more. That absent some future accomplishment my current existence is unworthy and my life will be a waste. From that space, I act franticly and quickly, trying to cram it all in. Nothing good comes from operating in that space other than a total meltdown burnout, in which case,
I REALLY do lose all that time I was worrying about, creating the exact result I was trying to avoid!
We talk a lot in coaching about being worthy and how that worthiness fits into context with our goals. Ultimately, the goal is never the point of the exercise but rather who we become in pursuit of those goals is the point. That ultimate goal, that accomplishment or achievement is never going to suddenly swoop in and make us experience all the worthiness that we’ve been chasing.
Rather, as many of us experience, once we achieve that goal those feelings of unworthiness and needing something more simply continue. That is the pattern that we practice when we let the ultimate goal have more value than it should — when we value the goal more than the journey. In that space, we are in essence doing exactly what we were trying to avoid: we are running out of time to enjoy the journey of life, we are running out of time to look around and witness our own evolution; sacrificing 99% of life in exchange for those blips of accomplishment.
Whatever we are striving for and worrying that we’re running out of time to accomplish, that thing will never bring us the happiness, peace, and feelings of worthiness that we think it will. Instead we must cultivate feelings of gratitude, worthiness, and success now so that when we achieve that one thing we are already skilled at appreciating it and understanding our worthiness already. From that space, the accomplishment loses its power and we are able to live in our value every step of the way and be thankful for all the gifts that we have in every moment.
If you don’t cultivate your belief in your worthiness along every step of your journey, no accomplishment will suddenly change that.
Whenever you find yourself thinking and worrying “I’m running out of time,” see it as a red flag that you are chasing some type of emotion or some external thing to make you feel a certain way. It is a sign that you are not truly living your life in the moment but rather casting your life forward to some unseen hands of fate. (Besides no one ever achieves their goals from a space of unworthiness, fear, and lack.) Whatever goal you’re seeking, pursue it for the sake of the pursuit. Pursue it so that you can practice believing in your own value every step of the way, in the face of every challenge. THAT is the only way to truly succeed. Achieving from any other place will only leave you feeling empty.