There's a thing you have to do when you are getting your private pilot's license. When you are first learning to fly, you use what's called visual flight rules (VFR, because everything in aviation has an abbreviation.) Because you do need to know what to do if suddenly you find yourself in a fog bank or something else that obsures your vision, you have to experience relying solely on the plane's instruments. To practice, you put a hood over your head that only lets you see the dashboard. (There's an instructor with you, so you know you won't crash. Whew.) Essentially, it's like flying blind, except that your plane's instruments can tell you the direction you are headed, your airspeed, whether you are climbing or falling, turning or flying straight. How hard can flying only with instruments be? Piece of cake, right? Who needs vision to fly?
A funny thing happens though. Your body stops sensing whether you are turning, changing speed, climbing or diving. When your body can't feel it, even if the instruments give you evidence that maybe something is going wrong, you don't pick up on it. John F. Kennedy, Jr, crashed his little plane because he was only rated for VFR and found himself in some weather with poor visibility, got disoriented and crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) deemed it spatial disorientation. JFK Jr was no dummy. His inability to recognize where things were going wrong wasn't because he didn't understand that he didn't want to crash into the ocean. It was because he didn't have the benefit of having a more full view of the situation, and maybe not enough experience in flying with poor visibility.
Our brains can act like a hood when practicing instrument flying. We think we know what's happening, and we might be right. But we might have accidentally put ourselves into stall or spin situation. If we have enough altitude, maybe we can catch it before impact. If not, we may have a catastrophic impact before we've even figured out something is amiss.
That's why, even if we know we ought to be able to sort out a problem for ourselves -- maybe lose weight or get healthy, maybe change jobs, maybe work on a relationship -- we don't stick with it long enough to reach our goal.
This is where watching your thoughts comes in. It's why coaching is helpful too. Sometimes we can totally see what's going on and can do the things we know we need to do. Sometimes we need the help of a flight instructor to point our attention to the altimeter or air speed indicator so that you can make the changes you want for yourself.
Ready to get started? Let's go!
If you are familiar with personal finance advice, you've probably heard the adage "pay yourself first." It refers to setting aside money for retirement before you pay any of your bills. I've discovered that it's true for making sure you take the time at the beginning of your day or week to pre-pave the way for smoother sailing. Listen to the podcast for a deeper dive.
Here we are in midlife. But what does that mean, really? Is the best really behind us?
Let's do some quick math: Average life span for a non-smoking woman: 83 minus average number of years spent with less than optimal health. So, if you've been generally healthy and you are now 60, statistically speaking you have a couple of decades to play with. And maybe you'll be above average and live longer and healthier than that. This is good news. That means that there's still pleny of time to make plans and do some things.
The time we have, regardless of the actual number of years in front of us, is finite. If you are like me, you feel a real sense of urgency to make the time count.
Maybe you have an idea that you've been thinking about inacting, or some changes you want to make to live a happier, healthier life. Maybe Real Life so far has kept you from going after something you want. You haven't had the time to build out your idea, or you think you don't have the expertise to pull it off, or your enthusiasm for your plan fades a bit after you've had a chance to mull it over a bit. "Get real," your brain says. Or worse, "It's too late to start something new."
But your brain lies. Our primative brains evolved to keep us safe and comfortable. That's great if all you want to do is survive. But safe and comfortable equals stagnation. Inertia is Netflix and the same job and the same thing day after day.
The good news is that you can outsmart your brain. You can create a plan to learn what you need to know and meet the people you need to meet. Your desire for something else and your willingness to overcome fear and the tools to do so can override your primative brain safe room. But you will have to continually challenge the tendency to retreat to safe and comfortable. This is where coaching comes in. You need someone in your corner to help you manage those thoughts that will try to justify keeping you stuck.
Really. Try coaching. You can get the support you need to get your plan, manufacture your propulsion, and make your next 20 years have meaning. Give a free 30-minute session a try and get started on your next two decades.
In a recent visit to my home state, I stayed in an historic hotel that had pictures from early statehood. I was struck by how the white settlers of Oklahoma started with a tent city in the late 1800s and in less than 20 years had built more than one entire city with substantial infrastructure. Most of my hometown of Guthrie, the original capital, was built in about 5 years. They went from dirt to multi-story buildings in the blink of an eye.
It got me thinking about what we as individuals can accomplish in our own lives. On the one hand, five years sounds like a long time. But at our age, we can easily look back five years and see where we were and where we are now. And we can imagine that we will be around in five years. Can we envision taking our personal landscape from prairie to the creation of our imagination in five years? Two years? Less?
Of course we can. But only if we have of vision of where we want to go. Those of us in midlife may be wondering what is next, or what even is left to do. But now is the time to use our imaginations to create a future by design.
What do you imagine for yourself? Do you still have the ability to picture a bright future? Sometimes we may need a little help to fan the flames of dreams we may have put on hold or decided were unattainable. What thing would you do if you knew you would not fail?
Coaching can help you find your intentional future. Sign up now for your free session.
" I knew I was different, but just wasn’t sure why or how…. And certainly wasn’t anyone I could talk to about it…."
"I had a religious upbringing. I was afraid of the spiritual repercussions. At that time I was brought up believing what I was I told..."
"All of a sudden, it hit me! I had been married to a man for 30 years and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Why I didn’t feel that way for him..."
"I knew most of my life but stuffed it away. Married to a man, twice. Spent ten years on my own. My aha moment came at age 61...."
"I've always known yet decided to suppress my feelings. I married a good man. I've not come out as of yet. I feel I've left it too late now to leave and find my hearts desire..."
If you found this post, you very well may be a woman who's on the brink of coming out, either to yourself or others. It can be very scary.
Coming out is a multistep process. First you recognize and acknowledge to yourself that you are attracted to women. Then there is the decision about whether to tell others and/or act on it. Or maybe you've already acted on it and are now at a place of "Now what?" Maybe lots of guilt.
If you have built a life that looks to the rest of the world like that of a straight woman and you imagine coming out, you may be terrified that you will lose everything.
Any step of coming out can feel scary or overwhelming. Any step can last a mere minute or many decades.
Remember this: Every decision that has brought you to where you are today seemed like the right or most logical decision in that moment.
Know this: You can do hard things. You can figure out what to do. You can feel better.
Getting coached can help. Click here for a free session and get started.